Muslim Group Rejects Federal Grant to Fight Extremism

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Contributed by Michael Cost

The Bayan Claremont graduate school in California has turned down $800,000 in federal funds dedicated to combating violent extremism, which is enough funding to fund half of their annual budget.

It is the fourth Muslim group to reject the funding and was the recipient of the second-largest grant out of the first 31 federal grants awarded during the last days of the Obama administration.

The school had apparently debated this quite thoroughly but, in the end, decided to turn the money down based on President Donald Trump’s recent travel restrictions from Muslim countries.

“It’s a heck of a lot of money, but our mission and our vision is to serve the community and to bring our community to a position of excellence,” said Jihad Turk, the school’s founding president. “And, if we’re compromised, even if only by perception in terms of our standing in the community, we ultimately can’t achieve that goal,” he added.

Three other organizations have rejected federal funding to help stop Islamic terrorism.

Unity Productions Foundation in Potomac Falls, Virginia, has officials stating that “due to the changes brought by the new administration,” they would be denying a grant of $396,585 that was supposed to be used to produce educational films about violent extremism.

A group in Dearborn, Michigan, Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities, turned away $500,000 for a youth-development program, and a Somali non-profit group in Minnesota also rejected $500,000.

A U.S. official claimed to the Associated Press that President Trump’s administration is considering changing the name of one of President Obama’s programs from 2011 involving the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to include the phrase “countering Islamic extremism.” The AP claimed the official was not authorized to speak about this publicly.

DHS awards to institutions the funds totaling $10 million annually in an attempt to get these institutions to alert them if they witness radicalization or potential threats. The institutions, however, continue to turn down the funds based on the actions being taken by the Trump administration.    

H/T:  ABC News

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