A multi-million pound scheme to steer young people away from extremism will focus mainly on threats from the far-right, the Government admitted yesterday.Oh, really?
Cohesion Minister Shahid Malik said the £45million-a-year “Prevent” strategy would also work in deprived white areas rather than concentrating on Muslim youths.
And what ‘work’ are they going to do, I wonder?
Last night a former Government terror adviser warned ministers against going soft on Muslim extremists in the battle against home-grown terror plots.So it was no doubt fortuitous for the government that a group of white youths decided to have a ruck in Birmingham on Saturday.
Paul Richards said there was a risk of “backsliding” in efforts to stop British Muslims turning to extremism.
Mr Richards, who until June advised ministers on community cohesion, said white youths were not the main terror problem.
He added that there is also now a chance that ministers could invite the Muslim Council of Britain back into Whitehall after relations were frozen with the organisation earlier this year. Former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis accused ministers of a blatant bid to win favour among Muslim voters before the next election by playing up the far-right threat in the wake of the BNP’s rise.I’m not entirely sure that would help them. I think the next election is already a foregone conclusion. There aren’t that many Muslims in the UK.
Mr Malik said that Prevent, which includes measures like helping mosques to spot the early signs of extremism in vulnerable youngsters, was too focused on the Muslim community.By whom?
He added: “You speak to any Muslim on the street anywhere in this country and they will say they are as opposed as you and I are to extremism, to terrorism.
“But the frustration is that they are constantly linked with terrorism as a community as a whole.”
And how is he going to switch the ‘help mosques to spot early signs of radicalism’ plan to the deprived white community?
Scotland Yard has switched some officers to monitor a recent surge in suspected far-right plots.And they are notoriously hard to catch…
But most have been the work of disturbed loners.