Thursday, 3 September 2009

Government continues to alienate Muslim community - Goldsworthy

The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Government for continuing to pump millions of pounds into a programme that has alienated many in the Muslim community. The Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) strategy, championed by former Communities Secretary Hazel Blears, was set out with the aim of working with the Muslim community to promote shared values, encourage leadership and win ‘hearts and minds’.

Although ministers insist that this strategy will engage Muslim groups in Britain, many see it as ‘spying’ and an attack on civil liberties. Over £84 million has been committed to the PVE programme.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary Julia Goldsworthy said,

“It is important to work with all members of the community, but labelling particular groups as likely to be violent will only exacerbate racist bias and ignorant views.

“The Government will not win hearts and minds if it continues to associate the word ‘Muslim’ exclusively with terrorism.

“Ministers need to provide real solutions to the problems all communities face instead of creating crackpot policies that are as meddling as they are harmful.”

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