Will the UK government’s counter-extremism programme criminalise dissent?

A post-election analysis of the UK government’s new proposals to tackle extremism.   From 1 July, a broad range of public bodies – from nursery schools to optometrists – will be legally obliged to participate in the government’s Prevent policy to identify would-be extremists. Under the fast-tracked Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, schools, universities and health service…

Britain’s Michael Browns and Eric Garners

Britons following the news of protests against police killings of black people in the US should not feel too smug about the situation in the UK.   Not for the first time, our outrage at American racism goes hand in hand with complacency about Britain’s own history of institutional racism and its manifestations in police…

How One Man Refused to Spy on Fellow Muslims for the FBI — and Then Lost Everything

The case of Ayyub Abdul-Alim fits a decades-long pattern of government criminalization of African-American Muslims.   On the night of December 9, 2011, Siham Stewart called her husband, Ayyub Abdul-Alim, as he closed down his corner store, Nature’s Garden, in Springfield, Massachusetts. She asked him to bring home a gallon of milk. A few minutes…