Prevent Watch

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The limits of inclusivity: Islamophobia in higher education | openDemocracy

The confrontation with racism inspired by Black Lives Matter is to be welcomed. At the same time it’s a cause for despair that society remains blighted by so much bigotry and prejudice. Bewilderment at the endurance of racism has inspired concerted attempts to understand the social structures that sustain it. How is racism enabled, reinforced and legitimated? And how might our institutions – from politics to education, healthcare and the arts – be transformed so that they are part of the solution, rather than part of the problem? Along with my colleagues Alison Scott-Baumann, Shuruq Naguib, Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor and Aisha Phoenix, I’ve spent the last five years wrestling with these questions with a focus on the experience of Muslims in UK universities. Based on a national survey of over 2,000 students and conversations with over 250 staff and students on six campuses, our conclusions are published today. Source: The limits of inclusivity: Islamophobia in […]

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Anti-terror scheme ‘reinforcing stereotypes of Muslims’ – Leicestershire Live

A leading Leicester imam has welcomed a new report calling for the anti-terrorism scheme Prevent to be scrapped at universities. Prevent was set up by the Home Office in response to the 2005 terror attacks in London, and the aim was to stop vulnerable people being turned into terrorists by radicals. Part of the scheme has involved monitoring university campuses to watch out for people at risk of being radicalised. Now, however, academics from around England have carried out a survey of students and concluded the Prevent scheme should be scrapped. That decision has been welcomed by Ibrahim Mogra, a leading Leicester imam who works with the University of Leicester supporting Muslim students. Source: Anti-terror scheme ‘reinforcing stereotypes of Muslims’ – Leicestershire Live

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Prevent doesn’t stop students being radicalised. It just reinforces Islamophobia | Universities | The Guardian

The UK government has long maintained that radicalisation is a problem in universities and that Prevent, the national counter-terror programme, is an essential means of tackling it. Yet recently the Office for Students reported very little such activity: in 2017-18, only 15 referrals were made by universities to Channel in England (the Prevent rehabilitation programme), and it is unlikely that all 15 were found to be terrorism-related. Despite a clear lack of evidence of radicalisation in universities, Prevent training continues for staff. Indeed, a major new report of a three-year study of Islam on campus shows that almost 10% of all students believe there may be some risk on their campus. Our research reveals that Prevent reinforces negative stereotypes of Islam and Muslims: 20% of students believe that Islam is not compatible with British values; among those supportive of Prevent, the figure rises to 35%. Source: Prevent doesn’t stop students being radicalised. It just reinforces […]

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Prevent reinforces stereotypes and leads Muslim students to self-censor: Report | Middle East Eye

A new study has revealed that the UK government’s Prevent counterterrorism strategy has reinforced negative stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and caused students to self-censor their views on campus. According to a study published on Monday by SOAS University of London along with the universities of Lancaster, Durham and Coventry, students who supported Prevent were almost three times more likely to see Islam as intolerant towards non-Muslims than those who believed Prevent was damaging university life. The study also found that students who saw radicalisation as a problem on campus were four times more likely to believe that Muslims had not made a valuable contribution to British life. Source: Prevent reinforces stereotypes and leads Muslim students to self-censor: Report | Middle East Eye

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Prevent reinforces negative views of Islam and Muslims – new report says – About Manchester

The UK Government’s counter-terrorism Prevent strategy has reinforced negative stereotypes of Muslims and has encouraged ‘a culture of mutual suspicion and surveillance’ on university campuses, says a new report out today. The UK government has long maintained that radicalisation is a problem in UK universities and that Prevent is an essential means of tackling it. The report reveals that students who agree with the government line are more likely to express negative views about Islam and Muslims. The research shows, for example, that students who see radicalisation as a problem on campus are four times more likely to believe that Muslims have not made a valuable contribution to British life. Source: Prevent reinforces negative views of Islam and Muslims – new report says – About Manchester

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British counterterrorism bill takes the country further down a dangerous road | Middle East Eye

Although Britain’s Counterterrorism and Sentencing Bill recently passed its second reading in parliament, there has been little attention paid to the implications of its dangerous proposals. Even more concerning is that it has been pushed through at a time when parliament is not functioning at full capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic and when Prevent – the central plank in the government’s counter-extremism programme – is supposed to be under review. This should have been a time of heightened critique and thorough research into the many failures of the Prevent strategy. If the inquiry were to actually do its job, it would deal a fatal blow to the counter-extremism apparatus in its entirety. Source: British counterterrorism bill takes the country further down a dangerous road | Middle East Eye

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People with mental health problems are more likely to be referred to government’s counterterrorism programme | The BMJ

People with mental health problems are more likely to be reported by the NHS to Prevent, the government’s counterterrorism strategy, a report has found.1Research by health charity Medact found that a disproportionate number of referrals come from mental health trusts or departments, reiterating a 2016 finding published in The BMJ .2Medact sent freedom of information requests to a sample of 77 NHS trusts in Prevent Priority areas, and received 49 responses with varying degrees of disclosure. The four specialist mental health trusts that responded made 89 referrals to Prevent in the two years to March 2019. Of the 18 non-specialist trusts that replied with a breaking down of their data, 40 referrals came from mental health departments and 45 came from other departments.According to the report, the … Source: People with mental health problems are more likely to be referred to government’s counterterrorism programme | The BMJ

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As Priti Patel quietly expands Prevent, let’s talk about why we should be defunding it instead | The Independent

With thousands on the streets for Black Lives Matter and increased attention on policing, there was a quiet announcement over the weekend that Priti Patel, the home secretary, was expanding the government’s Prevent programme in its largest shakeup since 2003. Part of the rationale for this appears to be that there is a growth in individuals engaging with left-wing movements and environmental campaigning. With “counter-extremism” historically being used a tool for surveillance, discrimination and political repression – and Boris Johnson referring to Black Lives Matter protests themselves as being “hijacked by extremists” – now is the time to connect calls to defund the police and making the case to defund and abolish Prevent and the wider “counter-extremism” surveillance apparatus. Source: As Priti Patel quietly expands Prevent, let’s talk about why we should be defunding it instead | The Independent