Muslim-led campaign gears up to fight extremism in UK

The campaign aims to combat extremists who groom young people


Web Desk July 11, 2015
PHOTO: BBC

A Muslim-led campaign 'Fightback Starts Here' has pledged a collective effort to tackle extremism in the UK.

The campaign aims to combat extremists who groom young people and includes 100 charities, campaign groups and community organisations, as well as Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Sikh groups.

The group has played a key role in combating terrorism either by deradicalising young people involved in violent extremism or helping equip families to spot the warning signs.

Read: IS claims murder of British hostage in latest video

It is also supported by the families of UK aid workers, David Haines and Alan Henning, who were murdered by Islamic State militants in Syria while they were on aid missions.

David Haines PHOTO: BBC

Haines's brother, Mike, and Henning's widow, Barbara, have also signed an open letter calling on a united effort to "reject the lies that extremists spread".

During the launch of the campaign video online, the coalition stated, “The UK urgently needed groups that had been actively combating extremism - from militancy to neo-Nazis - to share their experiences more widely.”

It has also appealed groups to assist communities in equipping themselves with tools to fight against recruiters.

Mike Haines said that radicalization and extremism were the biggest challenge facing the UK. "We cannot allow terrorist gangs to polarise our communities, we must stand united, pool our resources and expertise in tackling radicalisation and extremism, and send a clear message to those who wish to cause us harm that they will not defeat us," he said.

Further, Barabara Henning was of the opinion that IS’s ability to use social media and the internet to spread hate must be stopped.

Alan Henning PHOTO: BBC

Read: ISIS claims beheading of British aid worker: SITE

"Now is the time that as a country, we come together and do everything within our power as a united community, to stop these vicious and poisonous groups from stealing our loved ones away, " she said.

The group’s open letter said, "We work every day to protect young people at risk from radicalisation, but it is a daily battle and one that demands a co-ordinated and concerted response. So today - with one voice - we launch our collective fightback against those who wish to do us harm."

Suleman Nagdi, of the Leicester-based Federation of Muslim Organisations and one of the co-ordinators, said, "The fightback has to start right here and right now - everyone has to step up to the challenge. Recent events continue to serve as a wake-up call to the serious threat of online and offline radicalisation.”

"For too long we have seen a lot of good work in different parts of the community but we have never managed to gel the communities together," Nagdi said.

The article originally appeared on BBC

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