(London, UK) A speech by the Education Secretary [1] claiming that toddlers are at risk of religious extremism illustrates the Orwellian nature of policy toward Muslims. It represents another encroachment by the state into the lives of British citizens, which ironically itself goes against alleged British values, says campaign group CAGE [2].

Nicky Morgan who recently replaced Michael Gove as Education Secretary will say in her first major speech that nurseries who do not teach 'British values' will lose funding.

Her speech comes months after an investigation launched by her predecessor Gove and led by the Met's former counter-terrorism head Peter Clarke into claims of religious extremism at a number of schools in Birmingham.

 

Jahangir Mohammed, author of CAGE's report, PREVENT a Cradle to Grave police state [3], said:

'This policy lies somewhere between a 21st Century MacCarthyism extended to babies and soviet-era diktat. The Education Secretary should leave the education and values of babies to mothers and child carers.'

'Most Britons would not view the radicalisation of babies as an existential threat to this  country, but the fact that the Education Secretary has decided to talk about this in her first speech shows that it is business as usual at the Department of Education.‘

‘While like other anti-terror policies this is aimed at Muslims, policies like this will soon infect the mainstream education system. It cannot be right that the state now seeks to target nursery children and dictate how they are to be cared for when there is no empirical evidence to establish any threat of radicalisation. The policy destroys yet another pillar of a free and fair society and is another nail in the coffin of civil liberties under the guise of tacking extremism.'

 

Notes:

1. The news about Nicky Morgan's speech to the House of Commons can be read here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11020356/Toddlers-at-risk-of-extremism-warns-Education-Secretary.html

2. CAGE (formerly known as CagePrisoners) is an independent advocacy organisation that works to empower communities affected by the War on Terror and to highlight abuses of due process.

3. CAGE's report on the entrenchment of a police-state aimed at regulating Muslim life can be read here: https://cage.ngo/publication/prevent-strategy-cradle-grave-police-state

 

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