Muslim ex-police officer slams UK anti-terror program as ‘toxic brand’

Former superintendent Dal Babu, who retired in 2013, told the BBC that not many Muslims trusted the initiative

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A retired senior Muslim police officer described Britain’s anti-radicalization program a “toxic brand,” the Independent reported on Monday.

Former superintendent Dal Babu, who retired in 2013, told the BBC that not many Muslims trusted the initiative and that some viewed it as a form of spying.


Authorities said Prevent, one branch of a government initiative to counter terrorism, is to impede support for terrorism.

“[The initiative has] become a toxic brand and most Muslims are suspicious of what Prevent is doing.”

“Many Muslims see Prevent as spying and those Muslim organizations who have taken Prevent funding have a considerable credibility gap within the Muslim community.”

He said officers’ lack of knowledge on faith or race added to the problem, referring to one senior officer who, he claimed, was unaware of the differences between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

That shortcoming reportedly led to some officers’ failure to understand some of the complexities that surround race and gender in some of the UK’s Muslim community, he said.

The senior officer’s lack of knowledge “amplified considerably” in lower tanks, Babu added.

However, the vice president of the Association of Chief Police Officers said that the “prime” responsibility to stop radicalization lies with parents.

“If there is one thing possibly we have made a mistake in Prevent, it is we have created the impression that somehow that is the job of the police,” he told the BBC’s Today program this morning.

“As a country, we must consistently challenge the twisted narrative of extremism,” a Home Office spokesperson told The Independent.

“This Government fundamentally revised the Prevent strategy in 2011 to ensure it challenges terrorist ideology, supports people who are vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism and works with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalization. Most importantly, we changed Prevent's objectives so it also deals with non-violent extremism,” the statement added.

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