Muslims groups in Brent slam plans to identify potential extremists at the age of THREE
- Credit: Archant
Muslim organisations in Brent have slammed a government programme which could see children as young as THREE being identified as potential extremists.
Under the new strategy teachers and nursery staff are being asked to report any youngsters who they believe as in danger of being radicalised.
Workers in health and social services are also being urged to be on the lookout.
The programme is facing strong opposition from teachers, students and community organisations who say it labels young children and unfairly targets Muslims.
Khalida Khan is from An-Nisa Society, an organisation in Park Royal that looks after the welfare of British Muslim woman and children.
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Saying the scheme is an assault on the entire Muslim community and was a ‘recipe for disaster’, she told the Times:
“We are worried because we have already had many reports of children in schools being wrongly reported and children being taken into care because they have been incorrectly assessed.
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“This is a recipe for disaster and an assault on the entire Muslim community, which is already beleaguered and socially excluded.”
Many teachers are also concerned about the effect the strategy will have on young people’s ability to discuss political and social issues, as it shuts down opportunities for debate and free expression.
Rizwan Hussain, from Jawaab & Brent Anti-racism campaign, said: “It stops people contesting government policy, however peacefully they do so.
“And it encourages the very intolerance that it claims to oppose, by scapegoating Muslims and blaming Islam for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.”
The government has introduced the strategy following a number of cases were Brits broke the law after becoming radicalised.
Last month, Willesden teenager Yahiya Rashid was jailed for five years after he blew his fraudulently claimed student loan on a trip to Syria to join ISIS.
The 19-year-old, who has an IQ of just 65, got cold feet at the Syria border and returned to the UK where he was arrested on March 31.
He was convicted of preparing to commit an act of terrorism and assisting others to commit acts of terrorism.
Last November, Amal El-Wahabi of Rucklidge Avenue, Harlesden, became the first Briton to be convicted of funding jihadists in Syria.
The 28-year-old mother was sentenced to 28 months and seven days for recruiting her friend to smuggle 20,000 Euros in her knickers to Turkey were the money would be transferred to Syria.
El-Wahabi’s husband Aine Davis asked for the money, having left the UK to become a jihadist the year before.
A public meeting has been organised in Queens Park so residents can hear more the programme.
Sponsored by An-Nisa Society, Brent Anti-Racism Campaign, NUT, NUS, Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Brent & Harrow), London Interfaith Centre, Brent Stop the War, the meeting will take place at the London Interface Centre in Salusbury Road, on Dec 10 from 7-9pm.
All are welcome.