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Joint Statement: Commission for Countering Extremism

JOINT STATEMENT: Commission for Countering Extremism We are concerned with the Commission for Countering Extremism’s recently launched ‘evidence drive’. The Commission states that ‘neither the issue of terrorism nor the government’s counter-terrorism strategy (which includes Prevent) are in the Commission’s remit’. The Commission, in excluding any focus on ‘terrorism’, pushes the narrative ever-more towards the inherently problematic and contested ‘non-violent extremism’. If ‘extremism’ refers to extreme yet non-violent beliefs and opinions it is unclear how the Commission’s aim of countering-extremism is compatible with the democratic values and human rights that they claim to uphold. The Commission shows an interest in the victims of ‘extremism’ yet fails to show concern for the well documented victims of counter-extremism. These victims have faced an erosion of human rights, been marginalised from democratic engagement and lost access to health and education services as a result of counter-extremism. For the Commission to fail to include […]

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Mandela Day: A man who knew deeply the subjective meaning of the word “terrorist”

Yesterday was Mandela Day and around the world mainstream news outlets celebrated Nelson Mandela, a man that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan once labelled “terrorist” and an individual whose liberation movement embodied by the African National Congress and its allies was criminalised and its leaders imprisoned, some of them for the majority of their adult lives. Read more