Today's leading stories include applications for the the Places of Worship security scheme by mosques.
Places of Worship security funding
Distrust of the Home Office’s counter-extremism strategy is an obstacle to mosques taking up funding for the Place of Worship security scheme, the Guardian reports.
22 mosques received funding worth a total of £375,000 from the scheme in the last year, the report adds, comparing it to the £14 million provided in a separate scheme to the Jewish community.
Among the hurdles reportedly faced by mosques is the bureaucracy associated with applications and the upfront costs of joining the scheme. The concerns were laid out in a letter by the Muslim Council of Britain to the Home Office, the paper reports.
A Home Office spokesman said:
We are proud of our Muslim communities and are absolutely committed to ensuring they, like everyone else, are able to practise their faith in safety and free from fear.
Earlier this year the Home Secretary announced he had doubled funding for next year’s places of worship protective security to £1.6 million. We have also streamlined the application process to make it easier to apply.
A panel made up of representatives from different religious groups recommend which of the applicants should be awarded funding. More than a third of grants in previous rounds of the Places of Worship Protective Funding Scheme have been awarded to mosques.