Prevent extremism policy targets all sections of Muslim community

28th Feb 2014


Tahera Bandali

On February 10, Cage held a press conference to discuss a report on impact of Government’s Prevent Extremism policy. The report suggests that this policy ‘criminalises, stigmatises and alienates the entire Muslim community’ and encourages them to working to disestablishing it.

The report says that the policy’s desire is to deal with the so called ‘War on Terror’. It is in fact targeting and scrutinising all aspects of Muslim life from school, university, healthcare, charity work and community spaces, argues the report. This leads to eliminating the fundamental rights and freedoms of an individual within the state. This policy has thus created a climate of fear within Muslim communities and has led to them feeling alienated, withdrawing into themselves and is essentially counter-productive.

Jahangir Mohammed, the report’s co-author said at the launch, “There is no policy that has tried to look at the ideas, the views and the thoughts of a community like this in recent modern history.” He reiterated that the counter terrorism measures in place at the moment have been “drawn from neo conservative thought rather than a rigorous empirical evidential approach.” It is argued that violence in the Muslim world is drawn directly from Islamic belief and theory rather than an individual’s desire to create political change.

Mohammed said that since 7/7 it isn’t the perpetrators who have been held to account but “rather Muslim communities who are being criminalised for their beliefs, actions and opinions likening it to the Assad regime in Syria with children who make comments opposed to the regime being sent off for correction.”

Shakur Rahman, an Imam at Redbridge Mosque spoke of how Prevent policy has placed limitations on community events and imams threatened. Measures were taken against imams who were told that if they “didn’t comply with Prevent measures their lives would be made difficult.”

One of the victims who spoke at the press conference explained his confusion in understanding why he had been targeted under the policy. He said he has been questioned several times, held under Schedule 7; at one time he added he was detained for 26 hours with no food or water and no communication, “even when it was clearly evident that I was only travelling for religious pilgrimage.” To this day he said he has never been given a clear answer as to what evidence has been used in order for him to be targeted.

Vice President at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), Ibrahim Ali, said authorities constantly target Islamic societies and are “treated with suspicion with members being questioned for simply praying in their prayer room.” Muslim individuals who denied to spy on their friends and colleagues without a clear reason were blackmailed with personal information, he said.

The report says Prevent policy’s view that Islamic beliefs are in direct relation to acts of terror is “completely inaccurate and its use through manipulation, blackmail and secrecy is continuously acting as a breech on the freedom of individual liberties and their rights to freedom of expression.” The Prevent policy is “no longer about terrorism and violence but rather about values and beliefs and is constantly leading to all areas of Muslim life being regulated without clear evidential support.”

One Response to “Prevent extremism policy targets all sections of Muslim community”

Iftikhar AhmadFebruary 28, 2014

The EDL are nothing but racist losers who are trying to blame Islam for the calamity of own pathetic lives. Not one of them can put together a reasoned logical argument for their vaguely defined beliefs. Anyone who supports them needs to ask themselves why the EDL is full of half-literate thugs, whilst most educated and rational people have nothing to do with the EDL or their rancid hate-mongering.

Multiculturalism is not about integration but about cultural plurality. It is not about separation but about respect and the deepening awareness of Unity in Diversity. Each culture will maintain its own intrinsic value and at the same time would be expected to contribute to the benefit of the whole society. Multiculturalism can accommodate diversity of all kinds – cultural, philosophical and religious – so that we can create a world without conflict and strife. Britain can assume the role of accommodation and concern for all peoples, for our planet and indeed for our survival. Multi-culturalism is even more important and crucial after 9/11 and 7/7. Muslim youths are also likely to feel alienated by a focus on shared Brutishness, rather than multicultural diversity. Rather than promoting a single British “us” teaching should acknowledge that “us” can be diverse and plural. Children should be encouraged to explore differences in appearance, history and religion to reduce social and educational fears.

Islam is a religion of peace love and JUSTICE. Muslims don’t and should not prove their innocence who believe that Islam is a violent religion. ISLAM today and after 9/11 has been the fastest growing religion in the WORLD. To be honest, nobody like unpeaceful religion… it seems that its impossible to gain billions of followers if a prophet was evil.. and it has decline the number of Christianity in the world.. Judaism as well.. the only war today was due to people that are greedy for power.. but in majority of Muslims view, politics is only for man who wants to challenge his life. Most of us don’t like politics because later you would be put in trial in front of God. Ordinary Muslims prefer to be away from it..

Allah our God said in Quran: “When You Are Greeted, Answer With A More Courteous Greeting, Or At Least Of Equal Degree.” (Surah 4: Ayah 86) Islam teach us ”to treat people the way we love to be treated” That what Mohammed peace be upon him said. and He also said ”Shall I tell you something which, if you did, you would love each other? Spread the greeting of peace between yourselves” all i am kindly saying that Islam is really a peaceful religion, please do not judge it before you understand it. If you want to learn about Islam, just read the Quran for yourself and look at Muhammad’s life and what he’s done. Islam is peace it never encourages violent in any way. Islam encourages self defence.

Living together requires quite simply, an acceptance of the others, of the way in which (the other) is dressed.

It is absurd to believe that Muslim schools, Imams and Masajid teach Muslim children anti-Semitic, homophobic and anti-western views. It is dangerously deceptive and misleading to address text books and discuss them out of their historical, cultural and linguistic context. It is not wrong to teach children that Jews are committing the same cruelty in Palestine what German did to them before or during Second World War. It is not wrong to teach children that anti-social behaviour, drinking, drugs, homosexuality, sex before marriage, teenage pregnancies and abortions are western values and Islam is against all such sins. This does not mean that Muslim schools teach children to hate westerners, Jews and homosexuals.

Extremism, homophobia and anti-Semitism are nothing to do with Islamic teachings and beliefs. Islam does not teach that Jews and Christians are pigs and monkeys. The Policy Exchange Think-tank should concentrate on institutionally racist British schooling with chicken racist teachers. Muslim parents do not want their children with behaviour problems that include unprovoked aggression, promiscuity, violence, eating disorder, bullying and alcohol. According to ATL, teachers believe behaviour is worse than it was five years ago, with even five year olds being disrespectful, intimidating and violent. This is the true picture of British broken society and the Muslim community does not want to be integrated.

Islam is a peaceful religion, terrorism arose in response to the massive killings done by the west in Muslim lands, starting with Afghanistan, and now the Arab world where the West is interfering now.

As a Muslim I’m taught that I have 2 kinds of brother, brothers in Islam, and brothers in humanity, that’s why I love everyone unconditionally. I believe in the truth and the truth is that Islam does not allow the deaths of innocents and you’re cherry-picking and misinterpreting and taking out of context. According to Islam, as a Muslim who studied it for more than a decade, is AGAINST the killings of innocents. Don’t judge a faith from the misguidance of others. It is a sin in Islam to kill innocent people including children, women and elderly. You are fooled by your media and anti-Islamists misinterpreting the sources of Islam.


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