Muslims boycott UK counter-extremism strategy Prevent

Sergio Perez/ReutersUnited Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivers his keynote address during the closing ceremony of the Madrid 10 Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism summit in Madrid, Spain, earlier this year.

Muslims are boycotting the UK's counter-terrorism Prevent strategy, it has been disclosed.

Fewer than one in ten of the extremism tip-offs made under the programme come from faith or community leaders within the Muslim community, according to The Times. Most tip-offs are instead made by people working in schools or medical surgeries, and this is leading to growing distrust in the Muslim community in the UK. Extremism tip-offs have also come from police and prisons.

According to figures from the National Police Chiefs Council, of 3,288 referrals to Prevent in the first half of 2015, just 280, or 8.6 per cent, were from Muslims. 

The Muslim Council of Britain has repeatedly argued that the Prevent strategy has alienated Muslims communities across the UK and is likely to prove counter-productive.

Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, and a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, is among those who have highlighted criticism of Prevent.

Prevent is one of many national and international strategies in place in the drive to counter extremism. It was set up after 9/11 to try to identify potential extremists and terrorists. 

At the Madrid+10 countering-extremism summit earlier this year, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described how terrorism is on the march and spreading like cancer, despite the many steps the international community has taken to try to prevent it. He said that the failure to avoid breeding the problems and the failure to resolve conflict and not just extremism, is ending up "driving the problem".

Britain's official terror alert is currently "severe" meaning an attack is considered highly likely. 

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