Leaked Prevent training documents aimed at UK schools, colleges and universities lists Palestine among other countries as issues requiring ‘careful monitoring.’
According to the leaked prevent document, Muslim students who display an interest or seek justice in the Palestinian issue will be vulnerable to being drawn into terrorism.
The occupation of Palestine is a topic close to the hearts of Muslim communities in the UK because of its historical and religious significance. Muslim students should not have to feel isolated and silenced for showing concern about human rights and justice in Palestine. Rather, discussions and debates on Palestine are healthy for learning and development and should be encouraged in an educational environment.
The UK government is “conflating a political issue, which requires a political solution, with extremism and stifling that debate actually breeds extremism,” Ismail Patel, chairman of Friends of al-Aqsa.
Attempts to criminalise those peace activist seeking justice in Palestine has already been flagged up in other training materials produced for teachers as a possible indicator of radicialisation. This growing trend against Muslim students freedoms and rights is not only counterproductive but further demonises Muslims.