Title: Radicalising Our Children
Time: 27th February 2019, 13:00 – 14:00
Venue: CR 14, House of Commons, Westminster
Speaker: Nikita Malik
Chair: Tim Loughton MP
Tim Loughton MP: Right ladies and gentlemen, that will wake you up, let’s get started. Welcome to this meeting, I am Tim Loughton MP for East Worthing and Shoreham and my thanks to the Henry Jackson Society for organizing today and particular to Nikita Malik for offering this fascinating and I have to say (inaudible) timely report given circumstances surrounding Shemima Begum recently in Syria. And I hoped the report to get quite a lot of media coverage and last week. So I can ask Nikita to give her presentation, I just say a few words after that and then we will open up to questions and a discussion. We have the room until two o’clock. So without further to do, Nikita.
Nikita Malik: Thank you very much, thank you to everyone here today, my name is Nikita Malik I am the director of the centre of radicalisation and terrorism at the Henry Jackson Society. So thank you all for coming to the report launch. Thank you to Tim for hosting us today and I would also like to thank my research assistants on the project Tom Melonie and Sophie Drake they are both here as well. It was an effort from not just me but I think the research we have put together today which I would like to speak about for not too long is, I think it is important that we raise questions and perhaps any answers to the questions and what we have found in the research. I would just like to situate why I thought of putting this report together, tough it was very timely with Shemima Begum and what was happening in the media it was an idea for some time and the reason is because my research background is primarily in woman and children. So in 2016 I published a report by the name of Califax, “Woman and the Appeal of the Islamic State”. That was to understand why Islamic State-propaganda, which we must remember back then was much easier to access online than it is now. What was it in this monthly magazine by the name of “Debik” this English magazine they were putting together, that was appealing to woman. That was around the time of course that Shemima Begum who was one of three went to join a fourth. That was one day where thinking about or actively chosen to leave their homes and go and join this terrorist organization. Now what was unique about Debik was that it would produce a propaganda specific to western woman. Something which really haven’t been done by other terrorist organisations. In comparison if we look at Boko Haram for example the model is to abduct woman and indoctrinate them, not to entice them to do this. What else was fascinating about this was the English propaganda was very different from the Arabic propaganda. The Arabic propaganda was aimed towards Middle Eastern woman and was very instructural in nature. You will be allowed to do this and you will not be allowed to do that, where is the English propaganda much more poetic. It laid out what the life for this woman would be and why it was so important for them to join this cause. That the naturally led me to the second idea which was children, because the primary purpose of these woman was very clear in the propaganda at the time was that they would be producing children. They would be the mothers of the next generation of fighters. That led me to produce a second report by the name of “The children of the Islamic State”. That looks specifically at hundreds of pieces of propaganda released by the Islamic State. It’s 270 or more that featured children to identify what their life’s would be like. And one thing that really struck me in this report was how normalized these children were having to be to violence. So of course the majority of children in a warzone would be normalized to violence, they are in Syria and Iraq after all doing a time of war, but the actual educational material that was being made available to these kids. You know you would have counting with guns and tanks mixed in with apples and oranges. You would have history books that had completely cut out other nations and only spoke about the superiority of the Islamic State. You had a very normalisation of other people as Kufar and those of the Islamic State as the superior ones. Of course coupled with systematic indoctrination, education, uniforms, timetables. Again this was all easily available online at the time as it wasn’t been regulated, but it gave us a glimms what life’s where like for these children in Iraq and Syria. Now the majority of these children had been obducted, they had been kidnapped from refugee-camps or from Iraq and Syria by older people or they had been enticed by people their own age to come and join the group and sometimes it would be as simple as they would be offered monetary payment which they could then give to their parents and that was why they had joined the group. However in this set of individuals were also children which we classify as anyone under the age of 18 by UN-conventions and laws. There were also children who were foreign children and that was what began to be fascinated by. At the time there were about 80 British children we had identified in 2015, but I knew there would be more, there would be children who were born to British individuals even though they had given up their passports they could still claim to be British and there would be this children who had been taken by their families against their will in large groups to join this terrorist group. And a third category of children would be those who had independently radicalised. Either because their parents knew or their were ignorant of it. They would have radicalised chosen to make this journey and join this group. So of the foreign born children there were essentially these three categories. Those who were too young to know what was going on, so they are essentially complete victims of this process, but would also require deradicalisation help, once they decided to disengage with the organisation. There were those who would be born in the Islamic State, who would have to claim foreign citizenship and passports and there would be the third category, who in my opinion were the most dangerous because they themselves had chosen to go and it would be a clear cut, as we have seen in Shamima Begums case. It wouldn’t be a clear cut case that they were victims or agents, in fact they would be a mixture of both. So those were the categories that I was looking at. Of course it was very difficult to identify these kids who are already gone and their families because primarily propaganda was not as available as it used to be and also because many of them would have died or being in hiding so it would be very difficult to identify what would have happened to them. So then I thought about the second way that we could examine these families. And that would be through preventative approaches. So what about the families that had reached a point of radicalisation that they wanted to board a plane and go to Iraq and Syria but were stopped from doing so and still remained in the UK? Now the way to access family court documents as any legal documents is through a legal database called Baily, which is what I used to identify cases that involved radicalisation and extremism and children. And what I found was fascinating, fascinating for a few reasons. The first was we send a number of freedom of information adds to the Ministry of Justice to understand how many children in the UK had been made wards of court due to risk of radicalisation and extremism and the answer we got back was that they didn’t know or were interested to find out and that they had only created an optional category for radicalisation and family-courts from April 2017 onwards. Now anyone who has followed the Islamic State know that that’s pretty late considering that you know most of these cases would have happened prior to that. So I thought, ok that’s not a way to get a number on this calf cas which is an excellent institution that deals with family-court cases had identified a number, 120 children. The Home-Office had identified a number in a footnote in one of their documents, around 100 children. So the numbers were very wage and nevertheless we persisted, we found I think 46 cases of which some were not relevant because they didn’t have enough information on the child or the children under their examination. Others I mean must remember in family-court cases identities are kept secret and for a good reason. However as researchers that makes it very difficult to figure out which cases are follow up cases or are talking about the same families. So we had four researchers on this project looking at, ensuring that these cases were concrete independent cases. In the end we had twenty which dealt with 56 children and a number of parents. From that we then began to use a technique, a very basic technique that we did not through computers but by ourselves of identifying interesting aspects of these cases that should be brought to the attention of the public. Now court documents are very long and perhaps people had not gone through the time to read all of them. We did. We put together some very interesting ideas and talk about some of the statistics now and I am happy to get into more detail in questions if people have questions. But some of the interesting things we found in these cases. We wanted first to look at age. Was it that young children were more (inaudible) to radicalisation than older ones. 25% of the children examined in the report were between the ages of six and ten. However it was very difficult to determine whether radicalisation has to do with particular age bracket. Primarily because judges would ensure that children who were at risk and these families would stay together. So if they were to be removed from their parents they would be put in a foster home altogether in the majority of these cases. The second way it became difficult to determine this was because judges, there were actually a lot more children involved in these cases than in the ones we studied, because if a child was in a family. I’ll name one London borough Tower Hamlets versus (inaudible), it’s a very famous case which involves a girl who was known and was potentially friends with these three girls from (inaudible) green, who went to join the Islamic State. She has a number of siblings and they are not part of the judicial process because the judge knew that only this girl is at risk of radicalisation. So we counted her as one child, though there were many more children involved in the case. And that of course is another aspect we have talked about in this report which is, radicalisation as we know and extremism are very hard to measure. When it comes to family court cases things like sexual exploitation, physical harm, these are harm that are easier to measure. But how do you measure a harm of an idea or an ideological indoctrination? Therefore the judges would often have to determine on a case by case basis whether the children of the entire family where at risk or particular child and this really vary from judge to judge. So there were many more kids involved than we actually thought. In terms of the nationality 70% of the children were British, 30% we actually don’t know or it was not mentioned in the case and one case in particular examined the growing threat of children who are born repatriated from Islamic State territory. This is especially relevant now with Shemima Begums case with her child being born in Islamic State territory. Is he stateless or do we give him a British passport? In terms of gender 64% of the children were boys and 36% were girls. Nonetheless what we found tended to go against this vulnerable bright narrative that is being used in the media quite a lot recently. In the cases of girls.girls were often self-radicalising or actively seeking out extremist material online, rather than being dubed into going back to their families which tended to be the case with boys. These girls were doing a lot of research, they were finding potential people to marry. But not in the sense we think of as grooming, because in two of these cases a woman had made up the fact that there was a man out there. He was imaginary transpired, later court documents, he didn’t exist. So there was a kind of pool factor of marriage but not in the traditional sense of an older man speaking to a younger girls and exploiting her. In fact many of these girls were doing this research themselves or they were speaking to other young women, because we must remember that was one of the primary roles of the women when they went to join the Islamic State. Beyond having children it was to speak to other girls, try to recruit them, distribute propaganda. So they had actually more agency in what they were doing and perhaps what has been said previously. 38% of the families contain children who have been taken out of school or who had attended school sporadically, this links directly to isolation. 52% had a family history of extremist activity so multiple members of the family were involved in not necessarily the Islamic State, but also groups such as Al Mahajerun and Al Shabab. 55% of the families had been influenced by Al Mahajerun, 18% had been influenced by the Islamic State and 35% of the children had normalised violence. This tended to mean either they were committing active violence themselves so acting out against their siblings or other children, they were living in an environment where domestic abuse was happening at home or in some cases they were being made to watch violent videos, that means to watch beheading videos and things like that. Finally I also wanted to understand the outcome. So were these children separated from their parents, there have been previous reports that have said that children will be actively separated from their parents, but actually in the cases I have studied 60% of the children in the sample remained with their primary parent. Of those who were separated 44% fell in the eleven to sixteen age category, so they were a lot older and in the majority of cases as I said previously even when children were removed from their primary parent siblings from the same families tended to remain together. So we have some of the trend and the methodology employed here. I will speak very briefly about some of the policy and limitations, some of the general limitations that this research addresses. The first is the threshold of proof. So I (inaudible) this previously in my talk right now, but I have spoken about harm. In order to separate a child from their parent or for the state to intervene in family life which is very private, but there has to be a very high threshold of proof to do this and in a majority of these cases we were finding that this threshold criteria and this burden of proof is not doing that. It’s an enormous burden on local authorities who already have a lot to do, but even when they gather evidence some of it very problematic evidence it is not enough to justify the judge starting care proceedings in these families. So how do we measure significant harm in these cases? It’s very controversial because even in family court cases you could be living with a family member who is very likely to cause harm to the child but nothing can be done until the harm has already occurred. So in the majority of these cases the judges are making decisions when the family has actually been stopped from going to Iraq and Syria. Now I would argue taking your child and travelling to a conflict-zone is actually extremely harmful and a very high risk, but judges are unable in many cases to actually start care proceedings. So what they have done is they used a quite old law in terms of wardship to allow some level of intervention in these families life’s. Wardship tends to mean that they are able to monitor the families, but more importantly they are able to put travel-restrictions and in many cases take away the passports of these children, so they are not in immediate risk to travel to Islamic State. Now this is of course extremely problematic because as the years have passed the Islamic State as it once was no longer exists, so many of these families do not want to travel. They will still remain here, but they will have still as many problems as they had previously. And there is also the issue that these children are going through multiple safeguarding harms. It’s not that they have been brought to the attention of the judges because of the radicalisation and extremism, but they also having to deal with domestic violence, very broken families. Horrible things happening at home, yet still care proceedings aren’t being started. The third is that many of these kids are teenagers particularly the ones who are self-radicalising and going to join these groups on their own. Wardship ends when a child is 18 where his care proceedings go on for much longer so in one of these cases the judge makes an extraordinary action of putting together a bespoke package of care for a child even after they turn 18 because the child is so much at risk of radicalisation and because of his specific family history. So there is obviously an issue there. The second is again this danger of an idea and an ideology. In many of these families the parents will be traditional loving parents, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t want to input or teach their children very problematic things. Often very violent things, things that could potentially make them quite dangerous. So how, and I am very happy to hear input, how do you monitor ideology? How do you stop these children from absorbing extremely dangerous ideas often in very isolated environments where home-schooling is occuring as well as it was in 19% of these cases or children have been increasingly isolated by taking them out if school and this really sheds light on the much larger problem of why many of these cases where missed particularly with young girls. You know families or some of them of course had a role to play in indoctrination. We can’t deny that Amira Basas father took her to not one, not two but three Mahaj Hamun rallies with very problematic material and flags being burned. So in some cases the parents would have known and said that they didn’t. In other cases parents might think that their girls is actually behaving well because she doesn’t go out very much, she doesn’t have friends who aren’t of the same religion or the same race and she stays in her room all the time, so she is a good girl, she is in her bedroom studying with no clue what she is actually getting up to online. I think there is a lot to be said about how we can perhaps prevent this or deal with this issue, which is not just one case, it is hundreds of individuals. The third policy recommendation is of course straight forward so that these cases must be completed more quickly. The biggest hinderance of course is that one arm of the state on the counter terrorism division is aware of the problematic nature of these parents that there are terrorists and extremists, but they are unable to share that information with the family courts, because of the secret of nature of it. So the family courts essentially dealing with these ideas in a vacuum without having a full understanding of how dangerous some of these individuals are. The second is that these cases must be completed faster than they are. We simply don’t know how many exist as researchers, we don’t know how many children are at risk and because there is so much time between these cases the child is still very seceptible to the same harms. We have really argued that this must be done more quickly and a database must be created on that. The third is that social workers must have more comprehensive training in radicalisation and in extremism. This isn’t just for social workers even judges are struggling with these issues, I think as a public we are too so in more comprehensive definition what it constitutes and what it doesn’t we will ensure that the right social workers are coupled with the right families. In some of these cases we have seen social workers being coupled with families that they really should be, because they don’t understand what radicalisation is and how dangerous it can potentially be. And the finally policy recommendation is that we must have powers, that are common to wardship or like wardship but are properly defined in law. These judges have had to rely on ancient mechanism kind of middle ground between separating a child from her parent or starting care proceedings and leaving children with potentially dangerous people. So wardship gives us that middle ground, it gives us the power of monitoring, it gives us the power if intervention by the state and the appointment of a guardian etc., but it does that in a legal way. And I’ll end by saying this, that the Shamima Begum-case has caught the interest of the nation it always did, even in 2015 we were talking about these girls, but there are just one of so many children like them and so many families who are seceptible to the very same dangers and I would argue and controversially perhaps that in Shemimas case it is going to be incredibly difficult to deradicalise her of what she has been through. And it would have been easier if, and we always this in CV and counter extremism and counter terrorism world, that prevention is always easier than cure. If we are able to prevent individuals from joining these groups or families of being seceptible for this, we have a much higher chance of voluntary engagement even if you look at the way some of these systems are set up. The system in disengagement which is now the compulsory part of channel, many of these young women who have come back. Two cases in this report had to engage with the system in disengagement because they were returnees and it was not an option for them, but voluntary engagement whether it might be successful or not actually shows that the individual is willing to engage with the authorities and wants to make a change. So one can argue how effective some of these mandatory programs will be and in fact in some of the work that we found on these cases the woman who engage in disengagement are lying because some of the notes were being shared with the judge who would then determine whether the child would remain with the parent or not or what kind of life the child would have so there was a real insentive on the part of the person engaging with “DD” desistance and disengagement to ensure that the judge or the intervention provider thought that they were deradicalised so that they would have a better chance of seeing their children. That is a broad brush of the work that we have spend many months on and I am very happy to answer any questions on specific details on the report, thank you.
Tim Loughton MP: Nikita, thank you very much for that very (inaudible) on that report. That is a fascinating report, let me just make a few comments and then open up. I mean I came to this with to main heats on, first and former Minister for children dealing with safe-guardian measures and also as a member of the home affairs (inaudible) team where we have been doing quite a lot of work recently on radicalisation. And I remember a few years ago after those three girls from Bethnal Green travelled to Syria, including Shamima Begum, we had family members of the three girls as witnesses in front of the committee. We also had I mean it was a sister of one of the Djihadi-joiners as well just trying to understand what it was that influenced in that case three bright, successful fifteen year old girls to travel to a warzone under a compunction on the face of it. And I distinctly remember that we had the father of one of them and we had the cousin of another who said, it took us completely by surprise they were completely normal teenagers. They would sit down and watch “Keeping up with the Kardashians” every week and that was a threshold of a normal teenager in the UK, that you watched reality TV-shows like “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and none of them shed any lights on how on earth any of these three apparently normal reality TV-watching girls ended up in a Syrian warzone although it later came to light as Nikita said of links with Andrew Chaudrey and others and various family members. There was more to it although still it remains a bit of a mystery of why one successful 15, 16, 17 year old student, graduate or whatever could go on to be successful member of the community in this country and an equivalent person ends up radicalized and goes off to the other side of the world.
In terms of (inaudible) one thing we did was I tried to look very closely on the addresses and at that stage it was primarily for a safeguarding reason and panorama I think has done an exposure of inside some of these addresses where there very clearly some unsavoury volunts from Imams and other seniors towards young boys in particular. In some cases there were suggestions of sexual behaviour as well, but at that stage we weren’t really looking at radicalising behaviour. But clearly that has become an issue as well and I wanted to take measures to regulate addresses, but was deterred from doing so for all sorts of reasons and that’s an issue we have absolutely to come back to. I think the problem that this report flags up is, as being said, how ill prepared and equipped family courts are to deal with this phenomenon. The record of 156 children who have gone through the family court since 2013 (inaudible) to be at risk of radicalisation. It is still a very small number in the greater seeing of things we now have over 75.000 children in the care system in this country and most of them are in front of judges who will in safeguarding issues, safety violence issues sexual exploitation issues. But this is very different, it is very complex and there is absolutely I think a lack of understanding and appreciation of how you deal with it in court and actually how you spotted and takes measures then to bring it in front of the authorities and take appropriate action. I think when in 2015, I think it was judge Mumbey, the family court division issued new guidance on radicalisation I think that guidance is probably now (inaudible) out of date and the family court needs to look at this again which is why I suggested earlier to Nikita certainly copy this report go to the responsible person in the family law division for his comments as well. So I think we have got a problem. One of the issues I was fascinated about, that Nikita flagged up is on the isolation element of these four types of children that are secepitble and the high correlation with kids who are home schooled. And again across a whole range of considerations home schooling is quite a worry and those of us who liked to see that rather greater seriousness about regulating the area. It’s quite a militant anti regulating home schooling lobby not to do with a radicalisation but to do with all sorts of middle class parents who think they have a (inaudible) kids to see how they fit at home and nobody should stick their nose to have a list of those kids who are supposedly being home schooled and the supposed quality of the home schooling that they are getting. Radicalisation happening within the home let alone alone in a bedroom in front of a computer is a whole new departure that I think means we are going to have a look at that area again. And then there is the whole issue around the impact of social media. And again have had in front of the (inaudible) the social media campus on numerous occasions and each occasion they are worthly inadequate in explaining why the do what they do and they failed to do what they said to do last time and continue to fail actually to monitor harmful content on the internet not least around radicalisation and terrorists extremists. The often use their platform too often with impunity. I think there is a whole lot of issues come out of this report and those 156 children can only grow disproportionatly in number both in terms of those who are at risk of radicalisation by home grown parents and family members and of course what’s going to happen with those members who are British subjects or not who may or may not be returning from Syria and Iraq sometime soon and some of whom got children and it will be interesting to see what actually happens in the Shamima Begum case but in terms of her citizenship but also with her sons citizenship who is entitled to get his citizenship and therefor would be allowed in the UK but would presumably be subject of some form of care proceedings. So this is a very timely report it trays up a whole lot of challenges that we are facing and I think I’ll end on the final challenge that we have and part of the study we did is a (inaudible) project (inaudible) is how young people get their news and I think we still are in danger of looking at how people are influenced through rather conventional increasingly outdated media and we went up to Bradford and we had a seminar with about a hundred young people from Bradford including many from the Muslim community particularly there. They were supposed to be reflective from the local community, I don’t think they were particularly reflective and I think I had a lot of members from the labour party on the table, but anyway they were an interesting voice of young people and virtually none of them said they go to get their news to the BBC, to Sky or to The Times or conventiual. It absolutely was about social media. It is where thy get their news or what masquerades as news and therefor they are influenced. And so we need to communicate with those young people and a completely new way to be done in the past and I think that is a huge challenge for governments and for politicians and for local communities and I think this report and the recent case of Shamima Begum has thrown up one small part of a very complicated and challenging jigsaw that we are going to take far more seriously and I hope this report contributes to that.
So who would like to make some comment or ask some questions? Can you identify yourself, who you are, where you are from and we try to take them in groups, one, two, three. Sir.
I think you might need to stand up and shout, it’s such a big room I’m afraid. We are lucky we have got a room at all, this time last week we didn’t have a room now we have the largest room in the whole palace of Westminster, but anyway Sir.
Audience man: (inaudible) part of the debate is not recognizing comparisons between radical fascist ideology and Islamic State ideology. After the second World War the US (inaudible) and then many, many years later they did a follow up survey (inaudible) and it was extremely embarrassing because what they realized (inaudible) changed that once a Nazi, always a Nazi. (Inaudible)
But what it basically means is that anybody who takes the radicalisation and just puts in the head “Yes Sir” and “No Sir” just so they can be let out, staged as normal and be able to continue a life as before. Have there been any comparisons between the post WW2 deradicalisation programs and what is required today to deradicalize people?
Tim Loughton MP: Okay, interesting point, yes Madam.
Audience Woman: (inaudible) it was really interesting your (inaudible) agency and initiative. How does it fit with the article in The Times by (inaudible) who gives a different portrait of (inaudible) and talks about specifically the (inaudible) community where (inaudible) suffering from cultural oppression and (inaudible) teenage girls to their religion as a coping mechanism, as that motivation.
Tim Loughton MP: Interesting point and Madam and then comes the next one.
Audience Woman: (inaudible) taken out of school, that implies that most of these children (inaudible) the system. Do you think it demonstrates the failure of the British schooling system because keeping in mind that certain (inaudible). Is the British schooling system failing to teach serf-awareness (inaudible). (inaudible)
Tim Loughton MP: Ok so three quite interesting topics. So experiences from post WW2 on radicalisation programs and how they could be hide in evaluation now. Second (inaudible) hardline religious teaching and thirdly tend the schools a lot more.
Nikita Malik: To answer the question on whether comparisons have been made with the post WW2 deradicalisation and what is required today, I haven’t come across any research like that, but I do think your question was broader than that which was, what is the material available and how effective the deradicalisation is. As researchers we are always on the lookout for this material. The Home Office does reveal how many people were… we see spikes in the number of people referred to prevent which kind I’ll talk more about it in the answer to the third question in terms of schooling, but we see these statistics. I tried with these cases to look at follow ups, many of these families were appointed and intervention provider where in the follow up cases the judge was commenting on whether the family was effectively deradicalised and I could only find two cases where there were follow ups on whether the family was effectively deradicalised or not and in one of the cases the family admitted that their ideas were wrong and speaking to this intervention provider had changed those ideas somewhat, but that’s just one of many cases so I do think that question is a good one and we require more transparency of this information but perhaps the reason we don’t have it is because we haven’t been doing it wrong enough or maybe we haven’t been doing it long enough or maybe the government won’t like the findings of what it is and that’s quite a controversial thing to say I know in parliament but how do we measure and is it actually proving effective. We dedicated a lot of money to it and I feel as someone who has been studying this for some time with the returnees just we have to dedicate more, so we have to insure these processes are being done in an adequate way. Having said that, I worked with many prevent and intervention providers and I think the work they do is very important and the second question which was on the Times-article in the Bengali community. You know I haven’t read the Times-article I am sure on many of these cases there was a, it is very difficult to generalise, but perhaps there was domestic violence occurring on a culture of oppression etc., but the Bengali community is very big and there is a Bangladeshi community and there is the Bengali community from India and we haven’t seen, now and I said this for some time it like a control group and an experimental group. We haven’t seen young girls from the Indian Bengali community going to join the Islamic State and they probably deal with the same issues and not at all downsizing the scale of issues that we have here. I know that we often perhaps to indulgent affairs seriously issues like forced marriage or all kinds of honour based violence happening but there has to be opportunities when individuals move to the UK from countries in South Asia prevent to advance and have a better life’s and they would have had in India and Bangladesh and so we perhaps need to examine why it is that these girls are still being oppressed by communities in the United Kingdom and ensure that they are not, ensure that they are given opportunities in the UK that perhaps they wouldn’t have had otherwise. So that addresses that I hope but I would still stress again that it needs to be done on a case by case basis and I would go against generalisations how communities are. And then finally what can we do more in the schooling system. That is a fascinating question and I think there was about 19% who were home-schooled there were others who are being increasingly isolated from school, taken out from school but they were subset of individuals who are going to school and in some of these cases it was the teachers who are bringing it to the attention of the local authorities and that the children’s behaviour was changing. Now I think we have got better as it has become statutory duty for us to look at these cases and actually report some of these risks, but there could be much more in terms of the material available to counter it and we have a project in the Henry Jackson Society called “For our children” which looks at exactly that, it looks at the material that is available to schools and finds that most of the material is either dispursed too much, teachers are confused as to what is genuine and what is not or it’s a paid for service so teachers will not go into that particular line, so there is a lot of information out there and I think that could be centralized more and I know that private sector companies are now starting to take more initiative by going into schools, teaching about fake news and it is in my opinion a little too late we should really been doing this earlier but now that we are doing it let’s ensure that the material we have got is actually robust and can counter that.
Audience Woman: (inaudible) there needs to be a (inaudible) effort to target younger children. (inaudible)
Tim Loughton MP: I got the gentleman there and then the Lord here and the Lady there. And then I will come to do on my own, Sir.
Audience Man: (inaudible) I just wanted to ask a question. Why all the so called Jihadis in Iraq and Syria and those who are involved in various activities in Lublin are the product of (inaudible) system? Regarding what he says, I couldn’t find a single Muslim who was involved in such activities. What do you think?
Tim Loughton MP: The Lord.
Audience Man: Thank you, I just question whether deradicalisation is going to work without at least considerable co-operation on the person in question. Perhaps, if I am right, perhaps the best thing is to expose them to contemporaries of their own age so that they begin to understand that it is possible to hold a wide variety of other views.
Audience Woman: We spoke about how to measure ideology in education and I just wanted to ask and understand it is not just about how you measure, but also who is doing the measuring because there is an assumption that we are all sang from the same song sheet and it keeps providing the right resources and people will deliver it. However let me give you a two examples. I live in Brighton, a very left-wing area I’m in and a woman I know is a teacher at a secondary school told me that she had been told to question a young man on events (inaudible) and she was horrified, she said she felt it is invasive that she ended up apologizing to the young man saying it is just something we have to do and I don’t want (inaudible). So in other words she was feeling that it was very invasive, I personally think that we need expert people who are motivated to deliver a strategy even in the schools and the other example I was going to give you also might (inaudible) but we do and in fact last week a young man starved to death around the corner from me and he is one of a family in which three of them gone to Syria to be killed, one is fighting (inaudible). You know what is going on there, they come from a local community and I can assure you, I went to Facebook and looked at my local community notice board and it is (inaudible) with hundreds of comments from people sympathetic and saying disgraceful reporting on the paper, they obviously reported on the stabbing. Disgraceful to even be bringing up the fact that they (inaudible), you know this is right-wing pressed (inaudible) I am saying that people aren’t necessary permitted to the same genders you might think they are.
Tim Loughton MP: Okay we have some (inaudible) answers can we get one more round before the end.
Nikita Malik: There was one concrete question and so I will answer that first, which was how do you get a co-operation with people in deradicalisation and you engage them with people of their own (inaudible) I would argue yes and the majority of intervention providers, deradicalising individuals have actually had some experiences of radicalisation themselves have chosen to leave these groups and are now able to engage with these ideas. So I think the people have been able to do that, the effectiveness of that is still to be measured and I do take that point. The second in the Brighton case I agree it was very heavily covered. I think that case is important to bring up the radicalisation aspect because terrorism and crime are often linked ant what is interesting about that case is that two of the boys, one of them is dead the other one is in jail for crime. Something is happening in the family there that they obviously need help and assistance.
And Sir, I am sorry but I really did not understand what your question was about the British education system.
Tim Loughton MP: (inaudible)
Nikita Malik: Well I think that is why we all are here, trying to ensure that… I don’t think they do but the British people who are gone. I mean they are obviously were trying to prevent them from going and we are also trying to ensure that once they come back we deal with them effectively. That would be my comment on that.
Tim Loughton MP: Okay, last round of questions. I got a few hands up here. Sir it’s your hand there, yes.
Audience Man: I have a question which is (inaudible) powerful summary today he used the terms of radicalisation and extremism (inaudible) and I see that (inaudible). (inaudible) there is no legal definition of either, (inaudible) and also in regard to the observations to the (inaudible) he did a report on (inaudible) extremism and has been (inaudible). (inaudible)
Tim Loughton MP: We take you as a last question Sir.
Audience Man: Sorry I was just wondering whether the most surprising recommendation you made related to the amendment of the threshold of the state intervention specifically is related to radicalisation and whether you considered how far that exceptional is in that specific (inaudible) would necessarily be productive and whether in the assertion that it surprisingly not ended with outcomes (inaudible) in those instances having not been appealed (inaudible) correct decision (inaudible).
Nikita Malik: I think these two questions go really well together so I would like to answer them and I think your question is excellent and I don’t actually have much of an opinion on the appeals perhaps that is a follow up but I think it is a broader term. This broader term of extremism and radicalisation and it’s lack of definition really shed light on the much larger debate which is justice versus human rights. So in many of these cases we want justice, we want to ensure that people are not a danger to our society. These children and families don’t do things that are wrong and for that we require state intervention and many of the interventions that are putting place will be criticized for precisely that, the human rights measures. You know I have the right to a private family live, I have the right to legal due process, I have the right to raise my children however I like but am I a good parent or not? And I think this is a fascinating space to examine how the two are linked because the public outrage on either side is huge. You know we are not doing enough to help protect these kids and we are intruding too much when we shouldn’t. Extremism is a very broad term, the counter extremism commission has been here for a year now and we still haven’t got what it is, but I think they are working on that but it is broad for a purpose. It is broad so we can regulate technology, we can regulate this area and sometimes we need it to be broad because we require intervention in areas where we know things are dangerous and perhaps we would not be able to so otherwise. I say this as a researcher. I produced the research, I take your point on Sir that it could be manipulated by any party for any means and much of my research has in the past. The public deserves to know what is happening in these cases and where cases are going wrong or where decisions are made inaccurately or too much time is taken on cases. There is a risk and so I think all we can do is present the research and then hope that actions are taken on it, but I do take that on I don’t have an answer for everything. I wish I had the definition of extremism for you, I would have used it in the report but I don’t so.
Tim Loughton MP: Right the (inaudible) which is one minute to two. I thank Nikita for first of all introducing this excellent report but also taking those questions and giving her time today and also for all of you for coming along. Please take copies of the reports they are on the table there and finally thank you to the Henry Jackson Society for facilitating today. Thank you very much.