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Young Muslim Advisory Group

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 13 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the remit of the Young Muslim Advisory Group is; what the criteria will be for selecting its members; what she expects its running costs to be; what funds have been allocated to the group for the three years from 2008-09; and if she will make a statement. (245539)

The members of the Young Muslims Advisory Group (YMAG) were announced on 7 October 2008 following a public recruitment process involving a written application, and attendance at a residential seminar.

The remit of the Young Muslims Advisory Group, as set out in the recruitment advertisement is:

To facilitate an ongoing and meaningful dialogue between Government and young people on the experience of being a young Muslim in England and the opportunity to influence government strategy and policy on issues that affect them.

To explore the causes and impact of violent extremism and underlying causes of disaffection (including anti-terror legislation, stop and search, identity issues, foreign policy, Islamaphobia, discrimination, etc.) on Muslim young people and Muslim communities.

To support and encourage young people to be active in their communities in order to tackle disaffection, increase civic engagement and respond to concerns felt by other young people.

To support young people to develop confidence and skills and in making appropriate contributions to the development of their communities.

The criteria for selecting the YMAG’s final 22 members are set out as follows:

Communication skills

Articulates clearly and concisely

Able to debate, persuade and question

Looks at issues from someone else’s perspective

Respects and is tolerant of other opinion.

Teamwork skills

Ability to participate and contribute to a team

Ability to exchange ideas and offer solutions

Ability to encourage and support other team members

Appreciates diversity and differences among team members.

General skills

Knowledge/understanding of Muslim and wider affairs (such as current/political/social/health)

Demonstrates a desire to make a difference

An ability to motivate others and to take a positive role in the community

Creativity and drive to take forward new ideas.

The management of the YMAG was awarded to the Office for Public Management through an open tender process. The value of this contract is £250,000 for the two years from September 2008.