Denham chal­lenged on Pre­vent

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY MARTIN BRIGHT

CHRIS GRAYLING’S in­ter­view puts sig­nif­i­cant blue wa­ter be­tween the Con­ser­va­tives and Labour on ex­trem­ism and an­titer­ror pol­icy. The Shadow Home Sec­re­tary could not be clearer in his re­jec­tion of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism and the pol­icy of “en­gage­ment for the sake of en­gage­ment”.

Mr Grayling has taken some time to come to th­ese con­clu­sions — he was ap­pointed in Jan­uary — but at least he can­not be crit­i­cised for rush­ing to judg­ment.

As he recog­nises, on an is­sue as sen­si­tive as this, it is im­por­tant to make the cor­rect de­ci­sion. It must be right, at the very least, to look again at the £60 mil­lion antiex­trem­ism strat­egy, Pre­vent. The de­ci­sion to en­sure pub­lic money is used to fund or­gan­i­sa­tions that

BRI­TAIN’S LEAD­ING moderate Mus­lim or­gan­i­sa­tion has chal­lenged Com­mu­ni­ties and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Sec­re­tary John Denham over his claim that gov­ern­ment money was not be­ing used to fund groups and in­sti­tu­tions pro­mot­ing rad­i­cal Is­lamist ide­ol­ogy.

Speak­ing at a fringe event dur­ing Labour Party con­fer­ence in Brighton, Ed Hu­sain, di­rec­tor of the anti-ex­trem­ist Quil­liam Foun­da­tion, said he would pro­vide Mr Denham with a list of or­gan­i­sa­tions funded by the gov­ern­ment’s Pre­vent strat­egy that should be a cause for con­cern to min­is­ters.

Mr Denham had told the au­di­ence at a de­bate hosted jointly by Quil­liam and New Labour think tank Progress that there was no ev­i­dence that the gov­ern­ment was un­wit­tingly fi­nanc­ing ex­trem­ism. The case had been raised of the Mus­lim As­so­ci­a­tion of Bri­tain, which sits on the gov­ern­ment’s Mosques and Imam’s Na­tional Ad­vi­sory Body, de­spite its known links to Ha­mas.

Mr Hu­sain was par­tic­u­larly wor­ried by or­gan­i­sa­tions with links to rad­i­cal South Asian group Ja­maat-i-Is­lami (JI), which has its power base in Pak­istan and Bangladesh. The move­ment’s founder, Abul Ala Maududi, wrote: “It must now be ob­vi­ous that the ob­jec­tive of the Is­lamic ji­had is to elim­i­nate the rule of an un-Is­lamic sys­tem and es­tab­lish in its place an Is­lamic sys­tem of state rule. Is­lam does not in­tend to con­firm this rule to a sin­gle state or to a hand­ful of coun­tries.”

JI sup­ported the es­tab­lish­ment of the Hu­dood or­di­nance in Pak­istan, which in­tro­duced “sharia” pun­ish­ments for ex­tra­mar­i­tal sex, in­clud­ing ston­ing. As a re­sult, hu­man rights groups re­ported women who had been raped be­ing in­car­cer­ated un­der the law if they failed to pro­vide Mus­lim wit­nesses.

The Quil­liam Foun­da­tion will raise its con­cerns about a num­ber of prom­i­nent or­gan­i­sa­tions in Bri­tain with links to JI which re­ceive gov­ern­ment fund­ing. Th­ese in­clude the Is­lamic So­ci­ety of Bri­tain, UK Is­lamic Mis­sion, the Lon­don Mus­lim Cen­tre and Da’awatul Is­lam. The Le­ices­ter-based Is­lamic Foun­da­tion, which was founded as a JI out­post in Bri­tain was also named by Mr Hu­sain, al­though it has de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion for mod­er­a­tion in re­cent years.

Quil­liam has also urged the gov­ern­ment to in­ves­ti­gate the Mus­lim Wel­fare House, a Lon­don-based or­gan­i­sa­tion which traces its ide­ol­ogy to Egyp­tian Is­lamist group the Mus­lim Brother­hood.

The JC high­lighted con­cerns over the state fund­ing of rad­i­cal Mus­lim groups fol­low­ing a re­port by the Tax­pay­ers’ Al­liance last month de­tail­ing where the Pre­vent money had been spent. Com­mu­ni­ties Min­is­ter Shahid Ma­lik wrote to the JC: “It is un­true that groups pro­mot­ing rad­i­cal ideas re­ceive money from the Pre­vent­ing Vi­o­lent Ex­trem­ism fund.”

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