The government is reviewing the Prevent strategy – will it listen to the communities most affected? | AN ALTERNATIVE LENS

“Behaviours that are totally harmless, have come to be viewed as ‘signs of radicalisation’, such as Ofsted using the example of a child hiding a Quran in their bedroom or increasing interest in religion from students who weren’t so religious before, a normal process, as some students grapple with their identity and who they are as they get older.

Often I hear people scream what’s the alternative? The alternative is to work with grassroots Muslim organisations who are and always have been at the forefront of tackling extremism. Data clearly shows that they are at the forefront of reporting potential terrorists. The Prevent scheme has become toxic and many do not trust it.

We need a counter extremism strategy that is effective and has the trusts of all groups of society, for without it, we will only be undermining our own battle against extremism. We need a review of the policy, not just its criticism.”

Media Diversified

The government is set to review its much criticised Prevent counter-extremism strategy, however in his first column for Media Diversified, Basit Mahmood asks will they actually listen to the real-life experience and concerns of members of the Muslim communities most affected?

Note: the featured image above is a stock photo.


Earlier this week, the government’s security minister, Ben Wallace, announced a review of the controversial counter-extremism strategy, Prevent. After years of resisting the pressure to do so, on the surface it would appear that the government is keen to address the concerns of communities like my own, who have long criticised its corrosive impact on trust and community cohesion.

However, asking critics of the scheme, which include students, teachers, human rights groups, and academics, to provide evidence of their claims whilst simultaneously calling such evidence ‘distortions and spin’, leaves one wondering if the commitment is really there to review the…

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