Prevent Watch

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How a neo-conservative think tank defined British Muslims

In an exclusive extract from his new book The Fate of Abraham, award-winning MEE commentator Peter Oborne explains how Policy Exchange has helped to dismantle traditions of tolerance and multiculturalism in the UK, with Muslims its main target. In the wake of the calamity of the Iraq invasion of 2003, one might have supposed that the ideology which lay behind Tony Blair and George W Bush’s bloody misadventure would have been discredited. This has not happened. Neo-conservatism has continued to set the parameters for a great deal of policy discourse, and its supporters have continued to occupy many of the most prominent positions in British (and American) public life. There are a number of reasons for this resilience. In the UK, Policy Exchange, a London-based think tank, is one organisation which kept the neo-conservative flame burning. Though its public profile is small, it has exerted prodigious influence in political circles. […]

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David Cameron endorses report tied to man he called ‘Muslim no-go zone’ “idiot” and ‘neo-Nazi’

Nafeez Ahmed writes for Byline Times that the former Prime Minister has put his support behind a new Policy Exchange report targeting Muslim civil society groups as ringleaders in the ‘enabling’ of terrorism. A new report claiming that critics of counter-terrorism policy are “enabling terrorism” is closely connected to a ‘white genocide’ believer who worked for a far-right conspiracy theorist whom former Prime Minister David Cameron called an “idiot” for describing Birmingham as a ‘Muslim no go zone’. The report by the Policy Exchange think tank is also linked to a coalition of European far-right parties, including the Sweden Democrats – a party with “neo-Nazi tendencies”, according to the current Israeli Ambassador to the UK. Its publication reveals how far-right ideologues are successfully attempting to use influential centre-right think tanks to mainstream their worldviews through the language of national security and counter-extremism. Delegitimising Counter-Terrorism: The Activist Campaign to Demonise Prevent […]

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Policy Exchange report is submitted to the UN as evidence of Islamophobia and racism

The People’s Review of Prevent today submitted the Policy Exchange report, entitled Delegitimising Counter-Terrorism, as further evidence to the UN of sustained and structural discrimination against British Muslim civil society.  The report is a weak attempt to shutdown the wave of criticism that will follow the long overdue Shawcross-led government review into Prevent, which was boycotted due to its lack of independence and integrity. Policy Exchange makes the shocking claim that Muslim critics of the failing counter-extremism policy are ‘enabling terrorism’. The report offers little in terms of research or academic criticism but presents a series of attacks only Muslim civil society organisations and individuals who are critical of the government’s toxic Prevent programme and its impact on Muslims and wider society. Source: Press Release – The People Review of Prevent

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Priti Patel urges MPs to back anti-protest laws

The Independent’s Jon Stone reports that Priti Patel has written to MPs urging them to back controversial anti-protest legislation after it was rejected by the House of Lords. Peers inflicted a string of defeats on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill last month after critics said some of its measures would effectively ban some non-violent protests. The mammoth bill was defeated over plans to give new powers to police to stop disruptive protests, and on a separate clause which would have imposed noise restrictions on demonstrations. Peers also torpedoed new powers that would make it illegal for protesters to lock themselves to things, and that would give police powers to stop and search those who they suspect of taking part in illegal protests. Labour’s Lord Hain had called the move “the biggest threat to the right to dissent and the right to protest in my lifetime”, while the Green […]

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New report on think tanks in the UK reveals right-wing links

  A new report entitled The Henry Jackson Society: The Threat to British Democracy Caused by Security Think Tanks explores the impact that security think tanks are having on societal cohesion in the UK. Authored by authored by Richard McNiel-Wilson (European University Institute), Rob Faure Walker (University College London) and Isobel Ingham-Barrow (University of Exeter), the report highlights links between such groups and the British and international far Right. In doing so, they combine with patterns of divisive and agenda-driven reports based in impoverished methodologies to shape UK policy and political discourse for the worse. Such groups have caused concern amongst numerous equalities, community, and faith groups and are cited as enabling and encouraging Islamophobia and racism, facilitating far-Right mobilisation, and pushing successive UK governments towards policy positions that damage societal cohesion. Source: The_Threat_to_British-Democracy.pdf