Prevent Watch

Young Muslims self-censoring due to Prevent, writes teacher

young muslims self-censorship

As a teacher, I see young Muslims self-censoring in the classroom, especially on issues like Gaza, out of fear of being labelled ‘extremist’ by the government’s counter-terrorism programme, writes Nadeine Asbali for Hyphen.

(The full article on Hyphen Online mentions cases from Prevent Watch.)

After an English lesson in March, as my students streamed out of the classroom into the lunchtime drizzle, one child lingered behind. “Miss, can I show you something?” she asked.

She handed me a piece of creative writing that her older brother wrote in a GCSE tuition session. “My Mum got really angry and said that if he wrote that in the real exam he could get reported to the police. I said I’d ask you because you’re my only Muslim teacher.”

My pupil’s brother had written a first-person account of living through the genocide in Gaza, filled with references to images he’d seen across social media.

He’d mentioned the specific atrocities that all of us have etched into our minds after the last six months: a child’s mutilated body; people being killed queuing up for food; a boy carrying his younger brother in his backpack.

“Would he get in trouble for writing about Palestine in the exam, Miss?”

 

 

 

Related: The Pressure Cooker Effect: The harms of self-censorship on Palestine (Expert View, 2023)

 

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