A Pakistani Islamic cleric has launched a ‘counter-terrorism’ curriculum to help stop young people becoming radicalised.
In a statement from organisation Minhaj-ul Quran International, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri says he wrote the curriculum — in English, Arabic and Urdu — to countermine the extremists’ arguments that they speak in the name of Islam. It was unveiled at a launch in Westminster, in London, where he said, ‘This is not a process that started yesterday. That radicalisation began to happen 30 years ago. You can see this gradual process of grooming by extremist groups such as Islamic State and we must address that and the arguments used by IS to justify their criminal, terrorist activities’.
The launch came as news broke that at least 700 Britons are estimated to have travelled to Syria and Iraq, many of them to join Islamic State. Recently, Talha Asmal, 17, from Dewsbury, is thought to have become the UK’s youngest-ever suicide bomber.
In June, Prime Minister David Cameron called on Muslim communities to do more to stop young people being radicalised by groups such as Islamic State, saying some Muslims were quietly condoning extremist views.