Britain’s anti-extremism program sees Muslims as a threat

Doctor Tarek Younis, who works in the field of psychology at Middlesex University in England, evaluated the prevent program’s marginalization of Muslims in the country and the effect of increasing racism on Muslims’ mental health.

Younis said Prevent specifically targets Muslims. said.

Reminding that the UK Home Office announced Prevent as a strategy to combat extremism, Younis said, “The most important thing people should know about Prevent’s history is that it has become their duty to detect and report people suspected of being radicalized and terrorist in 2015 by public institutions. When I say public institutions, I mean hospitals, schools, kindergartens.” he said.

Younis stated that Prevent was criticized by the United Nations and many human rights organizations for being discriminatory against Muslims, but the British government defended the program on the grounds that it prevented terrorist acts. Younis continued:

“The government has long rejected or pushed aside the idea of ​​reviewing Prevent, even to find out if the strategy really works, how it works, or what people are doing with it. They promised to review Prevent years ago, but they haven’t kept that promise yet. “

“Prevent commissions experts to trust their intuition”

Noting that Prevent assigns the experts in the institutions to trust their own intuition with the “see and tell” principle, Younis used the following statements:

“When a doctor has the intuition, ‘This patient may be a terrorist in the future for some reason,’ he or she will refer that person to the unit that examines these cases within the hospital. That unit will then send it to the police, who will evaluate the patient’s file. If the police think that this person is indeed prone to radicalization, “The person being reported may have no history of violence or involvement in politics.”

Stating that the person to be intervened was informed about what to do, including the psychological treatment offered by the Channel, Younis said that if the person does not accept these practices, further investigations are made against him.

Drawing attention to the ethical dimension of the issue, Younis said, “The patient’s file is sent out of the hospital through all these different people and units without even knowing it. There are many ethical issues regarding data sharing here. There are widespread ethical concerns throughout this issue.” said.

Underlining that intuition is individual and shaped according to social values, Younis underlined that it is problematic for experts to identify people with criminal potential “instinct”.

Younis “If you ask a random person on the street, ‘Do you support any application that will prevent violence?’ If you ask, the answer would be ‘yes’, but is that the right question? The right question should be, ‘Do you trust your doctor or psychiatrist to discern whether Muslims are extremists or not?’ used the phrase.

“Prevent legitimizes racist attitudes towards Muslims”

Pointing out that Muslims are racialized as a group regardless of who they are, Younis said, “Prevent certainly justifies racist attitudes towards Muslims in particular. The policy of the program is problematic from the very beginning, problematic in its justification, especially in terms of legitimizing certain racialized attitudes towards Muslims.” shared his opinion.

Emphasizing that the features attributed to Muslims and Islam are coded as “threatening” in British society, Younis continued:

“The idea of ​​who is prone to terrorism has very specific racial connotations. For a Muslim who has been ‘racialized’ by society, attitudes such as wanting to go on a pilgrimage, growing a beard, or taking a sudden interest in Islam and faith are considered extremists because when it comes to terrorism, Islam ‘s symbols and ideas are associated with ‘threat and terrorism’ in the public consciousness.”

“Criticizing Prevent is perceived as supporting terrorism”

Referring to the situation of the experts who have ethical concerns about the Prevent program, Younis said, “In general, I have seen that most healthcare professionals keep their mouths shut and speak in a low voice. This type of self-censorship is a situation that especially affects Muslim healthcare professionals. If they have concerns about Prevent, they think that it is racist. They have little space and capacity to act if they have seen the impact on them.” he said.

Pointing out that the “war on terror” discourse after the September 11 attacks marginalized Muslims living in Western countries, Younis stated that this situation imposes on Muslims “the responsibility of proving that they belong to the countries they live in”.

“Questioning or criticizing Prevent is perceived as supporting or ignoring terrorism. This affects racialized Muslims and racialized minorities much more,” Younis said. made its assessment.

Younis stated that Prevent also has negative effects on the mental health of Muslims. triggers problems such as depression, behavioral disorders, etc. used the phrase.

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