Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Government to Fund Moderate Muslims

Ruth Kelly has said that the government would change its funding of Muslim organisation to reflect their activeness in tackling extremism. In a speech given to a Muslim audience she said:

It is not good enough to merely sit on the sidelines or pay lip service to fighting extremism. That is why I want a fundamental rebalancing of our relationship with Muslim organisations from now on.

In future, I am clear that our strategy of funding and engagement must shift significantly towards those organisations that are taking a proactive leadership role in tackling extremism and defending our shared values.
The Guardian reports that Ms Kelly attacked the Muslim Council of Britain for boycotting Holocaust Memorial Day. The MCB insists that it will not attend because the day does not make specific mention of the "holocaust" of Palestinians. It has led the way of Muslim groups boycotting the event.

The result is that while the BBC reports that 94% of the population have heard of Auschwitz (implying that close to 100% have heard of the Holocaust), a Channel 4 survey [pdf file] of Muslims in Britain showed that 23% had never heard of it, and that only 29% believed that it happened as history shows.

UPDATE: Shockingly, some radical Muslim groups are not happy. The IHRC chairman Massoud Shadjareh (the man who called on British Muslims to support Hezbollah in any way possible) called it "a ploy by the Government to use its financial muscle to socially engineer a new brand of Islam which will be subservient to its foreign policy". And Hizb-ut-Tahrir (the group banned in many countries around the world said "the Government is intent on shifting the blame from foreign policy to the Muslim community."