Muslim campaigner Sara Khan to head UK anti-extremism drive

The UK  government has appointed a prominent leader to lead a fresh drive to tackle extremism in the country.

Home Office announced that Sara Khan will be leading the new commission for countering extremism.

Khan said, “I recognise the scale of the challenge we face in confronting extremism and I am deeply committed to this role.

“I will create a commission that is forthright in challenging extremism in the name of our shared values, fundamental freedoms and human rights. To those in our country who recognise the harm and threat extremism continues to pose in our society, I am eager to collaborate and engage.

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“I extend my hand out to you to work with me in supporting the commission’s work in building a Britain that defends our diverse country while demonstrating zero tolerance to those who promote hate and who seek to divide us.”

The counter-extremism and women’s rights activist further added that she was “honoured and humbled”.

Khan who will officially be titled as the lead commissioner is also co-founder of the campaign organisation Inspire. According to her website she is “one of the UK’s leading Muslim female voices on countering Islamist extremism and promoting human rights”.

While Announcing the appointment, the home secretary, Amber Rudd, said: “The Commission for Countering Extremism will form a crucial part of this government’s work to stop the scourge of extremism in all its forms and Sara Khan is expertly qualified to lead its important work.

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“She will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the commission, which will prove vital as it works to identify and challenge extremism and provide independent advice to the government.

“Last century we challenged racism by uniting civil society and the state. We have the same ambition to confront extremism.

“This government will not stand by and allow the menace of extremism to undermine the fundamental, pluralistic values which underpin our society.”

British Premier Theresa May, had announced the plans to set up the commission in the wake of  the Manchester bombing in May last year.

The main purpose and task of the body will be to identify and challenge all sorts of extremism as well as to advice ministers on new policies and promote “pluralistic British values”.

The commission has to identify extremism threats faced by the UK, asses and observe the response to it.

Its responsibility also includes helping train schools and colleges to spot warning signs and ensuring women’s rights are sustained.

Khan is appointed for a period of three years and is expected to takeup the post next month.

This post originally appeared on The Guardian.

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