UK Modifies Counterterrorism Strategy to Include “Far-Right”

UK Modifies Counterterrorism Strategy to Include “Far-Right”

UK Modifies Counterterrorism Strategy to Include “Far-Right”

The expansion of the UK’s counterterrorism strategy — created in 2003 to prevent radicalization, detect and disrupt terrorist plots, protect the British populace, and mitigate the effects should an attack happen — to include what the Brits call “far-right extremism,” is yet another sign of just how far once-Great Britain has fallen in its worship as it genuflects at the altar of political correctness. In response to what the UK Home Office calls “the rising threat of far-right extremism,” Britain has decided to alter its 2003 Contest strategy in what seems like little more than an attempt to placate Muslims, who considered the “Prevent” portion of Contest as discriminatory and unfairly targeting them.

Prevent is one of the four Ps that make up Contest’s post-9/11 strategy: Prepare, Protect, Pursue, and Prevent, at which the UK government tossed millions of pounds to help turn young people away from Islamic extremism and radicalization. But much like almost any government program almost anywhere, the millions thrown at Prevent were used for politicians’ pet projects, and the program was – by most accounts – a miserable failure.

So what to do when your national program aimed at stopping radicalization alienates entire communities and does nothing to actually prevent people from turning to extremism? Why, expand the program to include all the non-politically correct jerks the social justice zealots have been complaining about for years!

Because we can’t be seen as actually focusing on the real problem at hand! That would be insensitive to Muslims!

Alongside a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy we have an effective Counter-Extremism Strategy to tackle the promotion of hatred, the erosion of women’s rights, the spread of intolerance, and the isolation of communities. We believe it is essential to protect the values of our society – the rule of law, individual liberty, democracy, mutual respect, tolerance and understanding of different faiths and beliefs – by tackling extremism in all its forms, including far-right extremism, which causes significant social harm in our communities.

The “counter-extremism” strategy is about as subjective as you would expect, pointing to “extreme right-wing terrorism” as an increasing threat and nothing similarities with ISIS.

Intolerance and hatred and the erosion of women’s rights are certainly things to be abhorred and shunned, but to put someone under government surveillance or refer someone to a government reeducation program merely because we don’t like what they say? That strikes me as more than a little orwellian, especially since anyone who has “concerns” can refer an individual to Prevent. “Hate” speech, social media posts that might offend someone’s tender sensibilities, racist insults, and fights at school apparently are enough to put a kid on the government’s radar.

Joe* was referred to the programme after being drawn to the extreme right-wing through older men he met at football matches when he was just 15.

After getting in trouble at school for fights and racist insults against other pupils, he was arrested and flagged to Prevent.

The Contest strategy was created in response to 9/11 attacks, and its Prevent strategy was particularly formulated to target Islamic extremism. Muslims in Britain claim that the program was alienating the very people it was trying to reach and prevent from radicalizing by targeting their neighborhoods, hiding cameras in their midst, and funding covert propaganda campaigns.

The solution? Pretend you’re targeting extremism writ large and include “far-right extremists,” which has the added benefit of scaring those whose views the social justice zealots find distasteful.

Just how much of a problem is far-right extremism in the UK?

A government report found that four attacks have been carried out in Britain over the past five years “by lone actors motivated to varying degrees by extreme right-wing ideologies”.

Meanwhile, the country was hit by five attacks by extremist Muslims in the space of six months in 2017 that killed 36 people.

Look, crimes such as the killing of a pedestrian after a 48-year-old man rammed his truck into a group of Muslims outside a London mosque or the murder of Jo Cox, are hideous, but let’s get real here – these crimes were committed by lone nuts. Meanwhile, groups like Huras al-Din — a bunch of  Syrian nutjob al-Qa’ida loyalists and veterans — are plotting attacks in the West and ISIS supporters continue to plot attacks in Europe. These aren’t disaffected miscreants, pissed off at UK politics. These are planned attacks by designated terrorist groups and networks.

Sorry, but there’s no comparison.

Fact is that Muslims haven’t been happy with Prevent, because they fear persecution and discrimination. They feel like they’re the victims of racial profiling and spying. They worry about their basic civil liberties.

These are legitimate concerns. However, given that the Muslim extremist threat is very real and very prevalent, and that random “far-right” reprobates are few and far between, political correctness is not the answer to these concerns.

Instead of addressing the problems with Prevent, including the hidden cameras discovered in Birmingham in 2010, the UK government is trying to placate its unhappy Muslim population by revamping Prevent to include all forms of “extremism,” which is defined as “speech the left doesn’t like.” Because they can’t possibly be seen as targeting Muslims or admitting that Islamic extremism is the bigger issue! It’s much easier to appease the malcontents by telling them that the program is aimed at ALL extremists to make them feel less alone.

The Home Office claims that far-right extremism is on the rise, but doesn’t seem to acknowledge that only a small percentage of those referred by nervous neighbors and nosy social justice zealots have actually presented a concern. They simply can’t be seen as targeting Muslims, so they cast a wider net in order to dilute the threat perception to make themselves seem less “Islamophobic.”

When authorities conclude there is a risk the person could be drawn into terrorism, they can be supported through a scheme known as Channel.

Engagement with Channel is voluntary and it is not a criminal sanction. The new Home Office report on the 7,631 referrals to Prevent in 2015/16 show:

  • 2,766 (36%) left the process requiring no further action
  • 3,793 (50%) were “signposted” to alternative services
  • 1,072 (14%) were assessed as suitable to be discussed at a multi-agency Channel panel

Of the cases examined by Channel, 381 subsequently received support through the programme, including 108 who were under 15.

Look, it’s true that in order for the strategy to work — to effectively combine national, local, and community resources — the Brits need to develop a relationship with the Muslim community and develop a trust with the Muslims living there, if nothing more than to be able to gather actionable intelligence from those who are willing and trusting enough to flag problems in their own communities.

But the Muslims need to also do their part. They can’t screech, “BIGOTRY! ISLAMOPHOBIA” every time a Muslim catches the attention of authorities — especially when it’s quite clear that Islamic extremism is the prevalent threat.

Written by

Marta Hernandez is an immigrant, writer, editor, science fiction fan (especially military sci-fi), and a lover of freedom, her children, her husband and her pets. She loves to shoot, and range time is sacred, as is her hiking obsession, especially if we’re talking the European Alps. She is an avid caffeine and TWD addict, and wants to own otters, sloths, wallabies, koalas, and wombats when she grows up.

1 Comment
  • GWB says:

    “the rising threat of far-right extremism,”
    Rising? You mean like the rising oceans? ‘Cause I don’t see it.

    How do you get “Other” and “Unspecified” in your categorizations? And “Other” is nearly identical to the “Right wing” category? I’m suspicious of that.

    the erosion of women’s rights, the spread of intolerance, and the isolation of communities
    Ummm, I know the Brits talk a bit funny (boot, solicitor, bonnet), but these two things are not really equal. You could conceivably get away with the “hatred” one if you define it narrowly enough. But these things DO NOT QUALIFY as “extremism”.

    the erosion of women’s rights are certainly things to be abhorred and shunned
    Meh. Not so much. Mainly because they’re not talking about being forced to live in a hefty bag and let your man beat you, or even taking away the right to vote. They’re talking about abortion and the right to “be believed” when you make a rape or sexual harassment allegation. I’m pretty much OK with removing those “rights”.

    the program was alienating the very people it was trying to reach
    Well, no sh!t, Sherlock! That’s what happens when you tell a bunch of people whose culture makes them a**holes, “Hey, you really need to step out of your culture, because it makes you a**holes.” Remember that they are a**holes? Yeah, they’re going to go with that.
    Mind you, that doesn’t mean you should stop. As a matter of fact, you need to tell them that if they don’t STOP being a**holes, then you’re going to bundle them all on a boat and send them the hell back.

    motivated to varying degrees by extreme right-wing ideologies
    I wonder how many of those four were what they would call “NAZIs”? Because those aren’t “right-wing”.
    Not that you can tell a prog that……………..
    Also, I wonder how many of those four attacks killed anyone? Or were they just yobs stomping an Asian down by the pubs? (It’s not OK, but it’s certainly less of a concern than attacks that kill 36 people.)
    (OK, I see you mention at least 2 of them – which each killed one person.)

    because they fear persecution and discrimination
    No. That’s baloney. What they fear is DISCOVERY. The ones who fight against being watched and talked about are the ones that, like cockroaches, scurry for cover when you turn over the rock. They fear being found out.

    But the Muslims need to also do their part.
    This. Very much this.
    But, again, if you’re telling someone “Hey, your culture produces a**holes” and their culture really does produce a**holes, then you’re not going to get anywhere talking.

    I realize that there are a lot of “westernized” muslims, who don’t act on some of the more problematic fundamental teachings of islam. But a goodly proportion of them don’t seem to have the guts to shut down the ones who do. And then they cry “BIGOT! ISLAMOPHOBIA!” when other people try to.
    If you’re supporting the extremists (and this behavior does), then you’re part of the problem and I don’t care how otherwise “westernized” you are. You count as one of them.

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