Prevent Watch

‘My GP treated me like a potential terrorist’: student speaks out

student potential terrorist doctor prevent duty uk

A Muslim sixth form student is treated as a potential terrorist when he is questioned about ISIS by his doctor thanks to Prevent.

The student went to his GP because of a medical problem with his leg. While showing his problem to the GP, he was suddenly asked for his opinions on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Middle Eastern conflicts more generally.

The reasons behind the GP’s line of questioning remain unclear. IM told PREVENT watch how this encounter made him feel:

“I felt as if my doctor was acting like some kind of spy for the government. I know a little bit about the way all of this Prevent stuff works, and honestly believed that my doctor was fishing for some information about me to pass on to someone else.”

IM’s case clearly illustrates how individuals are unfairly targeted and surveilled through Prevent based on their ethnic and/or religious background and appearance.

This can have a damaging impact on the individual and on crucial trust dynamics in public services, and it can in fact contribute to “radicalisation” through a pressure-cooker effect, especially on young adults.

Experiences like this create a friction between an individual’s Muslim and British identities, thereby making them feel like outsider. 

A person can also feel targeted and victimised because of their Islamic and racial identities, thereby facilitating the creation (or perpetuation of existing) grievances.

Photo by Online Marketing/Unsplash

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