On Wednesday 8th March, Student Rights’ National Organiser, Elliot Miller, gave a presentation to Newcastle University’s Politics Society.
The event provided a good chance for open and frank discussion on Prevent, the Government’s counter-radicalisation strategy, and there was a lot of time for an in-depth question and answer session with a broad range of opinions.
One student was doing their dissertation on the subject of Prevent which helped to facilitate a more complex and well-substantiated conversation.
There have been suggestions that Prevent may have a negative impact on freedom of expression, but here at Student Rights we feel that when implemented correctly it can help ensure robust challenge and balanced platforms when speakers with a history of intolerant views are invited onto university campuses.
During the event the group spoke about the ways Prevent, which is doing good work, can be better marketed and make Muslim communities feel like they are not being targeted unfairly.
Prevent has been working to address the problems facing individuals who may be vulnerable to radicalisation by far-right extremists for many years, and this is now starting to become more widely publicised.
The event also featured a discussion about the new ‘Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offences and Attacks in the UK (1998-2015)’ report, which was published by The Henry Jackson Society last week.
In particular, this focused on the cases of students who have been convicted of plotting attacks in this country, as well as those caught trying to travel overseas to fight for terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria.
James, an officer from Newcastle’s Politics Society said of the event:
“We would definitely encourage other societies at other universities to engage with Student Rights in future events.
We had a great discussion around the issues that PREVENT raises for students in particular and around how to better combat extremism on campus.”
If you would like a similar presentation or workshop on extremist speakers and the Prevent strategy on your campus please get in touch.