Saturday, August 16, 2008
MILLIONS JOIN ANTI-TERRORISM CALL
Millions of people in Pakistan have signed up to a campaign started by a man from Warwickshire to make a pledge against terrorism, he has said.
Writer Waseem Mahmood, from Stratford-upon-Avon, said he set up the campaign after hearing his children say young Muslims were misinterpreting Islam.
The project, called the Yeh Hum Naheen Foundation, meaning "this is not us", is funded by donations and UN grants.
It has been publicised across Pakistan by billboards and a pop song.
A total of 6,000 volunteers have been employed to help collect signatures from across the country, asking people to sign to say they do not support terrorism.
A group of Pakistan's most popular singers released a song encouraging people to sign the petition, and other personalities, including soap stars, also joined the campaign.
Mr Mahmood, who has family links to Pakistan, said out of the country's population of 162 million people, a total of 50 million had already signed the petition.
He said: "It is very moving to see them. It gets me there.
"I didn't expect that much support here (Pakistan).
"I knew we would get a few million people here, but 50 million - it's almost as if we've given them something they were waiting for."
Mr Mahmood said he hoped it would make a difference to British Muslims too.
"As we know the 7/7 bombers all had links back here (Pakistan).
"A lot of young Muslims are coming back here and I think we need to address the cause of terrorism - and the root cause is here."