Prevent Watch

CategoriesNews

Middle East Eye: Vast majority of anti-Muslim Twitter posts come from India

A new report, Islamophobia in the Digital Age by the Islamic Council of Victoria in Canada, has revealed that over a two-year period, between 28 August 2019 and 27 August 2021, India was the main culprit of spreading Islamophobia on social media. India recorded the by-far highest figure of Islamophobic tweets, with 871,379, followed by the US with 289,248, and the UK, with 196,376. The report states that in India, the rampant Islamophobia is a result of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) normalisation of hatred against Muslims. The report also concluded that Twitter ‘drastically failing’ at removing anti-Muslim content, but that politicians and leading figures can have a positive impact. Source: Majority of anti-Muslim Twitter posts come from US, UK and India | Middle East Eye

CategoriesNews

The New Statesman: Britain needs a new paradigm approach to extremism

Attacks by individuals like Jake Davidson, the 22-year-old man who shot dead five people in Plymouth last year, before turning the gun on himself, prove that the greatest emerging threat is not Islamist, but in a rapidly expanding set of so-called mixed, unclear and unstable (MUU) extremism cases that defy neat categorisation by authorities. A large element of this rapid growth has seen Prevent referrals inheriting much of the case load of young people with “complex needs” from underfunded local services. Data from 2021 suggests up to 70 per cent of people referred to Prevent may have mental health issues, and growing numbers of MUU referrals suggest practitioners are struggling to classify these cases within frameworks built to handle clear-cut ideological categories. Events like those in Plymouth speak to a more disparate set of extremism-related threats than the current government approach can capture. They require a new paradigm of response. […]

CategoriesNews

CAGE Survey: Ukraine vs Palestine solidarity in UK schools

In a survey based on over 500 responses, CAGE exposes the hypocrisy of the British government in its support for Ukraine, while silencing advocacy on Palestine. While the British public has been treated to an outpouring of support for Ukraine and Ukrainians, along with occasionally bizarre spectacles – such as Tory leader-elect Liz Truss declaring her support for Britons going to fight Russia live on TV – during Israel’s 2021 attack on Gaza, under Prevent, schools securitised support for Palestine, advocating restraint and reporting. In the CAGE report, 96% of survey responses confirmed support for Ukraine by their schools, 62% indicated their schools had fundraised for Ukraine, and a small number of schools raised funds to donate military equipment, and/or to donate to organisations linked to the Ukrainian far-right. See the full report here.

CategoriesNews

The Guardian: Sunak is wrong – and he’s chosen the wrong target

The contender’s plan is idiotic and dangerous. Aren’t Tories supposed to champion free speech, says Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain. The implication of his proposals seems to be that any public sector worker covered by the Prevent duty would be required to refer anyone they believe is “vilifying” to the authorities. Would this include nationalists in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, some of whom would readily vilify England? If not, why not? What about writers within our mainstream media, in publications such as the Spectator? Would Sunak’s policy include those who have non-mainstream political views on our nation’s colonial history? Source: Sunak wants to punish those who ‘vilify the UK’. That’s wrong – and he’s chosen the wrong target | Miqdaad Versi | The Guardian

CategoriesNews

The Guardian: Former counter-terrorism police chief attacks Sunak’s Prevent plans

Rishi Sunak’s proposals to strengthen the government’s anti-terrorism programme risk “straying into thought crimes” and are potentially damaging to national security, a former senior police chief has said. Such proposals would lead to more people being referred to Prevent by widening the definition of “extremism” to include those who “vilify” Britain, with Sunak pledging to focus on “rooting out those who are vocal in their hatred of our country”. But former counter-terrorism chief Sir Peter Fahy, who was also chief constable of Greater Manchester police, questioned the precise meaning of “vilification”. He said: “The widening of Prevent could damage its credibility and reputation. It makes it more about people’s thoughts and opinions.” Source: Former counter-terrorism police chief attacks Rishi Sunak’s Prevent plans | Rishi Sunak | The Guardian

CategoriesNews

Counter-terror chief says policing alone cannot beat extremism

Britain’s most senior counter-terrorism officer has said the police and security services are no longer enough to win the fight against violent extremism, and the UK must instead improve community cohesion, social mobility and education. In his first major interview since taking up his post last year, the Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Neil Basu told the Guardian that up to 80% of those who wanted to attack the UK were British-born or raised, which strongly indicated domestic social issues were among the root causes. Grievances held by people who were “malleable” to terrorist recruitment were highly dangerous, he said, calling for sociologists and criminologists to take a leading role in helping police tackle the problem. Basu, who is highly regarded in Whitehall, is seen as a potential next head of the Met. His comments are a significant break in tone, if not strategy, about how to combat terrorism and prevent […]

CategoriesNews

Why is Sajid Javid so rattled by Cage?

Last Friday, the UK’s former home secretary Sajid Javid, who was appointed on Wednesday as chancellor in Boris Johnson’s new cabinet, delivered a speech at a London community centre in which he attacked several Muslim organisations using the “extremism” label. In today’s world, that is hardly unusual, since the term “extremism” has become broad and malleable in the hands of those in power. Cage was one of the organisations mentioned, which is also not unusual, especially when it comes to the Tories. But what Javid did, which none of his predecessors have done, is to openly declare his opposition to Cage and express, with evident frustration, the extent of our reach, and how he intends to curb our influence and success. Read more

CategoriesNews

Patriotism possible sign of right-wing extremism in the army, document reveals

Patriotism is now regarded as a possible warning sign of right-wing extremism in the army, a leaked document has revealed. The leaflet, titled “Extreme Right Wing (XRW) Indicators & Warnings”, alerts senior defence staff to the signs of extremism and reminds them to watch out for individuals who idealise “white only communities”. Originally put together in 2017, the document advises officers to watch out for people who “use the term Islamofascism” and make “inaccurate generalisations about the Left”. Read more

CategoriesNews

The British Army’s Guide For Spotting “Extreme Right Wing” Soldiers Has Leaked Online

An internal guide for British army officers to help them spot “extreme right wing” attitudes among soldiers — including naming specific views and behaviours towards Muslims, Jews, “the Left” and political correctness — has leaked online. The chart titled “EXTREME RIGHT WING (XRW) INDICATORS & WARNINGS” has been circulating since the weekend on UK far-right news and conspiracy websites. The Ministry of Defence has confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it is genuine. The 20-box ‘XRW chart’ lists a range of behaviours linked to extreme right-wing radicalisation, which officers should “look out for” in soldiers. Read more

CategoriesNews

Newspapers help to radicalise far right, says UK anti-terror chief

Britain’s counter-terrorism chief has said far-right terrorists are being radicalised by mainstream newspaper coverage, while also criticising the hypocrisy of outlets such as Mail Online, which uploaded the “manifesto” of the gunman in the Christchurch terror attack. Neil Basu, one of Britain’s top police officers, said it was ironic that while newspapers have repeatedly criticised the likes of Facebook and Google for hosting extremist content, sites including the Sun and the Mirror rushed to upload clips of footage filmed by the gunman as he attacked two mosques in New Zealand. Read more