The second of a two-part series unpacking the Bloom Review, this incisive and thorough essay by a Concerned Muslim’s blog is a must read.
The People's Review of Prevent
The People’s Review of Prevent is an alternative review to the Government Shawcross Review.
This review provides a voice to the people most impacted by the Prevent Duty.
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 studies that show how real these harms can be and the distress they cause to children and their families and carers.
A sweeping review of the relationship between religion and state by Colin Bloom, will make recommendations urging more aggressive action.
The Trojan Horse Affair involved false allegations of an Islamist plot to take over Birmingham schools. This is a response to those attempting to have the
No 10 has refused to say if its review of the Prevent strategy will be redacted, amid reports it has been delayed by a row between Michael Gove and the Home Office over whether to reveal the names of suspected “Islamist” extremists. The Prevent review was handed over to the Home Office by William Shawcross, a former head of the Charity Commission, in the summer. Draft extracts leaked to the Guardian in May revealed it controversially argued the government has been too focused on rightwing extremism and should now crack down on Islamist extremism. However, it has not been published yet. According to the Times, Whitehall sources said Gove was increasingly trying to get involved because of his joint responsibility for Prevent’s operation on the ground. Asked when the review would be published, Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said it was “right to take time to prepare and deliver a considered response”.
Communities Secretary Michael Gove and the Independent reviewer of the Prevent strategy William Shawcross addressed a profit-making pro-Prevent lobbying group, with mysterious funding, the Byline Times
Following the Trojan Horse Affair in Birmingham and the collapse of the Department of Education’s attempt to ban teachers under claims that they had an Islamist agenda, the 2015 version of Prevent, the UK government’s counter extremism strategy, included a statutory duty on schools to promote ‘British values’. This became part of the national curriculum on the back of the Birmingham Trojan Horse Affair, a deeply problematic precursor to any notion of ‘British values’. During this event it was claimed that teachers at Park View School were guilty of ‘Islamicising’ the school. In fact, no charges of extremism were brought against teachers, and the cases against the senior leadership team collapsed due to an ‘abuse of process’ by lawyers acting for the Department of Education, including non-disclosure of relevant evidence. The Trojan Horse Affair demonised an outstanding Muslim-majority school and made it the means to justify the teaching of the
Reappointed communities secretary Michael Gove opposes settling on a definition of Islamophobia, claiming it would bring ‘dangers’. The Independent’s home affairs editor Lizzie Dearden writes on Twitter that “Gove said he wanted to target “political Islam”, which he called a “virus”. He claimed there was “resistance in Whitehall”. Source: Government drops work towards official Islamophobia definition promised to combat anti-Muslim hatred in 2019 | The Independent
David Cameron’s ‘muscular liberalism’ has done away with multiculturalism and constructed a notion of ‘British values’ that scapegoats ethnic minorities by presuming they share none of these values. Prof. John Holmwood argues in this article for the Islamic Human Rights Commission that this has huge implications for education, since it has been injected into schools via the academies (and free schools) programme which removed schools from local authority control and which was actively promoted by Policy Exchange and pursued by Michael Gove. The requirement to promote ‘fundamental British values’ that is part of Prevent is incorporated under Section 78 of the Education Act 2002, which means that the moral and spiritual development of children is now subordinated to a national security agenda. Source: The British Government’s Prevent strategy: Putting religious intolerance at the heart of policy – IHRC
Dr Layla Aitlhadj, the director of Prevent Watch, argues in 5 Pillars that the hoax Trojan Horse Affair which turned the lives of Muslims in Birmingham upside down was rooted in a preconceived Prevent agenda. The Trojan Horse hoax (as it came to be known) relates to a letter that was anonymously sent to Birmingham City Council officials outlining a plot by “Islamists” to take over schools. The source of the letter and its real modus operandi should have been the subject of investigations, and then dismissed as most likely a malicious means of distracting from some dubious, localised problems at one school. Instead, the letter was taken up as “truth” by then Education Secretary Michael Gove, who then oversaw the decimation of Muslim achievements in Birmingham and ruination of the lives of Muslims, young and old. This happened despite Gove knowing weeks before appointing Peter Clarke to “investigate” the
The Middle East Eye reports that The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has called for an independent public inquiry into the Birmingham Trojan Horse affair, following fresh revelations about the case in a recent New York Times podcast. The MCB said it warned authorities at the time of the hoax alleging an ‘Islamist plot’ to take over schools, to not be “side tracked by culture wars initiated by divisive commentators”. It rejected the findings of a government report on the issue. “This podcast reveals the deep-rooted nature of institutional Islamophobia in the UK. Each episode is a damning indictment of how narratives and tropes were perpetuated to feed a story of moral panic, in which Muslims are centre stage,” Zara Mohammed, secretary general of the MCB, said. “We call for an independent public inquiry into the Trojan Horse case, and a public apology from those who ignored the truths presented to