East Cambs District Council have been twittering like mad…pushing their anti-radicalisation agenda…

here are just two of them…

They are pushing their 3R campaign which stands for “Recognise, Report and Result”and it is “a campaign to help prevent vulnerable young people in particular from becoming radicalised and drawn into extremism.”

Neighbourhood Support Officer, Nick Ball, who helped launch the scheme, says: “The 3R campaign is not about catching terrorists, it is about identifying people who may be at risk of radicalisation, and supporting them to change direction in a way that will help them.”

Jo Brooks, Director of Operations at ECDC, says: “This is not about singling out certain communities or one group” and goes on “it is about tackling extremism in all its forms whether it is far right, Islamist, extremist animal rights or other groups who may pose a threat to public safety.”

For a start I’m very dubious about any campaign that jumps on people who think ‘differently’ and especially one that decides to intervene at the ‘thought’ stage as opposed to ‘the action’ stage.
In my book that’s tantamount to trying to police thought crime especially if they are catching young vulnerable people who may be exploring around the edges of societal acceptability as opposed to conforming like a good little citizen.

The fact that someone has violent thoughts about something they feel strongly about doesn’t mean they are going to carry out those thoughts. Should that be the case I’d be far more worried about my 11 year old who has a homemade stink-bomb with Jeremy Hunt’s name on it…. because even at his tender age he knows the NHS is a good thing and he feels he has no say or power to stop the bad things Jeremy Hunt is doing – so therefore plots to throw a pot of old eggs and wee over him that’s been maturing in the garden shed.

I very much doubt he really will…and if the chance arises I’d hope he’d hand it over to me as I can throw further and have a better aim.

…back to the radicalisation of groups of people who definitely aren’t muslims but who may or may not be future terrorists…. the council goes on…
“Young people who become radicalised do face serious risks to themselves as well as posing a threat to society. At least 70 British jihadis have been killed fighting for the Islamic State terror group. More than 200 have returned and many now face lengthy prison sentences for being involved in terrorist activities. Some have returned with lifechanging injuries.”
..but this isn’t about just one group it’s erm…. about all sorts of extremism.

At this point the council had to come up with another sort of threat and right back in 2012 they found….

“a right wing extremist was given a 21 year sentence for racially motivated mass murder. He is unlikely to ever be released and is expected to die in prison.”

…this refers I presume to Andres Breivik.

The council had to go back 4 years and across to Norway for an example.

What about Zack Davies?

He attacked Dr Sarandev Bhambra with a hammer and 12in machete in Mold Tesco’s in what the court described as “a racially-motivated revenge assault for the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby”

Zack Davies, 26, carried out a “brutal and unprovoked attack” that almost severed the trainee doctor’s hand from his arm.

That’s just the first attack that came to my mind… the second, going back admittedly to 2007 is Sophie Lancaster – a goth murdered in the street; in what has been described by the goth ‘community’ as an extreme example of social intolerance.

When people attack for whatever reason they should be dealt with in law but I very much doubt the sort people who would murder a young girl in the street for looking different would blip the radar of this campaign.

So excuse me if I remain cynical about it – the Council may say  it’s definitely NOT about Muslim terrorists… but they’re pretty much the only contemporary example that sprang to the minds of the people putting out information about the scheme.

And I’ll put money on ‘muslim youth’ being the only reason for any government funding that’s involved.

It’s this sort of ‘othering’ that forces (young) people into insularity and that in turn can and does turn into frustration, extremism and in some cases – violence.

Well done Cambridgeshire District Council…you’d have been a lot less obvious if you’d been able to come up with some examples of the sort of extremists you aren’t really focused on.


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