Digital magazine to counter Islamic extremism launched in UK

Marwan Sultan in London , Friday 27 Mar 2015

The magazine is the brainchild of a group of imams who want to reclaim online space from radical voices

Leading Imams and scholars from Britain and Europe, from the third left, Imam Asim Hussain, Sarah Warrick, Dr Qari Muhammad Asim and Shaykh Ahmad Babikir hold up various versions, online and printed of the new magazine 'Haqiqah' which translates as 'The Reality' and is aimed young people and to counter extremist views from groups such as Islamic State, at its official launch in London (Photo: AP)

A new digital magazine has been launched in the UK by a group of Muslim scholars who hope to fight extremist ideas that circulate online.

A group of scholars and imams came together to produce the first issue of Haqiqah (Truth) a weekly online magazine.

“The magazine is aimed at young people and will counter the extremist narrative used by groups such as ISIS," said Shaukat Warraich, editor-in-chief of the website Imams Online, at the launch of the magazine on Thursday.

In its first edition, the magazine concentrated on challenging the ideas of the Islamic State group, and exposing the truth about the radical group.

Around 600 young British Muslims who have left their homes to travel to join the group in the territory it holds in Syria and Iraq, British security officials say.

British police have also been working to remove extremist material from the internet.

"For many years now, the Muslim world has been at a crossroads," reads the editorial in the first issue of Haqiqah. "The voices of Justice are being drowned out by the sounds of gunfire.”

“We are blinded to the beauty of Islam by images of death and destruction,” it added.

It also called on Muslims to not “stand idly by and allow violence and extremism to dictate the terms.”

It continued to say: “Our Imams and Scholars have a responsibility to the youth – to educate, inform and guide them on the right path.”

The magazine is edited by group of Muslim writers from the Imams Online website, an organisation providing a voice for Islamic religious leaders.

One of the magazine's sections provides what it says is the correct context for some of the verses of the Quran which are often used by extremists on social media.

Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, president of the Forum for Promoting Peace, and Hamza Yusuf, a leading US Imam and co-founder of California-based Zaytuna College were among various imams attending the magazine's launch.

The Imams said they are reclaiming online space from extremists.

“This is a call to log on, get informed, and share the magazine with all your friends and family online,” said Qari Asim, a senior contributor to the magazine.

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