How should we understand home-grown terrorism like the 7/7 London bombings? This is a classic monograph focusing on recent British attempts to 'prevent violent extremism', their problems and limitations, and what lessons this can offer for more effective policy approaches in future. Paul Thomas's extensive research suggests that the Prevent policy approaches, and the wider CONTEST counter-terrorism strategy, have been misguided and ineffective, further alienating British Muslim communities instead of supporting longer-term integration. He argues that new, cohesion-based approaches encouraging greater trust and integration across all communities represent the best defence against terrorism.
Paul Thomas is Reader in Youth and Education at the School of Education and Professional Development, University of Huddersfield, UK.
Contents Acknowledgements Preface Glossary Introduction: A new threat of violent extremism? The Policy response of Prevent The purpose of this Book The Structure of the Book Issues of Terminology 1. The Threat of Violent Extremism Introduction: 'Terrorism'? 7/7: Home-grown suicide bombers Radical Islam: the 'single narrative' A reaction to British Foreign Policy? A Foreign Hand? Ethnic Segregation, Poverty and Marginalisation? Radicalisation: Mosques, 'preachers of hate' and recruiters? Group Dynamics Conclusion: No easy answers 2. Community Cohesion: A changed policy context Introduction: The changed policy context of Community Cohesion The 2001 Riots and their aftermath The emergence of Community Cohesion Community Cohesion in practice Refusing Brutishness? Problematic Muslim Identity? A Minority of lslamist extremists 3.Preventing Violent Extremism Introduction: States responding to terror A lethargic response? Pre 7/7 developments 'Preventing Extremism Together' 'Preventing Violent Extremism' Preventing Violent Extremism in practice Prevent under Pressure Coalition Government: A new approach? The Revised Prevent Strategy Conclusion: Prevent - flawed and friendless? 4. British Muslims: A Suspect Community? Introduction: Muslims under the spotlight A monocultural contradiction to Community Cohesion? Clumsy 'Social Engineering' Learning from the experience of anti-racist education Disinterest in far-right extremism Conclusion: Some Communities are suspect? 5. Confusion on the Ground: Prevent in operation Introduction: Orders from above Local Authorities and Prevent Local Variations Not all bad news? Professionals in the spotlight? Summing up: Local Authorities in a bind? Extremists on Campus? Prisons and Young Offenders Conclusion: Local Complexity 6. Spooks? Introduction: Education or Surveillance? CONTEST and the growth of the security state RICU: Massaging the message? 'Spooked': Allegations and responses Channel: A way forward? Conclusion: Perception is everything?