"Prevent-Funded Imam Named in Anti-Radicalism Report"
A charity led by an imam, who once voiced support for the Taliban and received nearly £200,000 in Prevent funding, will be among a number of groups and individuals named in a review of counter-extremism. Dr. Musharraf Hussain is expected to be described as one of the "problematic figures" who have been allowed to spread Islamic extremism while enjoying taxpayer funds.
The long-awaited review of the Prevent program, conducted by William Shawcross, is expected to criticize the government and local authorities for failing to stop some Muslim groups and individuals from spreading extremism, with some benefiting from Prevent's £40 million budget. Hussain is the Chief Imam and CEO of the Karimia Institute, a UK-based charity that he founded in 1990. Despite his campaigns against extremism in the UK, Hussain has also faced criticism for spreading extremist narratives.
Radio Dawn, run by Karimia, has been rebuked twice by Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog. It was fined £2,000 for airing a religious song, Nasheed, which Ofcom deemed "hate speech." Hussain has since admitted that it was a mistake to describe the Taliban positively and the charity has also stated that it was a mistake to play the song.
Home Office civil servants reportedly tried to redact Hussain's name from the Shawcross report over fears that they would be sacked for approving his funding. However, it has been reported that the cover-up failed and the report will not be redacted. Hussain has stated that he will sue the Home Office if he is named in the report.
Karimia describes itself as an "innovative and dynamic Muslim organization" that has developed centers for worship, education, training, and self-development in various locations across the UK. The charity has received almost £200,000 in Prevent funding despite having appeared to criticize the program as "surveillance." Karimia has not responded to requests for comment, but it states on its website that it only delivered Prevent-funded projects between 2008 and 2010 and there is no suggestion that it is spreading Islamic extremism through its activities.