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Asian Teenagers Urge Deportation of Extremist Imams

Press Release 23rd November 2005

A Muslim teenager has proposed that the "very small minority of Imams’" who propagate extremist views should be "deported and given the means for rehabilitation" - because Muslim teachers have such a key role in teaching young people their faith. Her proposal is part of a paper for an event to discuss responses to the London bombings.

She and twenty three other South Asian teenagers from around Britain will participate in 7/7 AND BEYOND - A South Asian response to the London Bombings, where they will share their views with faith community leaders, politicians and representatives from business, academia and the media.

Organisers, South Asian Development Partnership (SADP), are convening the event in London on 23rd November to tackle questions related to the London bombings from a distinctively South Asian perspective.

Commenting on the conference agenda, Labour MP for Tooting, Sadiq Khan, says that solutions will not be found primarily in the Muslim community but in the mainstream: "Extremist teaching is not generally found in the mosques but outside them. The significant minority of young Muslims who are alienated need to learn about moderate Islam, of course. But many also need jobs, better education facilities, and above all positive role models. We urgently need people of all communities to work together to address these problems."

SADP Chairman Ram Gidoomal CBE, who advises business and government on diversity issues, said the event is intended to do just that: "We hope to see many more inter-community groups that will meet on a regular basis to discuss issues of common concern. We can provide resources for such groups. We also need to enthuse and involve young people from all backgrounds in projects that respond to injustice, inequality and suffering. We need to fire their imagination and capture their energy. Their contribution to these discussions is essential."

South Asian Development Partnership intends that the conference will result in better understanding of issues, practical suggestions for building bridges between communities and constructive debate on building a genuinely plural society.

Mr Gidoomal concludes:"South Asians have long experience of religious conflict and of terrorism based on religion and ideology and have wrestled with the complexities of managing a plural society. This conference should bring an exchange of views and lends support to community leaders as they ask hard questions of their members."

ENDS

For more information contact Robin Thomson on 020 8770 9717 or sadp.info@tiscali.co.uk.

   
   
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