Is Prevent better than cure?

By Claire Fox | 03 March 2015
  • Claire Fox

Now we know the identity of ‘Jihadi John’. Mohammed Emwazi is a British-reared university graduate who turned his back on a Western way of life to become the poster boy for Islamic State.

His unmasking followed the shocking story of three East London teenage girls fleeing their loving families and promising educational futures to make a perilous trip to Syria to join the jihadists. What could entice these and 500-plus other British citizens to abandon their relatively prosperous lives in a free society to join a vicious band of nihilists?

These are grave matters that require serious social soul-searching. Sadly, the proposed ‘solutions’ seem laughably unfit for purpose, especially Theresa May’s Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, which burdens ill-equipped councils and other public bodies with a legal duty to ‘prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. This is in addition to Prevent – Labour’s controversial policy that was so discredited after a multitude of bungles – making a comeback.

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