British Business Secretary Sajid Javid said on Sunday British Muslim parents must challenge mosques that refuse to condemn Islamic State attacks.
Javid, the most senior elected Muslim in the UK, urged British Muslims to do more to tackle extremist views, including standing up to Imams who refuse to condemn Islamic State attacks.
“'Non-violent extremists' were making it easier for terrorists to recruit British children to their cause,” the business secretary said.
British ministers have stressed that parents should stop blaming police and the security services and instead should challenge the ‘poisonous ideology’ which had caused hundreds of youngsters to head to Syria.
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The British government has also urged parents to report their children to the authorities if they are worried that their children may be at risk of radicalisation.
Javid, who was born in Rochdale, Lancashire to a bus driver father from Pakistan, urged British Muslims to do more to tackle the ideology behind IS. "If you are a Muslim parent and you send your children to a mosque, if the Imam in that mosque hasn't condemned what happened in Tunisia, for example, you should be asking yourself, 'why hasn't he done that, what's stopped him from doing that?"
The business secretary further stated, "These are the kind of questions Muslims should be asking themselves because what's happening is a peaceful, compassionate religion has been taken and twisted by this poisonous ideology and that cannot be allowed to stand."
He emphasised that it was perfectly possible to be both a Muslim and a patriotic Briton and that there were millions of Muslims who did that every single day.
Speaking about his own experiences growing up in the UK, Javid said, "When I was growing up as a young Muslim in Britain, the extremist ideology that you see today just didn't seem to be around, it didn't seem to be an issue. Something has clearly changed over a number of years. I think the Prime Minister is right when he talks about if we are really going to combat extremism and terrorism then we have got to combat the ideology. It's not about just military might."
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Agreeing with the prime minister’s earlier statement where he said that too many British Muslims ‘quietly condone’ extremism, the business secretary said, "I do think there are too many people, let's call them non-violent extremists, that feed this ideology. They may not agree with the terrorism ... but they might agree with the narrative."
Further, Javid warned against the damage that the ‘non-violent extremists’ were causing. "It's like taking a young person to the door of the terrorist. Then you make the terrorist's job of recruitment a lot easier because then they just have to beckon them in."
The business secretary advised Muslims to talk to the ‘non-violent extremists’ and say, “What you are doing, spreading this ideology, you are hurting us, you are hurting yourselves ultimately, it must stop.”
This article originally appeared on Daily Mail.
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