Tell Mama to lose government funding

Founder of Tell MAMA, Fiyaz Mughal

The right-wing Daily Telegraph newspaper has reported that a Muslim hate monitoring project is to lose its funding from the government.

Controversial reporter Andrew Gilligan, who has angered many Muslims by his reporting on Muslim issues, wrote that Tell Mama’s funding is not being renewed after police and civil servants raised concerns about its methods following the Woolwich murder.

Tell Mama, which receives £214,000 a year from the government, stated that there had been a “sustained wave of attacks and intimidation” against Muslims in Britain after the killing of soldier Lee Rigby, recorded at 212 by last weekend.

The founder of Tell Mama, Fiyaz Mughal, said he saw “no end to this cycle of violence”, describing it as “unprecedented.”

But police and civil servants have raised concerns about its methods of collecting data, according the the Telegraph.

The newspaper reported that findings have confirmed that 57 per cent of the 212 incidents occurred online, mainly Islamophobic postings on Twitter and Facebook. Also 16 per cent of the 212 reports had not been verified, and some of the online abuse didn’t take place in Britain. Meanwhile, 17 of the 212 incidents (8%) involved the physical targeting of people.

There have been 12 attacks on mosques, three of them serious, including the arson attacks on Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill which was burnt to the ground and Grimsby mosque.

Fiyaz Mughal

Tell Mama has received a total of £375,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) since last year.

But its director Fiyaz Mughal denies that the state funding is being witheld due to mistakes in reporting statistics.

In a statement on the Tell Mama website he said: “It has always been the case that funding from the Department would end in November 2013 and TELL MAMA has been actively looking at alternative private and public sources of funding. In fact, DCLG funding was never meant to be a reliant source of funding and this, rightly so, was always made clear to us by civil servants through 2012 and throughout this year.

“In the current age of austerity, alternative income sources are fundamental to sustainability. Anybody working in the voluntary and community sector knows this.”

Tell Mama has proved to be controversial even amongst Muslims since its launch. While many have applauded its systematic monitoring of Islamophobia and acknowledge that this is a much-needed service for the community, others are uneasy over its government funding and some of its partners which included pro-Israelis and a “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Muslim group.”

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