Muslims feel targeted because they are religious?

Once great Britain,  where clueless limp dicks advocate anti terrorism policy based on Muslim “feelings” rather than cold hard facts:

Britain needs a watchdog to watch the watchdogs:

A scheme to stop people becoming radicalised must be reformed because Muslims feel targeted because they are religious, terror watchdog warns

  • Prevent programme intended to tackle all forms of extremism in Britain 
  • David Anderson said there was a ‘serious problem’ of Islamic extremism
  • But 15% of the programme’s work focuses on extreme ring wingers 
  • He warned Muslim communities ‘fear’ was real even if it was ‘exaggerated’

Muslims who pray or wear the veil feel ‘targeted’ just because of their faith by a government scheme at stopping people becoming radicalised, the terror watchdog warned today.

David Anderson, who has access to secret papers to independently review whether terror laws are effective and proportionate, said trust had to be restored by reforming the Prevent programme.

Mr Anderson said the ‘fear’ in Muslim communities about the scheme was real even if it was ‘exaggerated’.

Terror laws watchdog David Anderson, pictured giving evidence to MPs in March, warned Muslims feel targeted because of their faith by scheme aimed at stopping people becoming radicalised 

Terror laws watchdog David Anderson, pictured giving evidence to MPs in March, warned Muslims feel targeted because of their faith by scheme aimed at stopping people becoming radicalised

He told the BBC there was a ‘serious problem of Islamist extremism’ in Britain but added 15 per cent of Prevent’s work relates to the extreme right wing and not Muslims.

Mr Anderson, who is due to leave his post in 2017 after six years as the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, said Prevent should be reformed rather than scrapped to make it more effective.

His concerns follow criticism of the programme by leading opposition figures, including shadow home secretary Andy Burnham.

Mr Anderson told the Today programme: ‘There is a strong feeling in Muslim communities that I visit that Prevent is, if not a spying programme, then at least a programme that is targeted on them.

‘In some cases it is even felt that it is targeted not just at Islamists and terrorism or extremism, but at the practice of Islam – people who pray or wear the veil, for example, are sometimes felt to be under suspicion.

‘I am sure those fears are exaggerated – and they are certainly not what the programme is supposed to be about – but the fact is they are very real.

‘It is frustrating for me to see a programme, whose ideals are so obviously good, falling down on the delivery to the point where it is not trusted in the community where it principally applies.’

Muslims feel targeted because they pray, Mr Anderson warned

Muslims who where the veil also feel targeted, Mr Anderson said

 Muslims feel targeted because they pray (file picture left in Birmingham Mosque last year) or wear the veil (file picture right), Mr Anderson warned

Mr Anderson recommended there should be much greater transparency on the research used by the programme and the results achieved.

He said there should be more independent reporting to Parliament and the public on how it was working.

At the same time, he called for better engagement with Muslim communities across the country, saying it was ‘extraordinary’ that there was no dialogue between the Government and the Muslim Council of Britain.

‘It (Prevent) may be effective but people need to know that and they need to believe that,’ he said.

‘That means the Government has to be more open about what it is doing and it has to subject itself to some kind of independent scrutiny that can judge whether it is effective or whether it isn’t.’

Home Secretary Amber Rudd, pictured at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham yesterday, is responsible for overseeing the Prevent programme 

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