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Muslim parents would not speak about Syria-bound youngsters: Researchers

Researchers Dr Imran Awan from Birmingham City University and Dr Surinder Guru from the University of Birmingham conducted focus groups with Muslim parents in Birmingham (UK), exploring how they view the current counter-terrorism policing strategy employed by West Midlands Police in relation to the crisis in Syria.

“The data from the research study has found that Muslim community members are increasingly finding the partnership with the police service problematic,” said Dr Awan, Associate Professor of Criminology. “The parents we spoke to were worried about the lack of support for Muslim families and they feared that anyone who had gone to Syria would be arrested and have their citizenship removed if they spoke out.” 

The study established that many parents also found it difficult handling personal moral dilemmas which could see them alienating their own children by giving the police information about them.
“I don’t trust the police so I would not tell them”; “I would not call them because the police might just come knocking on my door and arrest my other children”; and “I would not report them to the police, because that s not what parents do.” 

“We need to educate them not to travel there in the first place. If I told the police they would then arrest me and my children.” Participant responses also indicated influence by levels of 
historical mistrust between Muslim communities and the police. 
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