Senior Government ministers have met UK Muslim leaders amid fears that the 
conflict in Gaza could fuel home-grown extremism. Skip related content

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and Communities Secretary Hazel Blears hosted a 
summit of council and community leaders and Government agencies.

The Government has a £45 million programme aimed at challenging radical 
messages and turning youngsters away from terror.

Ms Smith said the situation in Gaza was "tragic" and she had been personally 
moved by the suffering of Palestinians.

She said: "That is why we continue to call for an immediate ceasefire.

"I know that concerns are particularly acute for some communities in Britain, 
which is why the Government has been maintaining a regular dialogue with both 
members of the British Muslim community and representatives from the Jewish 
community.

"With events in Gaza, it's especially important these people are able to tell 
us what is happening in their communities and we can ensure they are fully up 
to date on the Government's action overseas."

She added: "The meeting enabled us to listen to concerns but also emphasise the 
importance of pressing on with work to prevent radicalisation and counter 
violent extremism in our communities."

Her comments echo those of MI5 boss Jonathan Evans, who warned that the 
conflict could give ideological ammunition to extremists.


Copyright © 2009 Press Association



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