As delivered so far, the Prevent program has stigmatized and alienated those it is most important to engage, and tainted many positive community cohesion projects, says a cross-party committee of MPs. Moreover, the government’s strategy to limit the development of violent extremism in the UK sits poorly within a counter-terrorism strategy.
British values are under threat because the government’s attempt to combat terrorism has left whole communities “stigmatized”, the National Association of Muslim Police has told MPs.
The Prevent strategy, designed to stop radicalization, focuses too much on Islamic extremism rather than the threat posed by the far right, claims the association, which represents more than 2,000 police officers.
“Never before has a community been mapped in a manner and nor will it be,” the association said in evidence to a Commons select committee on the strategy, known as Preventing Violent Extremism. “It is frustrating to see this in a country that is a real pillar and example of freedom of expression and choice.”