HASC: Countering Extremism, 2015-2016

I have submitted evidence three times to the Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry into countering extremism.

My written evidence of 13 October 2015 did little more than refer the Committee to chapter 9 of my September 2015 report on the operation of the Terrorism Acts.¬† That chapter considered, among other things, the relationship between terrorism and extremism (9.2-9.6) and the¬†extent of¬†the “extremism” problem (9.15-9.23), before recording some¬†potential difficulties and concerns (9.24-9.31)¬†with the proposed Extremism Bill¬†whose outlines were announced with the Queen’s Speech¬†on 27¬†May 2015 but which has still not seen the light of day.

My oral evidence of 19 January 2016 was transcribed (from Q926) and is available also on video (from 15:16).  The questioning extended to radicalisation, language teaching, police bail and the wearing of the full-face veil as well as to the responsibilities of universities and social media companies, the need for all-inclusive dialogue and the limitations of the law.

My supplementary written evidence was published on 2 February 2016.  It makes the case for independent review of the Prevent strategy, and in particular of the operation of the Prevent duty in schools.  But it does not (as some media reports have suggested) endorse a narrative of state-sponsored islamophobia.

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