I’m a British Muslim and this is why I felt the need to leave the UK – OPED

SHAFAQNA - On the morning of the Prime Minister’s speech on extremism I flew out to Turkey with my husband from where I write this letter now.

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Both my husband and I were born and brought up in London but we recently felt the need to leave the UK and so booked two tickets to Istanbul.

As we were boarding our flight at Heathrow Terminal 2, we were stopped and questioned by the security services (maybe because I wear a headscarf and my husband has a beard), but only for a few minutes after which we were allowed to board the plane.

Syria and Isis are now just a short ferry ride from here in Istanbul.

But we’re not going there. We’re going back to the UK.

You see we had to leave London because we hadn’t had a proper holiday in over a year and Istanbul came highly recommended by friends and family.

And we have to go back because both my husband and I have (public sector) jobs and I have to be at work on Monday.

And we have to go back because we both love the UK. We’re British after all!

I see no conflict in being British and my Islamic faith. In fact patriotism is part of my faith. So when the Prime Minister says there is a theological link between Islam and terrorism, I have to disagree.

Yes, some people who claim to be Muslims are terrorists but there is no link between the religion of Islam and terrorism. Islam is the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Qur’an forbids all forms of terrorism.

I wrote that I have pledged allegiance to the true Islamic Caliphate. The Caliph I follow is Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad. He is the only person on this planet that 150 million Muslims will say speaks for them.

But most of your readers will never have heard of him – and he lives in London! Because his message is that of real Islam. The religion of peace.

Though I took issue with the Prime Minister linking Islam with acts of terror I agreed with a lot of what he had to say on Monday. I particularly liked the bit where he urged the media to give moderate and peaceful Muslims, like the Caliph Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, a platform instead of the voices that make for “explosive television.”

I hope that you will. Because that will help stop misguided young Muslims going on from here to commit acts of terror.

Salma Shah, London – The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily relfect that of Shafaqna’s

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