The story of PREVENT has now become routine. Stifling debate. Chilling impact on freedom of expression. Self-censorship. An affront to human rights. Plain unlawful. These are common descriptors and phrases which come to mind when talking about PREVENT.
Some of these were repeated in yesterday’s evidence submission to parliament’s joint select committee on human rights.
If we recall, the Daily Mail adopted a neoconservative strategy to categorise opposition to PREVENT as “extremism”, and smeared universities for not implementing the PREVENT duty for not ensuring an “opposing view” supporting PREVENT. It seemed like PREVENT is so embedded in government now that the need to give both sides of PREVENT – the non-neocon and the insane neocon – had been mandated. Thus, on the one side sat David Anderson QC, and the other Alexander Carlile.
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.
*Update: The YouTube video I linked to this blog which showed the Sky News report about the “eco-terrorism” PREVENT case has been curiously removed, in fact the whole account has been deleted. An interesting development. The video can still be viewed here. Sky News report which contains the video, here.
A 14 year old child was mocked and interrogated by PREVENT officers which has resulted in the child becoming “shook up” and “really scared”. He is now resorting to self-censorship. This is child abuse.
Further reading: Muslim Children Through PREVENT: Victims of the War on Terror
Since the government’s warning to the NUS to stand down its opposition to the government counter-extremism PREVENT Strategy, reports about PREVENT miscarriages of justice taking place in the education sphere have been increasing. Last year, I wrote a detailed piece about the strategy which would absurdly target toddlers through the counter-terrorism discourse. I elucidated the fact that it was to create a neo-Stasi state in which public service employees were co-opted to act as informers for the state. Britain’s neo-Stasi operation courtesy of the PREVENT strategy is now is being felt by the Muslim minority with full force.