Open Society report – Eroding Justice – on the structural flaws of the Prevent Strategy, which damages trust between teachers and health professionals and members of the UK’s Muslim community, which is essential to counterterrorism efforts.
First published in The Canary on 21 October 2016:
Some of the key traits of the Prevent strategy are principles based on ambiguous concepts, including that of ‘non-violent extremism’ and ‘British values’. These principles then lie in the ‘pre-criminal’ space. A former Chief Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police, Dal Babu, told the authors of the report:
“This is a very dangerous road to go down – I don’t know what it means to be ‘pre-criminal’- -I suspect it means holding a certain point of view.”
It is thought these ‘points of view’ allow someone to be easily exploited by terrorists. But evidence suggests that the underlying assumption that these views have a direct causal link to terrorism is false. It therefore, vilifies and stigmatises individuals for having done nothing wrong.