Prevent Watch

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The PROP Expert View: How are we to make sense of Shawcross?

Leaks from the Shawcross review of Prevent say that “Prevent has failed”. Case-based evidence shows that Prevent is not directly involved in preventing terrorism. Rather, it addresses ideas and behaviours that are said to be “indicators” of “risk”. Because Prevent is an early intervention, there can be no evidence that it has successfully dissuaded anyone; indeed this is logically impossible to prove. Indeed, how can one measure “success” and “failure” when the programme itself targets people who are innocent in the law in the first place? Source: how are we to make sense of what shawcross is saying on prevent? – The People Review of Prevent

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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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Al Jazeera podcast: The duel to hold Prevent to account in the UK

After years in operation, the government will release an independent review of Prevent – but it has been boycotted by hundreds of organizations. Instead, many participated in a People’s Review of Prevent. So what does a tale of two reviews tell us about the future of Prevent? Listen to this exclusive Al Jazeera podcast featuring Layla Aitlhadj, Director of Prevent Watch and Professor John Holmwood, author of the book “Countering Extremism in British Schools?: The Truth about the Birmingham Trojan Horse Affair”.   Source: In the UK, a duel to hold ‘Prevent’ to account | Human Rights News | Al Jazeera

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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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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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Prevent review ‘does not reflect reality’ and must keep focus on far right, say experts – The Guardian

22 May, 2022 – Government advisers on extremism have openly questioned the direction of the Home Office’s counter-terrorism programme after it emerged last week that a review was advocating a crackdown on Islamist extremism rather than the threat of the far right. They questioned why the review of the Prevent strategy carried out by William Shawcross at the behest of the home secretary, Priti Patel, should refocus on Islamism at a time when Prevent referrals over the ideology have fallen to 22%, while a quarter now relate to far-right extremism. The most recent Prevent data reveals that “mixed, unstable or unclear” ideologies now account for more than half of all referrals to the anti-radicalisation strategy and that a quarter relate to far-right extremism. Lewys Brace, who advises the government on extremism, said the Shawcross recommendations did not “reflect what’s going on at all, in any way. Mixed ideologies is where […]

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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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UK’s charity regulator urged to investigate Policy Exchange over ‘anti-Muslim agenda’

Simon Hooper reports for Middle East Eye on a complaint to the Charity Commission, which calls for the think tank Policy Exchange to lose its charitable status. The UK’s charities regulator is being urged to investigate the Policy Exchange think tank for alleged racism and Islamophobia, over a report in which it accused Muslim critics of the government’s Prevent strategy of “enabling terrorism”. In a letter to the Charity Commission, the authors of a critical review of the UK government’s controversial counterterrorism strategy, the People’s Review of Prevent, called on the government to review the think tank’s charitable status, accusing it of “promoting vilification and even hatred” towards Muslim communities. “As a charity, Policy Exchange must remain non-partisan and be detached from government. Yet it would appear Policy Exchange is neither, acting primarily as a vehicle for political propaganda and anti-Muslim narratives,” said Layla Aitlhadj, a director at Prevent Watch, […]

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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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The People’s Review of Prevent launches as an alternative to Shawcross-led review

The People’s Review of Prevent, co-authored by Prevent Watch, presents an alternative to the review conducted for the government by William Shawcross and is being launched tomorrow. Among the report’s crucial findings is that Prevent is directed primarily at children and young people. The People’s Review of Prevent finds that children and young people make up around half of all referrals. This includes children at nursery and primary schools. 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. Source: The People’s Review of Prevent