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Community Relations: Islam

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 25 June 2008, Official Report, column 340W, on community relations: religion, when she expects to announce an independent review to examine with communities how to build the capacity of Islamic seminaries; who she expects to carry out the review; when she plans that it should report; what she estimates it will cost; and if she will make a statement. (245509)

The university of Gloucestershire has been contracted to undertake the independent review of training for Muslim faith leaders. The review will work with training institutions in the UK to assess current provision for training Muslim faith leaders, and will also consider best practice models in the UK and internationally. It will then make recommendations for the education and training sector and Muslim communities to take forward, and Government to facilitate where appropriate.

The estimated cost of the review is £139,000 (excluding VAT). We expect the review to report in summer 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what role the Mosque and Imams National Advisory Body will play in assisting the UK Border Agency to develop pre-entry requirements for ministers of religion coming from abroad; what these requirements are likely to be; when they are likely to be implemented; and if she will make a statement. (245540)

Under the new points based system, religious workers will be able to apply to enter the UK by using either a sub-category of Tier 2 (skilled workers) or a sub-category of Tier 5 (temporary workers). Tier 2 and Tier 5 were launched on 27 November 2008.

During the development of this policy UKBA engaged with a wide number of religious stakeholders, including the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, and will continue to work closely with them.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 23 June 2008, Official Report, column 19W, on community relations: Islam, what the cost was of developing the framework of minimum standards for all imams and Muslim chaplains engaged in public service; and how much the pilots will cost in (a) 2008-09 and (b) each of the two subsequent years. (245541)

The Experience Corps were awarded £89,708 (excluding VAT) to produce a report based on assessment, collation and analysis of data to establish an evidence base on the existing provision of chaplaincy including standards and recruitment processes, and to develop a draft framework of standards and recruitment process to be used voluntarily by institutions when engaging Muslim chaplains in public service.

Following a tendering process in August 2008, Faith Matters have been contracted to carry out pilots of these draft standards and recruitment framework. The pilots are projected to cost £80,000 in 2008-09 and £30,000 in 2009-10. No money is forecast to be spent on this project in 2010-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in which areas she plans to pilot a framework of recruitment standards for Muslim faith leaders in chaplaincy roles in public institutions; how the pilots will be evaluated; when this framework will be rolled out nationally; and if she will make a statement. (245542)

Following a tendering process in August 2008, the contract to pilot the draft framework of standards and recruitment framework for institutions engaging Muslim chaplains in public service has been awarded to Faith Matters. Faith Matters will carry out a number of pilots in different institutions across the country over the next six months. The evaluation of the pilots will incorporate the views of relevant officers within participating institutions, as well as wider stakeholder consultation with Imams, other faith leaders, chaplains, and officials from other Government Departments and relevant associated agencies.

Using key findings from evaluation of the pilots and stakeholder consultation, Faith Matters will produce updated versions of the standards framework and recruitment process, with accompanying notes and a report listing key actions that need to be taken when implementing the documents. These finalised documents will be promoted by Faith Matters for voluntary use in public institutions from early summer 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which Muslim organisations have received funding from the Preventing Violent Extremism Community Leadership Fund since June 2007. (245549)

The list of all organisations who received funding through the Preventing Violent Extremism Community Leadership Fund in 2007-08 has been placed in the House Library.

The list of all organisations currently receiving funding through the Preventing Violent Extremism Community Leadership Fund in 2008-09 to 2010-11 is set out as follows:

Capacity building

Organisation

Project description

British Muslim Forum

BMF will develop their own capacity and sustainability by recruiting to four posts. This will enable them to work with local Muslim organisations across the country to develop their own working arrangements and governance structures.

Business in the Community (BiTC)

Mosaic Muslim Media Network for Muslims working in the media sector to build the confidence of community groups and leaders to engage the media.

GW Theatre Company

GW Theatre will build their organisational infrastructure in order to deliver a national tour of their production ‘One Extreme to the Other’. Aimed at young people aged 14 to 25 and adults too, “One Extreme to the Other” offers a powerful theatrical stimulus to debate about issues relating to extremism and is accompanied by a comprehensive multi-media follow-up package to inform further discussion and lead in good practice. They aim to deliver 110 performances over the next three years.

Khayaal Theatre Company

Khayaal Theatre Company plans to build its capacity for growth and sustainability in order to deliver between 200 to 250 performances of their two plays ‘Hearts and Minds’ and ‘Sun and Wind’ in schools across the country over the next three years. Both of these plays address the issues of radicalisation and extremism as they manifest themselves in families and communities.

Muslim Youth Helpline

Capacity building for MYH to recruit a Helpline Care Manager to develop the Helpline’s support services and extend the reach of its support services to support vulnerable young people at risk of radicalisation in ‘hard to reach’ communities, such as the Somali and Eastern European Muslim communities.

Association of Muslim Chaplains in Education (AMCED)

AMCED will build its organisational capacity to effectively deliver new services to Muslim chaplains to promote community cohesion and prevent violent extremism. This will involve recruitment and training of new staff, development and launch of their website.

Supporting youth

Organisation

Project description

Common Purpose

Common Purpose will deliver leadership training courses for younger members of the Muslim community:

‘Your Turn’—a schools programme for year 9 pupils in London, Manchester, Birmingham and in West Yorkshire.

‘Frontrunner’—a programme for young leaders in higher education.

A customized ‘Frontrunner’ programme for 40 young Muslim leaders who are not in full time education or who cannot make the dates of the three open programmes.

‘Navigator’—a programme in every region of the UK for first career leaders—Navigator.

Local Leagues Limited

Programme of sports coaching and local competitions as preventative and diversionary activities for Muslim young people (aged eight to 19 years) and engagement of undergraduates with policy makers and decision makers.

Karimia Institute

Develop the work of the Muslim Youth Development Partnership, funded by CLG in 2007-08 to train and support 150 volunteer Muslim Youth Leaders over three years.

Bradford Police Club for Young People

Engagement of young people through workshops and informal classroom settings to examine the relationship between peace, violence, conflict and war with a particular emphasis on questions of applied ethics involving school teachers and youth community workers as trained Educators.

Muslim Youthwork Foundation

Scholarship programme for 10 individuals to undertake a National Youth Association accredited training course to qualify as Muslim youth and community workers.

UK Race and Europe Network

Pilot of a citizenship toolkit resource to support the work of young leaders, youth workers, teachers, Imams and parents which has been developed using CLG funding in 2007-08.

One Voice Europe

Engagement of young Muslim and Jewish students in a youth leadership development training course to build and promote a consensus for a peaceful resolution to conflicts in the Middle East.

Changemakers Foundation

Continuation of 2007-08 CLG funded project to deliver a youth leadership programme to develop young leaders to become ‘Changemakers’ and develop and deliver projects in their own communities.

Nasiha

Youth Citizen Capacity Building Project to network young people in higher education to educate and support Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils in mosque schools.

Supporting women

Organisation

Project description

Faith Matters

UK tour of Muslim women role models from the US. Women will be drawn from careers such as TV presenters, researchers, civil servants, business entrepreneurs, civil society organisational heads.

Faith Matters

The purpose of this project is to compile a directory of the 100 leading mosques that provide the best access to women. Each mosque will be awarded a rating out of five stars based on criteria developed through women’s focus groups. The ultimate aim is to incentivise mosques to improve their engagement with and inclusion of women in all aspects of their work through greater access to recognition and resources from the public sector.

Faith leaders

Organisation

Project description

Luqman Institute

Extension of the pilot Imam training programme funded in 2007-08 to develop training materials and deliver courses to 20 senior Imams over an eight month period

Psychology and Religion Research Group, University of Cambridge

Imam Training Course to equip young, newly qualified Imams to engage with British culture and humanitarian values, and to find parallel values within the Qur’an.

Demos

‘Futures thinking’ workshops for Muslim young people and Imams to explore the ‘future’ of their interaction in the mosque. The workshops will be delivered in partnership with MINAB.

Local forums against extremism and Islamophobia

Organisation

Project description

Gateshead Interfaith Forum

Gateshead Interfaith Forum will work closely with Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council to set up a Gateshead forum against extremism and Islamophobia, which will be run as a pilot in 2008-09.

Northampton Race Equality Council

The project will establish a local forum across Northamptonshire with representation from the diversity of Muslim groups across the county.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the Government plans to set up the centre of excellence to improve understanding between Muslim communities and cultural and sporting bodies referred to on page 33 of the report The Prevent Strategy: A Guide for Local Partners in England; what the centre's remit will be; how many people it will employ; what its annual budget will be in the three years from 2008-09; and if she will make a statement. (245561)

The reference in The Prevent Strategy: A Guide for Local Partners in England is to work to bring together expertise across the culture and sport sectors in one central place under the leadership of the strategic delivery bodies. It does not refer to a physical “centre of excellence”. This work is being taken forward by Creative Partnerships, a sector body of the Arts Council England, and began in August 2008.

The remit of this work is to improve the general understanding nationally and locally between Muslim communities and cultural and sporting bodies, and to work with a wide range of partners to help raise understanding of how cultural and sporting opportunities can be used to build resilience to violent extremism.

Two members of staff at Creative Partnerships are currently engaged on this work.

In 2008-09 CLG provided funding of £140,000 for this work. At this present time, no future funding has been allocated.