A mosque has come to the defence of Eric Pickles, after the government minister sent out letters asking Muslims to warn youngsters off extremism.
The Stevenage Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which meets in Graveley, has released a statement supporting Mr Pickles after his letter came under fire this week.
Sagheer Ahmed, president of the group in Stevenage, said: “We welcome the Government’s acknowledgement that the Paris attacks have nothing to do with Islam.
“Islam is a religion of peace and those who carry out violence in its name are acting against Islamic teachings.
“The Government is right to be worried about extremism, be it from any source and it is the duty of all faith communities to support efforts for greater peace.
“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community led by its Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, who is based in London, has always denounced violence and has a special focus on working to serve humanity.”
He continued: “In Stevenage our mosque is a beacon of peace and we engage our youth to work for their local communities.