Major report on Islamophobia calls for independent inquiry into Prevent


Major report on Islamophobia calls for independent inquiry into Prevent

“There is substantial evidence that among the government’s four counter-terrorism strands, the current Prevent policy is discriminatory, disproportionate and counterproductive.”


“There is substantial evidence that among the government’s four counter-terrorism strands, the current Prevent policy is discriminatory, disproportionate and counterproductive.”

A major new report on Islamophobia has called for an independent inquiry into the government’s controversial Prevent counter-terrorism strategy, which is widely perceived in the Muslim community as targeting Muslims.

“Islamophobia: Still a challenge for us all” by the Runnymede Trust was launched in Parliament on Tuesday.

The report said:

“There is substantial evidence that among the government’s four counter-terrorism strands, the current Prevent policy is discriminatory, disproportionate and counterproductive.

“Given the mounting evidence, the independent review must answer whether the Prevent strategy should be withdrawn and how to better separate the state’s security apparatus from wider safeguarding or social policy strategies.”

The report also urged the media to tackle inaccurate and discriminatory reporting on Muslims. It said a press regulator should investigate the prevalence of Islamophobia, racism and hatred espoused in the media.

“Media regulators should intervene more proactively in cases of allegedly discriminatory reporting, and in so doing reflect the spirit of equalities legislation, as recommended by the Leveson Inquiry,” the report stated. “Where inaccurate or misleading content is published, corrections or retractions should be given equal prominence, and not relegated to a small box in an inconspicuous position…

“The press and the wider media should publish data on the ethnic and class diversity of their journalists, editors and senior management, and establish targets in line with local working-age populations.The government should establish a group of media practitioners, and representatives from the press, local authorities and race equality NGOs, to initiate new strategies to combat racial prejudice in the media and negative public perceptions of minority ethnic groups. All politicians should show greater accountability for the impact on race relations of negative media coverage and misrepresentation of minority ethnic and religious groups.”

The report also called for:

– The government to adopt a definition of Islamophobia as anti-Muslim racism.

– Public services and private and charity sector employers to collect more data on Muslims.

–  The government to reintroduce a target to reduce child poverty, and develop a wider anti-poverty strategy.

– Employers and employment support organisations to address barriers to equal labour market participation.

– Local mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure appropriate resources are allocated to tackling hate crime effectively at a local level.

Commenting on the report, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi said Islamophobia is Britain’s “latest bigotry blind spot.”

She said: “In 2011, I said that Islamophobia had passed the dinner-table test. I was speaking about those who display their bigotry overtly, but also those who do so more subtly in the most respectable of settings – middle-class dinner tables. It is this more covert form of Islamophobia, couched in intellectual arguments and espoused by think tanks, commentators and even politicians, that I have spent the last decade trying to reason with…

“Of all the challenges to a cohesive Britain at ease with its Muslims, the hostile press environment is the most worrying. The daily poisoning of the discourse around British Muslims has intensified, and shapes our collective understanding of the challenges we face. It informs dialogue across the country, from Parliament to the local pub. The fact that as a country we have allowed this scourge of Islamophobia to grow should worry us all.”

This article was originally posted here on 5pillars.

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1 Comment.

  • School uses PREVENT to Threaten Muslim Parent Who Requested Pupil Removal from Christmas Assembly.

    My sources have heard from parents that teachers have been overly keen to get Muslim children involved in Christmas celebrations. Until recently, however, I have not been able to obtain any hard evidence to corroborate this anecdotal evidence. My sources have now forwarded startling information in the form of a letter which disturbingly issues a PREVENT-based threat to a Muslim parent for effectively requesting that his child be removed from the school Christmas assembly. The assembly entails singing the Christmas carol called a “Silent Night”, a poem written by the priest Joseph Mohr in 1816.

    My sources in London state that the distraught father, who does not speak English as his first language, simply stated that he did not want his child to join in with Silent Night, as it is for Christians. This however, has been interpreted “intolerance” and therefore contrary to “British values”.

    My sources state that the “expressed views” which the head teacher is taking an issue with includes the removal of the child from the Christmas assembly. This is corroborated by the head teachers “expectation” that all children partake in “these events”. The father feels he is unable to have his child removed. Parents have a right, enshrined in School Standards and Frameworks Act 1998, section 71, to withdraw their children from religious education lessons as well as acts of collective worship at all schools. Furthermore, parents are not obligated to give a reason why. This is not exactly controversial. There are Jewish schools where Christmas is banned, and even wrapping of Hanukah presents in paper which represents the Christmas tradition is prohibited. Last year parents at a school in Devon protested over the school taking their children to the mosque, based on their negative perceptions of Islam. Whilst their reasons are questionable, having their children removed is completely in concert with their rights as parents. Would the head teacher threaten these Jewish and Christian parents with a PREVENT referral for exemplifying “blatant intolerance”? Acceptance and tolerance of different faiths does not mean having beliefs of different religions forced down children. How many orthodox Jewish parents are willing to let their children sing a poem declaring the Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, as the Son of God? On the contrary, this is a violation of parental rights and coerced indoctrination.

    Muslims are supposed to respect and tolerate those who are different. It is the native Brit who has never learn to respect and tolerate those who are different. A report by the Institute for Community Cohesion found that native parents were deserting some schools after finding their children out numbered by pupils from ethnic minorities. Schools in parts of England are becoming increasingly segregated. The study focused on 13 local authorities. Many of the schools and colleges are segregated and this was generally worsening over recent years. This is RACISM because British society is the home of institutional racism. My statement regarding Muslim schools where there is no place for non-Muslim child or a teacher is based on educational process and not on racism. Muslim children need Muslim teachers during their developmental periods. For higher studies and research, Muslim teacher is not a priority.

    A Bedfordshire nursery referred a 4 yrs old boy to a PREVENT panel which included Police and Social Services after staff mistook the word “cucumber” for “cooker bomb”. They also recommended the child partake in a de-radicalisation programme which the parents refused. Having the police/SS can cause a lot of stress. I wouldn’t like it! What if he would’ve said “hooker bomb”, eh???? At 4 years old that is a baby !!! I wonder what would happen if a 4 year old mis-pronounced ‘David Cameron’? Automatic transfer to a secret political re-education centre maybe.. My niece got in trouble at her day care for cursing when she was about 2, and I for apparently teaching her. They misheard her request to watch her favourite movie “The Fox And The Hound”. She was NOT saying “I want to watch the ‘f*ing’ hound” no matter how much they insisted. It doesn’t even make sense. Sometimes kids are hard to understand, it does not mean anything nefarious is happening. What an over reaction. The world has gone total mad.

    .Recently, the story of a Muslim pupil who was also referred to PREVENT for writing “terrorist house” instead of “terraced house” made national headlines. Incidents such as these are just the tip of the iceberg and CAGE calls on the Government for the complete repeal of this discriminatory and toxic strategy.

    Since July teachers and other workers have been obliged to report any suspicious activity ever since the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act became law. Just under 2,000 under-15s were referred between January 2012 and December 2015. Teaching unions say there is confusion over the government’s counter-terrorism strategy in schools. Alex Kenny from the National Union of Teachers said: “Teachers are scared of getting it wrong. “They think Ofsted is going to criticise them if they haven’t reported these things, and you end up [with] the boy making the spelling mistake, or the boy saying something in Arabic – that then gets reported on.”