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Sunday, March 29, 2015

British Muslim girls and extremism: what I learned on my journey across the UK

Across eight cities in very diverse communities, I try to find out why those opposing radicalism struggle to find a voice

On Friday, we learned that five east London girls, all from Bethnal Green academy – the school attended by the three girls who left home to join Islamic State in February – have been made wards of court, to stop them travelling to Syria. The news broke as I came to the end of four weeks visiting eight cities across the UK as part of Inspire’s Making a Stand roadshow.


Our purpose was to mobilise women to challenge extremism. (And to gain personal, specific commitment: “I will be #makingastand by confronting the men who are promoting extreme views at the Islam stall in the town centre,” said one contributor.) But for me it was a huge learning experience.


Raising teenage children is hard enough, but different first languages can widen this inter-generational divide


Thirtysomething YouTube sensations don religious clothing but have few qualifications to speak about Islamic law


Challenging extremism means standing up to traditional gender roles that have stifled the contribution of women


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