Muslim Group Outraged with Cambridge City Council’s Decision to Give Funds to Citizen’s Advice Bureau

12 May 2012

 

£20 Million has been given to local authorities as a part of the Prevent Strategy, which was introduced by the previous labour government to prevent British Muslim youth from being recruited by ‘radical groups’ after the 7/7 bombings. The money has been used in joint projects with Muslim groups to educate them against radicalization.

 

However, aside from the criticism against the policy which was labelled as surveillance and entrapment of Muslims by some Muslim organization, the projects that the money was spent on have also been a subject of controversy. Many people have been sceptical about the appropriate expenditure of the funds.

 

The Muslim Council of Cambridgeshire’s (CMC) recent statement which lambasted the City Council for allocating the funds to a different project yet again has drawn attention to problems with the Prevent Strategy.

Anti-Islam Strategy was “Not Decisive” According to Ex-FPÖ Leader

28 September 2010
The former leader of the Styrian branch of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), Leopold Schöggl, has called the anti-Islam strategy used by the FPÖ as “not decisive” for the FPÖ’s success in the recent Styrian elections. In Schöggl’s opinion, it was especially federal-level politics which led to a backlash against the main parties, as well as large numbers of votes from neglected youth and a return of protest votes from the Communist party. According to Schöggl, though the anti-Islam rhetoric was not the main factor, he nevertheless admitted that it was a cunning election strategy.

Muslim Integration: Challenging Conventional Wisdom in Europe and the United States

As part of its ongoing Transatlantic Dialogue on Terrorism, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC dedicated its seventh meeting in the series to Muslim integration and assimilation. In partnership with the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) in Berlin, Germany, CSIS hosted a two-day event entitled, “The Transatlantic Dialogue on Muslims in Europe: Dealing with, and Looking Beyond, the Terrorist Threat ” to question and explore many of the conclusions Europeans and Americans have drawn about Muslim communities in their own countries.

As a summary to the meeting, CSIS commissioned six papers by U.S. and European experts on immigration, demographics, and integration policy, in order to further explore the situation facing Muslim communities on both sides of the Atlantic. Many of the papers reveal the sometimes shaky foundations upon which European and U.S. policymakers are crafting integration policies. More importantly, the report also shows that despite efforts to improve the West’s collective understating of Islam and Muslim integration in American and European societies, many countries remain ill-equipped to fully incorporate these growing groups into society at large in terms of economic advancement, social mobility, and political participation. As such, the report highlights some of these shortcomings, puts forth a more accurate picture of European and U.S. Muslim communities, and presents recommendations for improving the status quo.

Muslims Fault Blair’s Imam Strategy

CAIRO – The British government is misguided if it thinks that imams whether homegrown or foreigners are to blame for extremism and that training them in UK university is the solution, Muslim experts and university imams told the Guardian on Tuesday, June 12. “The problem is not imams and their countries of origin,” said Ibrahim Mogra, an imam at De Montfort, Leicester and Loughborough universities. “The tiny proportion of extremists usually have nothing to do with imams,” he insisted. Mona Siddiqui, professor of Islamic studies at the University of Glasgow, agreed. “People who are involved in extremism will not usually involve their imam,” she stressed. “Imams are not the solution to the problem of terrorism.”

Radicalization in the West

The NYPD’s understanding of the threat from Islamic-based terrorism to New York City has evolved since September 11, 2001. While the threat from overseas remains, terrorist attacks or thwarted plots against cities in Europe, Australia and Canada since 2001 fit a different paradigm. Rather than being directed from al-Qaeda abroad, these plots have been conceptualized and planned by “unremarkable” local residents/citizens who sought to attack their country of residence, utilizing al-Qaeda as their inspiration and ideological reference point.

Some of these cases include:

  • Madrid’s March 2004 attack
  • Amsterdam’s Hofstad Group
  • London’s July 2005 attack
  • Australia’s Operation Pendennis (which thwarted an attack(s) in November 2005)
  • The Toronto 18 Case (which thwarted an attack in June 2006)

Where once we would have defined the initial indicator of the threat at the point where a terrorist or group of terrorists would actually plan an attack, we have now shifted our focus to a much earlier point-a point where we believe the potential terrorist or group of terrorists begin and progress through a process of radicalization. The culmination of this process is a terrorist attack.

Understanding this trend and the radicalization process in the West that drives “unremarkable” people to become terrorists is vital for developing effective counter- strategies and has special importance for the NYPD and the City of New York. As one of the country’s iconic symbols and the target of numerous terrorist plots since the 1990’s, New York City continues to be among the top targets of terrorists worldwide.

In order to test whether the same framework for understanding radicalization abroad applied within the United States, we analyzed three U.S. homegrown terrorism cases and two New York City based cases:

  • • Lackawana, New York
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Northern Virginia
  • New York City – Herald Square Subway
  • New York City – The Al Muhajiroun Two

The same radicalization framework was applied to a study of the origins of the Hamburg cluster of individuals, who led the September 11 hijackers. This assessment, almost six years after 2001, provides some new insights, previously not fully-grasped by the law enforcement and intelligence community, into the origins of this devastating attack.

Dutch Mosques Develop Strategy Against Extremism

Three mosques in Amsterdam have presented the Jan Peter Balkenende, the prime minister of the Netherlands, with a plan to combat religious extremism. The plans explain how they will detect extremists and lay out how they will cooperate with authorities in confronting the problem. The plans are a result of agreements between teh city of Amsterdam and the mosques following the murder of Theo Van Gogh. {(continued below in French)} Trois mosqu_es d’Amsterdam devaient pr_senter lundi au Premier ministre n_erlandais Jan Peter Balkenende un code de conduite contre l’extr_misme, selon le Service d’information du Royaume (RVD). Dans ce code, ces mosqu_es du quartier du Baarsjes, _ forte population immigr_s, expliquent comment elles comptent d_tecter des comportements extr_mistes parmi les fid_les, ce qu’elles font pour contrer l’extr_misme et comment elles impliquent les autorit_s dans la lutte contre ce ph_nom_ne. C’est le r_sultat d’un accord entre mosqu_es et la ville d’Amsterdam, conclu apr_s le meurtre au nom de l’islam radical du cin_aste Theo van Gogh, destin_ _ d_tecter l’extr_misme islamique et _ d_fendre la libert_ d’expression. Plusieurs imams aux Pays-Bas ont appel_ les fid_les _ ne pas prot_ger d’_ventuels membres du r_seau islamiste Hofstadgroep accus_ de pr_parer des attentats aux Pays-Bas, et dont l’assassin de van Gogh aurait fait partie. Selon le quotidien amstellodamois Het Parool, un imam de Tilburg (sud) les a m_me qualifi_s “d’apostats”, consid_rant qu’ils sont infid_les au “vrai Islam”. Un imam de La Haye a r_dig_ une fatwa (avis religieux) autorisant tous les t_moignages contre les membres de ce groupe.