Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 17th December 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Conservative 6:00 pm, 17th December 2018

That is the point. When Prevent has been applied correctly and has been led by and with the community, it has made real progress. When you speak to practitioners on the ground—those who have ignored much of national policy; those who have ignored the rules on engagement and disengagement with British Muslim communities and have spoken to whom they want, when they want and how they want—you find that they have built really strong relationships which have allowed sections of the policy to be implemented properly.

Even if you speak to officers like Mr Neil Basu, who was referred to earlier, he himself will say that the biggest challenge for the police has been operating Prevent within a policy of disengagement with British Muslim communities whereby more and more individuals and organisations are simply seen as beyond the pale and are not engaged with. There is a challenge when large sections of the British Muslim community are disengaged and distrustful of a policy that will not be independently reviewed. I can tell my colleagues in government that if it were independently reviewed, it would enjoy more support and therefore would be more effective.

The noble Lord suggested that I believe that the British Muslim community is monolithic. I say to him as someone who is a Muslim and now 47 years of age that I am acutely aware that the British Muslim community is not monolithic. If he would care to read the first four pages of chapter one of my book, he will see that I explain that British Muslim communities are black and brown and Asian and Persian. They come from all over the world and have different theological beliefs and practices. They dress, eat and behave differently. He would then realise that I am a huge advocate of a diverse British Muslim community from many backgrounds. It is therefore wrong of him to attribute to me on the Floor of this House something which I have simply not said.