Thursday, 18 March 2021
Hundreds of Islamic groups boycott Prevent review over choice of chair

From The Guardian

A coalition of more than 450 Islamic organisations, including 350 mosques and imams, representing thousands of British Muslim voices, are to boycott the government’s review of the anti-radicalisation programme Prevent in protest against the appointment of William Shawcross as its chair, the Guardian can reveal.

Individuals and organisations from across Britain, including the Association of Muslim Lawyers, Muslim Youth Network, Advancing Voices of Women Against Islamophobia and dozens of local and regional bodies have signed a statement announcing a boycott of the review. 

The statement says: “William Shawcross has a track record of hostility to Islam and Muslims. No serious, objective, critical review can be undertaken by someone with such a track record – rather we should expect him to promote a hardening of policies towards Muslims. So, if Muslim organisations engage with this review, it strengthens its legitimacy and its power to recommend policies more harmful to the community.”

Shawcross told the Guardian he had “attempted to deal head-on with the thorny moral and legal issues that emerged as the west responded to the threat of Islamist terrorism after 9/11. This has led to some of my views being misrepresented or misinterpreted,” he said.

In 2012, as a director at the conservative Henry Jackson Society, he claimed: “Europe and Islam is one of the greatest, most terrifying problems of our future. I think all European countries have vastly, very quickly growing Islamic populations.” While Chairman of the Charity Commission he said, with some justification in my opinion, that  "Islamic extremism was a “deadly” problem for charities."   Consequently four Muslim charities complained about him. The Guardian does not name them so I don't know if they included Islamic Relief Worldwide, whose Director and trustee Heshmat Khalifa had to resign after being caught out describing the Jews as the  “grandchildren of monkeys and pigs” 

Or maybe the Islamic Centre of England who were warned by the Charity Commission for inviting a speaker with terrorist connections. 

Or Human Aid UK whose decidedly odd cash dealings (unlicensed street collections, fake collectors, charity operatives caught smuggling cash across national borders, suspect invoices for work in Gaza and Syria) merited two probes by the Charity Commissioners. 
And these are just a quick search within the last 18 months. 

The country’s top counter-terrorism officer, Neil Basu, previously told the Guardian he believed Prevent to be the best chance of reducing terrorist violence but that this risked being damaged amid a backlash over Shawcross’s appointment. His comments came after key human rights groups announced a boycott of the review.

The coalition of Muslim groups and individuals will campaign against the Shawcross review and the harms of the Prevent policy.

Prof Nasar Meer, of the University of Edinburgh, who has joined the boycott, said: “Prevent is a bad policy that has only worsened with time. An independent review of its attack on the freedom of speech, curtailment of fundamental liberties and criminalisation of communities is long overdue. Sadly, the Shawcross review promises no such thing.”

Dr Fatima Rajina, of the Stephen Lawrence centre at De Montfort University, said: “The presence of Prevent in smaller organisations within local communities that provide essential services such as ESOL [English for speakers of other languages] classes, sewing classes, and putting on other classes to accommodate the needs of, mostly, Muslim women is one that illustrates its perniciousness.

I get the impression they want Prevent to only worry about 'right-wing' extremism, defined as any group that has the courage to challenge Islam. . 

Posted on 03/18/2021 8:10 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
18 Mar 2021
Send an emailHoward Nelson
Where have the 450+ Islamic organizations publicly, loudly, and consistently expressed their outrage and opposition to Jihadist violence and its promotion of the 100+ Verses of Violence in the Koran, and supporting Sunna? Has a conclave of the Umma issued a fatwa nullifying those bestial behavior commandments? Is Shawcross to be shut up and shut down because he speaks the truth to those who cower?

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