Part I of the Tackling Extremism in the UK report
see Tackling Extremism in the UK: A mandate for secret criminalisation for part II
In the wake of the killing of Lee Rigby, a soldier in the British army who served in Afghanistan, the UK government established a task force in order to set out proposals for the way they would tackle ‘extremism’ within Muslim communities. As a late addition to this process, the government included references to far-right extremism in light of the murder of Birmingham resident, Mohammed Saleem, and due to a series of attacks against mosques in the West Midlands.
Under the original CONTEST strategy, the UK government sought to set in motion a programme to prevent violent extremism (PVE) under its PREVENT strategy. However, since the tenure of former Prime Minister Tony Blair until this government, the move in policy has been very much geared towards preventing any forms of extremism – this forcing the strategy to take a far more ideological approach to Muslim belief and practice.
The original PREVENT strategy proved to be counterproductive in terms of its strategy and its implementation. The failure of the programme resulted in the current government rethinking its policy and in 2011, the coalition government released PREVENT II, an attempt to rethink the former strategy in light of its previous failings. Unfortunately, PREVENT II only served to continue the ideological mistakes of its predecessor, rather than addressing the specific grievances of communities.