Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sadiq: UK Muslims Must Do More to Root out Cancer of Extremism; Labour Mayoral Candidate Tells of Fears for His Teenage Girls

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sadiq: UK Muslims Must Do More to Root out Cancer of Extremism; Labour Mayoral Candidate Tells of Fears for His Teenage Girls

Article excerpt

Byline: Pippa Crerar and Nicholas Cecil

SADIQ KHAN today called on his fellow Muslims not to "bury our heads in the sand" over the scale of extremism in the UK and to do more to root out radicalisation.

Labour's mayoral candidate said his community's involvement was key, not because it was responsible for devastating attacks like in Paris but because it was uniquely placed to tackle the threat. In a highly personal intervention, he revealed his own "painful" experiences of extremism during his professional and political career, in his neighbourhood and the impact on his family. "Extremism isn't a theoretical risk," he said. "Most British Muslims have come across someone with extremist views at some point." It came as Muslim mothers in Britain were urged by a government minister to save their daughters from being lured into joining Islamic State. Baroness Sandip Verma said mothers must be "encouraged to understand and prevent extremism at home" to protect their children.

Three teenage girls ran away from their homes in Bethnal Green earlier this year to join IS in Syria after they were groomed on social media. Mr Khan revealed his fears for his own teenage daughters and his desire to keep them safe from radicalisation.

"I worry that they, or their friends, could be groomed by extremists on the internet, or tricked into running off to Syria like other children have been," he said. He urged the Government to force internet providers to "get their act together" to prevent radicalisation in the "unguarded" spaces of the internet.

The senior Muslim politician told a Westminster lunch: "To defeat the extremists we simply must do more to stop radicalisation in Britain. It doesn't just affect us in these awful moments of violence and terror. It is a cancer eating at the heart of our society all the time. And if we're honest not enough has been done to root it out. And in this week of all weeks, that makes me angry. Angry because for too long we have buried our heads in the sand. …

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