From the Birmingham Mail
Counter-terrorism policing has been labelled Islamophobic by the National Association of Muslim Police. And it is now calling for the scrapping of the term ‘Islamist’ after claiming it unfairly stigmatises Islam.
Alex Gent, Chairman of NAMP, also says Islamophobia remains an issue in wider UK policing. The group cited cases where Muslim officers had been referred to Prevent wrongly by their own colleagues after religious pilgrimages or following conversions to the religion.
NAMP is now publicly calling for an update of policing and counter terrorism terminology, with Islamist replaced by ‘anti-western extremism’ or something similar. It has also raised concerns about the disproportionate number of Muslims being referred to the counter terrorism programme – with the West Midlands among the highest. Interesting, as we keep being told that the biggest number of referrals are for ‘right-wing’ views, and as most counter-terror and counter radicalisation training I have experienced lately is biased towards identifying people with views that a few years ago would have been respectably conservative and patriotic.
One former Muslim officer with West Midlands Police told BirminghamLive: “The use of the world Islamist to describe radicalisation or terrorism is feeding into the wrong agenda and is very offensive and insensitive. This was raised in West Midlands Police years ago and it fell on deaf ears. The majority of the Muslim members in West Midlands Police and nationally (in police) completely disagree with the terminology (Islamist) because it tarnishes the entire Muslim community, by saying ‘you’re attached to terrorism, your ideaology is attached to terrorism’. It marginalises the Muslim community.
The National Association of Muslim Police has now gone public after no agreement to drop the words. I don’t think they are going to find that the public is very sympathetic.
“West Midlands Police use the term ‘Islamist’ and it upsets the internal Muslim staff and the wider community. The use of the word in the context of a negative connotation with terrorism is the bit that’s upsetting.”
During 2020/21 some 4,915 people were referred to Prevent, according to Home Office statistics. Around half were for individuals with a ‘mixed, unstable or unclear ideology’. Twenty two per cent of referrals (1,064) were due to concerns related to Islamist radicalisation concerns, while 25 percent (1,229 referrals) were due to concerns related to extreme right-wing radicalisation.
Yet a higher proportion of suspected right-wing extremists were referred to the most serious ‘Channel’ level of Prevent which can include surveillance. For the third year running there were more Channel cases for individuals referred for concerns related to Extreme Right Wing radicalisation (317 cases; 46%) compared to individuals related to Islamist radicalisation (154; 22%).
Mr Gent, speaking during Islamophobia Awareness Month, said: “When it comes to actual cases that go through to the Channel programme, the percentage of so-called Islamism cases was lower than the right-wing cases. . . suggesting many are likely to be unnecessary.” And there’s the rub… Taqiyya, taqiyya…
Oops – sorry – taqiyya is a right-wing term used to suggest that Muslims can be devious and economical with the truth. Naughty Esmerelda.