JUST Yorkshire have launched a damning independent review into a strand of the government’s counter-terrorism initiative, Prevent, calling for its immediate closure.
The report, produced by senior lecturer in social sciences at Leeds Beckett University, Dr Waqas Tufail, and Dr Bano Murtaja, a senior associate at Know Comment, was based on interviews with 36 Muslim individuals including activists, journalists, faith leaders and students.
The findings concluded that Prevent is not only counter-productive, brewing a climate of self-censorship and fear. It holds the entire Muslim community as collectively suspect, and is built on a robust foundation of Islamophobia.
If the police lead for Prevent, Simon Cole’s recent comments regarding whether Prevent should be made mandatory comes to pass, this will mark a dangerous down-hill turn on the civil liberties of British citizens, especially given the chorus of voices within Muslim communities and beyond calling for Prevent to be rebuked, a call echoed by the findings of this report.
Nadeem Murtuja, Chair of JUST Yorkshire, said: “I welcome and fully endorse the findings of our independent report on Prevent, which makes a crucial and timely contribution to public debate concerning counter terrorism policy. The forthcoming launch marks a momentous point in the life of JUST. Our resurgence provides a significant opportunity to realise the vision of the late civil rights leader Ratna Lachman, to expand our focus, share intelligence across the regions, and galvanise Yorkshire, particularly in a post-Brexit world.”
Co-author and Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, Dr. Waqas Tufail, said:
“Our independent report has engaged with grassroots perspectives and has highlighted the many harms of Prevent, particularly those impacting on Muslim minorities. Our report adds to a number of established critical accounts of Prevent and we hope it is now the start of genuine public debate that seeks to move beyond this failed and counter-productive policy.”
To see the full report click here.