Terrorism Prevention Programme Defended

Article excerpt

Birmingham's head of equalities Dr Mashuq Ally launched a spirited defence of the Pathfinder terrorism prevention programme last night, insisting that many youngMuslims simply want to "go to pubs and clubs, take a spliff here and there and enjoy themselves".

He told a council scrutiny committee that young people were "behaving normally" but found themselves under pressure from radical groups who made them feel guilty about their western lifestyle.

They were in danger of being "seduced" into a life of terrorist activity, he added.

Dr Ally said the 10 Pathfinder programmes were developed after close consultation with the Muslim community.

Two projects aimed at preventing infiltration of mosques by potential terrorists had proved particularly successful, he insisted.

The Green Lane Mosque, subject of a notorious Channel 4 Despatches programmeallegedly exposinghate-preaching Imams, had now re-written its constitution and standing orders and embarked on a "proper recruitment process" when seeking new Imans. …