Promoting a fair and tolerant multi-cultural society – one Muslim at a time

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SHAFAQNA - Declaring war on those promoting extremism, a group of UK Muslim charities have launched a new multi-faith campaign as a collective effort against radicalization.

“The fightback has to start right here and right now – everyone has to step up to the challenge,” Suleman Nagdi, of the Leicester-based Federation of Muslim Organisations and one of the co-ordinators told BBC.

“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.”

The campaign, known as The Fight-back, is an initiative comprising of influential Muslim-led groups that have played a key role in combating terrorism either by de-radicalizing young people involved in violent extremism or helping equip families to spot the warning signs.

“Many Muslim communities have spoken out against extremism and continue to do so but what we now need to do now is have a united voice,” Nagdi said.

“This is a true threat that we face as a nation. I do not think that we should single out a section of the community to say that you should be responsible because of the criminal activities of a handful of people.”

The Fightback group said efforts over the decade since the 7/7 London suicide bombings had often been disjointed or too focused on expecting Muslims alone to find all the answers.

The group’s open letter said: “We work every day to protect young people at risk from radicalization, 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.”

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The campaign launch was announced in an online video in which the coalition said the UK urgently needed groups that had been actively combating extremism.

It was backed by the families of David Haines and Alan Henning who were both murdered by militants if the so-called Islamic State (ISIL).

In their efforts to promote the campaign, Haines’s brother, Mike, and Henning’s widow, Barbara, back the campaign called on a united effort to “reject the lies that extremists spread”.

Mike Haines said radicalization and extremism comprised “the biggest challenge facing our communities in the UK”.

Alan Henning who was on an aid mission to Syria when he was kidnapped

“We cannot allow terrorist gangs to polarise our communities, we must stand united, pool our resources and expertise in tackling radicalization and extremism, and send a clear message to those who wish to cause us harm that they will not defeat us,” he said.

Henning said communities across the UK were being affected by “the serious threat of radicalization and extremism by monsters like Isis”.

“Their ability to use social media and the internet to spread hate must be stopped,” she said.

“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.”

Muslims all over UK have held series of campaign to fight terrorism.

A British Muslim women’s group held a conference in Cardiff on Friday, March 20, as part of their nationwide campaign called “#MakingAstand” against extremism and radicalization.

Muslim community in Cambridge have also launched a new campaign targeting the strong bond between mothers and daughters to prevent girls from trying to join the militant groups.

Mosques across the UK launched a campaign to encourage people to help Syrians through charities regulated by the Charity Commission, instead of going to the countries to help directly.

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