By Aalia Khan
Extremism and radicalisation is a growing concern in society and it has become vital today, more than ever, for people to speak up and take their stand against this disease. I call it a disease as it is fast spreading across the globe and everyone seems to be in search of the cure.
Inspire, a counter-extremism and human rights organisation, helps to ensure that Muslim women are not discriminated against as well as campaigning to eliminate extremism. Their recent campaign is the #MakingAStand campaign which will show that Muslim women in the UK are taking a stand against ISIS and it will help women within communities to directly combat extremism and radicalisation in their communities.
The #MakingAStand campaign will see Muslim women coming together in different cities across the UK to show their rejection of the barbarism of ISIS as well as taking part in workshops on how to equip themselves and notice early signs of radicalisation.
With women being the first-line of defence against radicalisation the workshops are looking to champion women in making their voices heard in their personal and public life. Sara Khan Director and Co-founder of Inspire said “It is important for Muslim women to make sure their voice is heard. People in society want to hear women’s voices. I am starting to hear more Muslim women speaking out and I would encourage them to speak out more as they are actively making a difference.”
This is the next phase of the #MakingAStand campaign following its initial launch at the end of last year with the support of Home Secretary Theresa May. The initial launch came after the “The brutal summer of ISIS terrorism and how horrendous it was” says Khan. She says they wanted to speak out against it and get women within the community engaged on the topic. The campaign is both online and offline with #MakingAStand spiralling across social media.
According to Khan Women face many barriers within society; these being socio-economic, religious and cultural and these barriers need to be tackled by the woman’s’ voice being heard. She says the main way in extinguishing these barriers is “Not to ignore them.” The second aspect is to “Educate men on a wider perspective” on the importance of a woman’s voice being heard.
In light of the three young London girls who are believed to be on their way to Syria to join ISIS, after being indoctrinated by extremists online, Khan has wrote a letter on the Inspire website urging young girls “Not destroy your life and your families lives by buying into a lie. ISIS claim to be calling for women’s liberation but do not be fooled – this is no liberation. This is subjugation and an abuse of women’s independence.”
To register your interest, find out what you can do to join the #MakingAStand campaign as well as information about the regional events visit the website: <http://www.wewillinspire.com/>