UK hosts anti-terror camp for Muslim youths

LONDON The first major Muslim event designed specifically to tackle Islamist extremism and terrorism will take place in the UK this weekend. Kicking off on Saturday, al-Hidayah 2010 is a three-day event taking place at the University of Warwick in the English Midlands.

UK Muslim leader to issue fatwa against Jihad

Described as a unique anti-terror camp, the conference is set to look at contemporary issues facing Muslims such as terrorism, suicide bombing, jihad and other topical

An array of Islamic experts, academics and imams will present keynote speeches and there will be workshops, discussions and questions and answer sessions.

It has been organized by Minhaj-ul-Quran UK part of an international group that describes itself as œa broad based Islamic organization representing a moderate vision of Islam and Sufism, working for peace and integration with over 1,300 attendees pre-registering for the event, each paying £200 to attend.

This is the first anti-terror camp of its kind Britain has witnessed and I believe this will change the concepts of
many Muslim youth who will learn directly from the scholar who issued the Fatwa on Terrorism. It will be a severe blow to extremist groups in the UK, said
Shahid Mursaleen, spokesman for Minhaj-ul-Quran.

Minhaj-ul-Quran is said to be an extremely influential and respected organization among British Muslims, especially of South Asian background, and is also one of the largest movements in Pakistan in addition to its many centers in the UK.

The organizations founder, Dr. Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, a keynote speaker at the conference, made headlines in March after he issued a fatwa against terrorism and suicide bombing in the name of Islam.

The 600-page fatwa described why suicide bombings and terrorism are un-Islamic, scripturally forbidden and against the teachings of Islam.

The ruling is the most comprehensive theological refutation of Islamist terrorism to date.

Dr. Qadri will explain the fatwa, train them to recognize Islamist extremism in their own communities as well as give them the theological tools to tackle it themselves. The highly revered scholar condemns terrorism and extremism in the name of Islam and also critiques the Islamist concepts of the Caliphate and of making a single interpretation
of the Sharia into state law.

I have announced an intellectual and spiritual war against extremism and terrorism. I believe this is the time for moderate Islamic scholars who believe in peace to stand up, Dr. Qadri said prior to the event.

The Quilliam Foundation, a London-based antiextremism think-tank led by former Islamists, said the event will give young Muslims the confidence and tools to root out the œvirus of extremism and intolerance in their communities.

When Dr. Qadri released his fatwa against terrorism earlier this year, people asked how he would get this message to the people who most need to hear it. This weekend provides the answer: a three-day event at which major, genuinely moderate Islamic scholars will train 1,300 young British Muslims to recognize and tackle Islamist extremism. This event will give young Muslims the confidence and the theological tools to go back to their own communities across the UK and root out the virus of extremism and intolerance.

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