It has been my attempt to relate the human cost of the PREVENT counter-extremism programme on this blog. Whether it is teachers going through the humiliation and stress of being called “extremists” only to be exonerated two years later, or whether it is children suffering effective psychological child abuse upon coming into contact with the PREVENT referral apparatus. The theoretical analysis and argumentation can sanitise the real cost of such decrepit neoconservative policies like PREVENT.
Two years ago, it was suggested by CAGE’s Asim Qureshi that there was a possibility that children would be taken from their parents under PREVENT. Those PREVENT-milking state-collaborators in the persecution of the Muslim minority were rolled out repeatedly to discredit CAGE using specifically this claim to highlight that CAGE was “fearmongering” and spreading “myths”. Exactly who is linked to propaganda departments within the Home Office, and who is regurgitating their black propaganda “messaging” is known well-known. The reality is that the Muslim minority had already anticipated the child-snatching policy. Boris Johnson was foreshadowing the removal of children from “radical” parents as early as March 2014. The claims by PREVENT-supporters that children will not be taken away through the implementation of PREVENT has proven to be as vacuous and deceptive as their state-prostituted and ventriloquized minds.
“Through the CTS Act 2015 and PREVENT programmes, the government has sought to intervene in the homes of families where there is a risk of ‘radicalisation’, often forcing removal of children from the home.”
Forcing Compliance: “They are going to make my life difficult”
Two days ago, at a seminar hosted by CAGE’s Asim Qureshi and Professor David Miller on the report “The Science Behind PREVENT”, a distraught Muslim mother of a baby and four-year-old child was reduced to tears as she described her ordeal at the hands of PREVENT. In her moving account, she stated that her house was raided by counter-terrorism police the day she had given birth to her child, and despite the father being taken away, the social services came and questioned her, threatening her with the removal of her children on the basis that she could not safeguard them. Demonstrating the sinister side of PREVENT, she further states that PREVENT was used to threaten and intimidate her, consequently impacting her family and friends:
“PREVENT has said to me that if I don’t work with them, they are going to make my life difficult. They gave me a warning, they called me on Eid day, and gave me that warning… They’ve been constantly on my back… I am scared to even say that I am bringing my children up as a Muslim… Everyone is scared my friends are scared, they said they want to support me but they are scared to support me, because they fear their children may get taken away.”
Based on her account, it seems PREVENT officers are using psychological tactics reminiscent of the German Stasi’s Zersetzung strategy to mentally destabilise individuals into compliance. The climate of fear and intimidation perpetuated by PREVENT is reaching levels of insanity. It is being used as a weapon against Muslims to force compliance. Family courts have even gone to the extent of forcing teenagers to watch television as a prescriptive antidote to “radicalisation”.
EDL? “Neither here nor there”
So far many of the cases concerning the issue of radicalisation and children involve Muslims. There is, however, precedent for judges taking a completely different line of thinking in the context of non-Muslim, white, far-right-linked parents.
In February 2015, it was reported that the council was trying to prevent a father from bringing up his own toddler due to him being an activist with the EDL, which social workers called “barbaric”, that he was immoral, drank too much, smoked cannabis, and had numerous criminal convictions. One social worker argued, “The distorted thinking of those within the EDL is barbaric and their actions inappropriate… therefore the mentality of those involved has to be brought into question”. In other words, he possessed possibly an “extremist” mentality due to his association with a fascist and often violent organisation, or, at the very least demonstrated “vulnerability to radicalisation”. The social workers further argued that the child should be brought up in an “environment that supports difference, equality and independence”. The judge rejected the arguments stating that courts and social workers were not “moral guardians” and that the parent’s membership with the EDL was “neither here nor there”. The “top” family court judge further warned:
‘We must guard against the risk of social engineering.’
The EDL, which is regarded as perpetuating far-right ideology, is not a risk to the child’s well-being. In the context of Muslims, the judge’s arguments are defenestrated and social engineering, to the point where mothers are threatened with the removal of their children to force compliance with PREVENT, teenagers are being forced to watch television”, and individuals are subjected to CHANNEL deradicalisation mentors whom teach them the “right” Islam along with truncated Western history, is adopted as a policy wholesale. Discriminatory social engineering, at least in reference to the Muslim minority has become institutionalised thanks to PREVENT. The whole project has echoes of the Nazi Germanization of thousands of kidnapped Jewish children to “cleanse” them of their Jewish heritage. The difference, aside from the war context, is that a bogus ideological counter-extremism premise has been created by neoconservatives to justify the “kidnapping” by the state.
PREVENT is damaging, a point which is increasingly being recognised across the Atlantic. The US-based “Open Society Justice Initiative”, after examining seventeen PREVENT/CHANNEL referral cases, concluded today that the policy “suffers from multiple, mutually reinforcing structural flaws, the foreseeable consequence of which is a serious risk of human rights violations.” The structural flaws included, “the targeting of ‘pre-criminality’, ‘non-violent extremism’, and opposition to ‘British values’.” The author of report, Amrit Singh, in a separate piece further lambasted PREVENT for “creating a climate of fear”.
These are not exactly new findings. The Muslim minority has known this through experience for a long time. The distressed mother worried about her children being snatched from her represents the precipice of the various forms of fear PREVENT is manifesting. My question is, how many more mothers and fathers will need to have their children removed from them in a totalitarian fashion before the Muslim community takes an uncompromising, non-negotiable stance against PREVENT?