Official statement – Take Ownership Funding
Amina is a national organisation which annually works with 4000+ Muslim and Minority Ethnic women, providing a range of services and support across Scotland through our three office bases in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.
We pride ourselves on putting the needs of Muslim women first and work tirelessly to support women to access opportunity and tackle islamophobia and racism in the hope of a truly tolerant and inclusive Scotland.
Scotland Against Criminalising Communities amongst others, rasied questions in relation to funding for our ‘Take Ownership’ project; a series of workshops aimed at empowering young Muslims. These questions have prompted a full investigation by the Amina Board.
Amina’s policy is, and has always been, that we will not apply for or accept Prevent funding. Our Board of Directors have confirmed their opposition to this funding at Board level at a number of Board meetings.
Following an investigation, we can confirm that Amina MWRC did receive funding linked to the government Prevent strategy in 2015. This was used for our ‘Take Ownership’ project. There was a misunderstanding over the exact source of the funding stream as well as a lack of awareness that SPVEU was aligned to Prevent. There was only one member of staff who was aware of the source of this funding and this information was never conveyed to the Board or other employees. This member of staff has since left the organisation.
Our investigation has led us to identify a number of changes we can make in order to minimise the possibility of any such misunderstanding reoccurring. This will help us improve the organisation and our service delivery.
The Board continues to have concerns in relation to the implementation of the Prevent strategy and its implications for the Muslim community. We therefore did not knowingly accept funding of this nature. Indeed it was used only for one isolated project which no longer exists. There is no more funding linked to Prevent within the organisation.
We would ask our partners, stakeholders and all organisations and individuals linked to our work to remember that Amina MWRC has been working with Muslim women for over 20 years. Amina works with in excess of 4000 Muslim women every year supporting them to fulfil their aspirations and to live healthy, safe and discrimination free lives. Our National Helpline has registered a record number of hate crimes and the organisation has continued to expand its successful schools work which tackles misconceptions and negative stereotyping of Muslim Women.
We have pioneered ground breaking and unique ending Violence Against Women work through, amongst other work, its play “If I had a Girl” which raises awareness about honour based violence, and continues to provide personal development and training through our Employability work as well as befriending and support through our Building Bridges Project and Refugee Support Projects.
We apologise for any inconvenience or distress this has caused and look forward to continuing delivery of our valuable services and work across the sector. Our aim is to support, educate and assist vulnerable women and their families. We hope that we can unite with partner organisations in order to continue doing this.