On 23rd June in London, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, founder and director of Minhaj ul Qur’an International, launched his anti-ISIS counter-extremism curriculum as a direct challenege to the propaganda being disseminated by ISIL.
In front of a packed room filled with media, members of parliament, civil society organisations, the police and Imams, Dr Qadri expressed his concern for young Muslims living in Britain and explained the need to produce and implement a specific counter-extremism orientated curriculum in Islamic seminaries as a way of promoting the correct understanding of Islam. He said, “We want to make clear that all activities being carried out by ISIS or any other terroristic and extremistic organisation either in the name of God or religion or establishing any kind of Islamic state by acts of violence … are totally in violation of the Koran and Islam“. (Reuters)
Dr Qadri said he wanted his 900-page curriculum, containing theological and ideological arguments to undermine extremists, to be taught not just at mosques and Islamic institutions but also in mainstream schools across Britain.
Dr Qadri was explicit in his condemnation of going to fight for ISIS when he said, “The children who are going to ISIS and fighting over there and leaving the comforts of their own British society, they are going to hell”. He went on to add, “They are our children. They are our sons and daughters. We have to save the future of mankind“.
When asked about how his curriculum would be able to compete with ISIL’s sophisticated and attractive social media propaganda campaigns, Dr Qadri stated that, “This will be a two-way war, not only through books in the study circles, mosque and schools, but on social media too“. Dr Qadri has plans to launch this curriculum across Europe, America and South Asia.
The launch event was attended by some key personalities including former Conservative Cabinet Minister, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi. In her address to the audience, Baronnes Warsi stressed the need for central government to seriously consider using the curriculum in mainstream schooling and stated that, “The British Muslim community is part of the solution. British Muslim communities do not quietly condone ISIS. They openly condemn it.”