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Passion Islam I February 2010 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 9
‘Prevent has failed us’
Continued from front page
The comments are contained in
a memorandum to the committee
stating that the growth of the far right
and its ability to carry out terror acts
should not be underestimated: “All
forms of violent extremism – rightwing,
separatist, so-called Islamist, green
issues … need to be addressed as
opposed to the current Prevent focus
connection in the rise of Islamophobia of Islam being the driver,” they said
on Islam.”
and our Prevent programme, as it Furthermore an event organised
There was a sense of frustration
feeds on the stereotypes that the by Indian Muslim Welfare Society this
among Muslims and “some serious
media and some rightwing parties month in Batley saw guest speaker
damage” may already have been
promote, ie that all Muslims are evil Arun Kundnani author of Spooked
done, it said. and non trustworthy.” ripped apart the prevent strategy
The government’s anti-terrorism The comments are embarrassing and delivered a damning account of
policies could not “continue for Gordon Brown, who has said failings within it.
unchecked”, said the memorandum, the association is crucial to bridge The event also had representative
and more thorough research the divide between Muslims and the from West Yorkshire Police and
should have been done before any police. It is thought to be the first time Kirklees Council who holds the
consideration was given to the Prevent that the association, founded in 2007, funding on prevent when asked about
strategy being formulated. The result, has criticised government policy. The prevent strategy the audience were
it said, was a rise in Islamophobia. association believes the government given unconvincing answers by both
The association said the evidence is wrong to blame Islam as the main organisations
showed “we deal with so-called driver of terrorist activity.
When asked what is the prevent
Islamist extremists as being terrorist, Research from interviews with
money being used for, Kirklees
whilst the right wing and separatist are those convicted of terrorist acts
community cohesion representative
dealt with as being extremist – hence “shows Islam was not, and is not, a
said “we don’t use all the money
facing lesser legal action. real driver – but all our strategy seem
on prevent we also use it on other
“It can be argued that there is a to focus on is this un-evidenced view
Church attendance continues to fall in UK
Attendances at Church of England “The figures released today,
churches have continued to decline, covering regular local church attendees,
despite initiatives such as Back to give an important but inevitably partial
Church Sunday, and increasing snapshot of today’s Church” Barley
numbers at Christian festivals such as said.
Easter and Christmas. “It is important to see these trends
New figures show that 1.7 million in the context of wider changes in a
people, just under 3% of the UK society where fewer people are willing
population, continue to attend services to join and take part in membership & translation service
each month at state-established organizations,’” she said.
churches in 2008, some one per cent Comparative examples were the
less that the previous year and five per 40 per cent fall in the membership of
cent lower than 2001. political parties in recent years.
Around 1.1 million – less than 2% “Even in a General Election year,
of the population – went to church as almost double the number of members
part of a typical week – and not just on of the three main political parties
a Sunday, according to counts taken taken together will attend a Church
by 9 in 10 of all 16,000 Church of of England parish church on Sunday,”
England, in a survey carried out by the Barley argued.
Research and Statistics Department of The figures also showed the
the Archbishops’ Council. number of marriages taking place in
The Revd Lynda Barley, the Church parish churches falling by three per
of England’s Head of Research and cent, a two per cent drop in the number
Call us: 07506 466 385
Statistics, played down the continuing of ‘infant’ baptisms and a five per cent
or email us your requirements to
decline, suggesting that the figures did fall in the number of Thanksgivings for
not give the complete picture. the birth of a child.
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