Nadeem Murtuja, Chair of JUST Yorkshire stated:
“Following a review of concerns expressed to us initially via a press release from Inspire on the 30th of August, and the impact of referencing Ms Sara Khan in our report, and by extension the relationship Inspire has with the Home Office (or not) we have agreed to issue an immediate apology. JUST is not in the business of questioning the independence of any organisation including Inspire, when we do make references, we should only do so based on clear and unambiguous evidence.
With this in mind, the JUST board has made the following decisions and applied them immediately to our report:
- To remove the latter part of the paragraph, reference 2.17, page 16 after the sentence ending with the word palatable;
- To remove the quote from the ‘anonymous respondent’ in the report on page 16 of the report; and
- Seek clarity of the accuracies and truthfulness of this published article
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-uk-grassroots-anti-extremism-campaign-produced-home-office-422117779 referencing Prof David Miller from Bath University including the evidence submitted to the respective and relevant Home Office Select Committee that JUST published and referenced in its report.
I am clear that JUST should not publish any literature in any of its research reports, that could have a personal impact, and without providing the opportunity for people to have a right to reply pre-publication, particularly when the impact is foreseeable. Striking the balance between speaking truth to power and understanding the human impact of our work is incredibly important and it is imperative we get this balance right. It is clear to me that this balance was not right on this one occasion, and there has been an impact on Ms Sara Khan personally, and by extension Inspire as a result of our report. Because of this, on behalf of JUST we are issuing an immediate and sincere apology for any hurt and stress caused, this was never our intention, and frankly takes away from the substance and quality of the Rethinking Prevent report.
I should also state that since the launch of our report, the support we have received has by enlarge been exceptional, and now that this apology has been offered to Ms Khan, I sincerely hope that we (Inspire and JUST) can move forward together.
In our view, there is an urgent need, as per our recommendations to undertake the immediate and much needed work to inclusively review Prevent, not just on behalf of Government agencies, rather on behalf of the countless people that express deep concerns about the impact of Prevent on them individually, as a family and as a community – including from a safeguarding perspective. To put the challenge into context, given the fact that 2017 is the third year in which we mark the terror threat level as severe in the UK, and the recent comments by Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu on September the 5th that he did not expect the threat level to change for the next 5 years, at least till 2022. Couple this with the comments made by Max Hill QC the Governments Counter-Terrorism reviewer with regards to scrapping counter-terrorism measures, instead using existing powers more effectively puts the challenge in clear focus. Therefore, it is critical that we all focus on the job at hand, and work together to tackle the ‘them and us’ narrative, and in that context understand the impact this is having on our communities their civil liberties, and our ability to engage, safeguard and protect.
We would also like to express our gratitude to the BBC, namely Look North (Yorkshire), for facilitating a focus group to independently test the findings and recommendations of our report, and in this context providing much needed validity and credibility to the evidence we have published.”