Scotland: Imams to help police in bid to keep young Muslims away from gang culture

Several Islamic clerics will join police and youth workers in an innovative new scheme to deter and help Muslim youth from getting involved with gang activity. The imams – mostly Scottish born – will take to the streets, targeting youth believed to be on the edge of Asian gang culture. Their allies, including workers from Youth Counseling Services Agency (YCSA), a support group for young Asians, reckon the clerics will be able to command more respect from youngsters than other professionals, including the police. The Imams and the YCSA, backed by groups such as Glasgow Community and Safety Services, have set their sights firmly on youngsters lured by the gang lifestyle. Most are Scottish-born and have a clear understanding of the kind of third-generation Pakistani Scots they will be dealing with. They all know they can’t afford just to preach to youngsters: they have, they stress, got to find some common language.

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