Former Tory prime minister David Cameron has emerged from his cave to accuse those who oppose the Islamophobic Prevent strategy of “enabling terrorism”. In a new report by the right wing thinktank Policy Exchange, Cameron says Prevent is being undermined by “Islamist campaigners and their allies”. He specifically attacks organisations including Cage and the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).
Muhammad Rabbani, managing director of Cage, said, “It is a ‘rinse and repeat’ of tired Islamophobic tropes, stereotypes and mischaracterisations. Policy Exchange has completely ignored the vast body of critique from beyond the Muslim community. This underlines their open Islamophobic agenda.” Home secretary Priti Patel is already poised to harden the strategy after she accused it of not being tough enough on Muslims. Whichever loathsome ruling class version of the scheme wins out, more repression is coming.
Prevent instructs schools, NHS trusts, prisons and local authorities to report any “concerns” they have about people at risk of turning to extremism. That means baseless accusations aimed at Muslims. Last year it was reported that an 11 year old was referred after a teacher mistook the word “alms” for “arms”. And in 2016 so was a Muslim pupil from Lancashire after he misspelt “terraced house” as “terrorist house”. Anti-racists must oppose any extension or intensification of Prevent and fight for it to be abolished.
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