Programme to tackle Islamic extremism launched

AN educational programme tackling Islamic extremism in the North-East has been officially launched.

Founded by Middlesbrough-born Ifty Rafiq and officially launched at the Jamia Masjid Al-Madina Mosque in the town, The Harmony Initiative is a national initiative, which seeks to explain moderate Islam as compatible with British values.

It aims to complement the Government’s anti-radicalisation strategies by reducing Islamic extremism and Islamophobia, enabling Muslims and non-Muslims to better identify extremist ideologies.

In doing so, it aims to build community cohesion and promote the British values of tolerance and individual liberty across all sectors of society.

Mr Rafiq said: “All around the UK, there are millions of Muslims who share the British values of democracy, individual liberty and tolerance.

“Unfortunately, a minority of individuals, misguided about the true meaning of Islam, seek to undermine the fabric of British society and in doing, erode trust in the Muslim community.

“Many people, both Muslims and non-Muslims hold a lot of misconceptions about the reality of Islam, often confusing cultural and religious practices.”

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