Mark Wallace

Taxpayers’ money must not be used to fund hateful propaganda

Taxpayers' money must not be used to fund hateful propaganda
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Last week, James rightly argued that, as a nation, we must be watchful of Islamists active in Britain, to make sure they are not providing logistical or financial succour to the enemy in Afghanistan or Iraq. As well as being alert to the ideological and military threat of Islamism, though, we need to make sure that we are not inadvertently supporting the growth of that movement. For example, it has long been clear than many Islamist extremists in this country are happy to fund their lifestyles through the welfare state, paid for by the British citizens whom they so despise.

It is increasingly clear that British taxpayers’ money is fuelling extremism both at home and abroad. A week ago, Policy Exchange published a report warning that the £30m a year “Prevent” fund, intended to financially support moderate Muslim groups, was not only failing to do so but was actively being taken advantage of by extremists who were able to capitalise on the authorities’ ignorance and gullibility. Today, the TaxPayers’ Alliance publishes new research revealing that up to £100m a year of aid given to the Palestinian Authority is being used to subsidise violent propaganda, and hate-filled school books.

Despite a lot of rhetoric from British politicians about promoting peaceful dialogue in the Middle East - and even in the face of specific pledges from the EU officials who administer much of our aid budget - the report reveals that recent publications in school texts and broadcasts on state channels continue to be stuffed full of the language of jihad, martyrdom and slaughter. People in Britain were understandably shocked at the offensive views of domestic extremists in Luton last week, but it is if anything more shocking that our money is being used to teach children in Palestine to hate and kill. It may not be politically correct to attach conditions to our aid payments, but British taxpayers’ money must not be used to pour fuel on the flames of the Middle East.

Mark Wallace is Campaign Director for the Taxpayers' Alliance.