A national charity has backed government plans to tackle radicalisation through education.
Measures in a five-year strategy unveiled by David Cameron in Birmingham today include giving schools incentives to teach pupils from a wider range of ethnic backgrounds.
‘The prime minister is to be applauded for identifying the importance of addressing issues around integration and education in the fight against extremism,’ says QED Foundation chief executive Dr Mohammed Ali OBE.
‘As a charity that works to improve the social and economic position of disadvantaged communities, we agree that some young Muslims face an identity crisis. Terrorist propaganda can then feed on a sense of alienation from life in the UK, encouraging impressionable youngsters to feel a greater solidarity with the Islamic State.
‘QED Foundation has been working towards creating a more cohesive and harmonious society for 25 years and this can be achieved only through increased integration in schools, colleges and workplaces.’
QED Foundation was represented in Birmingham through its deputy chief executive Adeeba Malik CBE. The charity is based in Bradford, one of the two northern cities singled out by David Cameron as ‘among the most segregated parts of our country.’
‘We agree with the prime minister that our educational system divides young people along ethnic and religious lines even more than their place of residence,’ says Dr Ali. ‘But it is not enough to ensure young people of all faiths mix in schools, colleges and universities.
‘David Cameron says that this country believes in equal rights, regardless of race or religion – but the reality is that Muslim youngsters face a future where they are more likely to struggle on a low income, be unemployed or underemployed or lack the qualifications to progress.
‘It is only by tackling these fundamental inequalities that we can win their loyalty and make them less susceptible to extremist rhetoric.’
For more information contact Dr Mohammed Ali OBE on 0300 100 5000 email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.qed-uk.org
Note to editors: QED Foundation has been working to improve the social and economic position of disadvantaged communities in partnership
with the private, public and voluntary sector for 25 years. Its main focus is to enable and support mainstream organisations to work more effectively with ethnic minority groups. It also works directly with communities, delivering education, training, employment and health services.