500 British Muslims attend ‘anti-terrorism’ training camp

More than 500 British Muslims have taken part in an ‘anti-terrorism’ training camp to learn how to identify extremism and help those in danger of becoming radicalized.

The three-day ‘Al-Hidyah 2017’ conference at Keele University in Staffordshire, hosted by Minhaj-ul-Quran International, a leading moderate British Muslim organization, focused on extremists’ talk of “us and them” and their use of false terminology in citing the Koran.

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© Omar Sobhani

Workshops and lectures, broadcast live on YouTube and Facebook, intended to give British Muslims ideological confidence to counter Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) propaganda.

Keynote speaker Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, who founded Minhaj-ul-Quran International, condemned the perpetrators of extremist violence and dealt with misconstrued theological ideas about jihad, the misinterpretation of Koranic verses to justify violence and the establishing of a global caliphate, according to the Times.

The conference was seen as particularly important after the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, and the bloodshed in Barcelona, the organization said in a statement.

Tahir-ul-Quadri, a Sufi originally from Pakistan but now living in Canada, issued a fatwa against extremism in 2010. It condemns suicide bombings and terrorist acts.

He also launched a counter-terrorism curriculum in June 2015 that is being taught at mosques across the UK.

“I have launched an intellectual and spiritual war against extremism and terrorism,” Tahir-ul-Quadri said in a statement.

“It is vital to train young people how [Islamic State or IS, formerly] ISIS and other terrorist groups are giving the wrong impression of Islamic concepts such as jihad.”

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