Case Study – IM
A Muslim sixth form student went to his GP because of a medical problem with his leg. While showing his problem to the GP, he was suddenly asked for his opinions on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Middle Eastern conflicts more generally. The reasons behind the GP’s line of questioning remain unclear. IM told PREVENT watch how this encounter made him feel:
“I felt as if my doctor was acting like some kind of spy for the government. I know a little bit about the way all of this PREVENT stuff works, and honestly believed that my doctor was fishing for some information about me to pass on to someone else.”
IM’s case clearly illustrates how individuals are unfairly targeted and challenged on their political ideas and views based on their ethnic and/or religious background and appearance. This can have a damaging impact on the individual and can in fact contribute to an individual’s radicalisation. It can do so in two ways. Firstly, it can make the individual lose trust in core civic services and create a friction between their Muslim and British identities, thereby making them feel like outsider. Secondly, it can make the individuals feel targeted and victimised because of their Islamic and racial identities, thereby facilitating the creation (or perpetuation of existing) grievances.