Defending ‘Inspire’ – the funding, women’s rights and horseshit

Posted on July 28, 2013


“Inspire is a counter-extremism and human rights organisation which seeks to address inequalities facing British Muslim women.  We empower women to challenge hatred, extremism and gender discrimination.”

Last Wednesday, or any time since then, you might have read this piss poor attack on the Muslim women’s organisation ‘Inspire.’ If you wanted to dig out Islamic organisations in Britain for having links to ‘extremism’ or having ‘Islamist’ tendencies, Inspire would be bottom of the list. What am I talking about? They wouldn’t be on the list. Still, there are those with moody agendas who like to spread pish. An initial response to the article can be seen here, now for some more.

First up, this nonsense:

“During her time as Redbridge Prevent Lead (2008-09), Saleem selected and funded her own organisation ‘Inspire’ to the tune of £40k to deliver Prevent work in Redbridge (East London), but nothing was delivered and when questions began to be asked she left her post. Before promoting Inspire, the Home Office should first investigate where the £40k went and what it achieved?”

Someone has let their imagination run away with themselves. The selection of the bids was by a whole committee who collectively decided which bids Redbridge Council would fund. During the actual commissioning process Tahmina as the Prevent Project Co-ordinator for Redbridge declared her interest during the review of the Inspire bid. She did NOT take part during the discussion or the process of the Inspire bid (this can be fully verified by Redbridge Council.) The committee did commission the Inspire project based on it’s MERIT- at a cost four times less than the author of the article is suggesting. The project was successfully delivered and culminated in the training and setting up of the Redbridge Muslim Women’s Network. Contradicting the author’s version that no project was delivered.

Inspire1Inspire’s ‘Redbridge Muslim Women’s Network’:

“a democratically elected women’s body to help encourage Muslim women to become involved in public and voluntary community activities in Redbridge and to help build bridges within communities and between communities.”

The author tells us that they’re getting busy with where the dough went and what it achieved:

“Taxpayers have the right to know and we are in the middle of preparing an FOI request to find out.”

Ooh get you and your detective skills! It would be great to see this information. I’ll happily publish it here. Somehow, I don’t think it will be forthcoming.

The attack on Inspire continued with:

“It is difficult to take Inspire’s claim of championing women’s rights seriously if it continues to hold conferences at venues owned and run by Islamists.”

This silly stuff about venues was covered in the first response. Anyone who knows anything about Inspire will be ‘pfffting’ already, and anyone who spends twenty minutes or so googling Inspire’s work should find it difficult, or impossible, to take the attack on Inspire ‘seriously.’ To save any Inspire virgins a bit of time here’s some more gear on them:

Alan Johnson (World Affairs) –  The British Muslim Voices We Need to Hear

On Sara Khan (Director and Co-founder, Inspire):

“Watch this Muslim woman and take heart. Her voice—not the braying of the separatists—could be the sound of our shared future.”

BBC News – Muslims pay tribute to UK’s armed forces

Kalsoom Bashir (Project Manager, Inspire):

“We are here for two reasons, to say that as mothers we share the grief of those that have lost their loved ones and we salute the loyalty of those men and women that have laid down their lives for our country.”

“Secondly we are here to say loud and clear to those extremists that would exploit that grief, you’re not one of us, you don’t represent us.”

‘A Declaration of Jihad Against Violence’ gathered signatures from over thirty countries in support:

Channel 4 News – How British women are joining the jihad in Syria:

“Sara Khan tells Jon Snow that although shocking, in her experience, it is not surprising. She explains possible reasons why some British Muslim women are supporting jihad abroad, including the strategic tactics used by terrorist organisations to recruit women to their violent cause.”

The Guardian – Muslim resistance: Under the prayer mat

“In the second of three films exploring the Muslim community’s struggle against extremism, documentary maker Masood Khan meets Kalsoom Bashir, a Bristol community worker who is challenging the conservative Islamic view of women.”

Inspire do some fantastic work. I don’t really have much more to say on it meself, I don’t need to, Inspire’s graft does the talking. I’d expect any sensible person involved in ‘anti-extremism’ to see the attack on them for what it is – horseshit.

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