The Cordoba Foundation (TCF) welcomes the publishing today of a crucial report by Spinwatch which examines two of the most key right-wing think-tanks involved in the debate on Islam, multiculturalism and extremism which are thought to have influenced the former Labour and the present Coalition Governments’ Prevent strategies (old and new); namely the Centre for Social Cohesion and Policy Exchange.
The report which was completed before the recent terrorist attacks in Norway, argues that right-wing think-tanks such as these, have understated the rise of Islamophobia on the far-right and in some cases have condoned the rise of groups such as the English Defence League because of their own links to the so-called ‘counter-jihad movement’. The report also warns that the policies that these think-tanks are promoting is likely to stigmatise and even criminalise politically active Muslims, as well as liberals and leftists, thereby risking the undermining of traditional freedoms enjoyed by churches, schools, universities and public libraries.
The report’s co-author, Professor David Miller of Strathclyde University said: “The policies advocated by the Centre for Social Cohesion and Policy Exchange detailed in the report inevitably mean the curtailment of civil liberties and the narroming of political debate. The consequences for British Muslims though will be even more severe”.
Anas Altikriti, Chief Executive of TCF stated that “this report comes out at an extremely timely moment, where the entire world and specifically European Societies are still reeling in the aftermath of the Norwegian terrorist masscre.”
TCF believes it is no longer acceptable to regard certain establishments beyond reproach, simply because of their considerable links with and influence upon government and policy makers, especially when they have been at the heart of a wide range of radical and often harmful policies concerning multiculturalism, Muslims and extremism in the UK.
“Not only should the government’s relationship with the media establishments be examined and reformed, but also its relationship with certain ideological establishments and think-tanks whose impact on policy is considerable and undeniable” added Altikriti.
Notes for the Editor: