The government’s key strategy to discourage the violent radicalisation of Muslim teenagers is now widely shunned and seen as “toxic” a youth worker has claimed.
Prevent was introduced in 2005 by the then Blair government following the infamous London bombings in July that year. It was designed to try and divert disaffected Muslim youths away from radicalising influences via sport, education, community outreach and employment opportunities.
Muhbeen Hussain is founder of the organisation British Muslim Youth. Speaking to Children & Young People Now, he said Prevent was now snubbed by the young people with whom he works because they believe it implies a link between mainstream Islam and extremism. Consequently, he explained, his organisation also avoids the scheme.
“One of the reasons we haven’t been involved is that young British Muslims find it very toxic and for that reason we cannot take funding and be part of it. The majority of young British Muslims think that. Part of that is through the implementation where religion is linked with extremism.”