UK government counter‐terrorism policy in the wake of the London bombings of 7 July 2005 has included an evolving set of measures seeking to engage the support of and productive interaction with UK citizens, so as to help oppose violent extremist ideology, to thwart potential sympathy for its proponents and to avert future incidents. The primary focus of such attempts has been Al‐Qaida‐influenced violent extremism. Government preventative measures have provoked controversy, especially in British Muslim communities. The article examines their reaction, from research commissioned by the Metropolitan Police Service and undertaken in London by the International School for Communities, Rights and Inclusion (ISCRI) from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), in its community engagement (CE) Pathfinder programme. The findings from this research find many parallels in recent academic literature and other commentaries. The authors contend that some government programmes have erroneously served to stigmatise UK Muslim communities ‘en masse’, which has been counter‐productive to the government objective of gaining community support and involvement, and has thereby compromised the effectiveness of counterterrorism preventative measures. The article highlights a different emphasis and some specific elements for a revised prevention policy in counter terrorism from consideration of these sources, including the primary evidence from Muslim communities themselves in the community engagement Pathfinder programme.
McDonald, B. and Mir, Y. (2011), "Al‐Qaida‐influenced violent extremism, UK government prevention policy and community engagement", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 32-44. https://doi.org/10.5042/jacpr.2011.0020Download as .RIS
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