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Extra funding to protect British Muslims as tensions rise in the Middle East

James Cleverly says the money would give ‘reassurance and confidence to UK Muslims at a time when it is crucially needed’

Kate Devlin
Monday 11 March 2024 00:14 GMT
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More than £100 million will be used to protect Muslim schools, community centres and mosques from a rising number of hate attacks, the home secretary has announced.

The money will be spent on security measures which include alarms, fences and CCTV cameras, James Cleverly said.

It follows a similar package of £70 million for Jewish groups, as rising tensions over the war in Gaza fuel divisions in the UK.

In a statement, Mr Cleverly said that anti-Muslim hatred “has absolutely no place in our society”.

"We will not let events in the Middle East be used as an excuse to justify abuse against British Muslims,” he said.

The new money would give “reassurance and confidence to UK Muslims at a time when it is crucially needed".

Ministers have recently condemned an increase in reported anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish hatred. The government was recently accused of stoking tensions after Lee Anderson claimed the London mayor was controlled by “Islamists”.

The former deputy chair of the Conservatives was suspended by the party over the remarks, but only after a delay of almost a day.

And ministers have still continued to refuse to say his comments were Islamophobic, stating only that they were wrong.

Ministers have also suffered a blow after the frontrunner to become a new adviser on the issue pulled out saying he “couldn’t take” the amount of abuse he had received.

Fiyaz Mughal, who founded the organisation Tell MAMA, which looks at anti-Muslim hate, said the abuse he had suffered for more than 10 years escalated after his name was linked to the role.

In all the government will give £117 million over the next four years. The announcement, which comes at the start of Ramadan, will cover sites across the UK.

Security minister Tom Tugendhat said: "This funding demonstrates that this government stands firmly against hate crimes, abuse, threats or harassment against British Muslims.

"We continue to work closely with policing and community partners to ensure the safety and security of British Muslims."

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