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What Role Should British Values Play in the Government’s Prevent Agenda?


On 12 May Shiraz Maher, Senior Fellow at Policy Exchange, spoke to an audience at ICSR on the topic of the United Kingdom government’s counterterrorism efforts, titled ‘What Role Should British Values Play in the Government’s Prevent Agenda?’ Maher’s talk focused on his recently published study titled ‘Choosing Our Friends Wisely: Criteria for Engaging with Muslim Groups’ which lays out broad guidelines for government to engage with the wide range of groups in the UK purporting to represent the nation’s Muslim community. The great diversity of these groups, and their often varied and controversial agendas, have proved problematic in the more frenzied period of counterterrorism activity following the 7/7 attacks. Maher’s study aims to inform the government in how to engage with groups without legitimising individuals or ideologies which contradict values of religious freedom, gender equality, and political expression, and comes at a time where the goverment has sought to reform and improve its relations with Muslim groups throughout the country.