The UK government’s latest review of its Prevent strategy is not only a political facade but a trojan horse to expand the programme. We must be united in our call for disengagement from it, and to demand nothing less than Prevent’s abolishment, argues Na’eem Ibn Farooq.
UK communities targeted by the Government’s Prevent counter-terrorism strategy have expressed dismay at its latest proposed ‘review’. It is not hard to see why. This ‘review’ is an expensive and wasteful exercise, a piece of political theatre. Indeed, previous ‘reviews’ and revisions have been little more than vehicles for bolstering Prevent’s arsenal of tactics, thus serving to extend and deepen the policy’s reach and harm.
Since 2006, when it was first promoted as a deradicalisation ‘fund’, the Prevent strategy has undergone several mutations, all consistently aimed at criminalising Muslims and disrupting dissent. Rather than genuinely keeping us safe, Prevent’s core function is to effectively protect the interests of a small political elite, and to uphold an ideology of neo-imperialism. This core function saw Prevent becoming a statutory duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act of 2015.
As a result, all public sector workers, including teachers and doctors, are now legally obliged to report any signs of ‘vulnerability’ or ‘extremism’ in others, under the false banner of ‘safeguarding’ them. Seeing through this facade, many public sector workers have vocalised their astonishment at being forced to implement a discriminatory policy that is eroding the trust of people under their care.