Stevenage Muslim community backs government letters decision after Paris terrorist attacks – but wants more to be done

Letters were sent out to Muslim leaders by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Letters were sent out to Muslim leaders by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles. - Credit: Archant

A Muslim community has backed the government’s decision to write letters to mosques urging them to do more to show how Islam is part of British identity.

President Sagheer Ahmad from the Stevenage branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

President Sagheer Ahmad from the Stevenage branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. - Credit: Archant

The letters to Muslim leaders were sent out by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks in France, and were defended by Prime Minister David Cameron this week.

The Stevenage branch of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has said it supports the government’s action to root out extremism but has called for more to be done to stop preachers of hate.

President Sagheer Ahmad said: “We welcome the government’s acknowledgement that the Paris attacks have nothing to do with Islam. Islam is a religion of peace and those who carry out violence in its name are acting against Islamic teachings.

“The government is right to be worried about extremism, be it from any source, and it is the duty of all faith communities to support efforts for greater peace.


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“In Stevenage our mosque is a beacon of peace and we engage our youth to work for their local communities – as a result they raise thousands of pounds each year for British charities, they plant thousands of trees for a better future for Britain, and they help feed the homeless, with more than 10,000 meals provided nationally each year to help those suffering.

“In our mosque our sermons are either in English or have a simultaneous translation provided in English, we engage the youth in activities and discussions and we have absolutely no radicalisation in our mosques.

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“Our community is persecuted in Pakistan and other countries so has been on the receiving end of radicalisation. Its response has always been one of prayer, patience and persistence and we live by our motto of ‘love for all, hatred for none’.

“The government needs to do more to stop preachers of hate from coming to the UK and critically spreading their messages of hate online and on satellite television. This is vital.”

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