8.3.2 Anti-radicalisation: youth work and the government agenda 2001–8
Shamim Miah has more than a decade’s experience working with young Muslim people in Oldham, Greater Manchester, and has more recently become and advisor to local government on the implementation of ‘anti-radicalisation’ policies. In the following transcript from an audio interview, Miah assesses the impact of these policies on young Muslim people.
Please click ‘Reveal comment’ to read the interview.
Activity 35 Interview with Shamim Miah
Read the interview with Shamim Miah.
Activity 36 Question related to the interview
How has government policy on community development changed since 2001, and what problems have these changes produced?
Miah outlines a shift from community development (oriented to address the issues thought to be underlying the disturbances in several northern English cities in the summer of 2001) towards anti-radicalisation and more of an emphasis on crime prevention post 7/7. Miah identifies several problems for Muslims with this switch of emphasis. First, a fear of new police powers in a range of areas being misused. These include fear of being accused of terrorist activity if radical internet sites are accessed out of curiosity or for research purposes; extended stop and search powers; and detention without charge for extended periods. Secondly, those wearing visible Muslim symbols such as the hijab or a long beard fear possible abuse from members of the public. Finally, Miah identifies a lack of government engagement with Muslim grievances about aspects of foreign policy, especially in Iraq. He argues that the government underestimates the level of young people’s understanding of foreign policy.