East End's Muslim mothers make a stand against Isis and Islamic extremism
PUBLISHED: 16:56 31 March 2015 | UPDATED: 17:16 31 March 2015
Muslim women have come together to "make a stand" in London's East End against Isis and fight radicalisation in the community, after four schoolgirls fled top Syria.
They held their first get-together in Bethnal Green, part of a nationwide series of Making A Stand events recognising the role they play to combat extremism.
The gathering in the East End was in the wake of four pupils aged 15 and 16 from Bethnal Green Academy who skipped the country to join Isis, one in December and her three pals following in February.
The campaign organised by Inspire, a counter-extremism and human rights organisation, which has come too late to stop the four becoming radicalised, is aimed at preventing other teenagers getting indoctrinated by Islamic extremism.
“Women are the backbone or the community and the first line of defence against radicialisers,” organiser Sara Khan said.
“They value and believe in democracy, human rights and respect for all life—in complete contrast to the sheer evil and barbarism of the ‘un-Islamic’ groups who murder, rape and steal in the name of Islam.”
She added: “Abhorrent groups like Isis and Al Qaida distort the teachings of our faith and are a menace to our way of life, our families, communities and women’s rights.”
Inspire is urging Muslim women to take action within the home and the community.
One mother at the gathering was Mahnaz Nadeem, who said: “The seeds of hate that extremists sow must not be allowed to take root in our community—these groups don’t represent our faith, nor our belief in democracy, humanity and peaceful co-existence.”
Making A Stand was created in the wake of widespread reporting of atrocities committed by Isis and their call for Muslims to commit murder in the streets of Western countries.