Political Correctness Preventing Islamic Extremism from Being Reported
Political correctness and fear of accusations of racism at the local level is preventing Islamic extremism being reported, a government advisor has admitted.
As has been the case with the scourges of grooming rape gangs and modern day slavery, Islamic extremism is being pushed under the rug by local councils in the UK out of concern of being branded as racist, the government’s independent adviser for social cohesion Dame Sara Khan has said.Prevent, the government’s anti-extremism programme, Khan said, is being hampered by local authorities bending to “political correctness”.
“They felt that somehow they were going to be offending Muslims, somehow it was being racist and Islamaphobic,” Dame Sara told the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast.
“I thought, you’re not doing a service to Muslims in this country if you think that. Not talking about the threat of Islamist extremism is totally unacceptable.
“You’re actually discriminating against Muslims because you’re more concerned about political correctness and the fear of being labelled racist [than] actually helping Muslims,” she added.
The Prevent programme, which seeks to stop the radicalisation of would be extremists in Britain, has previously been accused of placing a disproportionate emphasis on the far-right rather than the threat posed by radical Islamists.
Despite Islamic extremists accounting for 90 per cent of those on security service watch lists, the number of far-right suspects referred to prevent (22 per cent) nearly matched the number of Islamists referred to the programme (24 per cent) according to a report from the Henry Jackson Society last year.
Khan said that in her previous role as the government’s first counterextremism commissioner, she would often meet with local councillors who were “very comfortable” focusing on the far-right, while at the same time “pushing back against the Islamist threat in the area, and how it’s radicalising Muslims, they just could not talk about it”.
She went on to argue that the government’s approach should be “ideologically blind,” explaining: “There’s far right, Islamist, Sikh, there’s Hindu nationalism, there’s all different types of extremism — there’s far left, for example.
“You’ve got to deal with all of those types of problems, and only trying to focus on one at the expense of others is totally counterproductive.”