“As hundreds of academics have affirmed, Prevent has not made anyone safer, but rather, it has demonised an entire community through a state-sponsored climate of surveillance and suspicion. Now, freedom of speech, association and assembly are under threat based on upon the same rationale.
This is not what Britain is. It is very much revealing that Mr Cameron, having failed in delivering policies which expressly implicate the broader UK population, is now resorting to the counter-extremism policy which will target 5% of the population to “revitalise” his “premiership”. From start to finish, the proposals are a catastrophe waiting to happen. Our advice to the government is to heed history, if not academic opinion.
The British public must oppose these draconian measures. Though the image of Islam is present in the rhetoric of those who architect such toxic legislation, the reality is that the application will affect the whole of society. Muslims are the suspect community today. Tomorrow it can be anyone.”
The Cameron government has suffered a number of set-backs and U-turns in the past year in terms of policy. In most of these cases, the policies have been challenged by the public due to their adverse impact. What fiascos like the junior doctors pay have demonstrated is that a well-informed public, which has not pandered to the government’s fear mongering, or smoke-and-mirrors tactics, is one of the best checks on state excesses.
A further frontier is to be established with the Queen’s Speech setting out the Counter-Extremism Bill. With this area too, the public must stand up and see through the “terrorism” façade which is being used to justify spurious, draconian legislation.
Reports suggest that the proposed Counter-Extremism Bill will contain new powers to ban “extremist” organisations, gag individuals and empower councils to shut premises used to “promote hatred”. “Premises” is a reference to mosques. Ofcom…
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