London – The current row over LGBT+ lessons in schools in Birmingham and other parts of the country highlight how the discriminatory counter-extremism framework is being used to falsely draw equivalences between private belief and acts of political violence.

This is being done with special aggression, the targets of which are children, at a time when PREVENT has been comprehensively lambasted as Islamophobic, discriminatory and unscientific in its basis.

There has been a conflation of numerous issues during this debate, but of most concern to CAGE is the idea being peddled by PREVENT advocates and voices that are close to the government, that by teaching children alternative ways of living we can confront “radicalisation” and “extremism” and by extension, prevent ‘terrorism’.

Asim Qureshi, Research Director for CAGE said:

“Underlying all this is a deep mistrust of the Muslim community in teaching their own children how to coexist alongside others. The language of ‘isolated communities’ which is steeped in racist stereotypes is being exploited to further a securitised agenda with LGBT+ lessons being used as only the latest in a series of blunt instruments to achieve this aim.”

“Parents are the primary educators of their children and have the right to impart their values and beliefs freely. The state or educational institutions should play a supportive role and not undermine this.”

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)