A catalogue released by the Home Office has revealed the private companies profiting from training courses for organisations subject to the controversial Prevent duty.
A number of thinktanks, training companies and even one university offer courses, which can cost up to £1800 per day, to institutions who are now subject to Prevent.
They range from briefings on different extremist ideologies, including Islamic extremism and far-right terrorism, to practically implementing Prevent in different types of organisations.
One course, by e-learning provider flick, covers “the common signs and indicators of radicalisation, the consequences of radicalisation, how to handle your concerns and what to do if you suspect that a person is being, or has been, radicalised”.
flick desribe themselves as “an e-learning provider on a mission to transform the world of ‘must-do’ training into an engaging, enjoyable and effective experience”.
London Student obtained a free trial to a flick Prevention of Radicalisation course.
In order to identify individuals at risk of radicalisation, it recommends looking at people “from the age of 13 upwards, as well as those who may be experiencing an identity or personal crisis, have feelings of unmet aspirations, [or] have a need for adventure and excitement”.
Another course, by Pacata Consulting, costs £65 for a two and a half hour training session on ‘Differentiating Islam, Culture and Extremism’ or DICE.
The aim of the course is listed as helping people “differentiate between extremist behaviour and ordinary Muslim behaviour,” as well as identifying and supporting individuals perceived to be vulnerable to radicalisation.
Another DICE course, available free online, emphasises the perversion of Islamic teaching by groups such as ISIS, and explores how Islamophobia in British society fuels the narrative offered by extremist groups.
It goes on to say that vulnerability to radicalisation is “based on a victim mentality” from young people who feel that British society does not accept them.
A course on identifying and understanding far-right terrorism is offered by the University of Northampton, which covers beliefs, activities, language and behaviours of the far-right.
Other groups offering paid-for courses include Scott Associates EU, REWIND UK, Education and Training Foundation, Me and You Education, SSS Learning, Victvvs UK and Virtual College.
PREVENT has drawn criticism for the ways in which it targets the Muslim community, and the NUS have issued guidance to Student Unions on effective non-compliance with the duty.
Their campaign Preventing PREVENT has explored how the language and obligations of PREVENT perpetuate false beliefs about Islam, paints the Muslim community as suspicious and ‘un-British’, and polices expression within the Muslim community.
Reasons reported for referrals to Channel, the second stage of PREVENT, include:
- A BAME student who read a book on terrorism while studying a postgraduate course on terrorism, crime and global security
- Students and children who expressed pro-Palestinian views
- A schoolchild who used the phrases ‘eco-warriors’ and ‘eco-terrorism’ during a classroom discussion on enviromental issues and activism
- A four-year-old who mispronounced ‘cucumber’as ‘cooker-bomb’ while drawing a picture of a man cooking
- Another young child who mispronounced ‘terraced house’ as ‘terrorist house’
- Children who used ‘innappropriate language’ including the Arabic word ‘Alhamdulillah’, meaning ‘praise be to God’