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Mosques lead prayers for girls abducted by extremists

MUSLIMS across Scotland have offered up prayers for the 300 schoolgirls abducted by Islamic extremists in Nigeria.

Mosques elders had been given guidance from the Muslim Council of Scotland for their Friday sermon to make mention of the Nigerian schoolgirl abductions and to reiterate that they are against the teachings of Islam.

The sermons also stated that education, in particular of women, was a virtuous act and not one contrary to Islam. Mass prayers were also said for the safe return of the schoolgirls and peace in Nigeria.

Concern was expressed at Friday prayers about the so-called "invasions" of Glasgow Central Mosque and the Cumbernauld mosque by far-right paramilitary group Britain First.

The group handed out British Army bibles to Muslims as part of the stunt.

Islamic insurgent group Boko Haram on April 15 abducted more than 300 students from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School. Police say 53 managed to escape and 276 remain in captivity.

Outrage over the kidnapping has already prompted Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, criticised at home for his government's slow response, to accept US, British and French intelligence help in the hunt for the girls.

Boko Haram's leader has threatened to sell them into slavery and in a video released on Monday offered to release the girls in exchange for the freedom of jailed Boko Haram members.

Glasgow MSP and the Scottish Government's external affairs minister Humza Yousaf was behind the proposal for the prayers and the sermons.

He said: "I welcome this show of solidarity with the families of schoolgirls abducted in Nigeria.

"The Muslim community is not just shocked and sickened by this grotesque act but also angry that extremists have once again abused the name of Islam.

"When I spoke to the Muslim Council of Scotland they were keen to help in any way that they could."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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