Prevent Watch

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Ofsted rate Little Ducklings Nursery as good

The Little Ducklings nursery in Harmsworth Crescent, Brighton, was told it “required improvement” last year. Ofsted inspectors reported staff did not know how to protect children from extremism. Workers were told they had to learn how to spot when youngsters may be at risk of being radicalised by family members or others. Government inspectors at the time felt staff needed to brush up on their “safeguarding” skills. But after a recent inspection, Ofsted has raised the nursery’s status to “good”. Read more

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Shocked by the rise of the right? Then you weren’t paying attention

The morning after both Donald Trump’s victory and the Brexit referendum, when a mood of paralysing shock and grief overcame progressives and liberals on both sides of the Atlantic, the two most common refrains I heard were: “I don’t recognise my country any more,” and “I feel like I’ve woken up in a different country.” This period of collective disorientation was promptly joined by oppositional activity, if not activism. People who had never marched before took to the streets; those who had not donated before gave; people who had not been paying attention became engaged. Many continue. Almost three years later the Brexit party, led by Nigel Farage, is predicted to top the poll in European parliament elections in which the far right will make significant advances across the continent; Theresa May’s imminent downfall could hand the premiership to Boris Johnson; Trump’s re-election in 2020 is a distinct possibility, with […]

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Populist surge sinks Tories and squeezes Labour as European elections loom

Tory heavyweights today demand an end to the “virus of extremism” that has divided the country and left the Conservative Party trailing in fourth place in two opinion polls for the European elections. The former prime minister Sir John Major and former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine issued last-ditch pleas for a return to the centre ground on the eve of Thursday’s elections, in which support for the two main parties has fallen to historic lows. Read more

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INSIDE PREVENT A Racist Policy of Social Control?

Hardeep Matharu explores why those in the Muslim community believe that the Government’s controversial counter-terrorism strategy is doing more harm than good. Since its inception in 2003, criticism and controversy has followed the Prevent strategy – an arm of the Government’s counter-terrorism framework. For many in the Muslim community, it is viewed as a sinister policy that is inherently racist; a form of social control and intelligence gathering; deliberately, disproportionately applied to Muslims. Read more

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If Theresa May refuses to adopt the definition of Islamophobia, the message she sends to the Muslim community will be heard loud and clear – Naz Shah

Naz Shah MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, commenting on reports Theresa May is preparing to reject the definition of Islamophobia published by Muslim groups, said: “The Conservative Party is in denial about Islamophobia and other forms of racism in its ranks, and that denial flows from the very top. If Theresa May refuses to adopt the definition of Islamophobia, the message she sends to the Muslim community will be heard loud and clear. “It has been a great struggle to get the police to record Islamophobia as a specific crime, so it is deeply worrying to see the National Police Chiefs Council bringing terrorism into the discussion about tackling Islamophobia. Read more

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Government rejects controversial definition of Islamophobia after warning from terror police

The Government has rejected a controversial official definition of Islamophobia after a warning from police that anti-terrorist operations would be undermined. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims wanted to define it to tackle what it called a “social evil”. But a government spokesman has now said the wording needed to be re-examined. The u-turn comes just hours after it emerged the leader of Britain’s police chiefs, Martin Hewitt, said that defining Islamophobia risked heightening community tensions and could hinder counterterrorist policing powers and tactics. Read more

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Hollyoaks And The Far Right: How A Volunteer Network And The Home Office Helped Channel 4 Depict Radicalisation

For just over a year, Nigel Bromage has been running Exit UK, a volunteer network that offers support and help for people trying to turn their back on the far right. But his steady stream of “a couple of enquiries a week” is turning into something bigger, since Hollyoaks made the bold decision of steering much-loved character Ste Hay towards radicalisation and racism. Read more

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Teachers as informants: countering extremism and promoting violence

This article is a response to Muslim students reporting that they had been silenced by fear of the PREVENT Counter-Terrorism Strategy. By adopting a Critical Realist stance, real generative mechanisms of this actual phenomenon are investigated and theorised. Recognition of changing definitions of both ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ in different versions of PREVENT results in the discursive aspect of these real generative mechanisms being investigated using critical discourse analysis (CDA). This analysis identifies the emergence of a violent discourse of ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ (RadEx) that it is theorised has the capacity to promote rather than prevent violence. Finally, a process by which this production of violence in the classroom might have been avoided is explored and this indicates that critique of government efforts to counter ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ is a vital aspect of pedagogy in the context of PREVENT and the War on Terror. Read more

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A Prevent-style plan for knife crime is not just misguided, it’s dangerous

Some truly dystopian proposals have been woven into the conversation about serious youth violence in recent months, from knife-crime asbos to armed police patrols of inner-city neighbourhoods, to deploying the army. Now, in a bid to be seen to be doing something as its serious youth violence summit begins, the government has announced a consultation on yet another measure that is likely to do more harm than good: the public health duty to tackle serious violence. If the government’s preferred formulation of the duty becomes law, a long list of public authorities across local government, health, education and policing will be required to “have due regard to the prevention and tackling of serious violence”. The government would issue guidance, but services themselves would be left to figure out how to comply over and above their existing safeguarding duties. If this all sounds depressingly familiar, that’s because it is: it’s basically […]