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Halesowen Muslims launch counter attack to EDL campaign
8:30am Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
A MUSLIM group is dropping leaflets to 93,000 homes in a desperate bid to counter a plan by right-wing extremists to stop children learning about Islam at schools in Halesowen and Sandwell.
The door-to-door campaign by the Halesowen-based Ahmadiyya Muslim Association has been launched amid fears that parents will take up the call promoted by the English Defence League, creating greater divisions. The EDL posted an inflammatory letter on its West Midlands Division Facebook page encouraging parents to send a copy to their children’s schools demanding they be removed from lessons which teach “anything about Islam”.
The rambling 700-word message claimed Islam does not promote understanding, tolerance and morality and promotes spousal abuse and violence.
It was widely condemned when details of its publication was exclusively reported by the News in June, but the Muslim group remains fearful that its impact could be damaging.
The Ahmadiyya association’s local president Dr Masood Majoka said its counter leaflet was a “wake-up call to remove any misconceptions about Islam” contained in the EDL’s campaign urging parents boycott their children from learning anything about Islam.
The leaflet - titled Loyalty, Freedom, Equality, Respect, Tolerance and Peace - details Islamic doctrines and invites people to tour the Baitul Gaffoor Mosque, a former Methodist Church in Long Lane, and to bring children along.
Dr Majoka said: "Loyalty, freedom, equality, respect, tolerance and peace are the values of every Ahmadiyya Muslim man and woman. We abide by these values in our daily life as they help foster a sense of unity, cohesion, harmony and peace in our society.
“Our children go to the same schools, we go in the same supermarkets - this is not the time to send a message out which can divide our community rather we should try and copy good values from each other.”
Volunteers have been recruited to deliver 1,500 leaftlets a week to homes in Sandwell and Dudley boroughs. Outreach co-ordinator Toby Ephram said the 93,000 copies were the first batch in what would be an on-going campaign to raise awareness.
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