London – In the first study of its kind, the National Union of Students (NUS) has recently published a report which confirms the concerns raised by CAGE and over 350 academics in 2015: that the PREVENT duty will have a “chilling effect on free on open debate, free speech and political dissent”.
The Muslim students’ survey attracted 578 respondents, a third of whom reported they had been negatively affected by PREVENT.
From impacting on these students’ willingness to engage in certain discussions, to hampering their political activity and deterring them from running for elected positions, PREVENT is contributing towards a deficit in civic engagement for Muslim students in education, and shutting them out of the opportunities available to their fellow peers.
The report concludes that its findings “highlight the chilling effect of the UK Government’s counter-terrorism initiative PREVENT on Muslim students” and it continues to “reaffirm [its] calls to abolish the duty.”
Asim Qureshi, CAGE research director said:
“The experiences of Muslim students must be taken into account. The PREVENT duty is failing our students and causing them to disengage from debate and discussion specifically out of fear of being reported through PREVENT.”
“We have seen through our cases how PREVENT undermines teacher-student trust and leads to suspicion within the classroom.”
“CAGE has experienced first hand the censure of our events on university campuses because of PREVENT. We commend the NUS for their commitment to continue calling for this this toxic and failing policy to be abolished.”
(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.)