A PREVENT “Community” Event
Much to Britain’s, and in particular, the Conservatives’ shame, the UK fell in global rankings for child rights within a year, from 11th to 156th. The UK’s current position makes it sit among the ten worst countries including regions like CAR, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. The KidsRights report notes that the UK could “do more to improve the enabling environment they have built for children’s rights” (p.5). The Independent reporting this appalling situation noted,
“Serious concerns have been raised about structural discrimination in the UK, including Muslim children facing increased discrimination following recent anti-terrorism measures, and a rise in discrimination against gypsy and refugee children in recent years.”
What has happened in the last year? Apart from increased prejudice and hate unlocked by a neocon/white supremacist-orchestrated Trump and Brexit campaigns, it has been a full of year Britain – and in particular the Muslim minority – has experienced the PREVENT Duty. The founder and chairman of KidsRights, Marc Dullaert, explicitly called for PREVENT to be “re-assessed” in light of the “increased discrimination” Muslim children face:
“…Muslim children in the UK face increased discrimination following recent anti-terrorism measures. Accordingly, the Index advises that counter-extremism measures such as the Prevent Strategy be re-assessed to ensure that they do not have a discriminatory or stigmatizing impact on any group of children.”
Those promoting PREVENT are getting desperate, it seems. Sources in Birmingham forwarded a letter from Waverley School (Birmingham) directed to parents, stating that the school will participate in a BBC Panorama documentary promoting PREVENT. The letter reads that the BBC programme will “showcase some of the excellent work we do around Safeguarding and the Prevent Duty”. The film crew will be in the school tomorrow (25th November) and requests the parents to fill in a consent form.
Letter to parents
BBC Consent Form
The voices against PREVENT are coming from diverse areas which have been impacted. Late last month, Derek Summerfield, a consultant at the South London and Maudsley hospital and an honorary senior lecturer at London’s Institute of Psychiatry made the following observation about PREVENT and its social interplay:
“This is a corrosion of the ethics of the doctor-patient relationship, and is to prime us for an activity which is a duplicitous deviation from the medical assessment, advice and treatment that has brought the patient to us… It is basically a form of spying and of scapegoating, and essentially about Muslim patients.“
Once trusted and confidential relationships have been overturned.
Arguably, the most adversely affected by PREVENT is the education sector. According to a BBC report, thirty doctors, solicitors, teachers and other, mainly Muslim professionals, attended a seminar organised by Prevent Watch to discuss and discern the negative consequences resulting from the implementation of the PREVENT duty.
We live in an age where those who work towards realising idealised principles of the rule of law, transparency and due process are smeared by their governments and press.
Julian Assange is the most recent case in point. In the face of the categorical UN ruling that Assange was being subjected to arbitrary detention, the British press has been focussed on his rape allegations. David Cameron has deflected that Assange “should stand trial in Sweden, a country with a fair reputation for justice” so there could be an “end to the sorry saga”. What has been forgotten is that the Swedish prosecutor refused to go to London to interview Assange for more than four years before being questioned by a Swedish court for her failure to progress investigations into what Helena Kennedy QC said was “unlikely to lead to conviction”. Then of course there is the ever so minor detail that Sweden refuses to issue safety guarantees to the Wikileaks founder which would prevent extradition to the US to face potentially the death penalty.
Edward Snowden is another prominent example of a smear campaign. Western security agencies have strongly tried to associate his actions of accountability with the secular blasphemy that is the threat to national security. Incidentally, he also exposed previously unknown British activity with regards to bulk surveillance, and now there is an attempt by Theresa May to ex-post facto legalise the gross invasion of privacy via the Investigatory Powers Bill and in particular the recent, criticised investigatory powers tribunal ruling on GCHQ bulk surveillance.
Following the recommendation of the terrorism watchdog that the Government initiate an independent inquiry into the Prevent strategy, the Joint Committee on Human Rights yesterday announced the launch of an inquiry into counter-extremism strategy and its human rights compliance as part of the legislative scrutiny of the forthcoming Extremism Bill.
The JCHR has announced that it is to undertake a “sharply focused inquiry into the Government’s counter extremism strategy” noting that the remit will cover its “compatibility with religious rights and freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights.”
The announcement continues, “The Committee also takes interest in the operation of the Prevent Duty in the education sector.”
In my previous piece drawing parallels between the PREVENT duty and the Inquisition, I drew attention to Ofsted’s invasive line of questioning, unsettling children, and assessing the beliefs of children in accordance with the State’s contrived civic religion of “British values”.
My sources in Birmingham have brought attention to an Ofsted inspection which yields yet another example of Inquisitional, “radicalisation profiling”-style of questioning echoing the much despised Waltham Forest Council’s BRIT Project fiasco. If we recall, the Council in London had deceptively disseminated psychometric tests into Muslim majority schools which purported to analyse the level of “radicalisation”. The Council was exposed for lying and slammed for its Nazi-style ethnic profiling exercise as “shockingly Orwellian”.
This “shockingly Orwellian” reality has manifested again through Ofsted. My sources state that Inspectors at a Muslim faith school behaved in a similar fashion to the BRIT Project questionnaire and asked questions tailored to the “extremism” agenda, interrogating young children.