A nonprofit has pledged to stop advising a local counter terrorism programme after a former member of a controversial advocacy group was offered a seat at the table.
Faith Matters said yesterday it would no longer sit on the Redbridge Prevent advisory group after a former national coordinator of MEND’s Islamophobia response unit was voted in.
Fiyaz Mughal, founder and director of Faith Matters, said: “Having divisive groups who have actively attempted to undermine the work of other organisations and who have even called projects tackling anti-Muslim hate as ‘Islamophobic’ is perverse.
“They twist and turn and use every argument to damage groups who work with Government. Now that same public resourcing through local authorities is being used to allow them to advise local Prevent work in Redbridge after they have done much to undermine counter-extremism work.”
MEND has sparked controversy in the Jewish community in recent years, facing accusations of antisemitism, which the advocacy group refuted.
In a statement last year, the Board of Deputies stated MEND’s approach “risks increasing hostility and suspicion between the Jewish and Muslim communities, rather than building trust and empathy.”
A Council spokesperson said: “The Prevent advisory group has an independent chair and votes for its own membership. Its role is to ensure that the council and its partners hears voices from across the community and Faith Matters is a highly valued participant.
“We deeply regret their decision to leave the group and will be talking further with them and others to find a way forward.”
MEND was contacted for comment.