Radicalisation group meets with families at city school workshop

Saleha Jaffer at the Madani Academy
Saleha Jaffer at the Madani Academy
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AN ORGANISATION set up to support families of radicalised people who travelled to Syria held a workshop to counter extremism.

Families Against Stress and Trauma held the event at the Madani Academy, in Lake Road, Landport, yesterday.

It comes after six young men travelled to the war-torn country to fight with Islamic State, including Ifthekar Jaman who went in 2013.

Jaman’s brothers, Mustakim Jaman and Tuhin Shahensha, have been jailed for preparing terrorist acts.

Saleha Jaffer, founder of Families Against Stress and Trauma (Fast) was yesterday in the city to discuss possible signs of radicalisation and its impact.

Much of the discussion focused on internet safety. None of those who attended had family members who had been radicalised.

Around 15 people at the workshop, which was not open to The News, shared their experiences of the impact of radicalisation.

Saleha, pictured, said: ‘We want attendees to leave these sessions feeling empowered and aware of the resources, support and practical advice available to them if they are concerned about someone close to them.

‘Family members know their loved ones better than anyone, and are best positioned to intervene if they have concerns a loved one is at risk of radicalisation.

‘In equipping family members with the right knowledge and skills to reach out, the love of a mother, father, sister or brother can make a great difference.

‘The workshop (yesterday) showcased the commitment and desire of the local community of Portsmouth to confront this difficult issue and, through discussion, we hope to build further resilience against radicalisation and extremism.’

The action was part of the group’s Families Matter campaign, aiming to give parents guidance on how to deal with anyone they have concerns about.

‘Fast hopes that by using real life case studies and providing expert advice, parents will feel empowered to intervene and stop radicalisation at its early stages,’ a spokeswoman said.

‘As part of the campaign, Fast has visited several communities across the UK to reach out to parents and families through a series of workshops, film screenings and one-to-one advice sessions.’

The group is backed and funded by the Home Office.

For more information, see familiesmatter.org.uk/take-action/spot-the-signs/