A new campaign, ‘Families Matter’, aimed at raising awareness of radicalisation by educating family members on possible signs to look out for was launched in Brixton by Families Against Stress and Trauma (FAST). Colette Webber reports
The campaign provides support for vulnerable families and individuals whose lives have been affected by the trauma of losing loved ones to hateful ideologies and groups.
The launch, at the Karibu Centre in Brixton on 14 July, was attended by Helen Ball, UK Senior National Coordinator for Counter Terrorism Policing, who spoke in support of the campaign.
“The new FAST campaign is very important because radicalisation is affecting families and communities in the UK right now, and it’s tearing some families apart.”
Ball added that part of her role is to work with people to see what security can be put in place, because terrorist groups attack crowded places. Communities need to be aware and vigilant.
FAST hopes that by using real life case studies, short films and providing expert advice, that parents will feel empowered to intervene and stop radicalisation at its early stages.
Mayor Saleha Jaffer, founder of FAST, said: “Radicalisation is complicated and can be a difficult process to spot, but there are some indicators that might suggest an individual is at risk which family members should look out for.
“Family members are best positioned to intervene if they believe a loved one is at risk of radicalisation. By having the knowledge and skills to reach out, the love of a mother, father, sister or brother can make all the difference.”
She added that it is important when parents notice change, to try and avoid being judgmental and instead to open good communication so if they do have problems they come to their parents without hesitation.
Mohammad Aslam Ijaz, the chair of trustees for Streatham Islamic Centre said: “We must get the message across that we are all human beings. No religion says that we should eliminate others, we are first human beings, then we are Muslims, Hindus, Christians”
FAST will visit communities across the UK, to meet families and as part of the campaign hold workshops, film screenings and one-to-one advice sessions.
If you have concerns about a loved one that might be affected, you may want to raise the issue with someone you trust, perhaps a friend or family member who knows them well. Please visit