New Prevent plans may face the same issues as the last

First published in Columnists by

‘Hypocrisy’ is the word that comes to mind following the revelation that the Prevent Programme is going to see some major shifts in the coming year.

However, this not directed at the government. This is directed at the parts of the Muslim community. There are those in the community who have used previous such opportunities to simply either back or criticise the government.

It seems nothing at all has changed.

Whilst, the government will be looking to gain trust within the Muslim community it will come across the same pitfalls as the last administration. When it chooses to back one group it will lose the trust of several others.

What we have a similar battle already developing between organisations who wish to benefit through increased funding or links with specific individuals.

The fact is we are exactly where we were several years ago thanks mainly to these organisations and people. The government does not actually need to speak to any of these organisations and can have direct links with communities.

Yet, it still wishes to dangle a carrot in front of organisations which it deems to be ‘friendly to the cause’. We have moved on from the days when communities were represented by specific groups and individuals with fancy titles.

Sadly, this whole game is going to be repeated and advice will be sought from people who simply seem to have the right names and are sat in the right places.

Let us be realistic about the opposite too.

There are also many groups who are doing their utmost to create mis-trust within the community. In public there say little of their feelings of resentment but in private their conversations are the very reason this Prevent strategy is in place.

Sadly, this hypocrisy continues to fester. We are aware of organisations that will criticise the government policy not because they are independent commentators but because they wish to extend their own agenda and beliefs. They will dress this up in all sorts of Islamic jargon but the underlying cause is the same.

There are some grassroots groups and individuals which are privately hoping that this prevent project does take a more sinister turn so it can help to justify the mis-information to young people.

More than likley it won't stop these groups accepting money from other public and private sources without asking any questions.

As with the past Prevent programme the battle lines have already been drawn up. Let the hypocrisy begin.

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