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Page last updated at 13:29 GMT, Monday, 16 February 2009
Home Office statement on Muslim First, British Second

In Muslim First, British Second, Panorama asks if we should be isolating or talking to Muslim radicals as part of the UK's counter-terrorism strategy and examines suspicions that government-funded community projects are being covertly used to gather intelligence.

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker issued the following statement in relation to the programme:

"We face a real and severe threat from terrorism. Since 2007 over 87 people have been convicted of terrorism offences. The threat level facing the UK remains severe and we know we cannot simply arrest our way out of the problem. Our long term objective must be to stop people supporting terrorism or becoming terrorists in the first place.

"As part of our work to prevent terrorism, it is vital we engage with groups who can make a genuine difference in stopping the spread of violent extremism. We keep the projects we work with under continuous review and, should it become clear that the balance of benefit no longer lies in pursing particular projects, we will stop funding them.

"Accusations that Prevent is about spying on people or criminalising vulnerable individuals are simply untrue, and only jeopardise the vital work of Prevent to work with communities and keep vulnerable individuals safe from radicalisers.

"Our strategy to prevent people becoming terrorists is not simply about tackling violent extremism. It is also about tackling those who espouse extremist views that are inconsistent with our shared values.

"Decisions on which organisations to fund are taken very carefully and are subject to robust scrutiny. We are clear that we will not continue to fund groups where we have evidence of them encouraging discrimination, undermining democracy and being ambiguous towards terrorism."

Panorama: Muslim First, British Second is on BBC One on Monday 16 February at 8.30pm.

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