According to the British daily Independent, the imams, representing mosques across the country, will travel to Iraq on Tuesday for an eight-day fact-finding mission. They are expected to visit parts of the country previously under ISIL control as well as meeting victims of the group, including from the Yazidi community.
They hope the visit will help counter ISIL propaganda in the UK by highlighting the resistance to the group in Iraq and relaying back first-hand accounts of life under the extremists.
If the visit becomes successful, then the British Muslims plan to then bring Iraqi imams to the UK, to talk in mosques about the reality of life in ISIL-controlled areas and to “deglamorise” the group and its appeal to young British Muslims.
The group is set to visit the cities of Samarra and Tikrit as well as Baghdad. Tikrit was previously under ISIL occupation while Samarra was for a long time at the front line between the Iraqi army and ISIL terrorists.
The organizers of the visit maintain that it is about empowering credible Muslim leaders in Britain to see for themselves what has been going on in Iraq. They added that the leaders will met both key Shia and Sunni figures and those fighting Daesh and those who have been impacted.