Video: Many voices in London's Muslim communities

By Rehema Ellis Correspondent
NBC News
updated 8/16/2006 5:47:30 PM ET 2006-08-16T21:47:30

White Chapel in East London — home to one of the city's most established Muslim communities.

It's also home for 18-year-olds Eklima Begum and Navida Quadi. Both openly denounce terrorism.

"I'd use the example of our prophet to tell them that it's not the right way," Navida Quadi says. "It not going to be effective."

But others here see it differently. This area has the city's highest concentration of young Muslims, many of whom are the targets for radical recruiters. Yet some Muslim leaders are trying to make sure young people hear other voices, too.

"If we can articulate their views in ways which are part of the mainstream, I don't think there would be as much problem as you see now," says Muslim youth leader Sheik Aliur Rahman.

But many people here are guided by their hatred for British and U.S. foreign policy.

"Those of us who have children try to educate and guide them," says Azzam Tamimi with the Institute for Islamic Thought. "But so long as there is this crisis in the world — a deep crisis in the world — nothing we do is sufficient on its own."

Muhammad Dawud, who's studying to become an Islamic cleric, agrees, and worse, feels powerless that he can't make a difference.

"I can preach until I will have nothing more to say, but the bombings will continue on," he says.

In fact, Anjem Chodary, a former member of a banned extremist group, says his faith requires Muslims to support martyrdom.

"In Islam, there's no such thing as compromise at all," Chodary says.

But these young girls refuse to give up, saying their future depends on denouncing violence as an option.

"To be able to get change across, we're going to have to take a peaceful view and it might take a bit longer," Quadi says.

One community — many voices — struggling to be heard.

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