'Young Muslims And Extremism'
The Leaked Report: Censored
By The Media
Part 2 Policy Recommendations:
Co-opting Muslim Leaders
to Part 1
It is interesting, in
the light of the Prime Minister's new ideology-centred programme,
that action against 'radical preachers' and ideologists
is a long way down the list of actions, and that it appears
to consist of 'Ensur[ing that] arrests and searches under
the new powers are evidence-based, intelligence-led and
There is no (explicit)
mention of deportations here, though Number 10 would probably
try to interpret 'taking necessary enforcement action' in
that light. This seems unlikely to have been the original
intention (notice the detail in which other policy proposals
are spelled out, in contrast).
What follows are excerpts
from the report.
Key Actions, which will
assist in tackling extremism among Muslim youth:
Improving our understanding of the
extent and causes of extremism among young Muslims
l. Conduct focus groups with young Muslims, exploring their
views on key aspects of foreign and domestic policy, interpretations
of Islam, and the compatibility of being,British and Muslim.
Focus groups to be drawn from a range of educational, economic
and ethnic backgrounds
2. In light of focus groups, if needed, commission a more
detailed and scientific study of Muslim opinions and experiences,
to include older generations and some comparison with other
faith groups to put the views of Muslims in context
3. Commission from the police service a survey of disaffection
and extremist activity in schools and colleges in key selected
4. Role of the National Community Tensions Team in helping
Government to remain informed about levels of disaffection
Combating the recruitment of young British Muslims by terrorist
1. Undertake research to extensively map the "Terrorist
Career Path", including changes in opinions held, changes
in associates or membership of organisations, and specific
actions taken by individuals on the path from law-abiding
citizen to terrorist .
2. On the basis of this research, develop a comprehensive
Interventions Strategy, to enable us to intervene at key
trigger points to prevent young Muslims from becoming drawn
into extremist and terrorist activity and action.
3. Our work in this area will be focussed on finding local
community based interventions, with support for faith, voluntary
and community organisations from [N]GOs, local authorities
and central government as appropriate.
1. Prepare and circulate to Departments advice on Muslim
sensitivities and appropriate non-inflammatory terminology
to be used in referring to Muslim issues .
2. Prepare communications plan aimed at combating distorted
public and media perceptions of Islam and Muslims. Collaboration
on this with moderate Muslim bodies, including student bodies,
will further assist Government/Muslim relations.
3. Build capacity amongst information services like MCB
Direct, in providing accurate representation for mainstream
Islam (i .e. representatives and experts) in the mainstream
4. Encourage, assist and promote mainstream Muslim communication
channels, i.e. radio stations, newspapers aimed at British
Muslims, and television channels. Many of these are set
up during a fixed time of the year (Ramadhan), and do not
have the capacity to run a full-time set-up. This is what
HMG has promoted in the Islamic world. That expertise can
be utilised domestically.
Dialogue with young Muslims and
building leadership capacity
1. Projection of British Muslim youth as role models for
overseas audiences (e.g. sending delegations of British
Muslim youth to `represent' Britain, signalling UK's pride
in its Muslim youth.), and encouraging young moderate Muslims
to become spokespersons for foreign media e.g. digital television.
2. Expand and deepen dialogue with young Muslims on non-traditional
foreign policy areas of concern to Muslims, e.g. development
(follow-up to UNDP Arab Development Report), globalisation,
human rights, etc.
3. European dimension. Enable British Muslim youth to discuss
mainstream/European Islam with EU counterparts, as well
as how to tackle extremism internally within the European
4. Encourage Muslim youth to take part in local and national
youth parliaments (the Bradford Youth Parliament recently
visited by Mr O'Brien being a successful model of Muslim
teenagers taking part in wider political engagement) .
5. Strengthen the hand of moderate student and youth organisations
(such as the UMS and FOSIS), and of moderates within such
> continuing to offer Ministerial speakers for meetings
and debates on foreign and domestic issues ofconcern to
> inviting moderate Muslim youth representatives to participate
in consultative discussions with departments on specific
6. Audit government and other publicly funded community
capacity building funding to assess the extent to which
funds are reaching Muslim organisations and especially those
for young Muslims. If necessary, advise Ministers on ways
of channelling more funding to this need.
Reaching out to underachievers
1 . Work with DFES, DWP and DWP [sic] to address Muslim
disadvantage and reduce social exclusion
2. Ongoing work with the Prison Service to develop a programme
of measures to ensure young British Muslims do not leave
prisons alienated and radicalised, and holding extremist
Responding to Muslim concerns about
the use of anti-terrorist powers
1. Identify key individuals
preaching extremism and recruiting to the cause and take
necessary enforcement action.
2. Ensure arrests and searches under the new powers are
evidence-based, intelligence-led and proportionate.
3. Engage Muslim community in a dialogue over the use of
4. Provide feedback to Muslim community on reasons for,
and outcomes of, arrests and searches under the new powers
Responding to other Muslim concerns
Show that HMG is addressing Muslim concerns, including youth
1. highlighting consular assistance given to British Muslim
students/youth in legal difficulty abroad including those
accused of affiliation to extremist bodies (e.g. the HT
students in Egypt) and in relation to the Hajj, to dispel
the claim of double standards
2. reviewing the scope for meeting Muslim concerns identified
during public seminars with mosque representatives earlier
this year, and publicising any resulting changes in policy.
(Issues include family law, animal slaughter and faith in
3. raising awareness among young Muslims of the current
and forthcoming legal protections against religiously aggravated
offences and religious discrimination in employment
4. making pump priming funding available to the Muslim Safety
Promoting mainstream Islam
l. Bring about the development and provision of subsidised
training, upskilling and qualifications for home-grown Islamic
faith leaders. Training to focus on pastoral, community
leadership and management skills. Action in hand, by Learning
and Skills Council and Home Office (with FCO involvement)
. Subsequent roll-out of LSC-subsidised courses
2. Raise the standards required from ministers of religion
including Imams seeking admission and extension of stay.
Package to include immediate English language requirement.
Religious qualification requirements and civic engagement
tests to follow after consultation, in stages during 2004/5.
3. Assist mainstream organisations to promote the many UK-based
courses on Arabic and theology, taking away the need for
Muslim youth to travel to seminaries in the Islamic world,
many of which preach extremist doctrines. Encourage mainstream
organisations to put their material on the web.
4. Seek opportunities through Government engagement and
recognition, to promote awareness of moderate scholars with
followings amongst young Muslims, such as Imam Hamza Yusuf
and Imam Suhaib Webb.
5. Strengthen moderate Muslim media organisations (radio
stations and publications, such as MCB Direct, e.g. by giving
them stories and interviews.
Remedying the exclusion of Muslims
from Public life
More work is needed on promoting Muslim representation in
public life. Any feeling that Muslim voices are not heard
in places of influence is helpful to extremism. The Home
Office should consider what more could be done, and report
Policy objectives include persuading
young Muslims that they can be Muslim and British, and that
Islam is not regarded with hostility. In this context the
term `Islamic fundamentalism' is unhelpful and should be
avoided, because some perfectly moderate Muslims are likely
to perceive it as a negative comment on their own approach
to their faith.
to Part 1
This page last updated 14 July 2005