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Islamic Help hits back at Government funding decision

31st December, 2014

Islamic Help has expressed its surprise and dismay at a Government decision to cut funding for one of the charity’s projects promoting social integration.

The decision, announced by Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles in a written parliamentary statement, was taken because of Islamic Help’s “recent invitation to an individual with extremist views to speak at one of their events”. However, the statement did not identify the individual or the event. Mr Pickles said he had asked Faith Action, which delivers English language training to facilitate social integration, to cease its funding of Islamic Help as part of the project. He also announced that his department had ceased funding of the Faith Minorities in Action project awarded to the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) because the forum had “failed to reassure us that they have robust measures in place to investigate and challenge their members”.

In its response, Islamic Help said it had not received any advance warning or notification of the Government’s decision which it described as a “smear on the good work we have been doing in the UK and overseas since 2003”. It said it could not respond to the Government accusation as neither the speaker nor the event had been identified to it.   The project at the centre of the cuts delivered English lessons to minorities in London and the first term had been completed when the funding announcement was made. Islamic Help said it had received only £1,000 out of £7,000 anticipated for delivery of the project.

“We utterly refute any accusations of being linked to or of playing any part in promoting extremist views or extremism. We are dismayed by the decision to stop funding for the project in question which is baffling, unjustified and unreasonable,” said an Islamic Help spokesman.

“We have notified the Charity Commission of today’s development and will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Home Office and DCLG to clarify the situation.”

Read Islamic Help’s full response here

Read the BBC version of the story here