Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called for the reform of the Prevent counter extremism strategy which is widely considered within the Muslim community to be Islamophobic.
Corbyn’s call was made in response to the announcement of government plans for a new counter-extremism bill which has been widely condemned by Muslim groups for cracking down on freedom of speech.
“Everyone in this House understands the risks posed by terrorism,” Corbyn told parliament.”This city, London, has experienced it before, as have other cities here and around the world. We will of course support strong measures to give the police and security services the resources they need, but we will also support checks and balances to ensure that powers are used appropriately.
“We would welcome any proposals from the Government to reform the Prevent strategy and instead to emphasise the value of community-led work to prevent young people from being drawn into extremism in any form.”
In notes accompanying the Queen’s Speech earlier today, the government said that it had stepped up efforts to safeguard individuals at risk of radicalisation in the past year, through a network of “Prevent professionals” who had worked with 2,790 different institutions, and engaged nearly 50,000 individuals in 2015.
It said it had supported 130 community-based projects aimed at reducing “reducing vulnerabilities to extremist narratives” that had reached over 25,000 participants, with more than half of those taking place in schools.