A WOMAN who was once nominated for a ‘British Muslim of the Year’ is being investigated for using an inflammatory word at a rally in Birmingham last month.
Sumaira Farrukh, a 38-year-old who describes herself as a social worker and a philanthropist, used the word jihad while speaking at a demonstration over India’s decision to strip Kashmir of its special status.
A video that has since been handed over to the police shows Farrukh standing in front of Birmingham’s Victoria Square, telling supporters: “There is only one slogan for today. It is remove curfew from Kashmir. Let them live their own lives – nothing more than that.
“And one thing to truth tell to the Muslim community. There’s only one solution which is jihad. No protest, nothing. Just jihad.”
The demonstration took place on August 31.
Farrukh, however, has defended her use of the word jihad, saying she wasn’t urging Muslims to go and fight.
“If you have a problem with the Government of the UK and you want to raise your voice, the struggle is called jihad in the meaning of Islam,” she was quoted as saying by the Birmingham Mail.
“Muslims know the meaning of the word in that context. I work with communities and the British military encouraging the Asian community to join the Army – how can I encourage violence?”
A fierce campaigner for Muslim rights, Farrukh said she believes in standing up for the people who are suffering, and that “it is our responsibility to raise our voices for the people of Kashmir.”
A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said: “Like many areas of the country, we are facilitating peaceful protests in respect of current events in Kashmir.
“The West Midlands is made up of diverse communities, many of whom are concerned about these events overseas.
“A recent protest took place on August 31 relating to these issues in Kashmir and video footage of part of that protest has been shared with West Midlands Police.
“We are currently assessing the content to see whether any criminal offences have been committed.
“If anyone has any information, or further footage of the protest, please contact WMP on 101.”