Much like American President Donald Trump, the UK’s anti-extremism strategy, “Prevent”, has come under fire for unfairly targeting the Muslim community.
“Prevent” aims to stop people from being radicalized by compelling public sector workers to report those they believe to be vulnerable to involvement in terrorism. It has been criticized for being ineffective and creating a climate of heightened suspicion towards British Muslims.
However, one British MP has turned matters on their head during a recent parliamentary debate about the program, in which she suggested that Trump should be referred to the Prevent program.
“We say that Prevent is about British values. I am not making a joke of this, but the president of the USA, through what he has said and his executive orders, has contravened every single fundamental British value,” said Yasmin Qureshi, in a speech calling for changes to the unpopular strategy.
“When he comes to the UK,” she continued, referring to Trump’s planned state visit to Britain, “he should be put in the Prevent programme, along with his adviser, Steve Bannon, who is a right-wing fascist and white supremacist.”
The British values promoted by Prevent are democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.
Trump, who threatened not to accept the election result should he fail to win, who has suggested that “Islam hates us” and who has used inflammatory and insulting language at all stages of his campaign and presidency, arguably defies all of those principles.
Qureshi’s words echo those of 1.8 million Brits who have signed a petition calling for the visit to be cancelled, lest the Queen be offended by Trump’s well-known misogyny. British parliament will debate the request on February 20.
Meanwhile, thousands have joined in protests against Trump’s so-called “Muslim ban” in cities across the UK. Demonstrators shouted “shame on May”, referring to the British prime minister’s meeting with the US president just hours before he signed the executive order suspending visas to travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries.
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