7/7 and its aftermath

Like all British people, the Muslim community reacted with shock and outrage at the underground explosions and the bomb aboard a London bus that left 52 people dead, including 6 Muslims. As many British Muslim organisations have noted in their statements, everyone is a victim in a situation like this. This Salaam report documents organisation’s statements made on the day, analyses and trends and subsequent developments within the community.

A.    Ulema statement

The Muslim Council of Britain convened a meeting of ulema and community representatives at the Islamic Cultural Centre, Regents Park, London, on Friday 15 July 2005, where attendees signed a declaration worded as follows:

Along with all Londoners and the people of Britain, we are deeply shocked and saddened by the bombing attacks of 7 July 2005 that caused the loss of more than 52 innocent lives, wounded hundreds and disrupted the peace and order of the civic and community life of the metropolis.

We regard these acts as utterly criminal, totally reprehensible, and absolutely un-Islamic. On behalf of our communities and congregations, we express heartfelt sorrow and extend condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

We pray for the speedy recovery of the injured. We extend our sympathy to the entire British public, a nation to which we all belong by the grace of God.

‘Principle and command’

There can never be any excuse for taking an innocent life.

The Koran clearly declares that killing an innocent person was tantamount to killing all mankind and likewise saving a single life was as if one had saved the life of all mankind. (The Koran, Al-Maidah 5:32).

This is both a principle and a command.

We are firmly of the view that these killings had absolutely no sanction in Islam, nor is there any justification whatsoever in our noble religion for such evil actions. It is our understanding that those who carried out the bombings in London should in no sense be regarded as martyrs.

It is incumbent upon all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims – to help the authorities with any information that may lead to the planners of last week’s atrocity being brought to justice. The pursuit of justice for the victims of last week’s attacks is an obligation under the faith of Islam.

‘Reject extremism’

Islam is the middle path and the Koran designates Muslims as the ummatan wasata – the middle community.

Any form of extremism is to be utterly and completely rejected.

What we need, therefore, in our troubled world, more than ever before is to stick to the middle and balanced way of Islam.

We need also to remind ourselves, young as well as old, that the solution to our problems and concerns lies in following and adhering to the noble discipline of Islam and to the way of the Prophet, peace be upon him, and not falling prey to a culture of conflict and discord.

‘Children alienated’

The social culture of Islam is based on the principle of inviting people towards good, courteously and wisely – with Hikmah and mawizah Hasana. (The Koran, Al-Nahal 16:125).

The Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, was sent as a mercy to mankind and that is the ideal and norm that we ought to be following all the time.

The tragedy of 7 July 2005 demands that all of us, both in public life and in civil and religious society, confront together the problems of Islamophobia, racism, unemployment, economic deprivation and social exclusion – factors that may be alienating some of our children and driving them towards the path of anger and desperation.

Islam prohibits both anger and desperation. Anger and desperation are haram (forbidden) and may lead to some people being targeted by people with a sinister and violent agenda.

There is, therefore, a great deal of positive work to be done together with everyone in our own and wider community in order to channel the energy and talent of our youth particularly into constructive avenues, serving God and society for the common good.

The youth need understanding, not bashing.

‘Spiral of violence’

We do naturally feel deeply for the sufferings, injustices and oppression the world over. Yet we also remind ourselves of the verse of the Koran, “O you who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity and let not abhorrence of any people make you swerve from justice. Deal justly, that is nearer to God-fearing. Fear Allah. Allah is aware of what you do.” (Al Maidah, 5:8).

We also call on the international community to work towards just and lasting peace settlements in the world’s areas of conflict and help eliminate the grievances that seem to nurture a spiral of violence.

We also urge the media to refrain from character assassinations of our reputable scholars and denigration of the community.

We reiterate our resolve and commitment to work towards nurturing an identity that is true to its faith and its rights and responsibilities of British citizenship. Finally, we pray to God Almighty to bless all the people of the world with His peace and mercy. And finally, Praise be to God, lord of all the worlds.

B. Statements from Muslim civil society

The Muslim Council of Britain: British Muslims Utterly Condemn Acts of Terror

The Muslim Council of Britain utterly condemns today’s indiscriminate acts of terror in London. These evil deeds make victims of us all. It is our humanity that must bring us shoulder to shoulder to condemn, to oppose and to overcome those who would spread fear, hatred and death. Our sympathies and our prayers are with the victims, their families and friends. We extend our support and gratitude to the emergency services, the police and all the frontline services charged with our collective security. “The evil people who planned and carried out these series of explosions in London this morning want to demoralize us as a nation and divide us as a people. All of us must unite in helping the police to capture these murderers. Yesterday we celebrated as Londoners, euphoric that our great city had secured the Olympic Games. Today we watch aghast as we witness a series of brutal attacks upon our capital city. We were together in our celebration, we must remain together in our time of crisis,” said Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the MCB. “We must and will be united in common determination that terror cannot succeed. It is now the duty of all us Britons to be vigilant and actively support efforts to bring those responsible to justice,” he added.

The Muslim Welfare House, London:MWH Condemns gross act of terrorism

MWH has been shocked and deeply disturbed by the seemingly orchestrated acts of terror across London this morning. We reiterate our position as wholly and utterly opposed to all acts of terrorism and hold that the perpetrators of this barbaric crime should be sought and brought to justice. The harrowing images of innocent commuters caught up in this tragedy serves to reinforce our will to continue to work against the destructive and dogged determination of terrorist elements. In these efforts we reach out to others in society, including friends from other faith communities, strengthened by a common religious opposition to terrorism and a common desire for peace and calm.

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies in the UK & Ireland:FOSIS condemns London attacks

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies (Fosis) is extremely disturbed by the attacks, which hit London transport links this morning. We are extremely saddened by the extent of injuries and deaths that this has caused. Fosis President Wakkas Khan commented, “We are shocked and distressed by these incidents which has hit our country’s capital and our thoughts and prayers are with all those who suffered injuries and the families of those who have lost their lives. We continue to condemn in no uncertain terms all such cowardly acts of violence.” We would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of Muslim students to offer our support and assistance to the emergency services who have reacted swiftly and efficiently.

Islamic Forum Europe: Muslims shocked by London blasts

The Islamic Forum Europe (IFE) has reacted with shock following this morning’s explosions across London tube stations and buses. The president of the IFE, Musleh Faradhi said “Our immediate concern is for all those who have been hurt and killed.” “Many people across London will be anxiously trying to contact family and friends to make sure their loved ones are safe.” IFE extends its resources and support to help all those in need, in particular the emergency services who are undoubtedly overwhelmed with the pressures coping with the effects of this morning’s blasts.

AhlulBait Islamic Mission: London Under Attack

On Thursday 7th July, the capital London was victim to several terrorist attacks which have targeted the general public on trains and buses. The AhlulBayt Islamic Mission hereby joins the masses in condemning these barbaric acts of terrorism and shares the grief and sorrow of the nation. Our hearts go out to the friends and families of those who are victims of this despicable tragedy. This seems a planned and coordinated act of terrorism and we are confident that the law enforcement authorities will soon discover the identity of perpetrators responsible for this contemptible act and bring them to task with the full force of the law. At this moment of confusion, uncertainty and naturally highly charged emotions, we earnestly appeal to the media not to rush to judgment. We call on the British Muslims and non-Muslims to stand united in opposition to terrorism and to help in safeguarding our society from people who are acting outside of religious values and the law. We urge anyone who has information on terrorist activities to inform the police immediately and cooperate with the establishment in order to uproot terrorism.

We also call on Muslim Clerics in Britain to speak out of their opposition to terrorism and preach for state unity at this difficult time. We would like to reiterate that Islam is a religion of peace, justice and freedom; and we disassociate ourselves with any organisation – claiming to be Muslim or otherwise; which carries out acts which are contradictory to the teachings of Islam. Verily we are from God and to Him we shall Return.

Muslim Parliament

Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of the Muslim Parliament, has condemned the bomb blasts in London which killed over 50 and injured some 700 innocent people. He called the attacks inhuman, mindless and unwarranted. He praised the Londoners for facing this testing time with great courage. He also applauded police and emergency services for the way they reacted to meet the challenge. ‘Our heart goes out to those who have lost or got injured their loved ones in this carnage’, he said.

The Islamic Foundation, Leicester

The Islamic Foundation is shocked and horrified at the bomb attacks in London today. We join everyone in condemning such acts of wanton and senseless violence. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones at this tragic moment. The Director General, Dr Manazir Ahsan said: “We deplore these barbaric acts and hope that the perpetrators are identified and brought to justice quickly. Our heartfelt condolences go out to all the victims and their families.” This is an attack on all of us, and all communities of faith, and of none, need to stand together in calm and resolute purpose against terrorism, hatred and extremism.

The London Central Mosque Trust & the Islamic Cultural Centre Condemns London Bombings and calls for unity

Our thoughts, our prayers and condolences go out to all the victims of these terrible terrorist attacks. As citizens and co-workers of this great city, we share the concerns and fears of fellow Londoners. We use the same transport and live and work in the same buildings and any attack is an attack on us all. Islam expressly condemns the use of violence against civilians and innocents. We call on the Muslim community to be fully cooperative in this situation, so we may all live in peace and harmony and continue to make London the vibrant, tolerant and peaceful city it is. Dr. Ahmed Al-Dubayan the Director General of The Islamic Cultural Centre London unequivocally condemns these terrorist attacks and expresses deep condolences to the families, relatives and friends of the victims and urge all Muslims to be unanimous in their strong support of the Government Anti-terrorist programmes.

C. Government responses

Preventing Extremism Together (PET) Working Groups, 2005

In August 2005, the Home Office invited members of the Muslim community to participate in a working group ‘Working together to prevent extremism’. A number of task/working groups were set up, chaired either by civil servants or Muslim participants – these groups were: Education, Engaging with Women, Imams and the role of mosques, Regional and local initiatives, Security and policing, Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation. The invitees were drawn from a broad cross-section including academics, community activists and community organisation representatives, and members of Parliament (both MPs and peers)

On 10-11th September 2005 the participants together with select civil servants convened in a conference centre near Windsor. The proceedings were organised around seven working groups. Among participants were Dr Tariq Ramadan, who had recently taken up a post at the University of Oxford, and the veteran Dr Salim Al-Hassani. With one important exception, the senior civil servants present did not seek to constrain the discussion and listened and observed. The underlying question was ‘what makes British Muslims tick?’.

Each group submitted its recommendations and were asked to identify the top two or three. Exercising its independence, at least one group tackled the issue of foreign policy: “The working group… after summer-long consultations in the wake of the July 7 bombings, criticises British foreign policy as being a ‘key contributory factor’ to the terrorist threat. It says plans to ban certain Islamic organisations could send them underground and make them “more problematic in the future”, and queries the need for an offence of “acts preparatory to terrorism” and the power to close down mosques”. [As reported in The Guardian 10 November 2005]

Two participants – Shaukat Warraich and Ifath Nawaz – collated the notes of the week-end discussions and other submissions, and prepared a draft report that was presented to the Home Secretary Charles Clarke on 22nd September. On 10th November, 2005 the Home Office published the 100 page report Preventing Extremism Together, Working Group Report, August-October 2005

MINAB, 2006

In the aftermath of the 7th July bombings, the Prime Minister of the day, Tony Blair, declared at his No.10 press conference, “Over the past two weeks there have been intensive meetings and discussions across government to set a comprehensive framework for action in dealing with the terrorist threat in Britain, and today I want to give our preliminary assessment of the measures we need urgently to examine” (5th August 2007).

The first of these proposals relating to mosques and imams concerned powers to close down ‘places of worship’. A second emerged from the ‘Preventing Extremism Together’ Working Groups convened by the Home Office in August-October 2005. One of the working groups, chaired by Lord Nazir Ahmed, had as its theme ‘Imam Training and accreditation and the role of mosques as a resource for the whole community’ – specified by the then Director of Race, Cohesion and Faith at the Home Office, Mr Mark Caroll.

Participants in Lord Ahmed’s group noted the zeal with which Home Office civil servants present in their discussions pressed for a recommendation that was inevitably adopted: for setting up “a new national advisory body/council of mosques and imams. This body would be inclusive and representative of the many traditions practices in the UK, independent and lead by the institutions it serves” (Working Groups report, p.63).

Lord Ahmed in conducting a consultation exercise on the proposal – now recast as MINAB, the Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board – with mosque imams in February-May 2006. A report prepared by the consultancy noted that Lord Ahmed “felt it incumbent upon himself to take the [PET] recommendations forward” and it also thanked members of the Faith Cohesion team at the Home Office, “in particular Mark Caroll” (Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board – Consultation findings & conclusions’, Faith Associates, July 2006).

On 9th March 2006, Faith Associates issued a press notice on behalf of Lord Ahmed, headed “Lord Ahmed and leaders of the Muslim community embark on a nationwide consultation exercise for national Muslim advisory body”. It noted that “the process of consultation has already started with a questionnaire being sent to mosques, Islamic centres and women and youth organisations…to gather as much information as possible on the role that MINAB could play”. The press notice included a quote from a Home Office Minister, “the Government welcomes the launch] of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Body (MINAB). It demonstrates real progress by the Muslim community towards delivering one of the key recommendations of the Preventing Extremism Together Working Groups report published in November 2005″.

Preventing Violent Extremist (PVE),  2007

On 5th April 2007, Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government announced a “new action plan to step-up work with Muslim communities to isolate, prevent and defeat violent extremism”, in a document entitled ‘Preventing violent extremism – Winning hearts and minds’.

A Home Office fund for community cohesion, in place since the Northern cities disturbances of Summer 2001, was transformed into a PVE ‘Pathfinder fund’. Confusingly, the Communities & Local Government website states that a Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund was launched in October 2006 – six months prior to Ruth Kelly’s announcement – “to support priority local authorities in developing programmes of activity to tackle violent extremism at the local level”. A signal of the on-going turf war between two departments.

In February 2007, CLG announced “The Government is making available £5m in 2007-8 to support priority local authorities in their work to tackle violent extremism in their communities. This guidance explains the objectives of the fund and how it will be rolled out. It also offers practical guidance on working with communities to develop community-based and community-led initiatives to tackle radicalisation.”

Details of some of the funded projects were placed in the public domain in April 2007, which included: Tottenham Hotspur Youth Forum; Barking & Dagenham Islamic Awareness; Black Country Imams; Kirklees Webspace & Radio activity; Birmingham City Council’s projects to “support the development of a series of community-led study circles to help young people to deliver a better understanding of Islam” and also to support Young Muslim Leadership Programmes “to hold workshops on issues such as civic engagement and how to respond to signs of radicalisation amongst young people”; Calderdale Authority to work with the local education authority on “developing citizenship education resources”; outreach work with the Hounslow Asian and African Youth Group; support for the Southwark Parents Forum. CLG also listed over a hundred local authority districts deemed to be priority areas – broadly reflecting the geographical distribution of the Muslim population.

In June 2008, the Home Office (again, confusingly, not the CLG!) announced the availability of new funding to “local authorities, schools, community groups and police tackle violent extremism. The funds will be targeted at institutions working to counter terrorism, and at those most vulnerable to radicalisation. Part of the government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy, the funds are designed to prevent the spread of extremism. New guidelines released with the funding offer advice on how agencies and organisations can work to prevent the spread of radicalisation, support mainstream voices and help communities resist violent extremists.” The document ‘Preventing Violent Extremism – A strategy for Delivery’ noted “over the last year we have funded over 200 projects in 70 local authority areas as part of the Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund. We have doubled this investment for 2008-09…”. The report also provides some specific project details, for example “supporting the Radical Middle Way project and similar initiatives to bring together authoritative voices to speak in the UK and around the world”.

Paul Goodman MP, Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, raised some pertinent concerns in the Commons in June 2008: “Some non-Muslims, and in my experience particularly some black church groups, say for that reason that the scheme is unfair. At the same time, some Muslims, particularly many young Muslims, say that the branding of the scheme is offensive. Why, they argue, are they uniquely singled out? Furthermore, there is no evidence as yet that the programme as a whole is preventing violent extremism, despite the admirable schemes to which I referred in my introductory remarks. In our view, Ministers should allow local councils more discretion in the use of the fund for other community cohesion purposes. Since the targeting of taxpayers’ money at one religious group is always problematic, should not Ministers be looking more closely at utilising the energy, flair and dynamism of the private, independent and voluntary sectors?”

Vernon Coaker MP, responding for the Government noted, “I agree with the hon. Gentleman about the need to support communities. The Government have, as he knows, committed £45 million over next three years through the Preventing Violent Extremism programme, the money being given through the DCLG. However, let us be clear that this is difficult territory. If we are to win the battle for hearts and minds, there will have to be robust debate and engagement. Of course, we have to ensure that we do not inadvertently support or fund the wrong people, individuals or groups.”

The critiques of PVE funding have been mounting, in terms of the use being made of tax payers money, methodology and fears of social engineering. A particular bone of contention has been the Government’s use of a quantitative measure of ‘resilience’ to so-called violent extremism – termed IN35! Some local authorities have resented to this reporting requirement, because it makes them an arm of the police or of the security services (e.g. refuse collection workers checking bins for incriminating material). One local authority – High Wycombe – Paul Goodman’s consitutency – which has been allocated more than £400,000 to run anti-terrorism projects is having to confront concerns of local Muslims: Zahid Jawed, for the Wycombe Islamic Society, warned of a plan to target five-year-olds as part of the anti-extremism drive!

Another devastating critique has come from Councillor Salma Yaqoob in Birmingham. The Birmingham City Council was awarded £500,000 as part of PVE Pathfinder, and has now been given an additional £2.4 million for the next three years! At a Council meeting she raised the issue of “many projects have taken place in wards without the consultation and participation of ward members and without accountability to the local communities through the ward structures…How will the existing structures which bring transparency and accountability … be utilised in any planning for this programme?”. As a response, one City official threatened that he would “report her”!

She objected to an event being organised by one ‘Waterhouse’ management consultancy that planned to invite ‘The Islamist’ author Ed Hussain, observing “He is somebody who doesn’t want dialogue, he wants to close down dialogue”. British politics needs more courageous whistle-blowers like this councillor – who does not fear being ‘reported’.

Local government heavyweight – leader of Bradford Council and leader of the Conservative Group Kris Hopkins– too raised his disquiet with the PVE campaign when responding to questions from Channel 4 reporter Darsha Soni (10th September 2008).

DS lead in: Bradford in West Yorkshire, identified as Number 2 in the Security ‘Heat Map’ – Councillors here were worried that the Government’s approach risked alienating Muslim communities…

KH: What they said was that if we were willing to go out and monitor the Muslim community and use the resources of the local council to do that they would release an amount of money to us. The local council should be there to promote education, caring for elderly people, making sure they are in a safe place and not become a wing of the security services.

DS voice over: All 70 Authorities were told that they would have to sign up to targets – performance indicators called NI35 – that would assess and measure how well they were tackling extremism. But we understand that two-thirds of the Councils refused to sign.

DS: What was the response when you said to Government you were not prepared to sign up to NI35?

KH: We have had an enormous amount of pressure, both officers and politicians. A whole procession of people have come to Bradford to tell us that we are wrong and I think to try to suggest tht we are soft on terroism, which is completely wrong.

PVE – 2009

In August 2009 the newly appointed Secretary of State responsible for CLG (Communities & Local Government), John Denham, co-signed a letter with Home Secretary Alan Johnson which opened possibilities of dialogue in sensitive policy areas.:

  • Our Prevent work is vital, but the Government is very much aware that we do not want terrorism to define, or be perceived as defining, the relationship between Government and Muslim communities. We need constantly to reflect and make clear in our public statements that the vast majority in our Muslim communities are against violent extremism. We otherwise create difficulties for ourselves in our work with local communities and community organisations
  • … it is clear that the label ‘Preventing Violent Extremism’ attached to the local Prevent funding stream has on occasion been a barrier to promoting good, community-based work
  • Although the most significant terrorist threat comes from al-Qaida groups or AQ inspired ideology, there is a perception that government is only interested in violent extremism of one kind. This is not true. Government is working to address all forms of extremism, including violent far right groups

Channel Programme, 2008

Home Secretary’s speech, 10 December 2008:

I am delighted to announce we have just granted a further £5.8 million to Prevent

“…There are extremists out there who suggest that these [Mumbai] attacks can somehow be justified by some twisted interpretation of Islam. They cannot. Indeed, many of the victims of these attacks were themselves Muslim…..

The Police have recognised that the community needs to be at the heart of their strategy in tackling this threat. They have prioritised a partnership approach that includes working closely with schools, colleges, universities, and across communities.

This marks real progress and to support these activities even further, we are funding more than 300 new Prevent police posts over three years.

£16 million will be spent this year creating new posts across 24 priority forces, as well as funding several other initiatives such as the Channel programme, which is currently up and running in 6 forces.

I’ll just say a little bit about Channel since it is an excellent example of partnership in practice. This scheme identifies individuals that may be vulnerable to getting swept up in violent extremism and refers them toward multi-agency support.

Since it started in April 2007, the two pilot sites in London and the North West have received over 100 referrals. We are going to expand this further and the aim is that by the end of the financial year, we will bring the total number of sites up to approximately 25 operating across 12 police forces.

Prevent is still a relatively new strategic programme and I think the successes we’ve seen to date show that it is effective. But as always, there is more to do.

I am determined to make sure that we continue to support your efforts and, to that end, I am delighted to announce we have just granted a further £5.8 million to Prevent. This funding comes in addition to the £12.5 million we announced in June this year and the extra money will be used at local level to fund a wide range of projects to disrupt radicalisers, strengthen institutions and support vulnerable individuals.

D. Government Funding in Muslim civil society

Radical Middle Way

The Radical Middle Way project was brought to public attention in the New Statesman in July 2006, which at the time judged that “it is too early to judge the success of the scholars road show, which began touring Britain in December with events in London, Leeds and Manchester (under the apparently unironic, new Labour-ish banner ‘The Radical Middle Way’). Although the events are branded with the logos of the three ‘grass-roots’ organisations that form Mahabba Unlimited, it is an open secret that the tour is funded by the Foreign Office.”

Shane Brighton noted, “The Radical Middle Way grew from the findings of the PET working group as a means to ’empower voices of mainstream Islam’…..the reality of ‘Preventing Extremism together’ centres upon integration not simply as an acceptance of the legitimacy of certain British social norms, but also of those upon which current foreign policy is founded and seeks to introduce.” (International Affairs, 2007)

Answering a question in the Commons in November 2007, Minister Kim Howells also indicated that “according to the organisers, the cost for the Radical Middle Way website for 2007-08 is £26,400. The total cost for website development from the Radical Middle Way’s launch in February 2006 to its completion in March 2007 was £35,000″. Further funding to this venture has come from th Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund 2007/2008: allocations for Radical Middle Way shows in Wycombe (a collaboration of the local district council, and the central government departments Communities & Local Government and the FCO) and the London Borough of Southwark.

The continuing role of the Radical Middle Way road shows has been affirmed in the Government’s ‘delivery plan’ for ‘Preventing Violent Extremism’:” Supporting the Radical Middle Way project and similar initiatives to bring together authoritative voices to speak to communities in the UK and around the world”. (June 2008)

A separate series of road shows with the theme ‘Roles and Responsibilities of Muslims in Britain’ was launched by a broad-based independent consortium of bodies drawing on community-based scholars and activists – 6 cities were targeted in May-June 2006.

Quilliam Foundation

Report by Richard Kerbaj, 20th January 2009, The Times: Almost £1 million of public money is being given to a think-tank run by two former Islamic extremists, despite reservations being expressed by members of the Government and the Opposition. The funding is for the Quilliam Foundation — a counter-extremism think-tank set up nine months ago by Ed Husain, a bestselling author, and Maajid Nawaz, a former political prisoner in Egypt — as part of the Government’s strategy to combat the radicalisation of British Muslims. The scale of the funding has aroused concerns that the Government is relying too heavily on a relatively unknown organisation in its desperation to counter extremism. The Times understands that the foundation, which has 18 full-time staff, is paying about £110,000 a year to rent offices at one of Central London’s most prestigious addresses, which, for security reasons, have no name plate or sign outside. Inside, the offices are expensively furnished with state-of-the-art computers and plasma screen televisions.

E. Muslim civil society dissociations from Prevent funding

An-Nisa Society

The An-Nisa Society’s report  (‘British Muslim or Wot?’ March 2008)  provides a critique of PVE, written with an insider’s knowledge. The group itself was recipient of some funding, for a project on self-development work with Muslim boys in the London Borough of Brent. Its first-hand interaction with young Muslim boys led it to conclude that “the government needs to take on board that it is not possible to deliver ‘security led’ initiatives through Muslim community groups as (a) it damages trust and credibility in frontline grassroots work and (b) it does not address the wider issues that have created the problems in the first place. Security needs to be addressed separately by experts in this field”.