press release

The People’s Review of Prevent submits Policy Exchange report attacking Muslim civil society and individuals to the UN

London – The People’s Review of Prevent today submitted the Policy Exchange report, entitled Delegitimising Counter-Terrorism, as further evidence to the UN of sustained and structural discrimination against British Muslim civil society. 

The report is a weak attempt to shutdown the wave of criticism that will follow the long overdue Shawcross review into Prevent, which was boycotted due to its lack of independence and integrity. It makes the shocking claim that Muslim critics of the failing policy are ‘enabling terrorism’

The report offers little in terms of research or academic criticism but presents a series of attacks only Muslim civil society organisations and individuals who are critical of the government’s toxic Prevent programme and it’s impact on Muslims and wider society. 

The People’s Review of Prevent will highlight to the UN that the report amounts to:

  • harassment, bullying and victimisation of those Muslims who are critical of and expose the harm that the Prevent programme does to members of the Muslim community.
  • the report targets only Muslim critics of Prevent whilst ignoring the wide range of non-Muslim critics in civil society, including major human rights organisations – it is thus clear evidence of racism and Islamophobia on the part of a pro-government aligned think tank.
  • dismisses and diminishes the experiences of those impacted by Prevent, and taken from a library of nearly 600 cases, some of which were used in the People’s Review of Prevent, instead dismissing these legitimate Muslim grievance as disinformation.
  • smears Muslims groups with the label of being anti-counter-terrorism measures to combat terrorism in society, and implying that Muslim groups that are anti-Prevent are enablers of terrorism 
  • proposes the establishment of a McCarthyite style “due diligence unit” that would function to target, and smear those who are critical of Prevent as extremists, and to be isolated from wider public and community engagement . This would further restrict the rights of Muslims and their groups, to freedom of association, expression and religious belief
  • an attempt to sanction Muslims who critique Prevent, by suggesting that social and financial pressure be placed on those critical of the Prevent policy. It is worth noting that critics of Prevent are already denied access to public funding.

The People’s Review of Prevent was guided by an expert panel of academics, human rights organisations and civil society groups. The UN Special Rapporteur Professor Fionnuala Ni Aolain and UK human rights lawyer Professor Conor Gearty FBA, QC (Hon) supported the work and wrote the foreword to the report.

The report can be read here: