3 Sep 2014

Parents urge ‘bedroom radical’ Aqsa Mahmood to return home

The parents of Aqsa Mahmood make a heartfelt plea for their daughter to return home, after the 20-year-old from Glasgow travelled to Syria to join Islamic State fighters.

Mahmood is said to have married an IS fighter, after becoming increasingly radicalised watching the Middle East crisis unfold.

A solicitor for the family said the successful student was not the “stereotypical case”, and that “no smoking gun” was involved, referring to any known clerics or family members that could have influenced her.

Her parents Khalida and Muzaffar said that Mahmood was a “sweet, intelligent and peaceful” girl who had become a “bedroom radical”.

You have torn the heart out of our family and changed our lives forever. Khalida and Muzaffar Mahmood

Her Pakistani parents added that they “absolutely condemned” her actions, adding that she “betrayed” her community as well as the people of Scotland.

Mahmood, who attended the private Craigholme School in Glasgow, is said to have travelled through Turkey to Aleppo in Syria, where she subsequently married in February this year.


Solicitor Aamer Anwar read a statement to reporters on behalf of the family: “We have not seen our daughter since November of last year and can confirm that on her disappearance we immediately contacted Police Scotland and are grateful for their continued support.

“[Aqsa] may believe that the jihadists of Isis are her new family, but they are not, they are simply using her.

“Isis is killing in the name of our religion and claiming to defend the weak. But by joining with them our daughter is brainwashed and deluded and helping those engaged with genocide.

“If our daughter who had every chance and freedom in life could become a bedroom radical, then it is possible for it to happen to any family.

“We are concerned that a growing climate of fear in this country means that children will not discuss how they feel with their family and friends and this will only spell disaster for our society”.

Her parents urged her to return home “while she still can”, adding: “We feel we have lost our daughter. Aqsa you have torn the heart out of our family and changed our lives forever. Please come home.”