‘I’ll talk to far right’ – community leader Tai

‘I’ll talk to far right’ – community leader Tai

A COMMUNITY leader in Dewsbury wants to meet far-right activists to discuss their concerns.

Kaushar Tai, of the Masjid Al-Hidayah mosque on Caledonia Road, made the overture in the wake of a suicide bomb outrage.

The English Defence League (EDL) said in an online post last week that they may protest in Savile Town.

Mr Tai, who serves on the Kirklees Imams and Mosques Advisory Board, made no comment on that.

But he said: "I think we should open a dialogue, and I'd be willing to talk with them.

"I previously met Tommy Robinson in Luton and what was supposed to be a half-hour meeting lasted for three hours."

He added talking is better and said: "If we don't do that all we're doing is all is spreading fear."

Mr Tai said Savile Town remains stunned by Talha Asmal, who blew himself and 10 others up in Iraq on June 13.

"The worst is over somewhat but there's still upset that this has happened," he said.

"I've spoken with his father and he was completely shocked. The boy was doing well in school and seemed ready for a good outcome in life."

Mr Tai is co-chairman of the Kirklees Interfaith Council, which includes churches and other groups.

He also revealed an anti-radicalisation forum called Dewsbury Challenge was set up after the disappearance of Asmal and Hassan Munchi.

It includes police and council officials and is aimed at helping parents know what to look for.

Mr Tai said that anti-terror police he has spoken with believe young people can be groomed online – as seems to have happened to Asmal.

He added: "Parents need to talk with their children more about what websites they are visiting."

A former social worker and foster father to two white British brothers, he also believes Dewsbury is being unfairly targeted as a 'hotbed of extremism'.

He pointed out Mohammed Siddque Khan, of Leeds, was already radicalised before he briefly lived in Thornhill Lees.

The death of Asmal came nearly 10 years on from Khan's role in the July 7 2005 attacks on London.

He said: "Dewsbury is a very good town whose name shouldn't be tarnished.

"When I go out on training courses I always tell people Dewsbury is the centre of the world. I'm sure the town can bounce back."

Imams vow to tackle extremism

MOSQUE leaders in Dewsbury have vowed to continue doing their bit to tackle extremist ideolology.

The Kirklees Imams and Mosques Advisory Board responded to the suspected suicide bombing by Talha Asmal in Iraq with a statement under the names of Kaushar Tai, Aqeel Adnan, Imam Syed and Ali Raza.

It said: “The suicide of Talha Asmal in Iraq has left many in the community shocked and horrified.

“It is a striking reminder of just how dangerous ISIS is and just how effective their recruitment and grooming strategies continue to be.

“The community is asking searching questions and engaging in challenging discussions. More than ever, it is important that we understand the drivers of radicalisation and the pathways to extremism.

“There is a clear recognition that the Muslim community need to do even more to tackle the challenge of radicalisation. The local mosques and community remain committed to doing their part in tackling this evil.”

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