The report’s findings argue that the British government’s counter-extremism strategy, PREVENT, has now intruded so far…
The report’s findings argue that the British government’s counter-extremism strategy, PREVENT, has now intruded so far into the affairs of the Muslim community, that members of that community are virtually living under a police-state. From one’s early years GP, to the school one attends, to the mosque where one lies before burial, PREVENT is now with a Muslim from beginning to end.
The report’s publication comes at a time when the government seems set to enshrine PREVENT policy into law, as laid out in its Tackling Extremism in the UK report. This move has been given extra impetus by the purported threat of Britons returning from Syria.
The report has found that:
• ‘PREVENT is no longer about terrorism and violence’, but is instead ‘about ideology, beliefs and values.’ The language of PREVENT is also said to be highly problematic, as words and phrases such as ‘extremism’, ‘radical’ and ‘opposition to fundamental British values’, ‘can potentially encapsulate all Muslims.’
• PREVENT rests on a questionable empirical basis: ‘There is no social scientific rigour or evidence base to this theory and approach.'
• ‘Instead of talking about foreign policy radicalising Muslims in the future, we may well be talking about domestic policy radicalising Muslims.’
There will be opportunities to interview and question the report’s authors as well as those with first-hand experience of PREVENT and related policy, including:
• A youth worker who has felt overly pressured to work for PREVENT because of his knowledge of young Muslims.
• A university Islamic society leader who has had to deal with a PREVENT presence at Islamic society events.
• An individual who has been twice prevented from carrying out their pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
Jahangir Mohammed, the report's co-author, said: “This report aims to show the disturbing hoard of measures the government is proposing to ‘confront extremism and radicalisation’. While the government says it is trying to preserve British values, it is violating those same values by attempting to criminalise an entire community.”
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(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.)