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Muslim Groups Flat out Reject President Trump's Grants worth Millions of Dollars to Help Combat Extremism in the Islamic Communities around the US

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Posted by moku 7 months ago in War
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Nonprofit groups awarded federal grant money to combat violent extremism are rejecting the money because of what they describe as US President Donald Trump's actions against the Muslim and Arab community. Former president Barack Obama's administration in its final days awarded 31 grants through the Homeland Security Department worth a total of about 10 million US dollars. Those agreements haven't been signed or any money distributed. Two groups said they were rejecting the money they already had been offered, and a third expressed objections to Trump's plans. Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities in Dearborn, Michigan, said it was turning down 500,000 US dollars for youth development and public health programmes because of the "current political climate." Ka Joog, a leading Somali nonprofit organisation in Minneapolis, rejected nearly 500,000 US dollars for its Somali youth programmes. Trump has endorsed extreme vetting and ordered a temporary ban on refugees from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Charities that already have worked with the US government, including the CIA, Justice Department and Homeland Security Department, said they were reacting to discussions within the Trump administration to exclusively target "radical Islamic terrorists" under a US programme to counter violent extremism. A US official with knowledge of the discussions said the Trump administration has been discussing a change in policy, which would change the Obama administration programme's name, established in 2014, to some iteration of "countering Islamic extremism." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorised to speak publicly. Suehaila Amen, a director for Leaders Advancing and Helping Communities, said members voted unanimously to reject the funds and were swayed by recent discussions of a possible name change. Amen, who worked with the Bush and Obama administrations to help build outreach to minority groups domestically and internationally, said she told US officials this past week that she will no longer be participating in discussions around countering violent extremism with the Trump administration. The Dearborn nonprofit counts the Central Intelligence Agency as one of its donors and "partners", as well as the Justice Department, which has had a historically uneasy relationship with many in the Muslim community since 9/11. Because the funds haven't been distributed, groups were worried that terms under the grant programmes could be changed. They said they worried that could diminish their credibility with communities impacted by a willingness to work with the current administration, or worse, that the money might require them to work with law enforcement under outreach programmes.

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