iERA RESPONDS TO RECENT REPORT ABOUT THE DEATH OF PORTSMOUTH MEN IN SYRIA
London, UK – It is with great sadness that the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) has learnt that another young man from the UK has been reportedly killed in Syria. Our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and their families, and we hope that God bestows patience on them through this difficult time.
iERA has continuously been calling on the Muslim community, particularly the youth to get involved in community activities at home and is saddened to hear of such events. Despite our attempts through talks, press releases and Friday religious congregational speeches (khutbas), it appears that some of our disheartened youth are still being attracted to go out to war torn Syria in order to overthrow the dictatorial Assad regime. We feel our Muslim youth are quite innocent and naive in their understanding of the complex situation out in Syria and of the various factions and fighting groups, including the Islamic State.
iERA has made several attempts at clarifying its position and that of mainstream scholars here in the UK, regarding the turbulent situation in the Middle-East. Although those going to Syria are an incredibly miniscule minority, Abdur Raheem Green (Chairman of iERA) has repeatedly implored members of the Muslim community in the UK and Internationally not to leave the important work of community engagement in their homelands.
iERA has also learnt that some of the youth from Portsmouth who have allegedly traveled to Syria were part of a Portsmouth ‘dawah’ (educational missionary) group. Some have even been photographed wearing the iconic iERA ‘What’s Your Goal’ t-shirts, which are widely available and have been openly distributed across the UK and overseas to both Muslims and non-Muslims.
iERA would like to make it clear that none of the Portsmouth group are part of the iERA organisation. iERA supports local community teams and individuals by providing basic literature and t-shirts to help in creating Islamic awareness and in supporting local community engagement. iERA is not responsible for the acts of any teams or any individuals that order our material on-line.
iERA has openly spoken out against violence, hate crime and extremism and works with the Police, Councils and other such organisations on these issues.
In closing, once again, our thoughts and prayers go out for the deceased and their families. We hope that the families privacy is respected by the media and public, allowing them to grieve for the loss of their loved ones and to get through this difficult time.
iERA is an international organisation committed to community development and engagement. It focuses on educating our society about Muslim values and explaining the noble message of Islam in order to facilitate greater community cohesion.
iERA is involved in supporting Muslim groups around the country with literature and material. Our work is to encourage Muslim communities to engage with the wider society and communicate more openly about common values and the religion of Islam. We feel this creates awareness about the true nature of the Islamic religion and its moral traditions.
We also regularly roll out value campaigns (Snow-Dawah, Anti-Racism, Environmentalism etc) which support our work and help in our aim to remove common misconceptions about Islam. This helps to reduce unnecessary tensions that often arise between communities due to a lack of understanding.
The tremendous amount of community work that iERA embraces as part of its core ethos can be witnessed on our community pages on this website. All of our staff and volunteers are involved in a range of outreach efforts including tackling homelessness, active support of anti-domestic violence campaign groups and many other community support activities. We actively encourage others, both Muslims and non-Muslims, to do the same.
For further enquiries please contact:
Media and Press Enquiries Office,
Islamic Education & Research Academy
North Circular Road,
London, NW10 7PN
For more info about iERA and our work, please log onto: www.iera.org/community