Former EDL member Ivan Humble discusses extremism with Ipswich reformed jihadist Muhammad Manwar Ali on The One Show
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A reformed jihadist from Ipswich and a former English Defence League member from Lowestoft have become best friends in their quest to combat extremism.
Father-of-six Ivan Humble joined the EDL in 2009 after coming across a Facebook post about Muslims attacking British troops.
He posted a comment and within minutes he was signed up to the extremist organisation after leaders sent him a direct message urging him to join.
Jihadist turned peace activist Muhammad Manwar Ali, who is now the leader of JIMAS in Ipswich, chose a similar path of extremism.
Once a participant in Jihadi training camps in Afghanistan, he was seen as a pioneer for Jihadism in the UK.
Today’s The One Show detailed how the pair met and developed an unlikely friendship which encouraged them both to abandon their extremist views.
Speaking on the show, part of which was filmed outside The Grazing Sheep on the Ipswich Waterfront, Mr Humble said: “I joined the EDL, they gave me a voice, they gave me a chance to make a difference.
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“(When I went to my first meeting) it was amazing really. I had found a place where I belonged.”
While Mr Ali said: “I’m seen as one of the pioneers of Jihad in the UK.
“Recruiting people, saying to them you must fight as a good Muslim and seek matyrdom.
“I sought martyrdom for myself and I wanted others to die fighting for the cause of God.”
Mr Humble met Mr Ali when he challenged him over plans to build a super mosque in Ipswich.
But much to everyone’s surprise, the pair formed an unlikely alliance.
“I’ve learned there is only one way to deal with our Muslim brothers – and that is with respect,” said Mr Humble.
He made friends with Mr Ali after realising rumours that the former Jihadist was intending to build a super mosque were false.
He actually set up JIMAS, which operates out of St Michael’s Community Centre in Ipswich, instead.
See the full feature on BBC iPlayer.