A U.K. media report is speculating that the Muslim Council of Britain, a U.K. umbrella group comprised mainly of Muslim Brotherhood organizations, is poised to return to favor after being bypassed last year over charges of extremism. In October 2006, the U.K. Communities Secretary announced sweeping changes in the government’s relationship with Muslim groups, particular the MCB. Local media reported at the time:
Muslim organisations that refuse to defend core British values and fail to take a “pro-active” role in the fight against extremism are to lose access to millions of pounds of Government funding, it was disclosed yesterday. Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, said it was time for a “fundamental rebalancing” of relations with Muslim organisations if a new generation of terrorists was not to grow up in this country. The tough new approach would involve shifting grants towards those organisations which accepted and promoted a set of “non-negotiable values” including respect for the law and freedom of speech.”It is only by defending our values that we will prevent extremists radicalising future generations of terrorists,” Miss Kelly said in a speech to Muslim groups in London.” In an apparent threat to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the umbrella group for Muslims which has received more than Â£200,000 from Government in the past two years, Miss Kelly highlighted its refusal to take part in Holocaust Memorial Day.
However, local media sources are now speculating that the MCB will enjoy a more favorable position under the tenure of the new U.K. Prime MInister Gordon Brown, particularly since he wishes London to become a new hub for Islamic finance. In what is perhaps a bid to take advantage of the new, more favorable climate, the MCB is advertising for a Media And Communications Officer stating that the position is needed because the MCB is “expanding.” Although the nature of that expansion was not explained further, the first in a listing of the duties to be assumed by the MCB Media officer is to “devise and implement a Media strategy for the organisation.”