On Tuesday 6th January the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) attended a report launch at the House of Commons hosted by think tank Claystone entitled, ‘A Decade Lost: Rethinking Radicalisation and Extremism’, authored by counter-terrorism expert Professor Arun Kundnani.
The report attracted a wide variety of people including faith groups, academics, human rights organisations, policymakers, and journalists. The event was chaired by Yasmin Qureshi MP for Bolton, and Peter Oborne, the Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator as a guest panellist.
Professor Kundnani’s report was published in light of home secretary Theresa May’s proposed Counter-Terrorism and Security bill, which some specialists say could be one of the most damaging pieces of legislation for the British Muslim community.
Professor Kundnani mentioned in his overview that the UK government’s counter-terrorism ‘Prevent’ strategy specifically targeted the Muslim community, whilst disregarding Britain’s foreign policy as one of the main catalysts behind extremism and radicalisation. He also mentioned how prominent Muslim activists, charities, and schools were being indiscriminately targeted as an ideological definition of extremism was applied.
From an academic perspective, Professor Kundnani stated how extreme or radical views were not prerequisites to violence or terrorism. He highlighted that academics and think tanks that had previously advocated this theory had retracted this position as the War on Terror developed.
Abu Tayeb Khairdeen, Head of Community Development for iERA commented:
The report highlights that extremism comes in many forms and is not localised to religion alone. However, the narrative that is still being expressed by the extreme far right elements of our society is that anyone practising normative Islam is a threat to our society. Muslims therefore have a duty to show their true values by continuing the good community work they do and highlighting their contribution to British society. Getting involved in the many projects that iERA runs is one way of doing that. This will help destroy this false image and strengthen ties between all communities in our society.”
A Decade Lost: Rethinking Radicalisation and Extremism:
An in-depth study of the origins and fallout of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy.
To read more or to download a copy of the report, please click here.