Prevent Watch

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Prevent: Government’s counterterrorism programme is ‘single biggest threat’ to free speech at universities, report finds

The single biggest threat to free speech on university campuses is the government’s counterterrorism Prevent programme, a report has claimed. Written and published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) the papers says that despite “strong rhetoric supporting free speech in universities”, the “current single biggest threat to free speech on UK campuses currently comes from the government’s own Prevent programme”. Read more

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Home Office urged to release leftwing extremism report

The Home Office is facing calls to release a report called Leftwing Activism and Extremism in the UK, which has been prepared by its extremism analysis unit (EAU). Jenny Jones, one of several politicians and activists whose inclusion on a domestic extremist database previously caused a furore, are among those expressing concerns about the report after its existence was revealed by a freedom of information request by the Guardian. Read more

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CAGE: Tony Blair’s new report is a poor attempt at censoring Muslim voices and dictating Islamic belief

London – A new report by the Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is an academically flawed attempt to remould Islamic belief and silence Muslim voices that challenge repressive state policies. Blair, commonly known for being funded by despots, is now attempting to cast himself as the authority on what is acceptable and unacceptable dissent within the framework of his cash cow, the ‘War on Terror’. The report uses the disbanded Al-Muhajiroun (ALM) as a baseline for “extremist” beliefs, and the authors tar anyone who approximates similar talking points as illegitimate, a superficial guilt-by-association without any actual contextual examination or rigorous academic enquiry. Read more

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Separating Families: How PREVENT Seeks the Removal of Children

Now, for the first time, CAGE is offering documentation that the removal of children, and the attempted removal of children, is taking place in the family courts of the United Kingdom. It is being done using an unreliable and highly subjective method of measuring “extremism” and “radicalisation”, themselves subjective terms that have not been adequately defined. Read more  

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Pressure on British Muslim parents to counter extremism is damaging

Pressure on British Muslim parents to counter extremism in their own families is having a detrimental effect, according to new research by Manchester academic Madeline-Sophie Abbas. Young Muslims have come under intense public scrutiny due to their perceived vulnerability to radicalisation. The Prevent counter-terrorism strategy has placed increased responsibility on parents to police their children, including removing their passports if suspected of travelling to join IS. Read more

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British Muslims’ fear of Prevent is based on facts not perceptions

When Andy Burnham, the Labour mayor of Greater Manchester, commissioned a report into Prevent in the wake of the suicide bombing in Manchester in May 2017, we, the co-founders of Advancing Voices of Women against Islamophobia (AVOW), welcomed it. Burnham had previously criticised Prevent, which is part of the British government’s counter-terrorism strategy. We never wanted to see a repeat of the attack on the Manchester Arena, during which 23 people were killed and 139 wounded, more than half of them children. Despite the suicide bomber Salman Abedi being highlighted to MI5, it was clear Prevent was not working well. The report, entitled A Shared Future, has just been released. It has found that there is a“genuine fear” that Prevent is targeting Muslims in Greater Manchester. This is uncontroversial. What we object to is the report’s elaboration on this, which is that the fear stems from a lack of information. This is wrong and […]

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Prevent: Strong feelings that strategy ‘targets Muslim communities’

A “perpetuating cycle of lack of information” about a Government counter-terrorism strategy has led to “genuine fears” of persecution among Greater Manchester Muslims, a report has found. Although Prevent was “working well” in the region, a commission set up in the wake of last May’s Manchester Arena suicide bombing which killed 22 people said it was not getting its message across to communities where “high levels of distrust and suspicion of statutory agencies continues to exist”. Read more

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Muslims ‘genuinely fear’ being persecuted by Prevent due to lack of official information, report warns

Muslims “genuinely fear” being persecuted by the government’s controversial counterextremism strategy because of the lack of official information, a report has warned. Research commissioned in Manchester following last year’s bombing found that although Prevent does good work tackling all forms of radicalisation, poor communication has caused a “dangerous perpetuating cycle of fear” and made people less willing to engage with the voluntary scheme. Read more