An-Nisa Society's initial Response to Contest 2
"The government has missed another opportunity to put right the failings of its much-criticised counter-terrorism policy in its revised Contest 2 strategy launched last week. The failure to drastically overhaul the Prevent strand of the strategy in the light of widespread criticisms and concerns will have devastating long term effects on Muslim communities in the UK. Unless the Muslim community makes a speedy and concerted effort to challenge this strategy it will be 'sleepwalking' into disaster..." Read more. Download pdf An-Nisa_Response_Contest_2.pdf
Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) & Prevent - A response from the Muslim community
Last month An-Nisa Society launched it's report 'Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) & Prevent - A response from the Muslim community.' Our concerns still remain applicable in the light of the government's revised strategy.
Download the report E28_PVE_and_Prevent_-__A_Muslim_response.pdf
Responses to our report
"I have just read your 'Response' to PVE/Prevent, and was so thrilled to find you articulating things that have been bothering me for a long time...PVE is underlying both of the leadership/chaplaincy initiatives, and I have been increasingly shocked and appalled at what I see unfolding. By staying involved with these projects in an advisory or 'steering' capacity, one hopes to change things for the better, and to at least know what's going on, but on the other, involvement might be read as endorsement. On a number of occasions recently, coming from meetings where advice is ignored, and where there is clearly no scope to change the direction, I have been wondering 'what's the point' and I've thought of pulling out."
Muslim University Lecturer
'I just wanted to congratulate you on the Muslim Response to Prevent. I think it says exactly the way we are all feeling about it, but have not been able to formalise it in such a constructive way..'
Muslim Worker - Prevent council project
The next steps - Awareness Raising Campaign on the Prevent Strategy
Now that we know that the government is still going to implement the Prevent strand of its revised Contest 2 strategy, it is imperative to raise greater awareness of its implications amongst opinion and decision makers and to empower and equip Muslim community organisations to constructively address how Prevent is implemented in local communities and to make their local councils accountable.
Since we launched our report we have received supportive responses from across the country. These include Muslims involved in PVE and Prevent projects and initiatives, staff employed to deliver it, Muslim organisations, councillors and members of Prevent boards amongst others. All have expressed concern with Prevent.We have also had interest from the police, parliamentarians, researchers and academics.
We have been inundated with requests to co-ordinate and network Muslim community action to Prevent. Some of the suggestions and requests we have had include disseminating the report widely to government, local councils, members of Parliament and other opinion-makers, a national conference, a website resource, a media campaign and workshops to be held around the country to make Muslim communities aware of the implications of the Prevent strategy.
However, all this requires FUNDING._________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Funding for a Campaign
A campaign requires resources which An-Nisa Society does not have. We have already stretched our limited resources to the utmost by taking up this matter and it has distracted us from taking up any other project funding so that we can spend time on it.
If you would like to contribute to a fund to mount an awareness raising campaign about the Prevent strategy our bank details are below.
Name of Account: An-Nisa Society
Bank: Barclays Bank PLC
Account Number: 80502952
Sort Code: 20-29-41
Cheques can be sent addressed to An-Nisa Society at the address at the bottom of this newsletter.
An-Nisa PVE and Prevent report in the media
"This report has been prepared by a long-standing Muslim activist group based in North West London with deep roots in its local communities. The An-Nisa Society, "a women managed organisation working for the welfare of Muslim families" has a track record that dates back to the mid 1980s. It has displayed persistence and dedication in activities such as supplementary week-end activities for young Muslim boys and girls, increasing health awareness, tackling difficult subjects such as domestic violence, and conducting other service delivery programmes.
If an organisation like this reaches the conclusion that Government approach of overlapping a security agenda with community development is "flawed and fraught with perils", then it is time that the policy makers and civil servants stop in their tracks... "An-Nisa report reviewed on Salaam.co.uk Read full review
Islam Channel Interview - shown on 23 February 2009
Press TV - Interview given for a forthcoming documentary
Connect YouthWork Magazine - forthcoming
BrAVA Newsletter - online now
What Muslims are saying
"There is an argument among those who apply for PVE funding that they can use the 'funds for good' putting aside the overall political agenda behind the PVE (as can be seen by PVE application forms). The form is extremely specific asking questions such as how the project proposal matches the prevent objectives (ie. British identity, tackling extremist messages, building resilient communities)? How will the project organisers assess outcomes?, How will the project be monitored and evaluated? The culture of funding is totally different today as it was in the past and today there is 'politicised money' ie money given for political agenda...and unfortunately those applying for funding fail to understand the robust check and balance mechanisms which are in place to monitor how the money is being spent."
Mapping of the Muslim community and complicity of Muslim institutions
December 25, 2008 by pvecg
"It is shocking to know that mosques in Bradford are playing part in the mapping exercise by local authorities and the police. A mosque in Bradford has organised weekly meetings with the police inside the mosque after Friday prayers. The stated reason is to make it convenient for the Muslims to speak to the police, to inform them of criminal activity. We all know in the present political climate 'criminal activity' is translated to mean 'extremist activity', reminiscent of the Arab intelligence services visiting mosques in the Arab world to gather information on 'extremist activity' from the caretaker.
Also for the police, holding meetings in a mosque complements its mapping exercise to gather information and intelligence on the community. This then will allow it to slice the community into different tiers and enact its various strategies and policies (pls see the pyramidal model in previous posts).
The failure to understand the PVE and its various phases is leading mosques to become complicit actors in this unjust PVE agenda, leading to the victimisation of a whole Muslim community."
PVE Crisis Group, Reading on Radio 4 PVE Crisis Group Reading featured on Radio 4
Government's PVE agenda is failing to tackle extremism
By Salma Yaqoob, Muslim News
"The recent convictions of three young Muslim men on charges of conspiracy to cause explosions highlight the ongoing and real threat of terrorism.
In video messages explaining their motivations the culprits make a clear and explicit linkage between their intentions and the impact of Western foreign policy in Muslim lands.
Yet despite it coming from their own mouths that it is anger over foreign policy driving their hate, the Government continues to deny it as the primary factor.
Instead it blames a "dangerous Islamist ideology" for creating "a hatred of the Western way of life" as if such ideology is free standing and exists in some kind of vacuum..." Read more
Salma Yaqoob is a Councillor for Birmingham Sparkbrook and is a vice-Chair of Respect, The Unity Coalition Party.
Other Media articles
'This counter-terror plan is in ruins. Try one that works.Ministers want Muslims to accept shared values. Luckily they already do, including opposition to wars of aggression' By Seumas Milne, Guardian Online
Can we trust the government with confidential information? ''Right to privacy broken by a quarter of UK's public databases, says report Rowntree Trust cites DNA database and ID register. Whitehall told 11 systems out of 46 must be scrapped' By Alan Travis, home affairs editor, The Guardian
Abuse of counter-terrorism powers - civil liberties
Terrorist threat 'exploited to curb civil liberties' Security measures brought in after September 11 attacks 'undermined the rule of law' says Stella Rimington, former head of MI5 By Kim Sengupta, The Independent