Press Release: ‘Prevent’ is not just a toxic brand, it is a toxic agenda that needs challenging

Press Release
‘Prevent’ is not just a toxic brand, it is a toxic agenda that needs challenging

Former Metropolitan Police Commander, Dal Babu, has argued that the government’s counter-extremism policy, ‘Prevent’, has become a ‘toxic brand’ viewed with suspicion by Muslims in the UK. His comments were reported a day after the Sunday Telegraph announced a planned extension of counter-extremism powers by Home Secretary Theresa May, which were largely welcomed by Shadow ‘Justice’ spokesman, Sadiq Khan – illustrating the ‘arms race’ between the main parties as each tries to appear tougher on ‘extremism’ than the other.

Taji Mustafa, Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Britain commented, “’Prevent’ has rightly become a toxic brand – not because it has been wrongly executed or misunderstood, but because it is a fundamentally flawed and ‘toxic’ agenda.”

“It has been built on the false premise that the more Islamic a person is, the more of a potential threat he is.”

“It has worked on a presumption that those with Islamic values or political views that dissent from the state’s standpoint are to be considered suspect, so needing state-organised reprogramming through the Channel programme.”

“It has quite deliberately deflected attention away from foreign policy, even though that link to acts of violence within the UK is well established.”

“It is a policy that uses a security narrative to counter political and religious beliefs. This was made clearer when, in December 2014, Police Chief Sir Peter Fahy said that the police risk being turned into a “thought police”.”

“It is a policy that is more commonly seen in totalitarian states. In the same comment, Fahy pointed out that since there was no precise definition of ‘extremism’, the police had worked to their own definitions, and expressed concerns that this was on the road to a “police state”.”

“The recent Counter-Terrorism and Security Act now places this role of thought policing and referral for reprogramming with teachers, nursery workers, health workers and universities – bringing echoes of 1950s McCarthyism or even the Stasi in East Germany.”

“Hizb ut Tahrir feels it is mandatory to further expose this malicious and flawed agenda to the Muslim community and to the wider society – and we state our intention to continue to do this as we have done for over a decade.”

Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Britain