London – CAGE condemns the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, 14, by US police, which vividly illustrates the destructive consequences of the current global Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) model which is mirrored by the UK government’s PREVENT strategy.
CAGE has identified a trend of cases in the UK where parents are ignored and vulnerable children traumatised and criminalised for life over innocent activities and behaviour merely because of over zealous advice from self serving PREVENT officers . Ahmed’s case seems to have sparked concern, which is exceptional since similar cases in the UK have become the fact of life for Muslims parents and their children. 
There is little difference between Mohamed’s case and a British case in which a 14-year-old was investigated under the government’s PREVENT strategy for asking if the government would ban halal meat. 
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When the 14 year-old voiced in the classroom, the teacher alerted authorities, rather than address his opinions within the learning environment. It later emerged that the child in question was being bullied at school.
The effects of such a harsh approach can only marginalise young Muslims. We need to safeguard and protect not criminalise and label our young people.
This is further supported by the TUC Congress unanimously passing a motion arguing that the government counter-extremism Prevent strategy “recognises the danger that implementation of Prevent”. 
CAGE spokesperson Ibrahim Mohamoud said:
“Ahmed Mohamed case in Irvine, Texas, demonstrates the end result of the Countering Violent Extremism agenda which led a 14 year old boy to being arrested and suspended from his school for an electronics project. Such a completely unjustified overreaction has been a common occurrence with strategies such as CVE and PREVENT.”
“Schools have a duty of care to their students, and it is important that this duty of care does not entail the reporting of an individual to an external agency without reasonable cause.”
“CAGE believes that young adults require age appropriate responses that are built on non-securitised instructive measures. The criminal agencies should be the last not first option. Our teachers are educators and role models they are not and should never be forced to act as the agents of a stasi state.
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)