State Secretary meets East End Muslims tackling radicalisation

STATE Secretary John Denham is visiting London’s East End on the Government’s campaign to tackle extremist violence and radicalism among Muslim youth. He is going on a walkabout’ tour at Mile End talking to youngsters

By Mike Brooke

THE Secretary of State for Communities is visiting London's East End this-afternoon on the first anniversary of the Government's campaign to tackle extremist violence and radicalism among Muslim youth.

John Denham is looking in at a 'Digital Disruption' counter radicalisation programme at Mile End at noon, then going on a 'walkabout' tour of the Eric Street estate talking to youngsters.

His on-the-spot visit comes in the week a committee of MPs has been taking evidence on tacking radicalisation.

The Government programme has drawn criticism from elements in the community.

Ed Husain, co-director the Quilliam Foundation, a counter-extremism think tank, gave evidence to the Communities & Local Government Select committee in which he maintains the Government is missing the point over extremism.

“Muslems are British citizens just like everyone else,” Ed told the MPs.

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“But the way money is currently being channelled reinforces the Muslem identity, defining people through their faith and making them more inward looking.”

He warned: “Unless the mood music changes around suicide bombers, they will be continue to be seen as heaven-bound martyrs.”

Giving money to pay for kickboxing classes and football leagues for Muslem youngsters may be done with good intentions, he told MPs, but promoting separatism’ could be counter-productive.

The Government’s Digital Disruption is an internet de-radicalisation’ project aimed at young Muslims who are vulnerable to being targeted by extremists including Al Muhajiroun and other forms of extremist propaganda.