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If that is true, why are almost one third of Prevent referrals to the Channel radicalisation programme being directed at non-Muslims — namely the traditional far Right? There’s no evidence that Prevent has ever been intended as a spying programme against Muslims. Indeed, government guidance states: “The Prevent programme must not involve any covert activity against people or communities.” Prevent is a safeguarding programme, as the Muslim parents of those children who have been talked out of wanting to go to Iraq and Syria would agree.

Inevitably, under Prevent there have been some clumsy referrals, with conservative Islamic practices mistaken for possible signs of radicalisation. But it’s also true that some have turned out not to be quite as clumsy as Prevent’s opponents have willed them to be. And half of all far-Right referrals are also under 18.

Recent comments by Home Secretary Amber Rudd have also been wilfully misconstrued. Responding to criticism on BBC Question Time that cuts to police numbers had led to a reduction in low-level intelligence, she replied: “We get the intelligence much more from the Prevent strategy, which engages with local community groups, not through the police.”

A Cage commentator has presented this as government confirmation of their state spying charge: “The current Home Secretary has now finally admitted Prevent is essentially an intelligence gathering exercise, used to spy on the Muslim community.” What Ms Rudd actually meant was that the intelligence was coming from those civic-minded Muslims who were engaging with Prevent.

So enough of the “state spying” smear, and enough too of the myth that this smear is designed to perpetuate: that terrorist outrages like Manchester and London have nothing to do with Islam. We are forever told there is nothing in Islam to justify this or that atrocity, and it is perfectly true there is nothing within classical Sunni Islamic jurisprudence that endorses such conduct. Sceptics should read A Guide to Refuting Jihadism, written by Rashad Ali and Hannah Stuart, which debunks the claims of modern jihadists and shows that classical Islam’s rules and ethics of warfare broadly mirror the Geneva Convention.

But it is also true that there are many Islams, which is why there manifestly is a problem within Islam which, as Tony Blair has said, is a strain of Islam that is not simply the “province of a few extremists”. It “goes deeper and wider than it is comfortable for us to admit. So by and large we don’t admit it.” But it is time that we admitted how deep and wide is our state of denial — starting with Manchester’s newly- elected Mayor Andy Burnham when he, like so many non-Muslim leaders before him, parroted that the genocidal attack on children at the Ariana Grande concert had “nothing to do with Islam”. If that was true, why do the perpetrators keep coming back to the religious texts? On his WhatsApp profile, one of the London Bridge murderers, Khuram Butt, wrote: “Allah says (Quran 94:6) — Indeed, with hardship, comes ease.” When anti-terror police raided the bedsit Butt and his accomplices had used they found an English-language copy of the Koran opened at a page describing martyrdom.

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amcdonald
July 30th, 2017
4:07 PM
Islam is a bent version of the Bible. The Koran promotes a bent version of Christ. And yet no Christians challenge and correct the bent Islamic picture of Christ. Tories and Labourites can`t `speak truth to power` on this. Richard Dawkins is right but not so precise. It couldn`t be easier for all muslims,christians and atheists to watch artist Akiane Kramarik`s short filn ` Painting the Impossible ` (YouTube). It`s a work of art in itself not only about one. You want an alternative narrative and interfaith dialogue ? Well let`s see this film in churches ,mosques, synagogues,temples and Tate Mpderns. The BBC is just too thick to show and discuss it. Nor would it show artist Stella Vine`s `Evangeline` pictures. The cultural provincialism of our religious,political and cultural leaders is not shared by the people. Which is one reason 17 million voted for Brexit.Freedom Day.

amcdonald
July 15th, 2017
5:07 PM
British Values ? £10 per hour minimum wage? Grants not loans for students? All those others listed in the Labour Manifesto ? Tory values are symbolised by the atrocity exhibition that is now Grenfell Towers.

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