Prevent Watch

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Johnson’s attacks on ‘lefty lawyers’ are childish and sinister

David Renton explains how the government has attempted to justify its Rwanda policy in the press and through attacks on lawyers. Instead of letting refugees settle here, Boris Johnson intends to force them to live in central Africa. The main justification of the Rwanda scheme is that it is so unpleasant that it will scare refugees and dissuade others from following them, so that the number of people coming to Britain will fall. But the focus here is not on the ridiculousness of the scheme as such, but rather the way the government has attempted to justify it in the press through attacks on left-wing lawyers. Source: Johnson’s attacks on ‘lefty lawyers’ are childish and sinister | Morning Star

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PROP Expert View: The TIMES gets it all wrong on Prevent – here’s why

Times columnist, James Forsyth (‘Islamism is a greater threat than the far right’, June 16) seriously misrepresents the government’s Prevent strategy and its relation to counter-terrorism. He writes in anticipation of the publication of the much-delayed Shawcross Report, which makes his piece troubling. James Forsyth believes that the number of far right referrals is disproportionate to the risk when compared with those who have committed terrorist offences. This is factually incorrect; in 2021, out of 186 actual terrorism arrests, over 40% were related to suspected right-wing terrorism. Despite the statistics of actual terror offences showing a problem of far-right in terms of actual suspected offences, Prevent still focuses on Muslims. Source: The TIMES gets it all wrong on Prevent – here’s why

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Middle East Monitor: The UK will be complicit in rise of far-right terrorism if it adopts the Shawcross review

It was only a matter of time before a right-wing figure finally revealed the true depth of their agenda by deliberately drawing attention away from the extremists at their end of the political spectrum, writes Muhammad Hussein. That is exactly what William Shawcross, appointed by the British government to lead the review of the Prevent counter-terrorism programme, appears to have done. The extracts from the supposedly independent review, which was delivered to the Home Office in late April, make it a point to focus on that Islamic extremism and the mental health of all individuals referred to Prevent even if there is no actual evidence of extremism. Source: The UK will be complicit in the rise of far-right terrorism if it adopts the Shawcross review – Middle East Monitor

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Research Professional News: Prevent threatens the role of universities in the UK

The culture wars on higher education are hotting up and the aim is specifically now to free right-wing speech and to chill that of Muslim citizens and their legitimate organisations, writes Professor John Holmwood. The question that is about to be asked of universities is how far they are willing to go in defence of free speech. And to what extent will they oppose government plans for the certification of partners? This is a new authoritarianism, where the government presents itself as the protector of free speech while seeking to undermine the expression of opposition to its policies.   Source: In pursuit of Prevent – Research Professional News

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Prevent ‘reform’ is the latest Tory gift to the Far-Right – Tribune

23 May, 2022 – The leaks of the government-commissioned review of the Prevent strategy demonstrate what is the latest Tory gift to the far-right: the threat of neo-nazism is set to be downgraded despite mounting evidence to the contrary, while social justice campaigns will be targeted. This reveals the extent to which extremist views are being brought into the mainstream. The recent deadly and racist attack at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York is a clear indication that the ideology ‘the great replacement theory’ which says that ‘foreigners are a demographic threat’ is gaining traction among white supremacist groups. A lot of attention has been cast on US news presenter Tucker Carlson and Fox News as spreading this rhetoric in the US, but less attention is being placed on its proponents in Britain. One prominent voice is the independent reviewer of Prevent, Sir William Shawcross, who has repeatedly made dangerous […]

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Elite Chinese police college drew on UK’s Prevent strategy for Uyghur policy – Middle East Eye

17 May, 2022 – A new report has found that the London Policing College (LPC) has declared partnerships with eight universities in China, at least some of which have ties to policing in Xinjiang, where Muslim minorities have faced brutal treatment. LPC is a private UK company that provides police training internationally and receives UK taxpayer money for some of its work. Among the institutions highlighted in Tuesday’s report, compiled by the rights group Freedom from Torture, was the Beijing-based People’s Public Security University of China (PPSUC), the country’s elite policing university, which the report says focuses heavily on counter-terrorism training and learning about the UK’s own Prevent strategy. Source: Elite Chinese police college drew on UK’s Prevent strategy for Uyghur policy | Middle East Eye

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‘Great Replacement Theory’ has now inspired four mass shootings – Newsweek

The racist conspiracy theory that claims whites are being replaced by people of colour has motivated another mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 people dead. The killing is being prosecuted as a ‘hate crime’. A 180-page manifesto, purportedly authored by the shooter, said the attack was motivated by the “Great Replacement Theory”— a Newsweek article tracks the most recent racist and Islamophobic killings that were motivated by this theory. Source: ‘Great Replacement Theory’ Has Inspired 4 Mass Shootings in Recent Years

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Leaked Prevent review attacks ‘double standards’ on far right and Islamists – The Guardian

16 May, 2022 – The government’s counter-terrorism programme has been too focused on rightwing extremism and should now crack down on Islamist extremism, according to leaked draft extracts from a landmark review of the Prevent strategy. In one particularly provocative recommendation, seen by the Guardian, the review claims there has been a “double standard” approach to tackling different forms of extremism, with individuals targeted for expressing mainstream rightwing views because the definition of neo-nazism has expanded too widely, while the focus on Islamist extremism has been too narrow. Source: Leaked Prevent review attacks ‘double standards’ on far right and Islamists | The Guardian

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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 […]