The city council said there had been wide consultation over the spending
Birmingham City Council has been criticised over the way it has spent money to tackle violent extremism.
The government set up an £86m fund to tackle violent extremism in 2007 and £45m is going to 78 local authorities.
Salma Yaqoob, of Respect, said no Birmingham councillors had been consulted on how the money was spent.
The city council, which has been criticised by some councillors and community groups over the spending, insisted it had been fair and open.
And it said claims that some groups were getting preferential treatment were "nonsense".
Cllr Yaqoob told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "No councillors in Birmingham, for example, were consulted about how this money should be spent - and even getting a list of projects which were funded has proved very difficult."
Birmingham is important in the government's fight to tackle extremism because it is the biggest local authority in the UK and has a large Muslim population.
The Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) fund was launched by Ruth Kelly when she was Communities Secretary.
It gave local authorities the power to allocate cash to projects designed to steer people away from radicalism by militant groups.
But Cllr Yaqoob said: "It seems to me that the Preventing Violent Extremism agenda is being used as a gravy train for those willing to toe the government line, regardless of effectiveness on the ground."
However, Alan Rudge, who is in charge of the council's PVE money, said there had been widespread consultation on how the money was spent in areas such as working with women and young people and the media.
Communities Secretary Hazel Blears defended the national fund and said most schemes it funded were effective.
She said: "We have got to say to people 'There is extremism out there. We need a security response, but that is not enough. We need to empower you, particularly as young people, to fight back against it.'
"That's complex and difficult but it can be done."
Councillor Salma Yaqoob said she had not received details of spending
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