Prevent Watch


How a neo-conservative think tank defined British Muslims

In an exclusive extract from his new book The Fate of Abraham, award-winning MEE commentator Peter Oborne explains how Policy Exchange has helped to dismantle traditions of tolerance and multiculturalism in the UK, with Muslims its main target. In the wake of the calamity of the Iraq invasion of 2003, one might have supposed that the ideology which lay behind Tony Blair and George W Bush’s bloody misadventure would have been discredited. This has not happened. Neo-conservatism has continued to set the parameters for a great deal of policy discourse, and its supporters have continued to occupy many of the most prominent positions in British (and American) public life. There are a number of reasons for this resilience. In the UK, Policy Exchange, a London-based think tank, is one organisation which kept the neo-conservative flame burning. Though its public profile is small, it has exerted prodigious influence in political circles. […]

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The latest Prevent Review is a political charade, we must boycott it

The UK government’s latest review of its Prevent strategy is not only a political facade but a trojan horse to expand the programme. We must be united in our call for disengagement from it, and to demand nothing less than Prevent’s abolishment, argues Na’eem Ibn Farooq. UK communities targeted by the Government’s Prevent counter-terrorism strategy have expressed dismay at its latest proposed ‘review’. It is not hard to see why. This ‘review’ is an expensive and wasteful exercise, a piece of political theatre. Indeed, previous ‘reviews’ and revisions have been little more than vehicles for bolstering Prevent’s arsenal of tactics, thus serving to extend and deepen the policy’s reach and harm. Since 2006, when it was first promoted as a deradicalisation ‘fund’, the Prevent strategy has undergone several mutations, all consistently aimed at criminalising Muslims and disrupting dissent. Rather than genuinely keeping us safe, Prevent’s core function is to effectively […]


British Muslims know this Government is no fan of free speech | Metro News

This week, the Government announced that universities and colleges could be fined for stifling free speech on campuses. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is set to unveil a ‘free speech champion’ who will be tasked with promoting academic freedom as well as potentially reversing the decision to reinstate staff sacked for their views. Ironically, it’s the Government’s own record on free speech that has been questionable. In September, they issued new guidance on teaching in schools, ordering them not to use resources produced by organisations that take ‘extreme political stances on matters’. Read more: Twitter: | Facebook: Source: British Muslims know this Government is no fan of free speech | Metro News

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Human rights groups to boycott government’s Prevent review | UK news | The Guardian

A coalition of human rights and community groups have said they will boycott the government’s review of the anti-radicalisation programme Prevent in protest at the appointment of William Shawcross as its chair. The appointment last month of Shawcross, who chaired the Charity Commission between 2012 and 2018, was met with criticism over previous remarks he has made about Islam. In a joint statement, 17 groups with interests in human rights and communities, including Liberty, Amnesty International and the Runnymede Trust, said the appointment of Shawcross showed the review was there to “simply rubber-stamp” the controversial and divisive strategy, and they would not contribute to the exercise. Source: Human rights groups to boycott government’s Prevent review | UK news | The Guardian


William Shawcross in his own words – 5Pillars

This is a selection of the speeches and writings of William Shawcross who has just been appointed to review the government’s Prevent counter-extremism strategy. They reveal consistent support for the most prominent right-wing causes of the last few decades, including praise for the Iraq War, George Bush and Tony Blair, the U.S military, Guantanamo Bay and opposition to “Islamism.”    All the quotes below have been sourced from William Shawcross’s own website or public speeches. Source: William Shawcross in his own words – 5Pillars

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Muslim boy, 4, speaks about Fortnite and is referred to Prevent

A four-year-old boy’s referral to Prevent after talking about Fortnite, a popular video game, at his after-school club has prompted fresh calls to abolish the controversial scheme. The boy, who is from the West Midlands and is a Muslim, was referred to Prevent in September 2019 after saying that his father had “guns and bombs in his shed”. However, transcripts of a conversation with a club worker reveal that the reference to weaponry was linked to Fortnite. The child’s mother believes that if her boy were white and not a Muslim he wouldn’t have been considered at risk of radicalisation. In the first (anonymous) interview from a parent of an under-six referred to Prevent, she described her upset at police turning up at the family home at 10.30pm. “It could have gone really wrong. I worry armed police could have come to my house and, you know, arrested the parents, […]