The government is to make £70 million available to Muslim organisations in an effort to undermine extremism among young Muslims. The money will be spent on training imams, on religious indoctrination centres attached to mosques (otherwise known as maddrassahs) and funding internet projects.
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said communities need the strength and skills to “face down a false and perverted ideology”. At a conference in London on Wednesday, Ms Blears is expected to say research suggests young muslim men aged between 16 and 35 are most susceptible to the message of extremists. This is disseminated in so-called ungoverned spaces including on the internet and in bookshops, snooker halls and clubs, she said.
By setting up local web-based projects where young Muslims can talk about their identities and grievances, it is hoped they will be less likely to be attracted to other sites run by radical groups.
Ms Blears will say: “Given the scale and enduring nature of the threat we face, tough security measures are vital. But they cannot be the whole solution. We have to overcome this challenge by giving communities the strength and skills to face down a false and perverted ideology. This challenge will be with us for years to come, and we must do more to support the next generation in winning it.”
Mr Blears made no mention of the separation and isolation that is on the cards once Muslim state schools are opened.