Many individuals and organisations have raised concerns about a policy that has preferred to teach thousands of teachers and health professionals about how best to spot an extremist rather than to have directed the same resources at engagement with the British Muslim community. Dr. Atif Imtiaz suggests at an alternative way forward.
Further education college teacher and performance coach, Zakiyah Khan, talks about her experiences in teaching white British teenagers British values and discussing the Government’s prevent agenda with them.
Headteacher Ataullah Parkar argues that Muslim schooling organisations need to adopt a common approach to tackle the challenges set by the Government’s prevent agenda or risk schools becoming a sum of government regulations.
‘Engage’ was set up with the specific aim of working and engaging with young people who have either been radicalised, or are at risk of radicalisation. Engage primarily focuses its work on two aspects: firstly to work directly with young people who are at risk of radicalisation who have been referred to the programme from a variety of sources such as parents, mosques and friends.
All legislation has its proponents and opposition, it has positive and adverse impact. The job of any government is to ensure that more citizens benefit from any given legislation and that there is equity of treatment. Good examples of this include legislation around forced marriage, female genital mutilation and the Immigration Act 2012. All of which were initially seen to be contentious but in actual fact have been very positive for the vast majority of people.
Under John Reid as Home Secretary, the Home Office was re-organised – he famously described it as being unfit for purpose. The office for Security and Counter-Terrorism was set up to take control of all counter-terrorism policy in government. Charles Farr was drafted in to lead this policy and with Gordon Brown as Prime Minister and Charles Farr as head of OSCT, there was considerable engagement with British Muslim communities.