Prevent Watch

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The House: The counter extremism problem and the Prevent policy

As human rights groups call for an overhaul of the government’s counter extremism policy, Prevent, what might we see in the Home Office’s long-awaited independent review? Laura Hutchinson, writing for The House – a cross-party publication reporting on Westminster – notes that the most common Prevent referral is under “extreme right wing” radicalisation (46 per cent), followed by concerns about those with a mixed, unstable, or unclear ideology (30 per cent), and Islamist radicalisation (22 per cent). Despite this, “Islamist terrorism”, she says, accounts for the majority of terrorism-related convictions, with 68 per cent of prisoners in custody for terrorism being Muslim. Hutchinson notes that “many Muslim groups raise concerns that Prevent leads to their communities being seen only through a security lens, and could lead to the policing of culturally conservative views or political opinions”. Source: The Problem With Prevent

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RSE and the Prevent counter-extremism policy: what parents are asking and why it matters

I spoke about Prevent to parents who had gathered for something that may seem unrelated to counter-extremism: the changes in the curriculum with regards to Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and their concerns about refraining from participating in discussions regarding this aspect of their children’s schooling. When surveyed on why they did not want to participate in RSE discussions, 3.4% of parents said it was because of Prevent, adding to the growing body of evidence that proves the UK government’s counter-extremism policy has a self-censoring effect on education. Even though Prevent Watch has not seen cases of referrals in relation to RSE, we have seen a case where a child was referred to Prevent for saying that homosexuality was against his religion. This led to an interrogation by counter-extremism and policy. The fears of parents are many and enough in the normal journey of raising children today. Surely their education […]

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The PROP Expert View: The Prevent policy in the UK’s love-hate with the far-right

The claim to target the far-right was a red herring to bring Muslims on board with the Prevent policy in the UK. Now, the government is saying that to target the far-right would be to police “mainstream” views shared by many in government. What is going on? We discussed this with Surviving Society as part of their Legacies of the War on Terror podcast series. Our podcast included why the long-delayed William Shawcross Review of Prevent will recommend more focus on the Muslim community, despite recommendations from counter terrorism experts to keep focus on the “far-right” and “incels”. We also talked about some of the the far-right cases that we have seen at Prevent Watch among children, and how they could have been dealt with differently, avoiding trauma to children and families. The positioning of the far-right as part of “defending British values” is quite clearly supported by people like […]