Hundreds of UK Muslims attend anti-terror camp

* Islamic scholar Dr Tahirul Qadri tells participants Islam teaches integration into host society

COVENTRY: Prominent Islamic scholar Dr Muhammad Tahirul Qadri urged participants at an anti-terrorism summer camp to follow the Prophet (PBUH) and not Osama bin Laden.

That summer camp, named al-Hidayah (The Guidance), which concluded on Monday, was led by the scholar and attracted hundreds of young British Muslims this week. His message to the roughly 1,300 people attending the three-day event on a university campus in Coventry, central England, was clear – terrorism is anti-Islamic.

The message was welcomed by members of the British Muslim community, which has been in the spotlight since the July 7, 2005 suicide attacks on London’s public transport system that killed 52 people, plus the four attackers. “The thing he said about terrorism is a big thing to say,” Anam Nazir, a young woman who attended the event, told AFP. “I’m from Pakistan and I have never seen any scholar say things like that in the media because they’re too scared... he’s brave.”

The event cost some 200 pounds ($320) per person to attend, including accommodation. On the agenda were lectures about issues faced by Muslims living in the West such as terrorism, suicide bombing and integration as well as music and sports. But for many attendees, one highlight was the opening speech by Tahirul Qadri, the Canadian-based founder of Islamic NGO Minhajul Quran International, during which he spoke out against al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Afterwards, Tahirul Qadri said Islam states that followers can only voice disagreements with laws in a peaceful manner, and that it was a religion that preached integration. According to Islamic law, he said, “these countries that protect your life and your wealth and your honour... are peaceful countries so you’re not allowed to become terrorists against these countries and these societies,” he said.

“This is the commandment of the Holy Prophet, Islam and Allah, to be integrated in the society where you’re living.” he remarked. The event was covered widely in the British media. Naseem, a young man attending the event who runs a hairdressing business, said the summer camp would help him to explain the true nature of Islam to the customers from all backgrounds who he serves. “I believe (Tahirul Qadri’s) challenge to radicalisation, terrorism is very good – terrorism is a danger towards mankind,” he said. afp

Source :\08\11\story_11-8-2010_pg7_3