CLG’s Empowering Muslim women initiative

25 Jan 2008

Whilst we welcome this initiative to empower Muslim women, we cannot but be disappointed that the initiative is linked to the prevention of violent extremism. All women – not just Muslim women – need empowerment but given the social exclusion and economic deprivation of Muslim communities in the UK, we hope that Muslim women will not be put off from making the best out of this well-meaning but ill-directed initiative.

There is not a shred of evidence that Muslim mothers could have prevented the tragedy of 7 July 2005 and other subsequent plots which fortunately did not come to fruition. We appeal yet again for an honest debate on the underlying causes of violent extremism as it threatens the safety and security of us all and we must therefore do everything possible to eradicate it. Unless we find the roots of this evil we cannot succeed in eradicating it. We cannot continue to engage in shadow boxing on issues that concern our lives and our future.

`We need to address the causes behind the criminal actions of people who feel driven to kill themselves and others. It is never too late to reconsider and re-evaluate some of our foreign and as well as domestic policies. At the same time we Muslim men and women must not allow anyone to hijack our noble faith for advancing political grievances through violent means. There is no justification for terrorism from any quarter,” said Dr Reefat Drabu, Chair of the MCB’s Social and Family Affairs committee.