Schools banning certain religious garments and prohibiting congregational prayer may say that they do so in the name of equity and secularism, but as a teacher, I’ve seen how these policies very clearly target Muslim pupils, writes Nadine Asbali. This goes from forcing Muslim children into the cold and rain to fulfil their obligatory prayers, to Muslim mothers being barred from important school events because of how they dress. As the government reviews its ‘anti-terror’ programme, the plight of young Muslims suffering as a result of racist policy could worsen. Source: ‘I felt interrogated’: the devastating impact of Prevent in schools
3 June, 2022 – Speaking on the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast, Dame Sara Khan, a campaigner who has been accused in the past of being a mouthpiece for the Home Office, says Prevent should be “ideologically blind”. Khan also said the UK’s counter-extremism strategy, which is separate from the counter-terrorism scheme involving Prevent, was “completely outdated, it’s no longer fit for purpose”. Asked about Prevent, the former counter-extremism commissioner, who now advises the levelling up secretary, Michael Gove, on social cohesion, said: “Good policy has to be ideologically blind …”
After years in operation, the government will release an independent review of Prevent – but it has been boycotted by hundreds of organizations. Instead, many participated in a People’s Review of Prevent. So what does a tale of two reviews tell us about the future of Prevent? Listen to this exclusive Al Jazeera podcast featuring Layla Aitlhadj, Director of Prevent Watch and Professor John Holmwood, author of the book “Countering Extremism in British Schools?: The Truth about the Birmingham Trojan Horse Affair”. Source: In the UK, a duel to hold ‘Prevent’ to account | Human Rights News | Al Jazeera
Middle East Monitor: The UK will be complicit in rise of far-right terrorism if it adopts the Shawcross review
It was only a matter of time before a right-wing figure finally revealed the true depth of their agenda by deliberately drawing attention away from the extremists at their end of the political spectrum, writes Muhammad Hussein. That is exactly what William Shawcross, appointed by the British government to lead the review of the Prevent counter-terrorism programme, appears to have done. The extracts from the supposedly independent review, which was delivered to the Home Office in late April, make it a point to focus on that Islamic extremism and the mental health of all individuals referred to Prevent even if there is no actual evidence of extremism. Source: The UK will be complicit in the rise of far-right terrorism if it adopts the Shawcross review – Middle East Monitor
The culture wars on higher education are hotting up and the aim is specifically now to free right-wing speech and to chill that of Muslim citizens and their legitimate organisations, writes Professor John Holmwood. The question that is about to be asked of universities is how far they are willing to go in defence of free speech. And to what extent will they oppose government plans for the certification of partners? This is a new authoritarianism, where the government presents itself as the protector of free speech while seeking to undermine the expression of opposition to its policies. Source: In pursuit of Prevent – Research Professional News
While, in principle, few would disagree with the notion of trying to stop people being drawn towards terrorist ideas and action, in practice this means engaging with people through the lens of a counter terrorist programme before they have actually committed any terrorist act. It can feel like people are being seen through a criminal lens before any criminal act has actually taken place. The answer to dealing with the reality of extremist tendencies might lie in some fundamental changes to our society. It is unclear that Prevent will be able to address this, writes Raffaello Pantucci. Source: Police Professional | An MP’s murder: The failure of the Prevent programme?
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