South Woodford imam: Faith communities must deter young people from Iraq and Syria
15:39 18 June 2014
A South Woodford imam has called for faith communities to dissuade its members from joining the escalating conflict in Iraq and Syria.
Dr Mohammed Fahim, of South Woodford Mosque, in Mulberry Way, has played an integral part in recent months in working with the Metropolitan Police to stop Britons travelling to the Middle East, speaking at different events to highlight the problem.
He said: “Faith communities must deter these young people from participating in any of these wars as they are not holy wars.”
Dr Fahim insisted Redbridge does not have a more serious problem than any other borough, but the Muslim community needed to remind people of Islamic beliefs.
The imam added: “Islam condemns the killing of innocent people irrespective of their faith or ethnicity.
“Islam only permits war in case of self defence. No aggression is allowed in Islam.
“A just war in case of self defence must be fought in the name of God by following all his rules and regulations.
Foreign Secretary William Hague, speaking in the House of Commons this week, estimated about 400 Britons are fighting in Syria and Iraq, some even for the ISIS militia.
“If they come back there is always the fear of them radicalising other people or participating in violent activities,” added Dr Fahim.