Muslim women are set to come together at #MakingAStand events, being held across the UK, as they look to make a united stand rejecting the barbarism of ISIS and take the lead in combating extremism and radicalisation in their communities.
The women, from across local communities, will attend a series of events in key cities – from London to Leeds, in recognition of the valuable role they have to play in exerting their influence to combat extremism.
Aimed at championing the importance of Muslim women’s voices in society and public life, the events will provide the women with practical tips on making a stand – as individuals and as groups – in building stable and peaceful communities by challenging hateful, bigoted and extreme views.
Organised by Inspire, a counter-extremism and human rights organisation, the #MakingAStand events, which start next week, are being hosted in conjunction with local community groups to provide women an opportunity to share ways they can make a difference in countering extremism.
As part of the #MakingAStand campaign, which initially launched in 2014 with support of the Home Secretary Theresa May, Inspire is urging Muslim women within the UK to reject the threat of extremism by taking positive action, however small, within their homes and communities.
Looking to stand up for their values, the women will be sharing tips on how to achieve this – from simply talking with friends about current affairs and local issues to holding official positions of influence within their communities.
Sara Khan, director of Inspire, said: “Women are the backbone of our communities and the first line of defence against radicalisers. We know that our role in challenging extremism is vital and honourable. As British Muslim women we value and believe in the principles of democracy, human rights and respect for all life.
“This is in complete contrast to the sheer evil and barbarism of the very ‘un-Islamic’ extremist groups who murder, rape and steal in the name of Islam. 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.
“We have seen first-hand in our communities the damage caused by extremists polluting young minds – and we must do all we can to protect our sons and daughters. We believe it is imperative to reclaim our faith from extremists who have hijacked it to falsely justify their barbarity.
“We call on British Muslim women to stand in solidarity and join us at #MakingAStand events. This is the opportunity to meet with like-minded women looking to uphold their way of life and values by challenging all those who preach hatred, violence and bigotry in local society, groups, schools, mosques and online.”
#MakingAStand was created in the wake of widespread reporting of atrocities committed by ISIS and their call for Muslims to commit cold-blooded murder in the streets of Western countries.