Stay away from terrorism, says Pakistani-origin rock star

May 16th, 2010 - 2:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Led Zeppelin London, May 16 (IANS) Long-haired Salman Ahmad, a Pakistani-origin rock star whose band Junoon has sold over 30 million albums, is Britain’s latest effort to combat terrorism — as he wants to counter radicalisation among students “and if that comes from the power of a guitar” then so be it.

Ahmad, who cites Led Zeppelin among his influences, will urge Muslim students to choose an electric guitar over extremism, Times Online reported Sunday.

This week he will reach out to students at Oxford University, Imperial College and the London School of Economics, which all have sizeable Islamic societies, Times Online reported.

“You counter radicalisation through telling the truth and if that comes from the power of a guitar then do that,” Ahmad was quoted as saying.

There is concern over British students being linked to terror plots. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, an engineering graduate of University College London, is accused of trying to blow up a passenger jet over Detroit with a bomb hidden in his underpants Dec 25, 2009.

Ahmad’s tour of British campuses is funded by the Home Office through the Quilliam Foundation, which is a think tank.

“I have seen at first hand young Muslims being radicalised by the distorted message of Islam.

“They’re fed this guilt narrative that in order to be a good Muslim you have to give up the electric guitar, or you can’t wear jeans, or you have to cut your hair,” said 46-year-old Ahmad.

He said his objective was to stop students from being brainwashed by “murderous thugs masquerading as holy men”.

“Rock musicians and extremists have the same target market - the youth.”

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