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#SpeakingOut: ‘All these labels within communities are not helpful’ – Mishal Husain

British-Pakistani BBC presenter Mishal Husain has called for a social media campaign by British Muslims to combat the threat posed by Islamic State (IS).

The respected co-host of the Today programme on Radio 4 told Radio Times magazine that she would like to see more Islamic scholars lending their voice to existing campaigns to counter extremism.

“I think the Not In My Name campaign is a very positive development because outrage is shared by all right-thinking people.

“I would really like to see much more of the counterpoint from a theological perspective, with scholars taking to social media to refute the awful arguments we see put forward in those videos.”

Born in Northampton, England to Pakistani-origin parents, the 41-year-old spent part of her childhood in the Middle East before reading law at Cambridge.

In response to a question about whether the Muslim community was under pressure to apologize for the atrocities committed by groups such as IS, Husain said: “I don’t think my way of life is under any kind of threat.  I think I’m true to the way my parents brought me up and the home I came from.”

On the issue of Muslim identity, particularly in the wider British context, Husain continued: “The emphasis on what you wear on your head or how many times you pray, on the outward things rather than what’s in your heart and the way you treat people, I find slightly misguided.”

Asked how she would describe herself, Husain added that she would simply call herself “British”.

“All these labels within communities. I’m not sure how helpful it is”, the broadcaster said.

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