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Extremism tsar Sara Khan defends her job in front of parliamentary committee

The government’s controversial “extremism tsar” Sara Khan has defended her suitability for the job in front of a parliamentary committee. Khan appeared before the Home Affairs Committee yesterday and was quizzed about the unpopularity of the government’s Prevent counter-terror strategy among Muslim communities, as well as her credentials for doing the job given her own unpopularity among Muslim stakeholders. During her testimony Khan launched a defence of the Prevent strategy saying that if it were explained better to communities and if the government builds trust with Muslims it would have more support. Read more

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CAGE is having a huge impact on the PREVENT and CVE lobbies who seek to silence us – here’s why

Recently, former Prime Minister turned political “consultant” Tony Blair said that the UK needed to engage in a “battle of ideas” against groups who were undermining the PREVENT strategy. In lieu of these comments, I thought this was an ideal time to pen an article of my recent experience at a Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) symposium. Read more

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Counter-terror bill is a threat to press freedom, say campaigners

New counter-terror powers designed to tackle the “vaguely defined” crime of hostile state activity threaten the protection of journalistic sources, campaigners for freedom of expression and the press have warned. In a joint statement, nine organisations including Index on Censorship and Reporters Without Borders have called on the House of Lords to recommend significant amendments to the bill as it reaches the closing stages of its passage through parliament. Read more 

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Why I am unable to engage with the Commission for Countering Extremism

The Commission for Countering Extremism has recently published the terms of reference for their study into extremism. Coming months after the Commission was launched, this is a welcome development that I have been pushing for over the summer. While it had been suggested to me that the terms of reference would offer me and other academics and community activists the assurances that were needed for us to engage with the Commission, they have in fac further dissuaded me from engaging. Read more

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CAGE raises key concerns about PREVENT at European Education and Human Rights Forum in Vienna

CAGE recently participated in an international conference on human rights in education in Vienna, where we raised key concerns around the implementation of PREVENT in schools in the UK. Our key message was that PREVENT is turning education into an apparatus of policing and the policy has no place in an education sector that intends to further human rights. Read more 

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Universities: Is free speech under threat?

Free speech is being threatened at British universities by a culture of offence among certain students, according to critics. A Parliamentary inquiry has reported, regulator the Office for Students has threatened to fine universities that fail to uphold free speech and the Equality and Human Rights Commission is drawing up guidelines for universities. Read more