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Bristol academic acts as expert witness to House of Lords Select Committee

Press release issued: 6 November 2017

Dr Therese O’Toole from the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, gave oral evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement on Wednesday 25th October 2017.

Speaking on the topic of the impact of the government’s Prevent agenda on Muslim civic engagement and integration, Dr O’Toole argued that Prevent needs to be fundamentally reviewed and its focus on tackling non-violent extremism, rather than violent extremism, should be re-assessed, given its implications for equalities, civil liberties and democratic engagement.

She also argued that approaches to addressing violent extremism need to be less centralised and more locally-driven, and that the mechanisms for engagement with Muslim civil society by government generally need to be strengthened.

Importantly, for these mechanisms of engagement to be effective, they should be developed autonomously from the Prevent agenda.

A transcript of the Select Committee’s deliberations is available here:

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