August 11, 2009

Warning over BNP focus ‘undermining’ terror battle

Reforms to a multi-million pound scheme to prevent terrorism must not undermine attempts to fight extremism in Muslim communities, according to an MP.

Khalid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr) issued the warning after the Government announced plans to focus more on threats from the far-right, including the BNP.

The £45 million “preventing violent extremism” programme was set up in 2006 to prevent young Muslims turning to terrorism. But local government minister Shahid Malik has announced that it will now work in deprived “white areas” as well. And it will be re-branded, following reports that some Muslims found the name offensive.

Think tank The New Local Government Network has published a report warning the scheme risked backfiring as some Muslim communities felt stigmatised by it.

Mr Mahmood said: “There is an issue with the BNP. They are extremists as well. But they do take part in the political system. I deplore them, but they are trying to get a democratic remit. What we need to do is to focus on those people who are acting outside the limits of the political system. We know that they exist and it doesn’t make sense to lump them in with the BNP.”

Although al Qaida-inspired terror remains the UK’s main concern, Scotland Yard has switched some officers to monitor a recent surge in the number of suspected far-right plotters.

More than 30 people were arrested over the weekend in Birmingham after violent clashes between Union flag-waving anti-Islamic fundamentalist protesters and Unite Against Fascism marchers.

The NLGN report was written by its deputy director Anna Turley, a former special adviser to David Blunkett, who said the Prevent scheme had enjoyed some notable success in its work with mosques. But she said its unique focus on Muslim communities had fostered resentment in some areas.

Birmingham Post


Anonymous said...

Religious, Islamic or otherwise fundamentalism and racialist supremacy are two bad peas out the same pod. What about 'Fighting Extremism and Hatred'? Sounds tough AND it's Politically Correct!!!

I haven't forgotten proud BNP member David Copeland, the original "London bomber".

Judd said...

On the subject of extremists I've just come across this nut.

Anonymous said...

Methinks Khalid Mahmood is aiming for a peerage.


More Questions Than Answers? said...

Why has long-time BNP opponent Shahid Malik who has for years labelled the BNP extremists, comparing them to Al Qaida, been ordered to defend the BNP?

And by whom???

And for what possible reason, we wander??????

Codfather said...

It's all rather fishy to me.

Anonymous said...

"On the subject of extremists I've just come across this nut."

Is this guy for real?

Anonymous said...

The comment by ‘more questions than answers’ seems to have completely misunderstood the article and the shift in policy. Malik is not defending the BNP - quite the opposite. For the first time a government minister (Malik) is saying that the government will not just target Al-Quaida inspired extremism but will also target far-right extremism as well. This is part of an even handed approach that seeks to target evil-doers irrespective of the colour or creed. Malik is being criticised for targeting the BNP not for defending them!