Parliamentary Group Raises Awareness of Extremists' Threat



An All Party Parliamentary Group is hosting a seminar to hear from international experts about extremism and religious persecution and its impact in the UK.

Speakers at the event, Murder in the Name of God, are: The Attorney General, The Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP; Writer, broadcaster and cultural critic Ziauddin Sardar; Co-Director of the International Centre for the Study of radicalisation Dr John Bew; Director of Asia Pacific at Amnesty International Sam Zarifi; Human Rights Activist and columnist Jemima Khan; and daughter of assassinated Governor of Punjab Pakistan Salman Taseer Shehrbano Taseer.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is hosting the policy debate in conjunction with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK on Wednesday 18 May at The Jubilee Room, House of Commons, London. The event that includes policy makers, think tanks, diplomats, parliamentarians, academics and the media is chaired by Siobhain McDonagh MP.

It takes place on the anniversary of a murderous gun, grenade and suicide attack on two mosques in Lahore, Pakistan, in 2010 in which 86 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community were murdered whilst attending Friday prayers.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community is among the oldest established Muslim communities in the UK and built the first purpose-built mosque in London. The community operates the largest mosque in Western Europe in London, and lives by the code Love for All Hatred for None, and since its very inception over a century ago has been calling for an end to violence in the name of jihad.

Rafiq Hayat, President Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, said:

"It is vital that there is informed top-level debate about tackling extremism - and to recognise the fact that extremism comes in many forms and affects many communities. We hope the event highlights the very real and present danger that extremism poses in the UK.

"The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has suffered religious violence and extremism for over a century, but we do not stand alone in this respect. Many other Muslims as well as Sikhs, Hindus, Christian and Jews have also been targeted. Extremism and terrorism in all forms must be recognised and rooted out.

"What we seek is a collective will to stem the tide of extremism that capitalises on social dissatisfaction and is a violent challenge to the rule of law."

Siobhain McDonagh said:

"The spectre of extremism looms large in the form of the hate ideology spawned to perpetrate Murder in the Name of God. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been targeted like many others by murderous extremists and we are committed to working with others to tackle extremism.

"The speakers addressing the event are well versed with the issues so we see this as a tremendous opportunity to advance our understanding of the rise of extremism in the UK and abroad."

The policy debate takes place at:

The Jubilee Room House of Commons

Wednesday 18 May 2011 - (2.00 - 5.30pm)


Note to newsdesk:

Media is invited at 1.00pm for opportunity to interview speakers and key guests. Please email or phone:

Basharat Nazir +44(0)7703-483-384

Mahmood Rafiq +44(0)7971-060-962

Farooq Aftab +44(0)7584-100-659