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Islam

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what support his Department is giving to the independent Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board to raise standards in mosques; what objectives have been set for such standards; and how much his Department has budgeted for such support activities. (286106)

The Department for Communities and Local Government provided support to the independent Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB). MINAB is a community-led organisation and we supported it to develop standards for mosques, which were widely consulted on and piloted. In addition, we supported the development of its operational plan and its first Annual General Meeting.

We allocated the following sums to MINAB: £75,600 in 2007-08; £116,000 in 2008-09; and £58,000 between April and June 2009.

Further information about MINAB, including its five standards, can be found on their website:

www.minab.org.uk

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many Radical Middle Way (a) roadshows and (b) other events have taken place in the UK and overseas since 2007; where they have taken place; what the cost of each has been; what assessment has been made of the outcome of each event; and for what dates future such shows have been scheduled. (286107)

From October 2007 to June 2008 the RMW held a total of 34 road show events and a number of other formal and informal meetings with domestic and international scholars and speakers in the following locations:

London; Luton; Leicester; Birmingham; Liverpool; Bradford; Peterborough; Milton Keynes; Woking; and Manchester.

CLG and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office provided funding of £250,000 to the project in 2007-08 to support the programme of events including support for the RMW website (£12,000) and external evaluation.

From June 2008 to May 2009 the RMW held a total of 48 road show events and a number of formal and informal meetings with domestic and international scholars and speakers in the following locations:

Blackburn; Bradford; Cambridge; London; Birmingham; Peterborough; Hounslow; High Wycombe; Leicester; Manchester; Milton Keynes; Slough; Derby; Bristol; Rochdale.

CLG has provided funding of £350,000 to the project to support the programme of events. This also included support for the RMW website and an external evaluation.

RMW held its first international road show to Sudan in April 2009, reaching an estimated 25,000 people through six large public events. The FCO provided £70,000 to support this road show and the RMW is planning further pilot road shows in Sudan, Indonesia and Pakistan by end October. The pilot phase of the international project will be evaluated by an independent company.

The RMW project is subject to an independent external evaluation following each phase. Communities and Local Government is currently in the process of determining the future direction of this particular work stream in its domestic context.