As news reports the suspected murder, torture and mutilation of 11,000 detainees by the Syrian regime, British Muslim students and Islamic Relief and community representatives have delivered a UK-wide call for action signed by thousands to 10 Downing Street on Tuesday the 21st January.
This was followed by an address from Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, in which she set out a £2m grant for Islamic Relief’s work supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan with education, shelter and cash assistance.
“I think we could be seeing the start of a significant change in the way ordinary Muslims are engaging and campaigning with the government,” says Islamic Relief’s UK Director Jehangir Malik.
“Mosques, students and community members increasingly want to do more than just give money when they see suffering or injustice.
“They are now demanding political solutions and taking peaceful direct action. Islamic Relief’s Stand up for Syria petition reflects the compassion and passion of our supporters, and sends a strong message to the Prime Minister on the eve of the Geneva peace talks.”
Liverpool psychology student Raisah Chowdhury added: “My local community has worked hard to collect signatures for the petition. Doing this has made me feel that we are at last doing something proactive to help and that our concerns will be heard.” Nadia is one of four students to hand in last week’s petition.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “The UK has been a leading voice on the Syria conflict. We have pledged £600 million, our largest ever response to a crisis, and have been clear that others must step up with the funding and the political will required to get aid through.
“I welcome the chance to hear from Islamic Relief’s supporters and to look at how we can work together to reach even more people in need.”