“Educate a man and you educate an individual; educate a woman and you educate an entire family.”
This beautiful statement of Malcolm X has powerful, empowering implications. Now consider the converse. If you colonise the mind of a man, you colonise an individual; if you colonise the mind of a woman, you destroy the next generation.
An “intervention” of an armed nature to control a minority within the country is political suicide. You can instil fear into them though, by demonising a community and then targeting their beliefs through policies which would criminalise thought, belief in the Shari’ah or preference of an alternate world-view. All this would prevent political dissent and control the beliefs of a minority and by extension the people. Thus the “intervention” is the colonisation of the mind or as Ruth Kelly called it when she presented the plans to place the local authorities as mechanisms to tackle “extremism” – winning hearts and minds. This is the extra-judicial policy known as PREVENT and the Channel programme.
The entire premise of the PREVENT agenda is entirely erroneous and unchallenged. It seeks to challenge a government-defined ideology which happens to also cut across traditional Islamic beliefs and discounts actions which may be caused by political grievances and by extension the foreign policy of Britain (Michael Adebelajo is a case in point). It also conflicts with the MI5’s profile of terrorist. Under the pretext of terrorism, thoughts are being criminalised and at the same time the government’s own dirty politics are being shielded.
Despite such Orwellian characteristics, the erosion of human rights continues unabated. Muslim women have been targeted as tools to propound the PREVENT agenda in the past, however of late there has been a renewed emphasis on this pathway to a more effective invasion of rights and liberties and encouragement of a spying culture within the family.
The Shanaz Network
The PREVENT agenda is increasingly targeting women and mothers with their agenda. The Shanaz Network is a PREVENT initiative and was “established to break down barriers and encourage women to play an active part in the Government’s Prevent agenda.”
Prevent project targeting women as tools.
According to the latest Shanaz Network factsheet,
“Women are at the heart of the home and communities and are best placed to notice behavioural changes in their children or in others. This puts them in a position to safeguard those who are potentially vulnerable to recruitment into terrorism… The Network’s objectives include; work to address ideologies which terrorists use to recruit people to their causes; work to support those who may by vulnerable to radicalisation, and work to strengthen institutions which can play a role in Prevent. The Shanaz Network will report on a review progress through an online community forum.”
One must question the behavioural aspect of this purpose. If tomorrow a teenager, refuses to listen to music, changes his attire from a G-Star jacket to a jilbaab or jubba, takes interest in Islamic literature, and audio lectures emphasising the Muslim minority identity and prays through the night, would such a change prompt mothers to start getting concerned and possibly refer them for deradicalisation? Based upon existing, analagous referrals to Channel, it would seem so (see below).
Jan Trust – “Mum’s against Terror” or PREVENT Abusing Mum’s?
Jan Trust is an organisation which was originally associated with commendably dealing with domestic violence and forced marriages. Their history with PREVENT emerged according to the Jan Trust project manager, Sajda Mughal when she “survived” the 7/7 attack, which in turn prompted her to tackle extremism, not by engaging and challenging route anguishes such as the existing foreign policy, demonisation of the Muslim minority and draconian terror legislation which was and still is discriminately targeting the Muslim minority, but by embracing it through PREVENT.