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Muslim mums Syria plea falls on deaf ears
AN appeal by counter-terrorism police to Muslim women to stop male relatives going to Syria seems to have had little impact on East Lancashire mothers.
Women in the area indicated the national campaign for them to intervene following 20 deaths of UK men in the civil war would not change female minds on the issue.
Nationally, critics and campaigners questioned whether the police were trusted enough to get the message across.
Security chiefs think hundreds of people have travelled from the UK to fight in Syria, some of whom have returned radicalised, with 40 arrested during the first three months of this year.
Blackburn mother Raheema Bux, who has been on an aid convoy to the war-torn country, said: “This will have no impact. Why are they worried about people being radicalised in Syria now when it has already happened.
“We are all concerned about the risks but we are much more worried about the humanitarian situation there. When I went, I took my son with me.
“If the government was doing something to help people in Syria, then Muslim women might listen. It is not so this will have no effect.”
Mother-of-two Sayeeda Mulla, wife of Blackburn with Darwen Mayor Salim Mulla, who has visited Syria, said: “I think there is an obligation on people to give humanitarian aid to Syria. I would be concerned about the risk to my sons but I would not stop them going as I did not stop my husband.”
Anjum Anwar, dialogue development officer at Blackburn Cathedral, said: “I have spoken to six Muslim mothers and they are not concerned about this.
“What they are bothered about is the risks to their sons at home — drugs, alcohol abuse and violence. They don’t understand what the police are talking about.”
Speaking at the launch of the project, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball said she wanted women to lead attempts 'to challenge the lure of Syria' and help to reduce the risk that young men going there would return radicalised.
Shiraz Maher, of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, said the police were 'the wrong people to be launching this type of campaign'.
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