IN THE News

Middle East Eye: UK’s charity regulator urged to investigate Policy Exchange over ‘anti-Muslim agenda’

11 May, 2022 – The UK’s charities regulator is being urged to investigate the Policy Exchange think tank for alleged racism and Islamophobia, over a report in which it accused Muslim critics of the government’s Prevent strategy of “enabling terrorism”.

In a letter to the Charity Commission, the authors of a critical review of the UK government’s controversial counterterrorism strategy, the People’s Review of Prevent, called on the government to review the think tank’s charitable status.

The Guardian: Replacing Human Rights Act will weaken protections, say peers and MPs

13 April, 2022 – Haroon Siddique writes for the Guardian that the Joint Committee on Human Rights has stated that plans to overhaul the Human Rights Bill contravene the principle that human rights are universal.

MPs and parliamentary peers have said that Dominic Raab’s proposal to replace the Human Rights Bill with a British Bill of Rights is not evidence-based and will diminish protections for individuals.

See this story in the Conversation by Helen Fenwick for 5 takeaways from the proposed new bill.

RSI: Prevent is hindering environmental and anti-racism movements as well, says new report

23 March, 2022 – Rights and Security International (RSI) has published a new report that starkly reveals the ways in which the government’s Prevent strategy hinders free speech and discourages non-violent political activism across the United Kingdom.  

Community activists and political campaigners interviewed for the research reported feeling unable to debate political issues freely without fear of being referred to Prevent.

The New Arab: People-led review calls for swift dismantlement of UK’s Prevent strategy

A new report published by the People’s Review of Prevent has called for the dismantling of the UK’s government’s Prevent Duty; a law it said was “instrumental” in enshrining surveillance against British Muslim communities under the guise of counter-terrorism legislation.

The People’s Review of Prevent report is an alternative to the government-led Shawcross Review which, since its announcement, has been widely condemned and boycotted by human rights groups and Muslim activists as “biased, divisive and serving partisan electoral aims”.

TheCanary: FOI reveals eye-watering sum spent by the government on criminalising communities

28 Feb, 2022 – A freedom of information (FOI) response has shown that the Home Office spent £209.3m on the Prevent programme between 2010 and 2021. However, there’s much more that lurks behind this figure.

Prevent Watch has organised the People’s Review of Prevent in response to a boycott of the Shawcross review. The Shawcross review looks at the implementation of Prevent and aims to provide recommendations for the future. It’s led by William Shawcross, a member of the Henry Jackson Society, who has expressed “patently Islamophobic views”. A number of organisations have pledged to boycott the review.

Left Foot Forward: New government rules on ‘political impartiality’ in schools will chill free speech

18 February, 2022 – New government guidance on ‘political impartiality’ has been criticised for seeking to chill discussion of political subjects.

On February 17, the UK government released a report on ‘Political Impartiality in Schools’. The document effectively tells teachers how they should talk about ‘sensitive issues in the classroom in a politically impartial way’.

The guidance has some disturbing aspects which seek to neuter teachers and suppress real discussion about topics like the British Empire, Black Lives Matter, and the Israel-Palestine conflict. 

MyLondon: Muslim boy, 4, overheard by teacher talking about Fortnite questioned by police

16 Feb, 2022 – A four-year-old British Muslim schoolboy was questioned by police after teachers overheard him talking about Fortnite. This is part of the review into the Government’s Prevent strategy which aims to “reduce the threat to the UK from terrorism by stopping people becoming terrorists”.

The People’s Review of Prevent, which calls to abolish the strategy, found that “there is no problem of integration of British Muslim communities and no basis for regarding them and their families with suspicion” and slammed the policy as ‘Islamophobic’.

Independent: UK must address discrimination concerns over Prevent counter-extremism programme, UN expert says

15 Feb, 2022 – Authorities must urgently address concerns about discrimination and the “de-facto criminalisation of children” in the Prevent counter-extremism programme, a United Nations expert has said.

Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in counter-terrorism, said police and the Home Office must have the confidence of all parts of society for “long-term success in preventing violence”.

Middle East Eye: Trojan Horse hoax led to ‘abuses’ of children

15 Feb, 2022 – Simon Hooper reports that the People’s Review of Prevent reveals that the extension of the Prevent programme into schools in the wake of the Trojan Horse affair has led to children being targeted in ways that amount to abuses of their human rights.

It suggests that the strategy is undermining values that it purports to promote such as tolerance and free expression in the classroom.

CoolnessOfHind: HOW CAN MUSLIMS CONTINUE WORKING FOR PREVENT AFTER THIS DAMNING REPORT?

15 Feb, 2022 – Much ink has been spilt on the “Independent” Reviewer of Prevent and his (un)suitability in the role. The People’s Review of Prevent was set up precisely because the government has no credibility to genuinely lead a review which would fundamentally examine Prevent from the vantage point of both protecting the rights of people and the security of country.

5Pillars: The Trojan Horse affair: A microcosm of how Prevent targets Muslims

Feb 2022 – Dr Layla Aitlhadj, the director of Prevent Watch, argues that the hoax Trojan Horse affair which turned the lives of Muslims in Birmingham upside down was a microcosm of the Prevent “counter-extremism” strategy in action. 

Much discussion has rightfully been reignited about the 2014 Trojan Horse Affair thanks to the brilliant investigative journalism by Hamza Syed and Brian Reed.

IslamChannel: ‘ISLAMOPHOBIC PREVENT’: 73% OF UK MUSLIMS LIVE IN AREAS THAT RECEIVE PREVENT FUNDING, REPORT SAYS

A new report has found that the government’s controversial “counter extremism” programme Prevent still relies on religious profiling of Muslims to assign Prevent funding.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the People’s Review of Prevent revealed that 73% of the UK’s Muslim population live in Prevent Priority Areas (PPAs) which have been kept concealed by the Home Office since 2011.

5Pillars: 73% of Muslims live in areas being injected with millions in Prevent funding

A new report has found that the government’s controversial “counter extremism” programme Prevent still relies on religious profiling of Muslims to assign Prevent funding.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the People’s Review of Prevent revealed that 73% of the UK’s Muslim population live in Prevent Priority Areas (PPAs) which have been kept concealed by the Home Office since 2011.

Discover Society: Preventing Evidence: ‘Rights’ and the Wrongs of Government Policy Reviews

How should civil society today address an increasingly draconian government, one that already has a record of misrepresenting and distorting any evidence presented to it that challenges its intentions? A boycott of the Shawcross Review of Prevent was necessary to communicate the deeply dysfunctional nature of reviews, consultations and other checks on government policy.

Ceasefire: The Shawcross Prevent Review will lead to greater criminalisation of activism — We must stop it

As the official Shawcross review of Prevent gets under way, and a parallel People’s Review gathers steam to challenge it, it is crucial for us to understand the Government’s intentions behind the Shawcross charade, argues Alim Islam.

MEE: Prevent critics launch alternative review of UK counter-terrorism strategy

‘People’s review’ offers ‘grassroots’ platform following widespread boycott of government’s own long-delayed review

5Pillars: People’s review of Prevent launched to ‘give voice to victims’

A “people’s review” of the government’s controversial Prevent counter-extremism policy has been launched.

Prevent Watch says the review will place the people most impacted by the programme at the centre and will provide an alternative to the government’s own review led by the right-winger Willam Shawcross.

Islam21C: People’s Review of Prevent launches independent platform as Shawcross review begins

When the Shawcross review of the Prevent strategy was announced, it galvanised more than 450 Islamic organisations, including 350 mosques and imams, representing a diverse range of Muslim voices. It sent a loud message to the government: we see through the rubber-stamping exercise, and we will not accept it anymore.

Press Release: The People’s Review of Prevent – A Historic First

London – In a historical first, we are launching a People’s Review of the Government’s Prevent programme which places the people most impacted by the programme at the centre of the review. This is being launched by the community based NGO Prevent Watch. The review will provide an alternative to the Government’s own review led by Willam Shawcross which has been controversial.