Published On: Mon, Apr 28th, 2014 on 3:00 pm

Leeds imam questions campaign to prevent men going to Syria

Syrian Conflict

Stock image.

British counter-terrorism police chiefs have made an appeal to mothers to persuade their relatives not to go to Syria and fight.

The nationwide campaign calling upon women to intervene follows a string of deaths of UK men who joined Syria’s civil war against President Assad’s regime.

But Imam Qari Asim MBE, the imam (religious leader) of Makkah Masjid in Leeds, has questioned the campaign.

He told the Yorkshire Standard: “I agree with the message issued by the Met Police that we need to prevent young people going to Syria with the intent to fight. But mothers are usually the last people to find out what their sons intend to do.

“The Met Police are also the wrong people to launch this campaign as they are the first stage in the criminal enforcement process. The message should have come out from the community. Community agencies and mosques should be brought on board to give out this message loud and clear.”

According to counter-terrorism police chiefs, the number of people travelling to Syria from the UK is increasing and is now believed to be in the low hundreds.

The North East Counter Terrorism Unit is also supporting the campaign, appealing to all communities to protect young people who may be planning to travel to the war-torn country.

On the back of the campaign launch, the Charities Commission has urged everyone to make informed choices about which charities to support and donate to.

Commenting, Imam Asim said: “Makkah Masjid has been saying all along that if people want to send aid and relief, they should use reputable charities to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Syria.”

About the Author

Hasan Faridi

- Hasan is the founder and editor-in chief of the Yorkshire Standard. A BA Hons graduate from the University of Huddersfield, he has over four years of experience in newspapers, magazines and radio.

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