Prevent Watch

LSE Blog: Conflating charity and extremism is a political mistake

muslim charity and extremism

Samantha May, lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen, and author of Islamic Charity: How Charitable Giving Became Seen as a Threat to National Security, writes that while the implicit assumption in the Shawcross Review of Prevent is that anyone who offers critique of Prevent may now be viewed as an “Islamist” or “sympathiser”, this is unlikely to stop the numerous (legitimate) critiques of this arm of UK counter-terror project.

She writes on the LSE Blog:

“At the risk of being labelled a “bad faith actor”, I argue that many of the varied criticisms of Prevent are justifiable to the extent that the entire strategy should be radically reformed or replaced.

The lack of any evidence for the effectiveness of current counter-terror policies is another concern. The recent Prevent review admits to “inadequate” evaluation mechanisms. No current evidence exists to suggest that counter-terror policies, as applied to the charitable sector, have deterred a single violent act.

On the contrary, much evidence demonstrates that counter-terror policies have harmed charitable and humanitarian work with the most dire consequences being born by the recipients of aid. They have delayed or curtailed funds to those in need, causing unnecessary suffering and death.”

Read more: Conflating charity with extremism is a political mistake | British Politics and Policy at LSE

Picture: Masjid Pogung Dalangan/Unsplash.


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