Tackling violent extremism together

Today’s Guardian story about the Quilliam memo helps demonstrate how the current Prevent programme has degenerated into a worrying spectacle of tiny groups competing for government access and funding while smearing other credible and far larger Muslim organisations as being ‘Islamists’ and extremist sympathisers.

My understanding is that the Quilliam memo was their own initiative and was not commissioned by either the Home Office or the Organisation for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT). That is important, not least because it is evident that in tackling the threat of al-Qa’ida inspired terrorism in the UK it is vital and necessary for the authorities to work in cooperation with all the main Muslim organisations in the country to ensure that the anti-terrorism message gets the widest possible dissemination and the strongest possible endorsement.

Let’s hope that the Home Office and the OSCT having recognised the damage that is done to community trust by documents such as the Quilliam memo now take urgent action to remedy the situation.

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