A Freedom of Information request has revealed how much government funding the Quilliam Foundation has received in the last five years – and this year has been a bad one.
Saf Hussain submitted the FOI request to the Home Office in October 2012, when he asked how much funding the Quilliam Foundation and Ramadhan Foundation had received.
The Home Office published the following figures for the Quilliam Foundation:
2012-2013: No funding
The Home Office said: “The purpose of the Home Office funding was to allow the Quilliam Foundation to work in and with Muslim communities to challenge the ideology of terrorism and extremism. The funding was used for projects, programme and running costs.”
The Quilliam Foundation also received additional substantial funds from the Foreign Office. It’s thought the government stopped funding the QF because of austerity measures as well as the perception that they were ineffective in tackling so-called Muslim extremism.
The Quilliam Foundation is a “counter-extremism” think-tank founded by Maajid Nawaz and Ed Husain in 2008. It says it set up to “address the unique challenges of citizenship, identity, and belonging in a globalised world. Quilliam stands for religious freedom, equality, human rights and democracy”. Other staff include Usama Hasan, Ghaffar Hussain and Fatima Mullick.
Nawaz was a member of Islamic political party, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and spent nearly four-years in an Egyptian prison under Hosni Mubarak for his membership of HT along with two other Britons. He denounced HT’s methodology months after returning from Egypt.
Many Muslims – from all sections of the community – fierecly oppose the Quilliam Foundation because they believe it deflects attention away from British foreign policy and helps fuel Islamophobia.
The Home Office did not disclose any information in regards to Ramadhan Foundation. They stated: “Regarding any other information we neither confirm nor deny whether we hold information you requested. Sections 24 (2), 38 (2) and 43 (3) of the Freedom Information Act absolve us from the requirement to say whether or not we hold information. These exemptions relate to national security, health and safety and commercial interest tests, are set out in the attached Annex.”
However, Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramdhaan Foundation has consistently denied ever receiving government funds.
The Ramadhan Foundation is a Muslim youth organisation founded by political commentator and TV presenter Mohammed Shafiq in August 2005.
It says it was established to “bring the educational and welfare needs of the Muslim community to the forefront of the community’s thoughts. The aim is to have in place the structures and institutions to prepare future generations with the necessary skills and knowledge to take on the challenges of this new era”.