07 February, 2007

Attacking Islamic extremism.

Ruth Kelly, communities secretary is going on the offensive. Here is the press release "detailing" her proposals, which amount to throwing at least £5 million at Muslim groups, to facilitate a load of typically vague initiatives:

* Programmes to work with those who maybe excluded from colleges, schools and mosques and may be vulnerable to extremist messages - giving them the knowledge and confidence to turn their back on extremism.
* New local forums that can take on perverted extremist ideology with strong local leaders and role models promoting shared values, such as the rejection of violence, understanding and belonging.
* Leadership projects with increased training to develop the capacity of key opinion formers in facing down extremist messages.
* Increased training and information for local institutions, such as mosques and madrassahs, on warning signs, extremist tactics and effective responses.
* Programmes to promote greater understanding between faiths such as school twinning programmes and to improve civic and volunteering opportunities for young Muslims to develop a greater sense of shared belonging.
I have no idea what they mean in practice and neither, probably, do ministers.

The Guardian has both the Communities secretary's proposals and Tony Blair's thoughts on them.

The Daily Telegraph focuses on inter-faith schools. Whatever they might be, Acton might be a good place to start, though the extremists there are, at least temporarily, in retreat after the adverse publicity.

The BBC reports that British Muslim Forum, based in the West Midlands, is already squawking for more taxpayers' money.

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