The British Council announced that ten offices in Europe would shut so that funds could be diverted to the Middle East and Asia. Part of this diversion is admirable: an attempt to undermine the attraction of the Salafist ideology for impressionable youths. Scepticism rises over the small sums allocated in comparison to the rich charities that fund madressehs in all Muslim countries.
Martin Davidson, director general designate of the British Council, said it was “time to tackle the new challenges the world faces.”
These included “building trust with the Islamic states and China,” Davidson told the Press Association.
The council would scrap “traditional arts activities” in Europe, such as orchestral tours and artistic commissions, in favour of projects “designed to prevent Muslim youths from being indoctrinated by extremists sympathetic to al-Qaeda,” the Times said.
This project is coordinated by a new leader of the British Council, who also stated that they would be working with their European partners to promote common values. The British Council belongs to EUNIC, the European Union National Institutes for Culture, and this new organisation was launched on the 21st February 2007 (pdf file). Is it any coincidence that, as soon as the British Council is submerged within a pan-European body, its focus is aimed at the Middle East and China? Even the small details begin to back up Mark Steyn.