More than £117m taxpayers' money to be spent on protecting mosques and Muslim faith schools, govt announces

More than £117m of taxpayers' money will be spent to protect mosques, Muslim faith schools and community centres from hate attacks, the government has announced.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said the money, which will be spent over the next four years on measures including CCTV cameras, alarms and fencing, would give "reassurance and confidence to UK Muslims".

The announcement follows a £70m package for Jewish groups and comes in response to concerns the Israel-Hamas war is fuelling division in the UK.

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Mr Cleverly said: "Anti-Muslim hatred has absolutely no place in our society.

"We will not let events in the Middle East be used as an excuse to justify abuse against British Muslims.

"The prime minister has made clear that we stand with Muslims in the UK.

"That is exactly why we have committed to this funding, giving reassurance and confidence to UK Muslims at a time when it is crucially needed."

The funding forms part of a package of support to provide reassurance that anti-Muslim abuse, threats or harassment or any form of hate crime will not be tolerated.

The £117m over the next four years follows £29.4m available for 2023-24, which included £4.9m allocated following the 7 October Hamas attack on Israel, which triggered the latest conflict in Gaza.

The announcement, which comes at the start of Ramadan, will cover community sites across the UK.

The funding package is larger than that given to the Community Security Trust to cover Jewish facilities because of the higher Muslim population and a larger number of sites to cover.

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Security minister Tom Tugendhat said: "This funding demonstrates that this government stands firmly against hate crimes, abuse, threats or harassment against British Muslims.

"We continue to work closely with policing and community partners to ensure the safety and security of British Muslims."

It comes as the government prepares to publish a revised definition of extremist groups.

But Health Secretary Victoria Atkins failed to name which groups or individuals would fall under the revised definition when she was interviewed on Sky News' Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips.