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International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy Queensland University of Technology 2202-8005 The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy is an open access, blind peer reviewed journal that publishes critical research about challenges confronting criminal justice systems around the world. Committed to Open Access  and democratising quality knowledge production and dissemination. FREE TO DOWNLOAD AND FREE TO PUBLISH!  http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
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International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 4 3

Limits of UK Counterterrorism Policy and its Implications for Islamophobia and Far Right Extremism

Abstract

The UK Government has recently announced a new Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 to facilitate tackling the threat of violent extremism. In light of this and previous initiatives, this paper provides a critical assessment of UK counterterrorism policy. This policy has created a notion of ‘suspect communities’ such that it has alienated young Muslims at the community engagement level, conceivably and empirically, potentially further exacerbating concerns government and communities have over questions of radicalisation, extremism, and the associated political and criminal violence. This paper argues that such policies can lead to the institutionalisation of Islamophobia, acting as an echo chamber for far right extremism to flourish. Significant gaps in government policy in this area can only be addressed by fostering effective relations between communities and policy makers, with enablers such as police officers, youth workers, activists and faith leaders empowered to formulate nuanced approaches in various local area settings. Given the social, cultural and political situation regarding British Muslim youth, including those presently thought to be fighting in parts of Iraq and Syria, as well as ongoing threats on UK soil presented as imminent and dangerous by UK government, there remain acute challenges with limited opportunities.

Published:
Pages:16 to 29
Section: Articles

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Author Biographies

Fatih University, Istanbul
Turkey Turkey

Tahir Abbas is Professor of Sociology at Fatih University in Istanbul. He has published ten books, including two monographs; one on the education of British South Asians and the other on Islamic political radicalism in Britain. He has published in numerous sociology, education, Islamic studies and political science journals and edited collections. He has also written for The GuardianTimes Higher Education, NZZ, Prospect, openDemocracy and Fair Observer. He has three forthcoming books, the co-edited Political Muslims with Syracuse University Press, Beyond Islamophobia with Oxford University Press/Hurst, and Contemporary Turkey with Oxford University Press.

Birmingham City University The Centre for Applied Criminology Birmingham B42 2SU
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology