PREVENT, Islamophobia and Civil Liberties conference programme

SNS conference edited

Programme for PREVENT, Islamophobia and Civil Liberties conference

11-12.30 Opening Plenary – Prevent, Islamophobia and Civil Liberties

Facilitated by Nadine Almanasfi, President KCLSU

–       Arun Kundnaniauthor, The Muslims are Coming 

–       Rahmaan Mohammadi, student, ‘Palestine badge case’

–       Gareth Peirce,human rights lawyer

–       Malia Bouattia,NUS Black Students’ Campaign

12.30-1.45pm Sessions:

  1. Prevent and the assault on learning

Facilitated by Nadine El-Enany, Educators Not Informants

–       Alex Kenny,NUT Executive 

–       Ifhat Smith, parent of ‘eco-terrorism’ case

–        Patricia McManusUCU NEC

–       Shelly Asquith, NUS VP Welfare

    1. Defending health, welfare and equalities from the security state

Facilitated by Rachel Williams, KCLSU VP Welfare and Community 

– Dereck Summerfield, BJPsych Bulletin

– Suman Fernando, Royal College of Psychiatrists

– Dr Siema IqbalGP, Manchester

  1. Prevent as an attack on dissent

Facilitated by Kevin Blowe, NETPOL

–       David MillerSpinwatch

–       Karma NabulsiOxford University

–       Rachel Harger,Defend the Right to Protest

–       Chris Nineham,Stop the War Coalition

  1. Prevent, Islamophobia and the stigmatisation of muslim women

Facilitated by Rup Pahar. London Campaign Against Police and State Violence (LCAPSV)

–       Mariya Hussain, KCLSU VP Education-elect

–       Zlakha Ahmed, Apna Haq 

–       Amrit Wilson, South Asia Solidarity Group

–       Shenaz Bunglawala, MEND

1.45-2.15 Lunch break


2.15pm – 3.45pm Sessions: Getting organized


1.Legal Strategies and know your rights –

Facilitated by Milly Williamson, Brunel UCU 

-Haras Ahmed,Prevent Watch

-Vajahat Sharif, criminal litigator & Bindmans consultant


  1. HE –making our opposition effective

Facilitated by Noha Abou El Magd, Bristol SU

– Shuwanna AaronEdinburgh University

– Des Freedman,Goldsmiths UCU

– Yusuf Hassan,FOSIS


  1. Connecting together – Building community and regional networks

Facilitated by Waqas TufailLeeds Beckett University

– Irfan RajaWaltham Forest Council of Mosques

– Rob FergusonNewham Stand up to Racism

– Caroline RussellGreen Party Councilor

– Aadam Siciid MuuseNus Black Students’ Officer-elect


    1. A Lost Decade – What is prevent preventing?

Facilitated by Gholam Khiabany, Goldsmiths College

–       Arun Kundnani, author

–       Rizwaan Sabir,Liverpool John Moores University

–       Liz Fekete,Institute of Race Relations

–       Jahan Mahmood, former Home Office counter terrorism adviser


4pm-5.30pm Prevent, Islamophobia and Institutional Racism

Facilitated by Hannah Dee,Defend the Right to Protest/Students Not Suspects

– Arzu Merali Islamic Human Rights Commission

– Maz Saleem, daughter of late Mohammed Saleem

– Dr Jim Wolfreys, KCL author Republic of Islamophobia: The Rise of Respectable Racism in France (forthcoming 2017)

– Moazzam Begg,Former Guantanamo prisoner and Outreach Director CAGE

– Yasser Louati, Collective Against Islamophobia in France

– Yasmin Qureshi, MP Bolton South East


Next steps


What is the PREVENT duty? video

What is the PREVENT duty?

PREVENT is one strand of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy ‘CONTEST’, which concerns itself with preventing the ‘radicalisation’ of individuals towards ‘extremism’.

PREVENT has long been criticised as fundamentally racist and Islamophobic, targeting the Muslim community whilst eroding civil liberties for all as part of a clampdown on political dissent.

In February 2015 the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 put PREVENT on a statutory basis for the first time, imposing an obligation on public bodies (including universities, colleges, nurseries, prisons and the NHS) to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” through the strategy, known as the Prevent duty.

The Students Not Suspects and Educators Not Informants campaigns have been campaigning against PREVENT and towards getting the Prevent duty repealed.

Continue reading

PREVENT, Islamophobia and Civil Liberties National Conference

Saturday 4 June, 11am – 6pm, Central London venue tbc

This conference will examine the implementation of PREVENT and the Prevent duty across different sectors since the passing of the Counter-terrorism and Security Act 2015.
It aims to build on the growing opposition to the duty which has seen lecturers, teachers, lawyers, students, and community organisations come together and call for the act to be repealed.

The conference has been initiated by Students Not Suspects campaign, and a coalition of individuals and organisations including signatories to the public letter of opposition to PREVENT in The Guardian earlier this year:  Prevent isn’t making anyone safer. It is demonising Muslims and damaging the fabric of trust in society

Eventbrite - Preventing PREVENT National Conference Continue reading

Open Letter – urgent call to repeal the Prevent legislation

We, the undersigned, welcome the call for an independent review into Prevent made by the Independent Reviewer of the UK’s anti-terrorism laws, David Anderson QC, last week.

One year ago the Prevent duty became statutory through the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015: this imposed a duty on public bodies to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

As a wide cross section of Muslim community activists, academics, lawyers and politicians warned, the duty has in practice charged teachers, doctors and other professionals with monitoring people’s religious and political views.

This is undermining the very ethos and relationships of mutual trust and openness that are fundamental to education and our public services whilst endangering other legal rights and protections. It is eroding civil liberties and deepening discrimination against Muslims.

Last year the Metropolitan police reported that hate crimes against Muslims were up 70%. We must recognise that government counter-terrorism policies like Prevent are helping to create this climate of hostility, sowing fear, division, mistrust and prejudice by reinforcing racist stereotypes, stigmatising Muslim communities and in effect encouraging ethnic profiling.

Despite the fact that Muslims make up just 5% of the population, data from the National Police Chiefs’ Council shows that 67% of those referred for suspected ‘radicalisation’ between 2007-2010 were Muslim, the figure was 56% between 2012-13.

The reason for these figures is not that there is ‘a problem within Islam’ but is rather due to a refusal to acknowledge the political causes of political violence:  Muslims are instead treated as a suspect community. The result is that ill-defined concepts like ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ are applied in a circular and highly racialised manner.

Thus politically engaged Muslim individuals and organisations including CAGE, MEND and the IHRC are routinely attacked in the media.

But Prevent and the CTS Act have also narrowed the space for political dissent in many forms. Anti-fracking and other environmental activists, those campaigning for Palestinian rights, and even those opposing cuts and austerity have been monitored under what Liberty has referred to as the ‘biggest spying operation of all times.’

Prevent is not making anyone safer. Instead it damages the fabric of trust in our society, silences Muslims and dissent, and institutionalises Islamophobia at a time when the far-right is gaining influence in many parts of Europe. It is the embodiment of the ‘radicalisation’ of our supposedly liberal democratic governments themselves.

We would go further than David Anderson and call on the government to take urgent action to repeal this legislation, and for all those working in affected sectors to make clear their opposition to this duty.

To add you name, email 

Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb, Green Party member of the London Assembly

Prof Arun Kundnani, New York University

Dr Douglas Chalmers, President UCU Scotland

Malia Bouattia, NUS Black Students’ Officer, Students Not Suspects

Shelly Asquith, NUS Vice President Welfare

Michael Mansfield QC

Imran Khan & Partners Solicitors Continue reading

Students Not Suspects: Goldsmiths

The first event of the second round of the national Students Not Suspects tour took place on Monday the 8th of February at Goldsmiths Student Union.

Hosted by Goldsmiths UCU, Goldsmiths SU, Goldsmiths Feminist Society, Goldsmiths Palestine Campaign and ISOC

The panel included:

Moazzam Begg former Guantanamo prisoner and CAGE Outreach Director
Rahmaan Mohammadi student questioned for Justice for Palestine activity
Rizwaan Sabir Lecturer in Criminology, Liverpool John Moores University
Malia Bouattia NUS Black Students Officer
Rachel Harger Defend the Right to Protest & civil liberties trainee lawyer

Find out about more events coming up in the Students Not Suspects Tour here.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.