September 09, 2011


Fascinating article about a book by retired Policeman Robert Lambert who set up undercover Police group "The Muslim Contact Unit" to eventually oust Atilla and co from Finsbury. His book should be a very interesting read for me.

...The new policy has seen the withdrawal of funding for groups the government says are non-violent extremists - organisations that it says oppose "fundamental and universal" British values.

"All of the 40 or 50 Muslims who came to my retirement are all probably now classed as non-violent extremists," says Bob Lambert. "That's absurd. One minute they are partners, the next they are not."

The former Special Branch officer says his years in the force taught him that too much is at stake.

"It's in the nature of terrorism as a tactic that it only has to secure a small number of people in order to achieve its goals," he says. "I think we need to be much more creative about how we counter that."...

I just found an article by this guy for Al Jazeera and from a very different experience and perspective we seem to have reached similar views- funding Quilliam to work in Prevent the government has licensed a counter-subversion strategy that is antithetical to effective and legitimate community based approaches to counter-terrorism

In contrast to Husain, many experienced Muslim community youth workers involved in Prevent have never been in any doubt that they do not spy on communities under any circumstances.

Unlike Husain they work at the sharp-end and are clear that the only time they will divulge confidential client information to police or other Prevent partners is when they have reasonable suspicion of involvement in serious criminal activity.

As Arun Kundnani explains, "it is right that channels should be made available for youth workers and teachers to provide information to the police if there are reasons to believe an individual is involved in criminality".

That is a basic rule of youth work in inner city areas where Muslim youth workers adhere to the same ground rules that apply in a wide range of government funded programmes aimed at tackling gun, gang, drug and other kinds of street crime.

It would take more than a Prevent 'Information Sharing Agreement' to persuade an effective Muslim youth worker to abandon the golden rule of effective community engagement in dangerous environments.

It is one thing for Husain to justify spying on "radical" Muslims from the comfort of a Westminster office, quite another for Muslims working on dangerous streets to be wrongly smeared as "informers" when their integrity deserves to be bolstered not undermined.

Good Prevent work takes place on poor urban British streets every day. It helps reduce the influence of violent extremists.

However, it owes everything to the integrity of Muslim youth workers, police and local government officials who focus wholly on their original remit.

Their work is seriously undermined by government support for Quilliam and the counter-subversion strategy it embodies...


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