Prevent Watch

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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: https://metro.co.uk/2021/02/18/british-muslims-know-this-government-is-no-fan-of-free-speech-14093932/?ito=article.desktop.share.top.twitter?ito=cbshare Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/ 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

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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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Shawcross Prevent role is Tories’ latest salvo in culture war against Muslims | Middle East Eye

The appointment of William Shawcross as reviewer of the UK government’s contentious Prevent counter-terrorism strategy should be seen as the latest example of the Conservative Party’s structural hostility to Islam. Remember that two-thirds of Tory members polled in 2019 believed the conspiracy theory that “there are areas in Britain that operate under Sharia law”. Remember that Tory leader Boris Johnson notoriously compared Muslim women wearing face veils to “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”. Think of the way the major newspaper groups combined with Tory ministers to pillory Muslims in the so-called Trojan Horse affair, when school leaders in Birmingham were falsely accused of involvement in a fabricated Islamist plot to take over the city’s classrooms. Source: Shawcross Prevent role is Tories’ latest salvo in culture war against Muslims | Middle East Eye

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Muslim boy, 4, was referred to Prevent over game of Fortnite | UK news | The Guardian

A four-year-old boy’s referral to the government’s anti-extremism Prevent strategy after talking about the popular Fortnite 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 […]

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William Shawcross’s selection for Prevent role strongly criticised | Prevent strategy | The Guardian

William Shawcross, a former head of the charity watchdog who has made controversial comments about Islam, is to lead the struggling review of the government’s anti-radicalisation programme Prevent. The review, announced in January 2019, has been beset by delays. It has taken 13 months to appoint Shawcross to lead it, after the government’s first choice, Lord Carlile, was forced to step down in December 2019. The government initially committed in law to complete and respond to the review by August 2020 but removed this requirement in new legislation. Source: William Shawcross’s selection for Prevent role strongly criticised | Prevent strategy | The Guardian

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UK Prevent review faces fresh criticism over Shawcross appointment | Middle East Eye

The UK government on Tuesday named the former head of the Charity Commission, William Shawcross, to lead its long delayed independent review of Prevent in a move that is likely to further enrage critics of the contentious counter-terrorism strategy. Shawcross’s appointment comes after the government was forced to drop its initial choice for the role, Lord Carlile, in December 2019 after his appointment was the subject of a court challenge over his past advocacy for Prevent. In February last year, the Home Office said it was committed to appointing a reviewer through an open and transparent process after human rights campaigners threatened it with further legal action. Source: UK Prevent review faces fresh criticism over Shawcross appointment | Middle East Eye

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Government’s Independent Anti-Radicalisation Appointment was ‘Rigged’, Reveals Former Chief Crown Prosecutor – Byline Times

The appointment of an independent reviewer of the controversial Prevent strategy appears to have been “rigged” by the Government, the former Chief Crown Prosecutor for North-West England has told Byline Times. Nazir Afzal said that he seems to have been turned down for the Government-appointed position – which went instead to William Shawcross – because Home Secretary Priti Patel had already made up her mind about appointing the latter to the role. “I was strung along to give an impression of open selection”, said Afzal. Source: Government’s Independent Anti-Radicalisation Appointment was ‘Rigged’, Reveals Former Chief Crown Prosecutor – Byline Times

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William Shawcross to lead independent review of Prevent – GOV.UK

The government has today (26 January 2021) announced that William Shawcross has been appointed as the new Independent Reviewer of Prevent. William Shawcross was formerly the Chair of the Charity Commission between 2012 and 2018 and became the Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism. Prevent, which safeguards vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism, is one of the 4 strands of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST. Government announces the appointment of the new Independent Reviewer of Prevent. Source: William Shawcross to lead independent review of Prevent – GOV.UK

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Racism Is A Public Health Crisis. As A Doctor, I’ve Seen It For Myself

Amid the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in the UK and the disproportionate mortality rate amongst BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) people during the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s never been more important to talk about what racism looks like in Britain. Whether it’s the disproportionate impact of austerity measures on the income of Black British households, the wrongful detention and deportation of members of the Windrush generation, or the fact that Black men are more likely to be stopped and searched, arrested, prosecuted and held in high security conditions once convicted when compared to white men, it is undeniable that stark racial disparities exist across systems within the UK. Unfortunately, as a healthcare professional, I’ve come to understand the healthcare system is no exception. I have seen first-hand how racial and ethnic minority groups suffer from some of the poorest health outcomes in the UK. Compared to their […]