YEP Letters: June 22

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Collective action needed to tackle extremism

Dr Asim Salim and Muhammad Nayyer, The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Leeds

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Leeds supports the Government’s action to root out extremism.

Any genuine attempt to curb extremism is to be welcomed. No true Muslim could contemplate acting against the laws of the land and so if he or she does, then strict law enforcement in such cases is necessary.

However, we do not agree that the term ‘Islamic extremism’ should be used in this context and is in fact misused by the media and by politicians.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community considers terms that seek to link Islam with extremism or terrorism to be entirely wrong. This falsely associates the peaceful religion with evil acts of extremists and is entirely unhelpful and counterproductive.

Radicalisation by ISIL or anyone else needs a collective response. Families have a role to play in ensuring that their youth remain active citizens, faith leaders have a role to guide people to peace and social harmony and governments and media need to ensure that moderate voices are given a platform to present the true peaceful message of Islam.

Governments must also promote and uphold justice in international affairs.The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has been actively engaged in spreading the peaceful message of Islam for more than 125 years.

Its Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad) who is the London-based worldwide spiritual leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, has repeatedly condemned all forms of extremism.

Ahmadi Muslims, whose work the Prime Minister has described as ‘true faith in action’ have always been engaged from a young age to promote Islam’s values of loyalty, equality, freedom, respect and peace.

Just last week, more than 5,000 Ahmadi Muslim youths, including youth from Leeds attended their national convention in Surrey to strengthen their faith in God, build brotherhood, learn about service to mankind and the principle of loyalty to one’s country of residence.

Immigration woes

Rev R Paterson, Leeds

Mr Meeson (YEP letters June 20) is to be congratulated on his continued engagement with this serious issue. European and UK politicians are like rabbits caught in headlights - they are paralysed and unable to come up with a solution to the problems caused by such an influx of people moving across continents.

Mr Meeson invites me to come up with a solution, but I have no need. He has discovered what needs to be done, and that is, ship everyone back to where they came from! Perhaps he would like to be part of the force used to execute this solution. He will be happy personally to force women and children onto boats, probably at gun-point and push them ashore somewhere on the North African coast.

This should not be difficult to arrange as Europe has in the last 70 years or so already shown it is capable of engineering the movement of thousands of people away from where they are not wanted to a place where they will disappear.

The truth is Mr Meeson, no one has an answer to the mass migration of people caused in part by the profiteering and meddling of the colonial powers over the last 100 years or so.

It is also true that the the major powers of the world are making a lot of money from selling arms and services to the warring factions they support.

The record of this country in handling those legally seeking asylum is the worst in Europe and the most expensive for those applying for citizenship.

We run a cruel and de-humanising Government sanctioned system which is masked by the drivel churned out by the tabloids to make everyone feel good, that something is being done, on our behalf, behind locked doors.

I suggest that Mr Meeson and those who sympathize with his stance should contact PAFRAS (Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers), in Leeds so they can avail themselves of the true situation.

It is worth pointing out that my original letter was in response to a correspondent who blamed the lack of medical treatment available to a little boy, on immigrants, polish lorry drivers and the medical authorities.

It is a pity that most of the issues I raised have been obscured by the repeated claim that someone is prepared to hang onto the underside of an airliner or sit astride a lorry chassis for a weekly benefit payment or a bed in a detention centre cell.

Risks of walking on towpath

John M Collins, Alwoodley

Linda Pearson (YEP, June 19) has a point and those responsible for the Leeds to Shipley towpath should take notice.

On Monday evening last week I was with the 10km legal walk for charity. Some two miles of the walk was along the towpath. It was used by a stream of cyclists.

Some sounded their approach, but most whisked past within inches of contact with us. It is fair to point out that none were rude and some mounted the grass verge at the edge of the canal to avoid coming too close to the walkers.

But the situation is potentially dangerous, particularly as there is no barrier to prevent persons falling into the canal.

Linda Pearson is right that elderly walkers, particularly those hard of hearing or otherwise disabled, are at risk.

I would suggest that where the towpath is wide enough it should be marked as the section for cyclists and that for walkers. But in places the towpath is quite narrow.

There are signs urging cyclists to be considerate, but it would be prudent also to impose a speed limit, say 15mph.

Make way for walkers

Ron Davies, Yeadon

Many years ago I used to cycle on the canal towpaths, and for the privilege had to purchase from British Waterways a yearly licence which had to be displayed on my bike.

Along with the licence came a set of rules, one of which was to make way for walkers. This licence was abolished some years ago and towpaths now seem to have become a free for all. The irony in all this is that horses are not allowed on the towpaths, they were the very reason for their existence!