Prevent Watch

CategoriesNews

The PROP Expert View: How Prevent impacts your beliefs and your mosque

Two crucial takeaways from the podcast between Prevent Watch’s Dr Layla Aitlhadj and Dilly Hussain from 5 Pillars that you may have missed: Prevent is a psychological control policy that is about placing its target group – in our case, Muslims – in a disempowered, apologetic position as a default, and it is counter-productive to the proper functioning of our mosques. It is there to stop people from expressing our perfectly legal and non-violent beliefs fully and freely, and to regulate Islamic learning. But Muslims need to protect their beliefs and their mosques, for more than just the sake of social activism. Because when you take on the Prevent “attitude”, you distance yourself from your Islamic identity and your beliefs can begin to change. Source: How Prevent impacts islamic beliefs and mosques – The People Review of Prevent

CategoriesNews

The New Arab: Muslims mourn the Queen under Prevent’s watchful eye

Afroze F Zaidi writes about how counter-narrative against the outpouring of grief emerged from those hailing from former British colonies, not about the loss of a monarch they knew from a distance, but articulating the collective and individual pain for which the monarchy is responsible. But this counter-narrative was absent among many Muslim organisations. For British Muslims, counter-terror and anti-extremism measures such as Prevent work hard to ensure that they stay in line. So an occasion such as the Queen’s death isn’t an opportunity for sincere reflection or honesty – rather it serves as a test of loyalty. Source: Muslims mourn the Queen under Prevent’s watchful eye

CategoriesNews

The Guardian: British Muslims’ citizenship reduced to ‘second-class’ status, says thinktank

British Muslims have had their citizenship reduced to “second-class” status as a result of recently extended powers to strip people of their nationality, a thinktank has claimed. The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) says the targets of such powers are almost exclusively Muslims, mostly of south Asian heritage, embedding discrimination and creating a lesser form of citizenship. Frances Webber, IRR vice-chair and report author, wrote: “While a ‘native’ British citizen, who has access to no other citizenship, can commit the most heinous crimes without jeopardising his right to remain British, none of the estimated 6 million British citizens with access to another citizenship can feel confident in the perpetual nature of their citizenship.” The IRR’s report was published on Sunday. Source: British Muslims’ citizenship reduced to ‘second-class’ status, says thinktank | Islam | The Guardian

CategoriesNews

The Guardian: Liz Truss halts Dominic Raab’s bill of rights plan

Prime Minister Liz Truss has pulled plans to enact a new bill of rights in one of her first acts as prime minister, telling the cabinet her government would reassess ways to deliver its agenda. One source described the bill as a ‘complete mess’. The legislation was introduced to parliament in June to replace the 1998 Human Rights Act, with a number of changes including an intent to entrench the primacy of British law over rulings from the ECHR. It would also place new restrictions on how human rights can be used in claims against the government. Source: Liz Truss halts Dominic Raab’s bill of rights plan | UK bill of rights | The Guardian

CategoriesNews

EachOther: The new Prime Minister’s human rights record

As well as expanding the UK’s involvement in ‘offshoring‘ refugees and asylum seekers, new PM Liz Truss has reportedly pledged to increase frontline border staff by 20%. She has also voted for restricting legal aid and voted in favour of allowing national-security-sensitive evidence to be put before courts in secret sessions and out of the eye of the media. On privacy rights, Truss voted in favour of the mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities. The right to privacy is currently enshrined in the HRA, but parliament will vote on plans to replace the act with the Bill of Rights on 12 September. Records show that under the current government the prime minister has never rebelled against the party majority in a vote. Source: Liz Truss: The new Prime Minister’s human rights record | EachOther

CategoriesNews

The New Statesman: Britain needs a new paradigm approach to extremism

Attacks by individuals like Jake Davidson, the 22-year-old man who shot dead five people in Plymouth last year, before turning the gun on himself, prove that the greatest emerging threat is not Islamist, but in a rapidly expanding set of so-called mixed, unclear and unstable (MUU) extremism cases that defy neat categorisation by authorities. A large element of this rapid growth has seen Prevent referrals inheriting much of the case load of young people with “complex needs” from underfunded local services. Data from 2021 suggests up to 70 per cent of people referred to Prevent may have mental health issues, and growing numbers of MUU referrals suggest practitioners are struggling to classify these cases within frameworks built to handle clear-cut ideological categories. Events like those in Plymouth speak to a more disparate set of extremism-related threats than the current government approach can capture. They require a new paradigm of response. […]

CategoriesNews

The PROP Expert View: Changes to Prevent prove the policy is a political tool

There are many indications in the government’s restructuring of Prevent, that the policy is a political tool. The first is the refocusing of the Home Office on Prevent in its security aspects. The second is the new interim head of the CCE, Robin Simcox, who was appointed in March 2021. Simcox has strong links with neo-conservative and far-right think tanks. His first announcement was the need to redefine the policy toward right-wing extremism to distinguish far-right groups who operated within the law which, he claimed, were part of normal democratic politics. Thirdly, a recent report from Policy Exchange recommends that the role of the CCE should be “research into extremism, countering criticisms, and evaluating and providing certification for NGOs”. Expectedly, their only targeted organisations are Muslim NGOs. Source: Underplaying the far-right proves Prevent is political – The People’s Review of Prevent

CategoriesNews

CAGE Survey: Ukraine vs Palestine solidarity in UK schools

In a survey based on over 500 responses, CAGE exposes the hypocrisy of the British government in its support for Ukraine, while silencing advocacy on Palestine. While the British public has been treated to an outpouring of support for Ukraine and Ukrainians, along with occasionally bizarre spectacles – such as Tory leader-elect Liz Truss declaring her support for Britons going to fight Russia live on TV – during Israel’s 2021 attack on Gaza, under Prevent, schools securitised support for Palestine, advocating restraint and reporting. In the CAGE report, 96% of survey responses confirmed support for Ukraine by their schools, 62% indicated their schools had fundraised for Ukraine, and a small number of schools raised funds to donate military equipment, and/or to donate to organisations linked to the Ukrainian far-right. See the full report here.

CategoriesNews

The PROP Expert View: How prevent ‘adultifies’ children

Case Child Q and other children has cast a light on the “adultification” of Black children, but this approach also features in Prevent, though it is applied to ethnic minority children more generally. Under Prevent, children are regularly subjected to interviews by counter-terrorism police without a responsible adult being present. This is occurring to thousands of children each year. Yet they are not under suspicion of a terrorism offence, only of potentially coming under the influence of an extremist “ideology”. Source: How Prevent ‘adultifies’ children – The People Review of Prevent

CategoriesNews

Middle East Eye: Rishi Sunak’s Prevent proposals are truly Orwellian

Rishi Sunak’s announcement that he would use Prevent – the government’s counter-extremism strategy – against those who “vilified” Britain has attracted much derision. But Liz Truss’ response was interesting. She thought it was all a bit “thin” and a restatement of what was already government policy. She is right. For those who think this is a sign of worrying authoritarianism to come, it is a wake-up call about what is already in place. The issue is not to seek an “equal opportunities” Prevent – one applied to the right-wing as well as to supposed “Islamists” – but to understand how Prevent undermines the rights of everyone. It is also important to understand how Prevent (and wider counter-terrorism legislation) generates a moral panic about children and young people. Source: UK: Rishi Sunak’s Prevent proposals are truly Orwellian | Middle East Eye