UK Government propaganda directed at Muslim youth

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Monday, October 23, 2006

2005 Wikimedia file photo of the Glasgow Central Mosque in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Scotsman uncovers what it calls "a largely-unannounced propaganda campaign" by John Reid, the UK Home Secretary, intended to prevent the spread of extremism among young British Muslims. Islamic teachers and preachers have been recruited to put the case against violence and promote moderation. The media used for this campaign include a website - The Radical Middle Way, events held in different parts of the country, courses of lectures, pod casts, and CDs. Listed among the supporters of this campaign, which include a number of book shops. food providers and charities, are the Home Office, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

One Home Office source is quoted as saying that "...there are forces within this country trying to manipulate the feeling of British Muslims, and we have to do more to combat those forces".

Prime Minister Tony Blair is said to have instructed Ministers to look beyond the Muslim Council of Great Britain and engage with all streams of Muslim opinion.

Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality is reported as saying on BBC 1's Sunday AM programme that he would not want to be a Muslim, because what should have been a proper conversation between all kinds of British people "seems to have turned into a trial of one particular community, and that can't be right".

What stimulated the rush to the studios of politicians and Ministers to give their opinions on Muslim culture was the objection that the Leader of the House of Commons, Jack Straw had, to women wearing the full veil when attending his surgery.

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