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Sajda Mughal: The Home Office doesn’t like critical friends like me

The terror attacks of July 7, 2005, were carried out by four young men from my own Muslim community. I find that shocking and incomprehensible to this day. After I survived the attack, I wanted to understand how and why it had happened. I decided to leave my job in the City and work in my own community. The Prevent strategy is vital in the fight to combat radicalisation, but it is not delivering. It urgently needs to be independently reviewed. Read more

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New government terror laws that could jail people for ‘reckless’ statements could violate human rights, say MPs

Proposed laws that would see people jailed for viewing terroristmaterial three times or making “reckless” statements about extremist groups may violate human rights, MPs and peers have warned. The government’s new Counter Terrorism and Border Security Bill “strikes the wrong balance between security and liberty”, the Joint Committee on Human Rights said. Read more

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Schools must help promote ‘British values’, says Ofsted chief

Chief inspector of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, delivered a speech at the Policy Exchange in London last night. Entitled ‘The Ties that Bind’, her speech discussed the promotion of so-called British values, the encouragement of cohesion and integration and why schools must be the forums for understanding and spreading these ideals. “The current meaning of the term ‘British values’ was first defined in the 2011 Prevent Strategy,” Spielman said. “The role of schools in promoting them was formalised in Department for Education guidance in 2014, to help both independent and state schools understand their responsibilities. This guidance set out the duty of all schools in England, state and independent, to actively promote the four British values of: democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.” Read more

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Prevent in the NHS – British Muslims survey

Welcome to the very short online survey for the ‘Impact of Prevent in Healthcare’ research project! This project, funded by the British Academy, is run by Dr. Tarek Younis and Dr. Sushrut Jadhav. The purpose of this survey is to explore your experiences and thoughts on Prevent’s integration in the NHS. Prevent is part of the UK government’s overall counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. It has simply been expressed as the need to “prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.” According to the Prevent Duty Guidance (2015), healthcare professionals will now meet, identify and treat individuals they believe may be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism through a process called radicalisation. NHS healthcare professionals and staff receive mandatory training to recognise signs that someone has been or is being radicalised – this is part of the Prevent statutory duty. The UK governement designates the NHS a ‘pre-criminal space’. It is important British Muslims share their views on Prevent; it is said “the fight against Islamist extremism […]

MP’s call to extend Copyright Directive filters to ‘extremist’ material attacked by Article 19

An amendment to the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill that would extend copyright filtering to cover ‘extremist’ material has been condemned by human rights organisation Article 19. The organisation warns that the amendment, proposed by Labour MP Stephen Doughty, amounts to censorship and would, in any case, likely contravene Article 15 of the European Union E-Commerce Directive. Read more 

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BMA is urged to back doctors who refuse to take part in government’s Prevent programme

Doctors have urged the BMA to support members who refuse to take part in the government’s Prevent programme. Under the strategy, which is part of the UK government’s counterterrorism plan, NHS organisations are legally obliged to report people who they think may be at risk of becoming terrorists. General practices are not covered by this directive. Read more

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UK government straying towards ‘thought crime’ by criminalising viewing terrorist material, UN inspector says

A United Nations inspector has accused the British government of straying towards “thought crime” with a proposed law criminalising the repeated viewing of terrorist material. At the end of his UK visit, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy raised concerns about plans to make accessing propaganda “on three or more different occasions” an offence. Read more