A telephone help-line offering advice about the true teaching of Islam is being launched in the UK today. Callers to the Islamic Hotline will get answers to their questions within 48 hours, from scholars trained at one of the world’s principal Islamic universities. The Islamic scholars behind the telephone helpline hope it will combat radicalism in Britain and help ordinary Muslims answer difficult questions about their faith.

The Islamic Hotline believes it has good news for British Muslims – keeping the laws of Islam is not as difficult as you thought. But it also sounds a warning – the UK has a large and growing population of young Muslims who are dangerously out of touch with the older generation, and often cut off from the real teaching of their religion. The hotline’s backers have singled out Britain as the country most urgently in need of the service.

El Hatef, as the hotline is known in Arabic, was set up in Egypt eight years ago to counter radicalism by bringing the minds of the nation’s best Islamic scholars to bear on people’s doubts and questions about their religion. Since then, two million questions from Egyptians have been answered, mostly from women, and many about sex.

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