Prevent Watch


Expert View: Prevent counter-extremism and psychological control

JUMP TO: Prevent is a psychological control policy that is about placing whomever the target groups is, in a disempowered, apologetic and fearful position as a default. This can only be counter-productive to healthy society. It does this because it stops people from expressing our perfectly legal and non-violent beliefs fully and freely. Let’s start by acknowledging that there is a lot of money to be made in the “Prevent space”. In other words, there’s a monetary reward for “supporting Prevent”; that is, you get paid when you agree to report state-defined “suspects” in the community to Prevent. So Prevent is about creating divisions among people, when moderation actually happens when people are free to interact. How Prevent psychological control works Muslims who don’t opt into community-based Prevent, can face pressure to participate in the programme at work. It’s really important that people who work in public services like teachers […]


Expert View: The Prevent strategy, the UK government and the far-right

The government has already subverted any independence towards the Prevent strategy by assigning the official review of Prevent to William Shawcross, but it has continued to press ahead with changes to Prevent, proving that it is a political tool. This has been worsened by the long delays in the release of the report – it’s been three years and still not a sign of an independent review. Why? A tiny counter-extremism clique that keeps (r)evolving The first is the refocusing of the Home Office on Prevent in its security aspects. This is indicated by the closure of the Building a Stronger Britain Together programme, and the concentration of community cohesion activities in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities. Sarah Khan was appointed in March 2021 as an independent adviser to this Department. Khan was formerly the head of the Commission for Countering Extremism in the Home Office. An […]

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The PROP Expert View: Six spectacular takeaways from Prevent Watch’s 5Pillars podcast

Get the latest expert views from Prevent Watch’s senior caseworker and co-author of the PROP, including: There’s no evidence to prove Prevent’s “success” and we know it doesn’t work The UK criminal justice system is robust enough to handle political violence Some examples of why Prevent is a way to police belief Prevent is secular aggression to draw Muslims away from Islamic belief and behaviour Prevent’s new disguises and how to speak out We do not need Prevent; we only need sound knowledge Or you can view the full 5 Pillars podcast here. Source: 6 spectacular takeaways from prevent watch’s 5pillars podcast – The People Review of Prevent


PROP Expert View: The TIMES gets it all wrong on Prevent – here’s why

Times columnist, James Forsyth (‘Islamism is a greater threat than the far right’, June 16) seriously misrepresents the government’s Prevent strategy and its relation to counter-terrorism. He writes in anticipation of the publication of the much-delayed Shawcross Report, which makes his piece troubling. James Forsyth believes that the number of far right referrals is disproportionate to the risk when compared with those who have committed terrorist offences. This is factually incorrect; in 2021, out of 186 actual terrorism arrests, over 40% were related to suspected right-wing terrorism. Despite the statistics of actual terror offences showing a problem of far-right in terms of actual suspected offences, Prevent still focuses on Muslims. Source: The TIMES gets it all wrong on Prevent – here’s why


Prevent ‘reform’ is the latest Tory gift to the Far-Right – Tribune

23 May, 2022 – The leaks of the government-commissioned review of the Prevent strategy demonstrate what is the latest Tory gift to the far-right: the threat of neo-nazism is set to be downgraded despite mounting evidence to the contrary, while social justice campaigns will be targeted. This reveals the extent to which extremist views are being brought into the mainstream. The recent deadly and racist attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York is a clear indication that the ideology ‘the great replacement theory’ which says that ‘foreigners are a demographic threat’ is gaining traction among white supremacist groups. A lot of attention has been cast on US news presenter Tucker Carlson and Fox News as spreading this rhetoric in the US, but less attention is being placed on its proponents in Britain. One prominent voice is the independent reviewer of Prevent, Sir William Shawcross, who has repeatedly made dangerous […]

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Prevent review ‘does not reflect reality’ and must keep focus on far right, say experts – The Guardian

22 May, 2022 – Government advisers on extremism have openly questioned the direction of the Home Office’s counter-terrorism programme after it emerged last week that a review was advocating a crackdown on Islamist extremism rather than the threat of the far right. They questioned why the review of the Prevent strategy carried out by William Shawcross at the behest of the home secretary, Priti Patel, should refocus on Islamism at a time when Prevent referrals over the ideology have fallen to 22%, while a quarter now relate to far-right extremism. The most recent Prevent data reveals that “mixed, unstable or unclear” ideologies now account for more than half of all referrals to the anti-radicalisation strategy and that a quarter relate to far-right extremism. Lewys Brace, who advises the government on extremism, said the Shawcross recommendations did not “reflect what’s going on at all, in any way. Mixed ideologies is where […]


Prevent is Islamophobic by design, not accident – New Statesman

Nadeine Asbali comments on how the leaked findings of the Shawcross review of Prevent have produced findings on mental health that are perhaps the most horrifying. The leak revealed that Prevent is “carrying the weight” of a chronically underfunded mental health service. Money for counter-terror is such a never-ending pot of gold, while funding for mental health is stretched so thinly, that some institutions are referring vulnerable people to Prevent because it will fast-track financial support. This comes as we are in the middle of a mental health epidemic and young people are some of the worst affected with one in six children aged six to sixteen experiencing a mental health condition. Whether maliciously-intended or not, the alarming repercussions of this cannot be understated. Source: Prevent is Islamophobic by design, not accident – New Statesman

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Policy Exchange report is submitted to the UN as evidence of Islamophobia and racism

The People’s Review of Prevent today submitted the Policy Exchange report, entitled Delegitimising Counter-Terrorism, as further evidence to the UN of sustained and structural discrimination against British Muslim civil society.  The report is a weak attempt to shutdown the wave of criticism that will follow the long overdue Shawcross-led government review into Prevent, which was boycotted due to its lack of independence and integrity. Policy Exchange makes the shocking claim that Muslim critics of the failing counter-extremism policy are ‘enabling terrorism’. The report offers little in terms of research or academic criticism but presents a series of attacks only Muslim civil society organisations and individuals who are critical of the government’s toxic Prevent programme and its impact on Muslims and wider society. Source: Press Release – The People Review of Prevent

The People’s Review of Prevent: An alternative to the government’s Prevent review

People’s Review of Prevent REPORT LAUNCH: 15TH FEBRUARY 2022 We are pleased to launch the People’s Review of Prevent, an alternative to the review conducted for the government by William Shawcross. Where Shawcross has dismissed criticisms of Prevent, we have worked over the past 6 months to provide a voice to those most impacted by Prevent. Our report reviews the evidence about the operation of Prevent and the harms that it causes to individuals and communities. We show that Prevent is discriminatory in its impact on Muslim communities. It is directed primarily at children and young people who make up around half of all referrals. This includes children at nursery and primary schools. Prevent is described as ‘safeguarding’ children from harms. However, under Prevent, safeguarding is focused on protecting the wider public from children believed to be ‘risky’, rather than protecting children from harms. Throughout our report we present case […]