The Shawcross Prevent review ignores ‘non-Muslim’ ideological violence, sending a problematic message to the British far-right, writes Dr Layla Aitlhadj for the Middle East Eye:
“It is curious that William Shawcross feels he is in a position to make sweeping statements about how the primary focus of Prevent must be “Islamist extremism”, despite his limited knowledge of Muslim beliefs and apparent prejudice against Islam – if his recent “independent” report into Prevent is anything to go by.
Coupled with the review’s lack of engagement with Muslim organisations, or with any groups expressing similar concerns about the violations inherent in the Prevent programme, this must have put Shawcross in a tight spot.
The report is problematic right from the start, noting that six “terrorist attacks” have occurred in Britain since the review was commissioned in 2019. “All these attacks were Islamist in nature,” Shawcross states. But the list omits other incidents of far-right violence, including a March 2019 white supremacist attack targeting Muslims and the October 2022 bombing of a migrant processing centre in Dover.
Why does the report ignore “non-Muslim” ideological violence? What kind of message does this send to the violent far-right community and others in Britain?
Those of us who said this report would be a whitewash, surely did not estimate that it would be to this extent.
We are not arguing for an expansion of Prevent by asking these questions; rather, they should be a warning for all people living in Britain who are concerned about public safety and an increasingly nationalist government that seems out of touch with its people and its purpose.”
More Expert Views
- The People’s Review of Prevent (Report, 2022)
- Multiculturalism and Prevent: Why ‘British values’ must not be a weapon (News, 2022)
- Why Prevent is out of touch with the UK’s many communities of belonging (News, 2022)
- The Prevent strategy is not about ‘preventing terrorism’ (News, 2022)