Britain’s anti-terrorism schemes have been lambasted by European officials because they think they upset Muslim people.
Although the counter-extremism programmes have been successful – in sharp contrast to the European mainland, which has suffered unprecedented carnage at the hands of Muslim extremists in recent years – the Council of Europe (CoE) has produced a report claiming that the UK’s anti-radicalisation schemes are ‘fomenting resentment’ within Muslim communities.
The CoE, which is separate from the EU, said the two schemes – Prevent and Channel – were ‘jeopardising’ efforts to integrate Muslims, leading some communities to become extremist.
However, the evidence suggests they have been effective in achieving their aims.
Both schemes – which were set up after the 7/7 terror attacks in London (pictured) – are believed to have prevented more than 150 Muslims going to join IS in Iraq and Syria. And since 2005, only one person has been murdered in a jihadist attack on the mainland – soldier Lee Rigby, who was murdered in the street by fanatics in London in 2013.
Meanwhile in France, 130 people were murdered in Paris in November 2015 and 85 were killed in Nice in July 2016. In Belgium, 32 people were killed in bombings in March 2016; and in Germany 12 people were slaughtered in Berlin in December 2016.
The criticisms were made in an assessment of the UK’s compliance with the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), a legally-binding international treaty signed by the UK.
The FCNM advisory committee said: “Work on integration appears to be jeopardised by certain aspects of counter-terrorism policy and anti-radicalisation programmes, such as Prevent and Channel, that risk fomenting fear and resentment among persons belonging to minorities, in particular in the Muslim community.”
It added that “under these programmes liability has been shifted to local authorities and in particular to teachers, to detect early radicalisation… without automatically providing [them] with the necessary competence”.