William Shawcross himself has a long history of Islamophobic comments, said things like "Europe and Islam is one of the greatest, most terrifying problems of our future". He also basically, then became chair of the Charity Commission, and waged a campaign of various attacks on various Muslim charities as that. He wrote a book where he made comments supporting torture in Guantanamo Bay.

And so there's lots of concerns about him. So basically, the bottom line is that, really when you are serious about doing the review, which disproportionately the evidence shows impacts on certain communities, it is imperative on the government to ensure that those communities have confidence in the review. So MEND along with you know, 16 other organisations have signed a statement expressing concern at Shawcross' appointment into leading this independent review. Because we believe his appointment shows us the government isn't serious about such a review. And his appointment really doesn't command the confidence in various communities including the Muslim community, and therefore he's not going to be able to do a robust independent review that has any meaning whatsoever.
Discrimination, Institutions, Justice

Why did several human rights organisations boycott the government’s review of the Prevent strategy? (Clip)

Published on 18 Jul 2022

Prevent is a controversial aspect of the government’s anti-terrorism strategy, that many argue puts at risk the rights and freedoms of people – particularly Muslims – across the UK. This film explores the issues with Prevent, the government’s review of it and why 17 human rights organisations decided to boycott that review after Sir William Shawcross was appointed to lead it.

It features interviews with: Rania Hafez, senior education lecturer at the University of Greenwich, who tells us about how Prevent has impacted the education sector. Dr Shazad Amin, Deputy Chair of MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development), who provides an overall context of the issues with Prevent, and why MEND (along with 16 other organisations) signed up to the aforementioned boycott. And finally an anonymous story of a mother whose son was referred to Prevent at just 11 years old.

In this clip we hear why 17 human rights organisations boycotted the government’s review of Prevent. You can watch the full film here.

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