LONDON -- Since the terrorist attacks in the United States, no voice among British Muslims has been louder than that of Al-Muhajiroun.
The organization, which aspires to make Britain an Islamic state, attracted police attention Wednesday when one of its members was quoted as saying Prime Minister Tony Blair was a "legitimate target."
The government says it is watching Al-Muhajiroun closely -- and, perhaps, nervously -- as Britain's Muslims become increasingly restless about the U.S. and British strikes against Afghanistan.
The group's founder, Syrian-born Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammad, says the alleged threat against Blair was taken out of context -- that the speaker was describing public sentiment in Pakistan, not his own feelings.
But Omar himself stirred controversy last month when he accused Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf of betraying Islam by cooperating with the United States against fellow Muslims.
"We monitor carefully everything that he is saying, who he is inciting, and work out carefully at what point it would be productive to act so he is prevented from doing so," Home Secretary David Blunkett told the BBC.
British politicians and mainstream Islamic groups have gone to great lengths to persuade Muslims that the war against terrorism is not directed against their religion.
The 1.5 million Muslims are Britain's largest religious minority. Many are second- or third-generation Britons of Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent, educated in British schools and speaking in the regional accents of the cities where they have grown up.
Still, many feel discriminated against.
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