National Muslim Women's Advisory Group

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Group.png National Muslim Women's Advisory GroupRdf-icon.png
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The National Muslim Womens Advisory Group (NMWAG) is an initiative set up by the Department for Communities and Local Government in November 2007 to "influence and challenge the false and perverted ideology spread by extremists and give our young people the skills and knowledge to turn their backs on hate".[1] In essence, the NMWAG is one "part of a grassroots counter-terrorism strategy"[2] that has been "set up by Communities and Local Government as part of its work to prevent violent extremism."[3]

The NMWAG is led by 19 women, who "represent a wide spectrum of communities, professions and traditions" who will not only work toward preventing violent extremism, but toward "discuss[ing] issues and concerns...[that] affect Muslim women, for example access for women to mosques and their management committees and cultural barriers including honour crimes and forced marriages".[4]

Official narrative

According to the DCLG, the specific remit of the NMWAG will be to:

  • "act as ambassadors for Muslim women at grass roots and represent their views and concerns to Government;
  • provide leadership to communities and act as positive role models for Muslim women in society;
  • empower Muslim women to engage more with the media on a wide range of issues and help dispel myths around the role of Muslim women in society;
  • meet in the form of a round table to discuss issues and concerns that are affecting Muslim women eg access for women in Mosques."[5]

Criticisms

The BBC reported in January 2008 that certain members of the NMWAG had informed the BBC that they had faced "direct criticisms" from within their communities that "they [were] being recruited to inform for government".[6] The BBC also reported that "Muslim women tend to be more marginalised than men - and in some communities face an uphill struggle to be heard outside their own homes."[7]

The Shadow Cabinet Minister for Social Cohesion, Sayeeda Warsi, criticised the NMWAG for being a group that was dividing communities and suggested that the creation of the group was "patronising because it says to Muslim women you can only engage with us as Muslim women and not as individuals.”[8]

Members

The following names are of the 19 members of the NMWAG: [9]

Adeeba Malik (Bradford) | Andleen Razaq (London) | Batool Al Toma (Leicester) | Fareena Alam (London) | Farkhanda Chaudhry (Glasgow) | Naheed Arshad-Mather MBE (Yorkshire and Humber) | Parvin Ali (Leicester) | Reedah El-Saie (London) | Rokshanna Fiaz (London) | Rukaiya Jeraj (London) | Sabin Malik (London) | Sabira Murtaza Lakha (London) | Samina Kauser (North West) | Shahda Khan (Middlesbrough) | Shahien Taj (Cardiff) | Shaista Gohir (Birmingham) | Siddika Ahmed (Oldham) | Tasneem Mahmood (Leicester) | Zulekha Dala, Nelson (Lancashire)

Funding

  • For the year 2010-11, the DCLG has “contractually committed” £125,502,00 to the NMWAG to deliver projects. [11]



References

  1. Muslim women to advise Government on preventing violent extremism, Department for Communities and Local Government, 21 November 2007, accessed 20.03.10
  2. Dominic Casciani,Muslim Women Advice on Extremism, BBC News, 23 January 2008, accessed 20.03.10
  3. Gordon Brown launches the Muslim Women’s Advisory Group, Department for Communities and Local Government, 31 January 2008, accessed 20.03.10
  4. Muslim women to advise Government on preventing violent extremism, Department for Communities and Local Government, 21 November 2007, accessed 20.03.10
  5. Muslim women to advise Government on preventing violent extremism, Department for Communities and Local Government, 21 November 2007, accessed 20.03.10
  6. Dominic Casciani,Muslim Women Advice on Extremism, BBC News, 23 January 2008, accessed 20.03.10
  7. Dominic Casciani,Muslim Women Advice on Extremism, BBC News, 23 January 2008, accessed 20.03.10
  8. Unknown Author, Muslim Groups Patronising, Asian Image, 27 October 2008, accessed 20.03.10
  9. Gordon Brown launches the Muslim Women’s Advisory Group, Department for Communities and Local Government, 31 January 2008, accessed 20.03.10
  10. Ingrid Barnes, Preventing Violent Extremism Division, Funding by Communities and Local Government (CLG) and its related bodies to the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group. Freedom of Information Request Ref No. 20100325 – Letter to Rizwaan Sabir from Department for Communities and Local Government on 23 April 2010. Uploaded on 24.04.10
  11. Ingrid Barnes, Preventing Violent Extremism Division, Funding by Communities and Local Government (CLG) and its related bodies to the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group. Freedom of Information Request Ref No. 20100325 – Letter to Rizwaan Sabir from Department for Communities and Local Government on 23 April 2010. Uploaded on 24.04.10