Inclusion of CAGE as “controversial” in PREVENT training manual shows how the policy strangles debate on crucial issues

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London – The inclusion of CAGE on a PREVENT training presentation as a “controversial” organisation whose views should be mitigated on campuses, is indicative of the securitisation of universities under PREVENT and the creeping infringement of the government on free speech.

Although CAGE was singled out in the manual, we are just one of the many dissenting voices targeted by PREVENT, which also takes aim at Muslims who question foreign and domestic policy, environmental activists and pro-Palestinian groups.

It is alarming that criticism of PREVENT and government policy is seen as a marker for ‘extremism’, especially since all our events feature presenters that call for due process and the rule of law.

Moazzam Begg, CAGE Outreach Director, said:

“Shortly after PREVENT became law, the former director of public prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, said it risked creating a “chilling effect” on debate and “deadening impact” on research in universities. That has now happened.”

“There has never been such a mechanism, that caused such confusion and such fear as there has been since the implementation of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act. The level of securitisation of the universities is something that we as a nation should be very sad about.”

“Our opponents assert that CAGE’s views should not go unchallenged on university campus. We’ve always been prepared to debate anyone who’d like to argue in favour of the raft of anti-terror measures that have targeted Muslims since the outset of the war on terror, beginning with kidnap, false imprisonment and torture. Effectively, this means PREVENT would open a public platform to a war crimes apologist.”

(Image: Moazzam Begg speaking at Kings College London)


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