03 June 2017

Former police chief Nazir Afzal accuses Islamist groups of peddling ‘myths’ on UK’s Prevent anti-extremist strategy

BRITISH Islamist groups have been accused of undermining the fight against terrorism by peddling myths about the government’s key anti-radicalisation policy.

The country’s most prominent Muslim lawyer, Nazir Afzal, claimed that an “industry” of Muslims groups are spreading false information on the Prevent strategy.

The scheme, which has an annual estimated budget of £40 million, was set up under the Labour government in 2003, and seeks to identify people at risk of radicalisation and guide them away from extremist behaviour.

The controversial policy has since been widely criticised for being too intrusive by both Labour politicians and members of the Muslim community.

However Mr Afzal, a former chief crown prosecutor, condemned “self-appointed” community leaders, who he claimed have an agenda of presenting Muslims “as victims and not as those who are potentially becoming radicals”.

Mr Afzal also hit out at the Muslim Council of Britain, saying he was staggered that its agenda for last year’s annual general meeting including “nothing about radicalisation and nothing about the threat of people going to Syria”. [The Sun] Read more