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Passion Islam I January 2010 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 7
Bradford trainee barrister
is youngest Muslim JP
The youngest female Muslim service of more than 60 years. London and has given up her time
magistrate in the country was Miss Ali said: “It feels great, but I for numerous causes in the past,
sworn in at a ceremony at Bradford do feel that all the credit goes to my including being a panel member for
Magistrates’ Court. parents for supporting me, for trusting the Youth Offending Team.
Faiza Ali, 23, of Bradford, was me to be out there in the real world and She said she hoped her work as
among three new magistrates and trust my decisions to allow everything a magistrate and as a barrister would
one transferee to take part in the I have wanted to do in my life. help benefit Bradford.
ceremony. “I have always wanted to do She said: “I would hope to
Miss Ali – along with Helen Langley, something for the community, it has help create a safer environment in
59, of Calderdale, Mohammed Amin been my interest since childhood. Bradford, so it’s easy for every girl
Zaman, 36, of Bradford, and Katy “The role itself is amazing – it’s to walk around in the streets and for
Blake, who transferred from Bristol tremendous and it’s good to know parents to trust the girls to be out there
– has now joined the 265 magistrates and be part of society, not just serving and support them in their education.”
in Bradford. for the money, but serving to benefit Anyone interested in becoming
The new recruits were due to help other people voluntarily.” a magistrate should contact Jane
fill the gap left by the retirement of Miss Ali is training to become a Sturmey on (01274) 302034 or visit
three magistrates with a combined barrister at the City Law School in
Terrorism officers admit to
monitoring Muslim children
The Times discloses an email sent by not about ‘covert surveillance’ or
a police officer in the West Midlands ‘stigmatis[ing] or demonis[ing] Muslim
Counter Terrorism Unit to community communities’.
groups involved in the region’s Prevent It seems bizarre that the police
programme that suggests that police should be targeting toddlers and those
forces are monitoring nurseries and of pre-school age using the follies of
children as young as four in their their parents as justification.
counter-radicalisation efforts. Further, the police officer’s remark
According to The Times: ‘…an that being visited by counter terrorism
officer in the West Midlands counter- police would leave young children
terrorism unit wrote: “I do hope that ‘aware of what was inappropriate
you will tell me about persons, of to say at school’ is nothing short of
whatever age, you think may have terrifying. The same remark leveled
been radicalised or be vulnerable to at youngsters from any other
radicalisation ... Evidence suggests ethnic or faith community would
that radicalisation can take place from be inconceivable. Little wonder
the age of 4.”’ believe in an Islamic state. It seems that Kundnani’s report on Prevent,
The paper reports that ‘The police that nursery teachers in the West ‘Spooked! How not to prevent violent
unit confirmed that counter-terrorist Midlands area are being asked to extremism’, found that its methodology
officers specially trained in identifying look out for radicalisation. He also and delivery resulted in Muslims being
children and young people vulnerable said that targeting young children treated as a ‘suspect community’.
to radicalisation had visited nursery was important because they would be Denham said in his speech
schools.’ left aware of what was inappropriate ‘Identifying someone at risk in any
‘Arun Kundnani, of the Institute of to say at school. He felt that it was circumstances is not easy. It is even
Race Relations, contacted the officer necessary to cover nurseries as well more complex in this area where
and said he was told that officers had as primary and secondary schools. the ‘risk factors’ are still not well
visited nursery schools. He said it was a precaution and that understood.
‘Mr Kundnani added: “He did he wasn’t expecting to come back ‘So we cannot take that trust for
seem to think it was standard. He with a list.”’ granted - we have to build it.’
said it wasn’t just him or his unit that The Times report will do little to How relationships of trust can
was doing it. He said the indicators allay fears among British Muslims, be built when parents live in fear of
were they [children] might draw whatever the assurances given by their young child being observed for
pictures of bombs and say things like John Denham at the Prevent national signs of radicalization is impossible to
‘all Christians are bad’ or that they conference that the programme is comprehend.
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