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  1. #21
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    Prevent strategy stigmatising Muslim pupils, say teachers


    School and college staff question effectiveness of anti-radicalisation drive and say it undermines inclusion efforts





    Monday 3 July 2017 15.42 BST Last modified on Monday 3 July 2017 17.59 BST


    Teachers fear Muslim pupils are being increasingly stigmatised as a result of the government’s Prevent strategy in schools and colleges, potentially making them reluctant to share concerns about extremism, according to research.


    School and college staff who were surveyed for the study by Coventry, Durham and Huddersfield universities also raised concerns about the effectiveness of the strategy, warning that genuine cases of students being drawn into terrorism were unlikely to be picked up.


    They warned that the Prevent duty, introduced two years ago as part of the government’s counter-radicalisation strategy, is undermining efforts to build an inclusive environment in schools and colleges for students from diverse backgrounds.


    The lead investigator, Dr Joel Busher from Coventry University’s centre for trust, peace and social relations, said: “Approaching Prevent as part of safeguarding appears largely to have been accepted by schools and colleges and has helped to foster fairly widespread confidence about the duty.


    “However, linking the duty to the promotion of ‘fundamental British values’ – and in particular the pressure on schools and colleges to emphasise the ‘Britishness’ of these values – is often seen as more problematic.


    “We heard about fears that this element is both hampering effective curriculum work around shared values and democratic citizenship, and creating uncertainty about the focus of the Prevent duty.”


    The study comes as the government prepares to announce an expansion of Prevent after a Whitehall internal review.
    Though small-scale, the universities’ study provides a valuable insight into the views of those responsible for implementing the duty in schools and colleges, and the impact it may be having on their students.


    As a result of their findings, the team behind the study called for urgent research into how, if at all, the Prevent duty has affected student experiences.


    According to the study, staff were concerned that Muslim students may feel singled out by the Prevent strategy. A minority warned that it could backfire and that, rather than preventing vulnerable young people from being drawn into terrorism, it risked fuelling a sense of being marginalised by state and society among Muslims.


    Prevent has been widely criticised since it came into force in July 2015, for the first time placing a legal responsibility on schools and colleges to play their role in preventing students joining extremist groups and carrying out terrorist activities.


    They are required to refer any concerns about students to a local Prevent body, which then decides if further action needs to be taken. They are also expected to build resilience against extremism by promoting “fundamental British values”.


    On the positive side, the study found that schools and colleges felt largely confident about implementing the Prevent duty as part of their safeguarding duties. It failed to identify widespread resistance to the scheme and, despite earlier fears, found little evidence that it had limited free speech, thanks to efforts by staff to set up debating clubs and encourage Prevent-related discussion in classrooms.


    But many of those who took part expressed concern about what they described as an ill-conceived link between Prevent and the promotion of “fundamental British values”, which they said undermined efforts to promote shared values.


    Busher said: “Widespread and sometimes acute concerns about possible feelings of stigmatisation among Muslim students highlight an urgent need for systematic evaluation of how, if at all, the Prevent duty has impacted on student experiences.”


    The study involved in-depth interviews with 70 education professionals in 14 schools and colleges in West Yorkshire and London, and eight Prevent practitioners at local authority level.


    Researchers also conducted a national online survey of 225 school and college staff and discussion sessions with Muslim organisations, school and college staff, education trade unions, government departments and local authorities.


    “It is likely to be some years before we are able to truly assess the impact of the Prevent duty and further research is needed,” said Busher. “In the meantime, we hope that this research can serve as a stimulus for constructive yet critical discussion about what the Prevent duty means for schools and colleges.”


    Responding to the study, University and College Union general secretary Sally Hunt said: “This report again raises the issue of increased stigmatisation of Muslim students and the bizarre focus on ‘British values’. There is a risk that closing down debate drives a subject underground, and makes people less likely to speak up or out.


    “Some of the subjects up for debate may be difficult ones, but shying away from them is no way to deal with any issue. The government could lead by example and commission an independent report into the impact and effectiveness of Prevent in schools, colleges and universities.”


    The Department for Education said the Prevent duty was about helping to keep children safe and equipping them with the knowledge to question extremist and radical views. “This report shows that not only is there widespread understanding of this but schools and colleges are confident about how to deliver it in the classroom.


    “Schools and colleges also agree the suggestion Prevent shuts down debate or discussion of controversial issues is simply not the case. We will continue to help schools and colleges with the Prevent duty by providing guidance, support and teaching resources through our Educate Against Hate website.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...P=share_btn_tw

  2. #22
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    Prevent scheme 'built on Islamophobia and should be axed'


    The government's anti-radicalisation strategy, Prevent, is "ineffective and counterproductive" and should be withdrawn, according to a new report.

    Racial equality organisation JUST Yorkshire says it is "built on a foundation of Islamophobia and racism".

    The report was based on interviews with 36 people including students, faith leaders and academics.

    The Home Office said it was one of a number of reports to "peddle falsehoods and create myths".

    A Prevent coordinator also questioned its methodology, saying the document was "confusing".

    Created in 2003, Prevent is one of four strands of the government's counter-terrorism strategy, known as Contest.

    According to the Home Office, its aim is "to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism".

    It aims for police and other organisations to build relations across the UK and requires faith leaders, teachers, doctors and others to refer any suspicions about people to a local Prevent body.

    The scheme has been criticised by some MPs, the National Union of Teachers and Muslim Council of Britain, while JUST Yorkshire says it has a "disproportionate and and discriminatory" focus on Muslim communities.

    'Counterproductive'


    Report author Dr Waqas Tufail, said: "Our independent report has engaged with grassroots perspectives and has highlighted the many harms of Prevent, particularly those impacting on Muslim minorities.

    "[Prevent] is broken, it's counterproductive and I think there is a lack of accountability.

    "This strategy has been in place for over a decade and there's been no discernable impact."

    However, Hifsa Haroon Iqbal, a Prevent coordinator, criticised the report's methodology.

    She said: "To base your judgment on an interview with 36 people, to state what actually is very much more opinions from newspaper reports and to claim that a strategy that has been working for a number of years is broken, I think, is misrepresenting it and is confusing people."


    'Bullies or terrorists'

    Asked about the sample size, Dr Tufail, a senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, said some academic studies used as few as 10 to 20 people.

    Security Minister Ben Wallace MP said: "The Prevent duty sits alongside the duties to protect people from sexual, bullying or criminal manipulation.

    "As a parent, if my children were being targeted by bullies or terrorists or paedophiles at school I would expect that such occurrences were reported and dealt with.

    "But this report seems to suggest such reporting be stopped when it relates to exploitation by terrorists."


    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-41082086

  3. #23
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    Prevent gives people permission to hate Muslims – it has no place in schools



    Teachers are right to reject a counter-radicalisation strategy that frames terrorism as a Muslim problem and demonises an entire community

    The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has recently backed a motion to reject the government’s counter-radicalisation Prevent strategy at its annual conference. This motion follows the National Union of Students (NUS) motion to boycott the Prevent strategy and its subsequent activism under the banner of “students not suspects”.

    The NUT claims that the Prevent strategy is targeting Muslim students, and indeed, the available referral data disclosed under freedom of information shows that between 2007 and 2010 67% of the referrals involved Muslims, and between 2012 and 2013, that figure was 57.4%. This is despite the fact that, according to the 2011 national census, Muslims made up only 5% of the national population.

    When one reads the Prevent strategy and the broader UK counter-terrorism strategy (Contest), the gross disproportionality starts to make sense
    . While the government claims that its counter-terrorism strategies target all forms of extremism, and do not target specific individuals or groups, it is clear that the Prevent strategy centres on Muslims in the way that it frames the threat of extremism and terrorism. Added to this, the allocation of Prevent funding, which was based on the number of Muslims in a local authority. This explicit targeting demonstrates that Islamophobia is central in shaping how the government (and wider society) define and construct extremism and terrorism as solely Islamic problems.

    The definition becomes instrumental in targeting specific groups and communities. For example, if as a lawmaker I understand and define crime as a white problem, then I shouldn’t be surprised if most of the suspects in police custody are white. Since the Prevent duty came into force in the education sector in 2015, the guidance offered to those working in schools, colleges, and universities has in many cases served to reinforce the relationship between being Muslim and vulnerability to extremism and terrorism.

    Given this, the NUT is right to suggest that the Prevent strategy makes Muslim students more vulnerable to being attacked. Already, there have been numerous cases of Islamophobic attacks against Muslims on the streets of Britain, including those who have been murdered. The academic research suggests that attacks such as these, often called hate crimes, flourish in environments where they are enabled. The practices, policies and rhetoric of the state question the loyalty of Muslims to Britain, cast them as an ever-present security threat, and treat whole Muslim communities as suspect and suspicious. This not only institutionalises, legitimises and reinforces Islamophobia, but also provides the framework in which Islamophobia emerges.

    This kind of treatment sends a strong signal to wider society about the nature of Muslims in Britain, and is influential in shaping people’s assumptions about Muslims and Islam– forming the basis of Islamophobia.
    It sets the tone for how ordinary people interact with Muslims and can be seen to provide permission to hate. The dogwhistle nature of politics also means that politicians disseminate messages that tap into the basest fears, insecurities, and stereotypes to attract new voters – finally, think about the message that the disproportionate levels of stop and search of Muslims sends to wider society about guilt by association and racial and religious profiling.

    Right now, the Prevent strategy is securitising and criminalising the most banal of behaviours and ideas, and encouraging an environment of vigilance in ever wider areas of society. In this environment, mainstream Islamic ideas and practices, legitimate political discussions and dissent have been the basis for many Prevent interventions and referrals.

    Although in many cases there have been no further actions taken, we cannot underestimate the mental health implications for young students who will have their views affected on the purpose of education, the nature of their relationship with their teachers and lecturers, and about the school and campus space as arenas for open and free discussions.

    Prevent is an exercise in Islamophobia
    that continues to undermine democracy, equality, and justice. The state is complicit in undermining “British values” rather than upholding them.

    https://amp.theguardian.com/commenti...eachers-reject

  4. #24
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    Thousands of Muslim children being referred to counter terror police

    Thousands of Muslim children and teenagers were referred to the government’s controversial anti-terror programme in England and Wales last year, new Home Office figures show.


    There were 7,631 referrals to Prevent in 2015-16, a quarter of which were of under-15s.


    Advcacy group CAGE said Prevent is creating a “suspect” community where Muslim children and their families are being dragged through disastrous state intervention.


    CAGE added that the figures ignore the climate of fear created by Prevent, which has led to many more formal and informal interventions by public sector workers that do not make these official statistics.


    This is the first time the government has published detailed figures on Prevent which was created in 2003 with the stated aim of stopping terrorism.


    Under the law, public sector workers, including teachers, lecturers and doctors, are obliged to look out for the “signs of extremism” and report them to counter terrorism officers if necessary.


    The figures reveal that 2,127 of those referred to the scheme in 2015-16 were under 15, including more than 500 girls.


    Another 2,147 people reported were aged between 15 and 20 – meaning more than half of the 7,631 people referred in the 12 months to March 2016 were aged 20 or under.


    Approximately 65% of the Prevent referrals related to “Islamist/jihadist extremism” and 10% concerned right-wing extremism.


    The remaining cases were either impossible to initially categorise, because the individual was flitting between ideologies, or involved smaller threats relating to Northern Ireland, or Sikh extremism.


    The highest number of cases came from London – 1,915 individuals – followed by 1,273 the North East, an area covering Yorkshire to the Scottish border.


    The latest figures show that the vast majority of people referred to Prevent required either no official support, or were given help with a problem unrelated to violent extremism.


    But 1,072 individuals caused such alarm they were assessed for inclusion in Channel, the government’s intensive de-radicalisation programme.


    Of those cases, 381 went on to receive specialist help in an attempt to change their thinking – and 302 were later given the all-clear.


    Sixteen of those were still in the process at the time the figures were collated, but a further 63 people withdrew from the scheme – meaning they stopped co-operating with expert mentors altogether.


    Chief Constable Simon Cole, the national policing lead for Prevent, said the number of referrals showed that “trust and support is growing” for the programme. And Security Minister Ben Wallace said the Channel scheme was helping to “save lives” and had seen “real results” in helping divert people away from terrorism.


    However, Ibrahim Mohamoud, spokesperson for CAGE, called on the government to scrap Prevent.


    He said: “The massive over reporting and racial profiling is due to the fact that the Prevent policy has no scientific basis. The science does not exist and these figures reinforce the bare fact that the policy does not work. The Government’s own figures show that 95% of people referred to Prevent required no Channel intervention.”


    “The idea that a failed policy that has largely impacted on Muslims should be implemented against other communities is not a position that should be endorsed. Seeking credibility by applying Prevent on other communities does not make it okay.


    “We again call on the Government to repeal the Prevent Policy, roll back the training and make every effort to repair the damage that has been done.”

    http://5pillarsuk.com/2017/11/09/tho...terror-police/

  5. #25
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    UK Court Rules Islamic School Gender Segregation is Unlawful Sex Discrimination

    Islamic faith school's segregation of boys and girls ruled unlawful sex discrimination by Court of Appeal

    by Lucy Pasha-Robinson - 10/13/2017

    An Islamic faith school's policy of segregating boys from girls is unlawful sex discrimination, Court of Appeal judges have said in a landmark ruling.

    Ofsted placed the mixed-sex Al-Hijrah school in Birmingham into special measures last June after it claimed dividing classes was discriminatory.

    But a High Court ruling last year found inspectors were wrong to penalise on the basis of an "erroneous" view that segregation amounted to unlawful discrimination.

    Three Court of Appeal judges have now unanimously overturned the previous ruling, finding the complete segregation of classes to be contrary to the 2010 Equality Act.

    The judges ruled the segregation caused detriment and less favourable treatment for both male and female pupils by reason of their sex.

    "It is common ground that the school is not the only Islamic school which operates such a policy and that a number of Jewish schools with a particular Orthodox ethos and some Christian faith schools have similar practices," they said.

    For religious reasons, the voluntary-aided school, which has pupils aged between four and 16, believes that separation of the sexes from year five onwards is obligatory.

    It has complete segregation of boys and girls from nine to 16 for all lessons, breaks, school clubs and trips.

    Inspectors found the Birmingham school had left pupils "unprepared for life in modern Britain".

    The decision is likely to have far-reaching consequences for any schools that have a segregation policy.

    The judges said there was "a strong argument" for the Education Secretary and Ofsted "to recognise that, given the history of the matter, their failure (despite their expertise and responsibility for these matters) to identify the problem and the fact that they have de facto sanctioned and accepted a state of affairs which is unlawful, the schools affected should be given time to put their houses in order in the light of our conclusion that this is unlawful sex discrimination".

    Speaking after the ruling, Ofsted's chief inspector Amanda Spielman said the ruling would set a precedent for future inspections.

    "I am delighted that we have won this appeal," she said.

    "Ofsted's job is to make sure that all schools properly prepare children for life in modern Britain. Educational institutions should never treat pupils less favourably because of their sex, or for any other reason.

    "The school is teaching boys and girls entirely separately, making them walk down separate corridors, and keeping them apart at all times.

    "This is discrimination and is wrong. It places these boys and girls at a disadvantage for life beyond the classroom and the workplace, and fails to prepare them for life in modern Britain"

    She added: "This case involves issues of real public interest, and has significant implications for gender equality, Ofsted, government, and the wider education sector. We will be considering the ruling carefully to understand how this will affect future inspections."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...-a7998336.html

    comments:

    These Islamophobes need to worry about their own schools of "equality" where gender-mixing is promoted and has resulted in students failing, and thousands of cases of abuse and rape among the students.

    This is what their students do in their gender-mixing schools: https://www.facebook.com/alfalta90/v...60921677278731


 

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