Warnings from community leaders that racial harmony in the Lozells area of Birmingham is on the "cusp" of a breakdown appeared very real last night.
On one side is the African Caribbean community angry at the alleged rape of a 14-year-old black girl by a group of Asian businessman.
On the other, the area's Asian community feel intimidated and want evidence of a crime which many feel is little more than an "urban myth".
As a result, a well of mistrust and suspicion has opened up between two communities who, until recently, apparently live side-by-side in one of the most deprived parts of the city.
Life-long Lozells resident Gulfram Khan, who runs a take-away business in the area, is perhaps typical of many within the Asian community.
"A lot of people are extremely angry," he said.
"The fact that it is fasting month has been fortunate because people have more patience.
"At the end of the day until you bring the girl forward, as far as we are concerned she doesn't exist. She is an urban myth.
"We don't wish to make trouble with our neighbours but they want to make trouble with us."
Mr Khan claimed the Asian community were being used as a scapegoat by angry sections of the black population.
"We won't be bullied around by an angry community," he said.
"They are angry at their own set of circumstances. It is nothing to do with us, it is all to do with themselves." Like many from his community, Mr Khan does not want trouble but is ready to defend his family should he need to.
"If something happens to me or my family I will be out there. I will lock up my shop and go out there," he said.
"At the end of the day if it is the law of the jungle we will protect ourselves."