By Umar Farooq – Anadolu Agency

The office of the mayor of Los Angeles turned down a $425,000 grant from the federal government to counter a violent extremism program known for targeting and vilifying Muslims, the mayor’s office told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

Mayor Eric Garcetti had been close to administering the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant to various organizations, only needing approval from the City Council, but he decided to turn down funding, citing misinformation and delays in the program’s performance cycle.

“Unfortunately, a significant amount of misinformation has led to delays in the program that have stretched past the halfway point in the grant’s performance cycle,” the mayor’s spokesman, Alex Comisar, told Anadolu Agency. “That leaves too little time for the community organizations we have engaged to bring their plans to life. For that reason, it has become impractical to move forward, so we have notified DHS that Los Angeles will no longer accept the grant funds.”

The decision made Los Angeles the first city to turn down a grant for its Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program.

Several groups opposed to the CVE program applauded the decision by the mayor’s office but they remain disappointed because of the failure of the city to address the unnecessary monitoring of Muslim communities.

“As American Muslims we are relieved that the city of Los Angeles, which is one of America’s most and progressive cities, is no longer partnered by the Trump administration, in a program that targets American Muslims,” Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, told Anadolu Agency.

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