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JAN Trust in Press

altOur work was recently featured in the BBC News and radio. Our Director, Sajda Mughal, spoke of the need to stop some young Muslims being radicalised via their mothers. The piece covered our Web Guardians(c) programme equipping mothers with the key skills to go online and be able to safeguard their children and society.

Press also spoke to some of the mothers who were part of the programme in London and how it helped them and their children. The article is below and the radio coverage and be heard here: CLICK HERE


The only Muslim survivor of the 7/7 bombings says she is desperate to stop young Muslims being radicalised. And now Sajda Mughal has herself found a radical solution to extremism: Muslim mothers.

Ms Mughal has spent most of her adult life fighting Islamic extremism.

On 7 July 2005 she was running late and had taken the Piccadilly line to her job in the City.

She believes there was just one other Muslim on board her Tube train - Germaine Lindsay, whose bomb was to kill 27 people on board, including himself.

Ms Mughal says: "What happened on 7/7 basically made me think about why those four had carried out the attack, and in what ideology, which was obviously an incorrect ideology."

'Society's nurturers'

Now 31, she is director of the JAN Trust, which provides support and advice to women she describes as coming from the margins of society: "Often they have no education, no English and no employment."

Last month the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said Muslim children who are at risk of being radicalised by their parents should be taken into care.

But Ms Mughal's solution to the problem of radicalisation is the creation of a group of Muslim mothers to fight on the front line of the battle against extremist ideology in Islam.

One of the JAN Trust's declared aims is to "empower women as society's nurturers", and its latest scheme, called the Web Guardians, aims to give the mothers of young Muslims the online know-how to stop children being radicalised behind their own bedroom doors.

Ms Mughal explains the philosophy behind the programme: "We are equipping these Muslim mothers with the key skills, with the knowledge in order for them to go online and to monitor their children.

"But we provide them with a counter-narrative for them to have discussions with the children in a safe offline environment."

In a downstairs room at the JAN Trust's office near Alexandra Palace in north London, seven women sit in a circle.

As well as Ms Mughal and her interpreter there are mothers whose families originate from disparate Muslim communities.

Sajda Mughal receiving an award

Sajda Mughal is determined to combat Islamic fundamentalism

Zahra is Somali; Maryam is Palestinian; Muneer comes from Iran; and Samina and Seema are both Pakistani.

As well as their Muslim faith, what they have in common are teenage children.

Maryam tells of her son's anger with the situation in Gaza, where her family come from: "When they see the way things are going, it wasn't right. It's double standards."

'Grievance about Syria'

As she speaks the others nod their heads in tacit sympathy.

"But now they go for Syria. My son was in a demonstration for Syria because they say something is not right," says Maryam.

All the women say their teenagers are curious and often angry about events in the countries where their families orginated, as well as being keen to do something.

The places most often up for discussions are Syria, Iran and Egypt.

In the past this anger on the part of young Muslims have been channelled into radicalisation. But Ms Mughal believes these mothers' interventions with their children could stop that happening in the future.

She says mothers are a much greater influence than the mosque or school attended by teenagers.

Ms Mughal says of Maryam: " Her son has a grievance about Syria, but he has channelled it positively by attending a demonstration rather than destructively".

A study by the JAN Trust found more than 90% of the Muslim mothers it spoke to lacked web access, and were unaware what their teenage children were viewing online.

The Web Guardians project teaches mothers how to use the web before they learn how to look at their children's internet history.

Part of the course involves exposing them to the violent language and imagery used by extremist websites, with shocking results for some of them.

Ms Mughal's interpreter, Rafaat, a Muslim mother herself, told of the horrified reactions when they first saw such pictures: "When the photographs were shown there was silence and all of sudden I could hear… wow, what's happening?"

These mothers' shared experiences suggest this project might genuinely help prevent the radicalisation of some young Muslims. 

JAN Trust in Press

titleOur Director, Sajda Mughal, recently featured in The Evening Standard Newspaper speaking about her experience as a 7th July 2005 London bombings survivor as well as her work with JAN Trust and the need to empower mothers to safeguard their children and society.

The full article can be read here and below: CLICK HERE

 

On July 7, 2005, Sajda Mughal was on her way to work. Every morning she took the Piccadilly line westbound towards Holborn, where she changed to the Central line to head to her office at Bank. But that day,  Jermaine Lindsay was on her train. Between King’s Cross and Russell Square he detonated a bomb. Twenty-six other passengers were killed.

Mughal, who was 22 at the time, is the only known Muslim survivor of 7/7. After the terrorist attack she gave up a career in recruitment to fight extremism. “I believed I was going to die down there,” Mughal, now 31, says. “So when I came out alive, I felt I had been given a second chance. Finding out it was caused by a Muslim changed everything for me.”

Instead of making her question her faith, though, 7/7 drew her further into it. “We have a strong belief in Islam that God writes things for you: when someone is born, their death has also been written. It wasn’t written for me to go that day. But the experience brought me to find out more about my faith.”

It also made her desperate to stop young Muslims being radicalised. It’s a subject that was again in the spotlight last week, when it emerged that a science teacher in Bolton had been charged with preparing to help others commit acts of terrorism in Syria.

“This ideology that you need to carry out a jihad to help your brothers and sisters abroad needs to change. It saddens and frustrates me that there is this small minority who influence individuals to carry out attacks when Islam is a peaceful religion.”

At Mughal’s office opposite Alexandra Palace station her nine-month-old daughter is sleeping in the next room. This is the headquarters of the JAN Trust, a women’s charity that local MP Lynne Featherstone has dubbed “a mini-United Nations” as it caters mostly for women from ethnic minorities, including refugees and asylum-seekers. Many of these women don’t speak English and lack skills — the charity’s aim is to help them integrate into society, teaching English, numeracy and how to write a CV.

Mughal, who also has a four-year-old daughter, is a director at JAN and the brains behind its “web guardians” project, which aims to stop young people being radicalised. “Online there’s this whole world of videos and games that incite hate. And there are chat rooms that contain people who groom kids on extremist paths.” Having launched in Haringey, the project will soon be rolled out to other boroughs.

Sajda Mughal‘It frustrates me that this small minority influences individuals to carry out attacks’ (Picture: Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd) 

Mughal, who talks about 7/7 in schools, sees a desperate need for this project. “I’ve had Muslim — and non-Muslim — kids come up to me afterwards and say, ‘Miss! We can sympathise [with the bombers]’,” she says. “The Muslim youth today have a number of grievances. Foreign policy: Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel, now Syria. Then there are the unmanned drone attacks, Guantánamo and cases of soldiers abusing civilians. This project says we understand there are these grievances and that they are sympathising with this ideology but that this mindset needs to change.”

So how do you persuade these children that violence is not the answer? “Dialogue,” Mughal responds. “You put them in the position of, ‘Well, I was in 7/7. It could have been your mother, your sister, your cousin’. You show them that they can channel these grievances in a democratic manner, as opposed to destructively. That means through social media, lobbying or petitioning — not violence.”

Unless these conversations are had, Mughal believes we risk the young turning to the internet to understand their Islamic identity. She cites Roshonara Choudhry, the Newham-born student who stabbed Stephen Timms MP in 2010 and stated she had spent hours watching videos from Anwar al-Awlaki, the “spiritual leader” of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Sometimes, Mughal says, the children ask: “But what about the jihad?”

“You’ve got to debunk that. Jihad isn’t about fighting, it’s about making a sacrifice. I might say: ‘I’m not going to drink tea all day, that’s my jihad’. There’s a huge misconception about the term.”

But Mughal thinks she knows the ultimate tool to fight extremism: mothers. The JAN Trust recently found that three-quarters of mothers had seen or heard their children accessing Islamic lectures but they did not know the content. And 92 per cent did not know what online radicalisation was, while a similar number didn’t know how to get online at all. “We want to help these women become role models. So we’re teaching them IT skills and about the dangers of the internet but also equipping them to discuss extremism with their children offline. That way the mother can safeguard her child and help prevent further attacks.”

Through her work, Mughal also challenges a problem running parallel to extremism: Islamophobia. She says the recent debate about veils brought out underlying prejudices. “I don’t think Islamophohia is decreasing. The Muslim women we help tell us about the problems they face day to day — just travelling on the Tube or bus or their children getting bullied in school or their husbands facing discrimination at work.”

Before 7/7, Mughal was a typical north London twentysomething. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, she came here aged one and grew up in Haringey. “I was a Muslim but I didn’t have much involvement with the community,” she admits. “I was very career-focused.”

On the day of the bombings, Mughal was running late for that job. “The whole journey, I was thinking ‘Hurry up, hurry up!’,” she recalls. “The train left King’s Cross and then we went into the tunnel and there was a massive bang.”

It was rush hour and the Tube was packed. “People who were standing up fell to the ground; even those of us sitting down fell forward.”

Mughal says her mind went blank. “I was frozen. All the lights had gone out, so all we had were the faint emergency lights. There was no announcement. No one was telling us what had happened.”

Black smoke started to fill the carriage. “People were screaming, panicking, some were crying. I could hear people banging on the windows. We didn’t know what was going on outside the train. Were the tracks live? So I just stood there.”

Mughal thought the train had hit something or had been derailed. “Then I thought, ‘The next Tube leaving King’s Cross is just going to hit us — we’ll have a massive explosion and we’ll all burn to death’. In times of need, people of faith become more religious and that’s what I started to do. I said, ‘Please God, don’t let this be it. Don’t let July 7, 2005, be it’.”

It was only when she heard police coming towards their carriage that she knew she was going to survive. She and the other passengers were then evacuated through King’s Cross. “At that point I just wanted to be alone,” she recalls. “There was a McDonald’s opposite and I went across to calm my nerves and sit alone.”

She couldn’t reach any of her family on her mobile so she started walking back home. “It took hours. On the way I went into a newsagent and I heard another customer say, ‘They’re saying it’s a bomb’. I thought, ‘No, it can’t be’. I couldn’t contemplate it being a bomb.

“It was a lot for me to deal with mentally: finding out that some people had died and others had lost their limbs, then finding out it was a bomb, and then that it was carried out by four men who happened to be Muslim and had that warped ideology.”

It took her “a long while” to get back on the Tube. Initially, she couldn’t travel alone. “I needed counselling, time and support. Even now when I have meetings in town and I have to go through King’s Cross I start remembering. When July 7 comes around every year, I don’t want to travel on the Tube.” She has flashbacks, too.

Still, Mughal believes the experience has given her purpose. “When I look back, I think, ‘If I hadn’t been running late, I wouldn’t have gone through that’. But then I wouldn’t be doing what I am now.”

 

OBE Investiture

altOur Founder, Rafaat Mughal, was awarded with her OBE on Tuesday 4th March 2014 at Buckingham Palace by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. She received her OBE due to her work towards disadvantaged women. We are very proud of her!

This award was covered by press including the Haringey Independent and the Haringey Advertiser.

To view the Haringey Independent article:

CLICK HERE

Released Tuesday 11th March 2014

 

 

Rafaat Mughal, founder of the JAN Trust in Wood Green, receives OBE from Prince William

A women’s rights activist who received an OBE in the Queen’s New Years honours list received her medal from Prince William.

Rafaat Mughal, founder of the JAN Trust in Wood Green, was honoured for her work empowering women from disadvantaged backgrounds.

On Tuesday, March 4, the Duke of Cambridge presented her with the prize at Buckingham Palace.

Mrs Mughal said: “I was absolutely delighted to receive the OBE and the event in Buckingham Place was really good and very well organised as you’d expect.

“Prince William asked me what our organisation is doing and I told him briefly what we are about.

“He was very happy to hear about it and told me to keep up the good work.”

Mrs Mughal started the trust in 1989 and has since helped thousands of women across London to become independent, active members of society.

She said: “I told Prince William that we have helped more than 50,000 women in the past 25 years by helping them learn English, understand the British system so they take part in society and not feel isolated.

Mrs Mughal added: “I do this work because it is in me and a part of who I am.

“I feel very thrilled with all I have accomplished and it’s been great to be recognised by Buckingham Palace but I think it’s even better to hear it from my children.

“My children told me 'mum we are really proud of you' and I just burst into tears.”

As well as founding the charity, Mrs Mughal also lectures on the Middle East, east Africa and Europe, and previously worked as a researcher on issues affecting ethnic minorities.

She was also one of the first Muslim women to be elected as a councillor in Haringey.

Mrs Mughal was invited to 10 Downing Street by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and was also runner-up for the Lifetime Achievement Award 2012 in the Directory of Social Change Awards.

 

Founder awarded OBE

altWe are delighted to announce that our Founder, Rafaat Mughal, was awarded with an OBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List. Rafaat has campaigned and worked tirelessly for over 40 years to support and empower Black, Asian, minority ethnic and refugee women. She is an inspiration to all at JAN Trust including users, staff and volunteers. 

Well done Rafaat. A much deserved award!

 

 

 

 

 

The story was covered by a range of press and below are some of the press links:

New Year’s Honours: Haringey women’s rights activist ‘flattered’ with OBE - CLICK HERE

New Year Honours 2014: List in full - CLICK HERE

Rafaat Mughal, of Wood Green, who founded the JAN Trust among people in 2014 New Year's Honours List - CLICK HERE

15 Indian-origin men, women in Queen's New Year's Honours List - CLICK HERE

Rafaat Mughal, of Wood Green, who founded the Jan Trust among people in 2014 New Year's Honours List - CLICK HERE

Sisters are doing it for themselves - and each other - CLICK HERE

Strong showing for charities in New Year Honours - CLICK HERE

New Year honours 2014: the full list - CLICK HERE

Asian community recognised in New Year’s Honour’s List - CLICK HERE

Asian community recognised in Honours List - CLICK HERE

Many Asians in Queen’s New Year Honours List - CLICK HERE

Asian community recognised in Honours List - CLICK HERE

Fifteen Indian origin people in Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for 2014 - CLICK HERE

Sisters are doing it for themselves – and each other - CLICK HERE

Bumper year for Asian NY Honours - CLICK HERE

FT .com - CLICK HERE

 

JAN Trust in Press

altJAN Trust's recent award win from the Centre of Social Justice 2013 was covered by a range of press including the Spectator Magazine and newspapers.

 

The articles can be viewed by clicking the below links:

Spectator Magazine:

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/fraser-nelson/2013/11/the-csj-awards-show-whats-going-right-in-britain/
 

Haringey Independant

http://www.haringeyindependent.co.uk/news/topstories/10815686.Women_s_charity_wins_national_award/?ref=rss

Haringey Today

http://www.haringey-today.co.uk/News.cfm?id=39485&headline=Charity%20recognised%20for%20its%20work%20fighting%20poverty

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JAN Trust in Press

Friday, 4 April 2014

JAN Trust in Press

Monday, 17 March 2014

OBE Investiture

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Founder awarded OBE

Friday, 3 January 2014

JAN Trust in Press

Friday, 29 November 2013

JAN Trust Wins Award

Thursday, 7 November 2013

JAN Trust in Press

Friday, 25 October 2013

JAN Trust Wins Award

Thursday, 24 October 2013

JAN Trust in Press

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Al Jazeera coverage

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

BBC News coverage

Monday, 21 October 2013

MP and Minister visits

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

BBC News coverage

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

BBC News coverage

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

JAN Trust in Press

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

BBC News coverage

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

BBC London Press

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

JAN Trust in Press

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Sajda Mughal Wins Award

Sunday, 23 June 2013

London Mayor's Reception

Sunday, 23 June 2013

JAN Trust in Press

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Daily Mirror coverage

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sajda Mughal in Press

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sajda Mughal Wins Award

Thursday, 4 April 2013

JAN Trust in Press

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Al Jazeera coverage

Monday, 18 February 2013

Finalist for award

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sajda Mughal Wins Award

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sajda Mughal Highly Commended

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Shortlisted for award

Monday, 7 January 2013

JAN Trust in Press

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

BBC London Press

Friday, 9 November 2012

Awarded Highly Commended Project

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Shortlisted for award

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

ITV News coverage

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Forced Marriage Report Launch

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Certificate Ceremony

Saturday, 4 August 2012

JAN Trust in Press

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

JAN Trust in Press

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

JAN Trust in Press

Monday, 9 July 2012

JAN Trust in Press

Thursday, 17 May 2012

JAN Trust in Press

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

JAN Trust in Press

Sunday, 29 January 2012

JAN Trust in Press

Friday, 2 December 2011

JAN Trust Wins Award

Monday, 14 November 2011

JAN Trust at College Fair

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Forced Marriages

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Remembering 7/7 bombings

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Mukhtar Mai visits JAN Trust

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Press - 7/7 London Bombings

Saturday, 14 May 2011

7/7 London Bombings

Monday, 9 May 2011

Women into Employment

Monday, 11 April 2011

GLA exhibition

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

At Spitalfields Market

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Deputy Mayor of London

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Foreign Journalists visit JAN Trust

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

JAN Trust in Press

Monday, 13 December 2010

JAN Trust at 10 Downing Street

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Mayor of London

Friday, 3 December 2010

Another Minister sends message of suppor

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Minister sends message of support

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Interfaith Forum receives more press

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Meeting Indonesian Ambassador

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Mayor sends message of support

Monday, 4 October 2010

JAN Trust at College open day

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

JAN Trust at Pope's address

Friday, 17 September 2010

We commemorate 7 July bombings

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

JAN Trust meets US Ambassador

Thursday, 17 June 2010

JAN Trust in the Press

Thursday, 20 May 2010

JAN Trust tours USA

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

JAN Trust expands into Kenya

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

JAN Trust nominated for two awards

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Deen Fest ready to Roll

Sunday, 9 August 2009

JAN Trust visits the Queen

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

JAN Trust visits Synagogue

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

JAN Trust visits Parliament

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

JAN Trust at Prevent conference

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

JAN Trust visits Westminster Cathedral

Saturday, 15 November 2008

First male to be trained at JAN Trust

Monday, 8 September 2008

Community Cohesion Conference

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

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