Community united at Leamington mosque in fight against extremism - The Leamington Observer

Community united at Leamington mosque in fight against extremism

Leamington Editorial 12th Jun, 2017 Updated: 14th Jun, 2017   0

AN APPEAL to the community to stand together and tackle the threat of extremism helped pack Leamington’s Baitul Ehsan mosque on Sunday night.

Around 200 people including some from the Christian, Sikh and Jewish communities as well as representatives from the police and emergency services answered the invitation to show solidarity and learn more about Islam.

Civic dignitaries from the town including Warwick mayor Stephen Cross and district council chairman Allan Boad joined the meeting and condemned the recent attacks in Manchester and London.

The event was also one of the first public appearances for newly-elected MP Matt Western, whose campaign for the seat was suspended in the aftermath of both atrocities.

He urged people of all faiths to work together to combat extremism and paid tribute to those striving to pull all parts of the community together.

The Adelaide Road mosque’s Imam Saeed Jatt outlined some of the underlying beliefs of Islam. He referred to verses from the Quran banning killing and calling on all Muslims to respect other cultures, views and faiths.

He said the public’s belief that terrorists were representing Islam was one of most important issues to clear up.

“It is important that we stand together and understand each other. If we don’t do this, these twisted people will drive even more hate between us.”

He called upon Muslims and those in the wider community to be vigilant when it came to the threat of the radicalisation of young people. He urged the public to report any suspicious activity to mosque leaders.

“We must get these people to come to us and we can talk to them. If we don’t they will just develop more hate.”

The Muslim community had, he said, already held classes aimed at warning younger members to come forward if they became concerned about any extremist approach.

Asked how the non-Muslim community could help in the fight, Mr Jatt said vigilance and communication were the key.

“If you meet anyone who displays the ideology of extremism, report them to us. That would help.

“We are doing all we can. It would help us if everyone could all work hand-in-hand with our community. We must take away any barrier to that understanding.”

Warwickshire Police, together with the Muslim Council of Britain, urge the public to report any suspicious behaviour or activity to the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789321, or in an emergency call 999.

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