Charities and mosques give aid to Afghans who worked for UK occupation forces

Pic: Luton Mosques

Several Muslim organisations are providing aid and relocation assistance to Afghans who worked with British occupation forces as well as their families.

Thousands of Afghans have arrived in the UK in recent weeks under official resettlement schemes for those who worked with the British during their 20 year occupation.

The UK evacuated more than 8,000 people eligible for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy from August 13. They will be able to move to the UK permanently.

Among the organisations helping or supporting them include the Muslim Council of Britain, the Muslim Charities Forum, Muslim Aid, Muslim Hands, Islamic Relief and Penny Appeal.

Mosques involved in the assistance effort include Canterbury Mosque, Warrington Islamic Centre, York Mosque, Dunfermline Central Mosque, Colchester Mosque, as well as mosques in London, Luton and Leeds.

A spokesman for the Canterbury Mosque said: “We’ve provided a number of basic needs for the families, such as clothes and shoes, and have been able to deliver some of the items to the hotel.”

Meanwhile, York Mosque is collecting board games, jigsaws, art and craft materials, skipping ropes and footballs for refugees in Wakefield.

The Muslim Charities Forum has produced a “Refugee Response Guide” for individuals and community groups looking to help:

The MCF said: “The recent escalating crisis in Afghanistan has left many people fleeing for safety. As of 20th August 2021, the UK has begun to welcome 5,000 refugees and their families who are arriving after a long and traumatic journey. This number is expected to rise.

“Responding to the needs of those newly-arrived in the UK is essential in order to help them recover and resettle. Many of these people have arrived with nothing at all. On arrival in the UK following Covid-19 testing, they are being placed in 10 day hotel isolation before being moved to temporary accommodation around the UK.

“Local grassroots organisations, community groups and individuals have started to gather donations, whilst larger charities are planning response to meet needs of food and shelter.”

‘Government employees’

However, one charity trustee in Manchester has refused to provide assistance, saying that the government should take care of those Afghans who have fled because they were government employees.

Ghulam Haydar, of the Myriad Foundation, said: “It’s important to understand that the Afghans who are fleeing to the airport in Kabul and boarded onto planes and given residence in the West are employees (and their families) of the U.S./UK/NATO military occupation and the government they installed, i.e civil service staff.

British soldiers in Afghanistan. Editorial credit: timsimages.uk / Shutterstock.com

“Some of these people were involved in assisting the occupying military with combat, policing or intel which led to the killing of so many local Afghans who challenged or fought in resistance to the occupiers of their country over the last 20 years.

“In an unprecedented move in this modern era, the new Taliban have granted these people a full pardon, an amnesty to anyone who worked with their occupiers but many have still fled or looking for a passage out of the country. Perhaps they don’t believe the Taliban and fear retribution or they prefer to live in a secular liberal society.

“Whatever the case, the Afghans entering the UK who held official positions in Afghanistan during the occupation, i.e the civil service, should be the responsibility of the UK government. Their salaries were paid by the U.S. & the UK. Like always, the government are shirking their responsibilities towards the mess they created and these people. It is the government’s responsibility and not the responsibility of NGOs and kind hearted members of the public to support the Afghanis they employed entering the UK. These people worked for the US/UK government so they’re their employees.”

CORRECTION:

In this article we originally mentioned Ummah Welfare Trust as one of the charities helping Afghan refugees who were recently moved to the UK. We acknowledge that this was incorrect so have therefore corrected the article. Rather, the charity’s work to help Afghans is either inside the country or with refugees in Pakistan.

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