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Prevent programme 'spying on our young people', say east London imams
Muslim religious leaders in one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in Britain have criticised the government's programmes to stop people turning to extremism and terrorist violence as "divisive" and leading to a "breakdown in trust".
In a rare sign of public discontent, east London imams – backed by teachers, community organisations and student unions – have claimed the measures adopted under the anti-radicalisation Prevent scheme and the Counter-Terrorism Act result in "spying on our young people" and lead to "increasing division and to a breakdown of trust in schools and colleges".
In a statement, religious and community leaders in Newham – who regularly draw thousands of locals into their mosques – warn that the schemes are "exclusively targeting young Muslims for the views they hold on religion or issues such as government foreign policy".
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