London – CAGE refutes the assertion by NUS President Megan Dunn that we are incompatible with NUS policies on anti-racism, anti-fascism and anti-semitism, and is pleased that she does not represent the majority campus opinion.
This is not the first time that Ms Dunn has acted against her colleagues. In July, the NUS passed a motion against Ms Dunn for violating the union’s Israeli boycott by agreeing to a sponsorship deal with Coca-cola.
By inferring that there is a link between CAGE and anti-semitism, Ms Dunn is generating precisely the same narrative she claims her organisation is striving to combat. The reckless charge of anti-semitism against a Muslim organisation reaffirms old stereotypes perpetuated by racist power structures and we challenge Ms Dunn to give evidence to attest to this.
CAGE is an independent advocacy organisation that campaigns for the rights of communities adversely affected by the War on Terror. We are a non-racial, non-partisan group that stands for due process and the principle of the rule of law to be followed as a means of ending the War on Terror.
Our ethos is based on mutual respect, rational and respectful dialogue.
CAGE has led the charge against PREVENT for the last ten years. Our message has been consistent and we have been calling for an end to PREVENT:
- We have worked on 96 actual cases of PREVENT over the last 12 months as documented in this report. The cases demonstrate the realities of how PREVENT is alienating and criminalising communities.
- We have organised and published a joint statement signed by over 360 academics, activists and scholars explaining why PREVENT will have a chilling effect on open debate, free speech and political dissent.
- We have completed a National Tour on the CTS Act and PREVENT, educating community members of their rights.
- CAGE has published several reports detailing the workings and impact of PREVENT. Our 2011 report said: “The proposals that have been put forward are extremely dangerous, as they seek to alienate the suspect community more than ever”. Our 2013 report said “We believe that the PREVENT Policy is unnecessary.” Our latest case study report says “…the methods and approaches being used by PREVENT officers in attempting to implement this policy seem to be having a damaging and counterproductive impact. CAGE believes they will do very little to tackle radicalisation and the threat of terrorism, and will in fact, potential radicalise individuals and perpetuate the threat.”
- CAGE has been alerting the public to the far-reaching implications of PREVENT long before it became obvious that it would turn into a template to clamp down on all kinds of dissent by an increasingly authoritarian state.
However, our function was summed up by David Miller on OpenDemocracy: “By putting citizens in touch with lawyers and informing them of their rights, CAGE has been able to develop the trust of many Muslims subjected to harassment, torture and other abuses. As such, it has documented cases of miscarriages of justice about which we would otherwise know very little.”
We also have broad support from civil society in our assertion that PREVENT will have a chilling effect on open debate, free speech and political dissent. In this way we are aligned with the NUS, as is supported by their resolution passed by their membership to stand with us in lobbying the government to abandon PREVENT and the CTS immediately.
Ibrahim Mohamoud, Communications Officer of CAGE, said:
“We support the NUS’s opposition to PREVENT, but we disagree strongly with Megan Dunn’s assertions about CAGE. Islamophobia is the new racism and buying into this narrative is simply unacceptable.”
“We are disappointed by the NUS President’s political posturing and opposition to majority opinion. Dunn’s manifesto pledge to “put our national movement back in the hands of students and their unions” seems irrelevant now she is acting against her own promises.”
“We will continue to work with those groups and individuals to highlight the agendas of right wing pressure groups such as the Henry Jackson Society whose short term thinking if allowed to succeed will create a fear-based securitised society where ordinary political dissent is criminalised.”
“CAGE will continue to work with full time officers at NUS to uphold the resolves passed by its membership to oppose PREVENT collectively. Despite the comments by its President to cut off ties with CAGE, which demonstrate a concern with government, rather than her own membership.”
(Image courtesy of NUS_UK on Instagram)
(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.)