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Islamic Relief coordinates prayers and lobbies MPs

Islamic Relief coordinates prayers and lobbies MPs

In Syria an entire generation of five-year-olds have known nothing but war. Islamic Relief is encouraging its supporters to pray for the children of Syria and their families in this sombre week, marking the fifth anniversary of the conflict, and to continue to donate towards our life-saving work.

Prayers and vigils around the country will take place at Masjid Umar in Leicester, the Muslim Student House Masjid in Birmingham, Dar Ul Isra in Cardiff, the Kassim Darwish Grammar School in Manchester and Glasgow Central Mosque – see end of this page for full details.

We have also marked the anniversary by sending a briefing about the situation to all MPs, highlighting five key priorities for UK Government action:

  • Exert pressure on all parties to build on the political will behind the recent ceasefire in order to protect and extend humanitarian corridors in besieged areas
  • Call on all parties to the conflict to end attacks on civilian targets in violation of humanitarian law, including homes, schools and medical facilities
  • Provide more support to aid agencies assisting newly displaced people along the Turkish border
  • Sustain long-term funding for Syria’s neighbours to meet the needs of Syrian refugees and their own populations
  • Convene a summit to bring banks, charities and the British Bankers Association together to further clarify counter-terror regulations and encourage banks to re-engage with humanitarian organisations operating in conflict zones.

The issue of banking restrictions is one that has been taken up by former Secretaries of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell and Clare Short, who recently visited Syrian refugee camps in Turkey with representatives of the Muslim Charities Forum, Islamic Relief and Human Appeal. At a meeting of parliament’s International Development Select Committee on March 14, the two senior politicians echoed Islamic Relief’s concerns about the impact of bank restrictions on the delivery of aid by charities in conflict zones, and urged the Treasury to take action.

Andrew Mitchell has said: “These are some of the few charities that can get into Syria and help the benighted people of that country, yet they are being held back due to misunderstandings and banking bureaucracy.” 

Imran Madden, our UK Director, explains: “Current counter-terrorism regulation has caused some banks to withdraw or severely restrict financial services to organisations working in conflict zones to avoid the risk of regulatory penalties. It is vital to ensure that bona fide humanitarian agencies like Islamic Relief are not penalised for and prevented from engaging in life-saving work.”

Our work on the ground goes on despite these restrictions. We are distributing food packs, clothes and medical supplies to communities under siege and displaced people along the Turkish border. The areas we are operating in either directly or through local partners include Aleppo and Idlib and besieged areas such as Madaya, East Ghouta, West Ghouta, Southern Damascus suburb, Northern Homs Suburbs, Daryya and Moaddamya.

We are also running or supporting camps and providing livelihood programmes, education and psychosocial support for refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. In Europe our teams are assisting Syrian refugees in Greece, Italy, Macedonia and Germany.

Our operation inside Syria is difficult and dangerous and we have faced many challenges over the last five years. Our staff and volunteers have suffered a lot, with some killed or seriously injured in the line of duty as they deliver aid. Please pray for our teams in Syria as well as for displaced families and refugees.

On the 5th anniversary of a war that has claimed the lives of so many, we ask you to remember the people who have suffered. Meet one of the daughters of Syria [pictured above] . She is 5 and all she has known is war. There are over 3.5 million children just like her and many more at risk. Join hands #WithSyria and share her story to show the world we have not forgotten them.

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Regional Prayer events for Syria:


Tuesday 15th March – 6:30pm
6:30pm photo call in Westminster, location TBC

East Midlands:

Tuesday 15th March 2016 – 5.30pm
Candlelit Vigil before Maghrib at Masjid Umar

Location: 5-7 Evington Drive, Leicester LE5 5PF

West Midlands:

Tuesday 15th March 2016 – 7.30pn
Nafl prayer after Isha at Muslim Student House Masjid

Location: 517 Moseley Road, B12 9BX


Friday 18th March 2016
Fundraising Dinner with the KD Grammar School

Monday 21st March 2016
Preston College will be raising awareness about the conflict by holding a booth and fundraising stall


Saturday 19th March 2016
Extra nafl prayer and du’a after Isha at Glasgow Central Mosque

Location: 1 Mosque Avenue, G5 9TA

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