Thursday, 27 January 2022

Pakistani-origin Sara Khan to lead anti-extremism drive in UK

sara khan british mp

LONDON: The UK government has appointed a Pakistani-origin women right campaigner Sara Khan as the new chief of a commission set up to root out extremism in the country.

Sara Khan, 37, will head the Commission for Countering Extremism, a body that had been proposed in the wake of the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in May last year which claimed 23 lives and injured hundreds.

Plans to set up the commission were announced by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Ms Khan said she was “honoured and humbled” by the appointment.

She added: “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.

sara khan uk

“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.”

Ms Khan is co-founder of campaign organisation Inspire.

Her website describes her as “one of the UK’s leading Muslim female voices on countering Islamist extremism and promoting human rights”.

Announcing the appointment, 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.”

Lady Warsi, the first Muslim woman to serve as a British cabinet minister, said many British Muslims saw Ms Khan as a “mouthpiece” of ministers.

The Conservative peer questioned Ms Khan’s likely independence as the Commissioner for Countering Extremism in a series of tweets and warned of “destructive and dangerous games” being played.

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