Do you know a teenager whose behaviour has changed? Are they spending a lot of time on their phone? These are warning signs of radicalization, according to the British government’s Educate Against Hate website, part of the ‘Prevent’ counter-terrorism initiative that encourages people to report others they suspect to be at risk of radicalization.
On 4 June the ‘Prevent, Islamophobia and Civil Liberties’ conference takes place in London. It will examine the impact of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, which in 2015 legally enforced the Prevent duty for public-sector workers.
Muslims are disproportionately impacted, in a climate of deepening Islamophobia. ‘For too long there’s been an assumption that Prevent is just a problem for Muslim communities, and therefore they’re the only ones who need to be speaking out,’ says Kevin Blowe, co-ordinator of the Network for Police Monitoring. Political activists have also been targeted, from anti-fascists to anti-fracking campaigners.