Socialist Worker

Reconsider hated Prevent strategy, say MPs

Issue No. 2514

Labour MP Harriet Harman

Labour MP Harriet Harman (Pic: University of Salford)

The tory government’s Prevent strategy is counter-productive and should be “reconsidered”, according to the Joint Committee on Human Rights parliamentary group.

Prevent claims to stop terrorism by monitoring Muslims for signs of “radicalisation” and “extremism”. It’s good that this racist strategy is coming under fire.

The committee also said that new planned laws for countering extremism and terrorism are confusing and based on questionable assumptions.

But some of its conclusions could be used to demonise Muslims further. For example, Harriet Harman, the committee’s chair, criticised the government definition of extremism.

This includes “vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values” which are said to include “mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”.

Harman said, “I don’t respect religions that regard women as subservient, I don’t tolerate the views or beliefs of people who think homosexuality is a sin.”

Some wrongly accept this stereotype of Islam.

The report wants the government to “tackle extremism that leads to violence”. This leaves the door open for the government to continue its racist clampdown on Muslims.

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