A new online magazine has been launched with the aim of “reclaiming the internet” from extremists, the BBC reports.
Haqiqah has been created by British Muslim scholars who say they want to do more to educate young people about the reality of extremist movements.
They say it is a direct response to the threat of radicalisation from groups such as Islamic State. ISIS supporters have widely used social media to spread their message.
More than 100 imams gathered in London for the launch of the magazine, which has been started by the website Imams Online.
As yet it is unclear if the initiative is government-funded or not.
“Someone has to reclaim that territory from ISIS, and that can only be imams: religious leaders who guide and nourish their community,” according to Qari Asim, senior editor at imamsonline.com.
“But now that we live in a digital mobile world, some young people are not coming to the mosque so we must reach out to them – and this is the Muslims’ contribution to combat radicalisation on the net,” he said.
“We’re turning the tide,” says Shaukat Warraich, the chief editor of Imamsonline.com.
“Though we still have a way to go, we know that by taking efforts to support and mobilise the huge online Muslim population, we will eventually drown out the violent voices.”
He said that the speed and volume of communications by IS has taken everyone by surprise, with more than 100,000 pieces of information, tweets and Facebook posts coming out of Syria and Iraq every day.
Warraich said that imams had to move from the real world to have a greater presence online, where young Muslims go for much of their information.
The summit was attended by imams, including Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah, president of the Forum for Promoting Peace, and Hamza Yusuf, a leading US imam and co-founder of California-based Zaytuna College.
The organisers say it brought together every group within Islam, from Deobandi, Sufi, Sunni, Shia and cultural groups, and included Somalis, Arabs, Pakistanis and converts to Islam from many nations.