Prevent is failing. Any effective strategy must include Muslim communities

Treating all Muslims with suspicion has made Prevent a toxic brand. A grassroots-led programme would be more effective at countering terrorism.

…. At present, rather than enlist Muslim communities as equal partners in the fight against terrorism, they instead must live under the shadow of the government’s Prevent strategy, which is widely perceived to be a toxic brand.

…. In the report, the former security official and Prevent strategy’s architect, Sir David Omand, observed: “The key issue is, do most people in the community accept [Prevent] as protective of their rights? If the community sees it as a problem, then you have a problem.”

…. Notwithstanding this scepticism, there is a real desire in the community to explore grassroots-led responses to the challenge of terrorism. That is why the Muslim Council of Britain is carrying out a nationwide consultation to find out what Muslim communities would like the government to do to tackle terrorism together.

Initial feedback from this listening exercise suggests that the Prevent strategy is seen as a top-down government-led effort to create a more palatable version of Islam, targeting so-called non-violent extremists without a robust definition. Instead, Muslim communities support a greater focus on violent terrorism specifically, while community cohesion efforts unrelated to terrorism are dealt with separately. [Miqdaad Versi, 483 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 236 votes] “Rather than mosques and madrasas being targeted as potential hotbeds of terrorism, a claim that has no basis in fact” ?????????

…. The material, which was openly available in many of the mosques, including the East London Mosque in Whitechapel, which has been visited by Prince Charles, also encourages British Muslims to segregate themselves from non-Muslims. Channel 4 filmed preachers and obtained DVDs and books inside mosques which were filled with hate-filled invective against Christians and Jews. They condemned democracy and called for jihad. They presented women as intellectually congenitally deficient and in need of beating when they transgressed Islamic dress codes. They said that children over the age of 10 should be hit if they did not pray. Again the main mosque chosen for exposure was influenced and funded from Saudi Arabia.

At that time the Saudis were spending $2-3 billion annually on Wahhabist propaganda. That sum is thought to have doubled since then. Ban hate preachers.

Abdal Hakim Murad, the student Iman at Cambridge University says

“I regard what the Saudis are doing in the ghettoes of British Islam as potentially lethal for the future of the community.”

I would suggest you start above and please listen to Iman Murad!

[ANOTHER 145] “A grassroots-led programme would be more effective at countering terrorism.”

I’m sorry, no. No, no, no.

You’ve had your chance to regulate yourselves, we’ve bent over backwards to leave you alone to do your thing in peace, and you’ve failed miserably time and time again.

That’s why mainstream society has been forced to step in and play policeman, which is what Prevent is.

[ANOTHER 108] So what are the alternatives? Apparently, woolly inclusive flammery which ignores political extremism entirely, even though violent terrorism is always the result of political extremism, and the problem is the community which condones the political attitudes that can be used to justify violent action.

“And according to a BBC/Comres poll last year, an overwhelming 94% of Muslims would report terrorists planning violence to the police.”

So 6% would not. That is quite a big minority for such a serious issue.

Actually the whole problem is that there are ‘Muslim communities’ in the first place. Muslims should be part of British society, not religiously labelled communities – but that can’t happen (and Islam can’t be compatible with the secular west) unless we break the link between community identity and religion. We’ve had the same problem in NI with the ‘Catholic community’ and ‘Protestant community’, as opposed to people feeling Northern Irish – even ‘British’ vs ‘Irish’ is better than a religiously delineated sectarianism.

“the best way to tackle violent extremists is to demonstrate that British Muslims are part and parcel of British life.”

So how do we persuade them to join the rest of us in ‘British life’? It is not Brits who are unwelcoming to people from other communities – look at how well integrated other minorities are. The problem is in the culture in these ‘communities’ and how they don’t want to integrate. [Guardian Cif] Read more

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