THERESE O’TOOLE ET AL: After Cameron’s Prevent review, local authorities could be set for a collision with central government.
KATHERINE E. BROWNE: When Prevent was first established it made the mistake of stereotypically portraying Muslim women as ‘naturally’ liberal and ideally placed to combat ‘masculine’ Islamic extremism. Under the Coalition this portrayal has disappeared, but now Muslim women are ignored, or only mentioned as passive victims of terrorism or community oppression.
PAUL THOMAS: The Prevent Review of 2011, which sought to decouple security and integration policies, was understood as having ‘solved’ Prevent’s problems. But in reality this shift has obscured rather than solved Prevent’s problems.
IMRAN AWAN: The Coalition’s Prevent strategy still constructs British Muslims as a ‘suspect community’.
ARSHAD ISAKJEE: Surveillance is always controversial, but the cameras installed as part of Project Champion, which were designed to create a security ‘net’ around Birmingham’s Muslim communities, caused widespread anger leading to a successful campaign by local residents to have the cameras removed.
THERESE O’TOOLE ET AL: Thanks to events such as the Rushdie affair and the publication in Denmark in 2005 of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, Muslim political activism has been associated primarily with protest. The last fifteen years have however seen Muslims increasingly participating in governance. Though less remarked on, this type of political action has had a significant impact on national politics in Britain.
HUMERA KHAN: There has been widespread neglect of grass-roots activism by Muslims, especially Muslim women, and often the capacity of Muslim communities to make their voice heard in government has been overestimated.