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That’s the conclusion of an article authored by Dean Godson in this morning’s Times in which he warns that both the Government and certain flagship Tory councils are being insufficiently careful in which Muslim groups they co-operate with.  The article appears after months of probing by Tory frontbencher Paul Goodman MP into the Government’s Preventing Violent Extremism Pathfinder Fund.

Mr Godson, of Policy Exchange, highlights Birmingham…

"For example the Channel 4 Dispatches programme exposed hate preaching at the Green Lane mosque in Birmingham. A preacher, Abu Usama, urged that homosexuals be thrown from mountains. Yet the Green Lane mosque is one of the partnership organisations approved by Birmingham City Council."

…and Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea:

"Kensington & Chelsea Council has turned to the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre to deliver a “parental empowerment programme” that aims “to foster modern, inclusive and Islamically sound relationships between parents and children. Parenting techniques are imparted and discussed from an Islamic and wider social perspective by a trained Muslim NHS psychotherapist.”  Why is it the duty of a council to “foster Islamically sound relationships between parents and children”? Who defines what is “Islamically sound”? How does picking a Muslim psychotherapist – apparently on sectarian grounds – help to prevent violent extremism?  Likewise, Westminster City Council relies on the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre (which is not even in the city) to organise a “young people’s leadership and debate programme” on foreign policy.  Why should Tory councils turn to them, of all people? The centre’s name appeared in a statement on the website of Hizb-ut-Tahrir asserting that “the Muslim community in Britain has unequivocally denounced acts of terrorism. However, the right of people anywhere in the world to resist invasion and occupation is legitimate”. The statement also denounced the proscription of Hizb-ut-Tahrir – a key objective of David Cameron."

In conclusion, Mr Godson compares the state’s interaction with extremist Muslim groups to working with the BNP:

"It’s as if the Government responded to a violent insurgency from the neo-Nazi terrorists of Combat 18 by turning to Nick Griffin of the BNP, on the ground that he enjoys nationalist “cred” with alienated skinheads. After all, Mr Griffin is non-violent and believes that whites should participate in the political process. Perhaps he might stop bombs from going off. But what price would he exact for it – and what kind of society would we then be living in?"

2 comments for: Flagship Tory councils under fire for working with fringe Muslim groups

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