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Karma Nabulsi · Don’t Go to the Doctor: Snitching on Students · LRB 18 May 2017
A Freedom of Information request to the police revealed that more than 80 per cent of the reports on individuals suspected of extremism were dismissed as unfounded. This ‘over-reporting’ by an army of officially empowered civilian informants, leading to the investigation of blameless British people by the police, has been defended as showing that Prevent is ‘working effectively’. What it really shows is how Prevent actually works: by encouraging, endorsing and institutionalising a set of conventions and values premised on fear, ignorance and suspicion of non-whites – immigrants, foreigners, racialised Muslims. Prevent has turned ordinary citizens and public sector workers into an auxiliary surveillance militia. Talking or texting in Arabic on a plane, speaking a foreign language in a doctor’s waiting room, wearing a hijab while walking down the street near your house, wearing a free Palestine badge at school – people doing all these things have been reported to police under the Prevent programme.

The legislation, clumsy and laughable on so many levels, is extraordinarily efficient on others. It divides Muslims (practising or not) from the rest of society; black or brown or immigrant or refugee from the white majority. Once you start seeing everyday behaviour as having the potential to draw people into terrorism, you’re inside the problem. A sizeable percentage of Britain’s population now live without freedoms enjoyed by the majority. But the majority don’t see this. They only see an individual black, brown or Muslim Brit – alone, bearded, on the Tube, taking his seat on a plane, waiting for the bus with bulky shopping between his feet. If he argues that there is a direct connection between Britain’s illegal war of aggression against Iraq and the increase in terrorism since 2003, or expresses views critical of British military conduct in Arab and Muslim countries, or criticises Israel for illegal and increasingly brutal practices that appear tied to its increasing impunity, he is suspect. These issues can no longer be discussed by him, because they are indicators of extremism.
UK  policing  surveillance  education  universities  students  colleges  schools  warOnTerror  extremism  radicalisation  Prevent  Islamophobia  racism  alienation  Muslims  stereotyping  colonialism 
may 2017 by petej
Private Providers – market creation out of control | Critical Education
“We’re only realising now the size the blank cheque we’ve written to private providers.”
education  colleges  funding  privatisation  marketisation  policy  BIS  debt  subsidies 
november 2013 by petej

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