The William Shawcross review of Prevent has prompted Muslim organisations, including those targeted in the Prevent review, to call for the controversial counter-extremism strategy to be scrapped.
Shawcross recommended in the review that Prevent should focus more on “Islamism” than far-right extremism, and that non-violent extremism that sets the tone for terrorism should receive more attention.
In her statement to Parliament following the release of the Shawcross review, Home Secretary Suella Braverman singled out Muslim advocacy group CAGE, saying it was “an Islamist group that has excused and legitimised violence by Islamist terrorists.”
CAGE Managing Director Muhammad Rabbani responded: “The Home Secretary is abusing her parliamentary privilege, weaponising bad faith arguments against CAGE in order to distract from our efforts to hold the government to account.”
“Cycles of violence will only end if we address the broader political issues that contribute to them. This is something the government has resisted because an entire ‘War on Terror’ industry survives on the myth that Islam and Muslims are inherently violent.”
Meanwhile, two leading Prevent experts said the Shawcross review reflects the author’s known bias by distorting facts, while lacking empirical evidence and critical analysis,
Professor John Holmwood, emeritus Professor of Sociology at Nottingham University, and Dr Layla Aitlhadj, the director and case study lead at Prevent Watch, made the comments after their initial review of the report, which was published on Wednesday after months of delay.
Dr Aitlhadj and Prof. Holmwood co-authored an independent study into Prevent – the People’s Review of Prevent – drawing on hundreds of cases of people referred to the programme.