Abdul Basit has been counteracting extremism through peaceful means for five years – but now hopes to tackle knife crime.
A Croydon social activist who helps prevent young Muslims across the UK from being swayed by Islamic extremism now hopes to reduce knife crime.
British-Indian migrant Abdul Basit counteracts extremism through peaceful means and, along with a small team, holds talks and lectures within the Islamic community.
The 33-year-old, who lives on Mason’s Avenue, in the town centre, has been fighting extremism through peaceful means for five years but is now setting up initiatives in the hope it will tackle the knife crime epidemic sweeping the nation.
World Humanitarian Drive (WHD), an international charity based in the borough, has been established by Mr Basit in the hope it can help promote peace and harmony among all through education, arts, and sports.
And Mr Basit has already started to make progress in what he is hoping to achieve.
“I am planning a lot more for the community with WHD because the primary factor when I look into it, in terms of knife crime, is the majority of people are without hope,” he said.
“I have already contacted many business in the area to ask for their help and one of the strategies I am going to propose is run more job fairs in the Croydon area so these people have a chance to get jobs.
“Some of these programmes I have already done and they have been quite successful and I hope to tackle crime like knife crime this way.”
WHD also works towards finding solutions for humanitarian crisis’s involving terrorism, radicalisation and violence, as well as helping refugees and migrant families integrate peacefully in the UK.
But while Mr Basit’s work has seen him travel all around the globe in recent years, he remains as focused as ever on tackling issues which are much closer to home.
He said: “Croydon will always be in my heart as this is my home. I don’t want children growing up with violence around them as this is always a threat.
“We want this to be rooted out and I am taking all of the possible steps to take a positive approach. WHD’s mission is to create peace for my country and especially for Croydon, which is my area and a place close to my heart.”
While tackling knife crime is a recent project of Mr Basit’s, rooting out extremism remains his primary focus.
He believes in promoting young talents within the community and creating role models for young Muslims to look up to, while teaching community leaders to recognise and approach those who may be influenced by extremists.
The property developer was recognised for the work he is doing by countries around the world when he was awarded the BRICS Alliance Forum Peace Award by five countries comprising of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa last month.
He received the award under the watchful eye of business leaders, politicians and diplomats at the Taj Palace Hotel in Delhi, India during a three day event from May 21 to May 23.
His work has even seen him meet All India Imam Organisation Chief Dr Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, who is seen as a spiritual guide to millions of Muslims around the world.
Mr Basit spoke to Dr Ilyasi in great length about education being made compulsory for all children around the globe, regardless of their religious background, and Dr Ilyasi agreed.
And he’s glad his work is now being recognised internationally, and not just within the UK.
He said: “I was very proud, coming from Croydon, to receive this award. It’s a recognition for my work and I feel proud to represent Great Britain and stand with other influential people who received this award.
“I received it for my peace community work and it gives me a lot of motivation and courage to work even harder for our community.”
Link to official source: https://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/news/croydon-news/croydon-man-who-works-kids-1650368.