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CRT Editorial
August 12, 2016

Why the Prevent strategy isn’t the problem

Henry Jackson Society
Douglas Murray

Originally published in the Spectator.

Earlier this week the Times had a leader column entitled ‘Protect Prevent’. As a defence of the government’s counter-extremism strategy it was all well and good, but it missed a very crucial point. It said:

‘The success of Prevent has been undermined, however, by a failure of public relations. The government failed to cast it as an essential part of child protection, allowing the charge of “spying” to gain credence. Similar policies designed to prevent sexual abuse or physical violence against children would never be open to that charge.’

But this charge of ‘spying’ did not simply ‘gain credence’. Nor were other charges against the Prevent strategy mere ‘public relations’ failures. Such charges only gained traction because from the institution of the strategy there was a concerted and near-unanimous push by almost every organised Muslim group in the UK as well as most self-appointed and elected community representatives to delegitimise Prevent. That isn’t because they don’t like a particular detail of the strategy. It is because they clearly do not want any strategy in this area. That is either because it attempts to deal with a problem they do not see as being a problem or because for reasons of communal pride they wish to brush the issue under the carpet.

Read the full article here.

Douglas Murray

About Douglas Murray

A bestselling author and award-winning political commentator, he previously founded the Centre for Social Cohesion, which monitors extremism in Britain. Murray is the author of numerous publications including, "Victims of Intimidation: Freedom of Speech within Europe's Muslim Communities". A columnist for Standpoint magazine, he writes for a variety of other publications, including the Spectator and Wall Street Journal. Murray is an expert on Islamist extremism and UK foreign policy. He recently published a book on the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday.

Full profile  |  See all of Douglas Murray's work