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Prevent and deter

Anwar Akhtar questions the government's approach

The BBC’s controversial series Generation Jihad section, as Anwar Akhtar questions the government’s strategy for combating extremism.

Casting a critical eye on the states’ Prevent programme, he writes:

Generation Jihad showed tensions that have arisen from the Prevent programme. Prevent’s whole starting point is Muslims and problems, which misses the equal responsibility of the western political establishment for the problems we all face from a tiny number of fascistic Islamic extremists.

After all, it was the intelligence services and Foreign Office who throughout the 1980s thought investing in Islamic extremism was the great decisive move to win the cold war.

Muslim communities across Britain feel they are not responsible for this, and take umbrage at how the Prevent programme stigmatises them. British Pakistanis, already heartbroken at the suffering in Pakistan caused partly by western investment in extremism, are further riled at having the finger pointed at them, which leads to increasing alienation.

Akhtar, director of http://www.thesamosa.co.uk , says that the government need to rethink their Prevent strategy and boost real investment to create jobs, something that will ultimately reap more rewards than encouraging people to inform on extremism.

Staff Writer

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