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The Guardian: How many far-right terrorist attacks until the government admits a problem?

After counter-terrorism police finally concluded that a firebomb attack on a migrant centre in Dover last week was the latest in far-right terrorist attacks in the UK, crucial questions arise about the coverage of it and the reaction from government, says Miqdaad Varsi, director for media monitoring at the Muslim Council of Britain. The day after the bomb, the home secretary appeared to go out of her way to say that the attack was not being treated as terrorism. This is despite the fact that the perpetrator had tweeted that he planned to “obliterate Muslim children” an hour before his attack. The attacker referenced Tommy Robinson, repeatedly wrote about Muslim “grooming gangs” and shared content from far-right Islamophobic groups. Despite all this, there have been no column inches from counter-terrorism ideologues and most national newspapers didn’t give the attack front-page prominence the next day. Source: Britain had a far-right terrorist […]

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PROP Expert View: How Prevent is excusing far-right agendas in government

In the second snippet from a talk given as part of the Scarman Lecture at the University of Leicester, Prof. John Holmwood, outlines why the designation of ‘British values’ as ‘British’ is problematic, and asks whether they are in fact shared by certain figures influential in counter-extremism policy. These include Robin Simcox, designated head of the  Commission for Countering Extremism and controversial Home Secretary Suella Braverman, both of whom display an agenda is seemingly at odds with the substance of ‘British values’ which include ‘tolerance for different faiths and beliefs’. Source: Scarman Lecture 2022: How Prevent disguises far-right influence in government – The People Review of Prevent

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The Independent: Government drops work towards official Islamophobia definition

Reappointed communities secretary Michael Gove opposes settling on a definition of Islamophobia, claiming it would bring ‘dangers’. The Independent’s home affairs editor Lizzie Dearden writes on Twitter that “Gove said he wanted to target “political Islam”, which he called a “virus”. He claimed there was “resistance in Whitehall”. Source: Government drops work towards official Islamophobia definition promised to combat anti-Muslim hatred in 2019 | The Independent

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The Guardian: Over 1000 BAME names removed from ‘disproportionate’ police list

More than 1,000 young men who were on a controversial Met police list even though they were classed as posing little or no risk of violence, have been removed. Current Metropolitan Police chief Mark Rowley said the list of alleged gang members “amplified disproportionality” and must be radically reformed. The gang violence matrix was branded part of a “racialised war” on gangs by Amnesty International and was found potentially to be breaching data laws by the information commissioner and placed men on it who should not have been there. Those on it could be subject to “Al Capone-style” disruption tactics, such as losing housing, or driving licences, as part of “lawful harassment”. Source: Met police chief to reform list of alleged gang members targeting black men | Metropolitan police | The Guardian

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The Guardian: Doubts over Braverman’s claim to have come forward about code breach

Suella Braverman is under pressure to answer fresh questions about alleged “security breaches”, as a former head of parliament’s intelligence and security committee warned the row threatened to undermine officials’ confidence in sharing sensitive information with her. Government insiders and a senior Conservative MP have challenged the account given by the home secretary and backed up by the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, saying that Braverman only owned up to it when she was confronted with the evidence, and not the other way around, as claimed by Sunak. Source: Doubts arise over Braverman’s claim to have come forward about code breach | Suella Braverman | The Guardian

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BBC: Home Secretary to crack down on ‘disruptive’ protests with new bill

Home Secretary Suella Braverman says the new Public Order Bill being put to MPs this week will stop demonstrators holding the public “to ransom”. But activists said they would not be intimidated by law changes aimed at “silencing non-violent people”. More than 350 Just Stop Oil protesters – demanding halts to all new oil and gas licences and consents – have been arrested in London since the start of October, according to Home Office figures. The new legislation – which will be put to MPs next week – will also see jail sentences of up to six months or unlimited fines for protesters accused of “locking-on” to people, objects or buildings. It would create a new criminal offence of interfering with infrastructure, which would carry sentences of up to 12 months in prison. In addition, police will be given new powers to take a more “proactive” approach to some protests. […]

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