Birmingham Central Mosque chairman calls for boycott of PREVENT
The Chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque has called for a boycott of the PREVENT counter-terrorism programme, the Birmingham Mail reports.
Muhammad Afzal also labelled David Cameron an “Islamophobe”over the government strategy, designed to help authorities identify people at risk of radicalisation.
Afzal’s comments are more proof of the widespread dissatisfaction in the Muslim community with PREVENT, which is perceived as an ideological crusade against Islam and Muslims.
PREVENT has now been extended to include Ofsted inspections of out-of-school education settings including madrasssas which the chairman labelled “racist.”
Coun Afzal, who becomes Lord Mayor in May, claimed the “disgraceful” legislation was discriminatory against Muslims and called on Birmingham MPs to fight against it.
He hit out during a meeting jointly organised with Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) in Highgate, attended by almost 100 people.
Coun Afzal said: “I think the Prime Minister is an Islamophobe, he never talks about anything else but Muslim extremism. It is ridiculous that the government is saying Muslims are becoming radicalised. David Cameron says 500 people have gone to Syria to become radicalised, but where is the evidence? And out of a population of three million Muslims in the UK, what kind of percentage is that?”
He added: “The government wants to inspect madrassas, which is racist. Ofsted are losing their neutrality and what we’ll find is that madrassas will be closing down under this legislation which is totally ridiculous. We should oppose this legislation. Everyone should sign the petition and make individual efforts to resist it and tell your local MP to support us.”
Recent figures revealed more than 400 children in the West Midlands have been referred through PREVENT to the Channel de-radicalisation programme within the last four years, the highest number of referrals in the country. Of those referred, 126 were under the age of ten.