How worried should we be about Right-wing extremism?
Prevent is focused on the wrong threat
The long-awaited review of Prevent, the government’s counter-terrorism programme, has been released. William Shawcross, the author of the report, in his foreword states, “Prevent is out of kilter with the rest of the counter-terrorism system”. One of the reasons for this is how the extreme Right-wing is defined compared to Islamist extremism, its ideological counterpart. This has resulted in the so-called rise of the extreme Right-wing, despite the last six out of eight terrorist attacks having been carried out by Islamist extremists.
The apparent rise of extreme Right-wing terrorism seems to be based on nothing more than referrals to Prevent. For example, there has been an increase in overall referrals from 4,915 for the year ending March 31, 2021 to 6,406 for the year ending March 31, 2022. This amounts to a 30% increase. What’s more, there is a heightened number of referrals based on extreme Right-wing radicalisation concerns: over a two-year period, extreme Right-wing referrals lead the figures, from 1229 for the year ending 2020/21 to 1309 for 2021/22.
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These figures may sound alarming, but they’re not. For one, the starting point for referrals is low: 968 in 2016-17 to 1,404 in 2019-20. In addition, they appear to be predicated on variable definitions of the two extremist ideologies, rather than reflecting the threat posed by individuals drawn to the ideology. This has led to some views being reframed as extremely Right-wing, when they are no more than conservative views.
The review demonstrates this in one case where a Prevent Education Officer compared recruitment material from Salafi jihadis to that of conservative commentators such as Melanie Philips and Douglas Murray. As the review itself states, “the present boundaries around what is termed by Prevent as extremist Islamist ideology are drawn too narrowly while the boundaries around the ideology of the Extreme Right-Wing are too broad.”
When we look at the same six-year period, the decline in Islamist extremism referrals has been substantial. In the year 2016/17 and 2017/18 referrals dwarfed all other forms of radicalisation, including the extreme Right-wing. At its peak in the year 2016/17, referrals reached a total of 3,706 whereas its lowest point was 1027 in the year 2021/22 (a 72% decrease). While these figures, prima facie, seem encouraging, they must be treated with the same caution with which we are treating the extreme Right-wing.
The definition of Islamist extremism, as the review suggests, is too narrow; thus referrals that would normally have been made for individuals at risk of being radicalised by this ideology are likely to be missed. Citing a report on Islamophobia by the think tank Policy Exchange, Shawcross shares the views of experts that the Islamist threat is severely underrepresented in Prevent referrals. This may be down to a fear of being labelled Islamophobic, but Shawcross found no convincing evidence to suggest this sentiment is widespread.
When we compare the referral rate for both ideologies in the four-year period from 2018/19 to 2021/22, we find that they have steadily remained within a similar range (1000 – 1400). In the first of the two-year period, Islamist extremism had 19 more referrals in the first year and 106 in the second. Then in the following two-year period, there were 152 referrals in year three and 282 more referrals in year four for Extreme Right-wing referrals. These are hardly big numbers.
Ensuring that resources are allocated proportionately must be based on how each ideology is defined and the actual threat they pose, rather than solely on the referral rates. Going forward, it is crucial that variable terminology is not used and implemented. This could result in referral rates for both ideologies changing in the coming years to better reflect the actual threat each of them pose.
How to manufacture evidence to support a narrative and weaponize the state against your political opponents. First tell everyone that right wing views (like those of Douglas Murray(!)) are associated with terrorism. Then collect resulting “referrals” (mostly from left wing ‘educators’) reporting said right wing views. Then publish the increase in the number of referrals as evidence of the growing terrorist threat. Soon they’ll be all set to detain Douglas and all his jihadist friends at Guantanamo Bay and start the waterboarding.
It’s better and worse than that:
Better because, jokes aside DM and others will not get their book contract cancelled, let alone be in Gitmo.
Worse, because those on the left that are doing this crap actually believe it – they are not gaming.
The %100 believe this. yes there are those at the leadership who knows its BS but the majority of those in the WAL (Woke Authoritarian Left) cult are just that, cultists, and all cults ensure their members are true believers. It helps that the public education system has been heavily brainwashing kids since Millennials entered public school followed by serious upgrades in college. Anyone who is a colleges graduate in the last 20 years with any kind of liberal arts degree is almost always going to be a true believe of teh WAL cult.
The reason we’re seeing a recent increase in “Fear the Right” efforts especially from media and academia is because their scared. For decades teh Left has been able t move tehie4 r agenda forward even when Republicans controlled the government. It moved more slowly when the Republicans were in charge but the Left always got their way that is until Trump. When Trump entered the scene it was like the turning point in WW2 when the enemy finally stopped gain ground and started loosing it instead. For the Woke Authoritarian Left normalcy is society operating the way the Left wants and so when Trump defeated Hillary, the Left’s champion of champions, and also then inspired millions to stand up and start saying NO to teh Left’s demands it scared the hell out of them, espial those in academia.
The academics see themselves as a higher for of life than the rest of us and they were certain the US was only 2 -3 presidential terms away form the collectivist governance utopia they’ve been dreaming of, the US version of what China has and the Trump won and set back their plans by at least a decade maybe 2. This is why they were so desperate to get rid of Trump. If it were just Trump they could wait but his inspiring millions to stand up and push back against the Left drove them over the edge of sanity.
Toss into all of this the boost in social media use and how the tech leaders who were on board with the Woke Authoritarian Left could manipulate peoples view of teh world it’s no wonder they all appear to be down right nutz.
Right wing extremism in the UK consists of a few angry, disaffected men in the pub, muttering under their breath. They have little to no public support for their ideology.
Islamist extremism is a problem of a different order.
There might be plenty of people who have criticisms of Islam and concerns that mainstream Muslim opinion on a number of issues is categorically at odds with what the rest of us might deem basic, liberal values – but it is an extraordinary leap to go from that evident and demonstrable truth to get to the idea that this criticism constitutes “Islamophobia”.
The easiest way to prevent an idea from being examined, its flaws exposed to ridicule, is to prevent any discussion of it in the first place. The simplest way to do that is to vilify any who would even dare question it – helped on by useful idiots in the media and our national institutions.
It is the same after any Jihad-inspired atrocity; there is a rush to explain it away, to insist that “Islam is a religion of Peace” and pretending Islamist attacks have “nothing to do with Islam”. This is an obvious and dangerous fantasy.
Various UK Govts, since the threat of Islamist terror came to our shores, have tried to ignore the fact that these acts of barbarity are explcitly committed in the name of their faith. The state seems reluctant to admit this obvious fact for fear of upsetting Muslim communities. Of course the majority of Muslims do not condone such atrocities, though many seem reticent to condemn their co-religionists publicly.
Countering intolerance with intolerance is not productive – but equally it has proved self-defeating allowing the Muslim council of GB and the bed-wetters at the Guardian to define any such criticism as constituting “Islamophobia”.
We are horrified when a Charlie Hebdo attack takes place, politicians wring their hands and newspapers write about freedoms – all in performative grief – yet the Batley schoolteacher is still in hiding?
The Govt, the local Batley authorities, the media, the local education authority, should publicly state – and live up to the idea – that in the UK there is no blasphemy law. Showing a cartoon is perfectly legal, and being able to discuss ideas, contentious ideas, is entirely right and proper in an educational environment. And that the various institutions of this country stand with the vast majority of people in this country to say that we will not be cowed into silence by angry fundamentalists who think they have a legal (not to mention God-given) right not to be offended.
Not being free to discuss this situation is, itself, a real problem and only provides cover in which Islamic extremism can flourish in our midst, unchallenged.
The problem is not so much Islamist terrorism, as the ever-increasing presence of a population who regard such things as regrettable, but very much in the normal course of things and recognise no secular law which state otherwise.
Spot on, Paddy!
People are afraid of violent responses, so they say nothing.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Excellent comment. Every one of your words rings true. The propaganda term “Islamophobia” is a term designed to protect Islam from all criticism by secular societies and the fact that it has become common currency in English indicates that it is extremely effective. The mere fact that the religion requires special protection from scrutiny surely indicates just how important such scrutiny really is.
The aim is to make any criticism of Islam illegal.
Islamaphobia like homophobia is just a word intended to shutdown criticism via intimidation, fear of being labeled something you’re not.
Good points. Phobia comes from the Greek, phobus, meaning irrational fear, suchn as fear f open spaces, agrophobia. The word phobia is used to stop debate.
The demand for far right threats far outstrips the supply.
Is that why they’re manufacturing them?
Kind of like with Racism, the demand for it far exceeds the supply so the have to find racism elsewhere like in math and science.
“How worried should we be about Right-wing extremism?”
I am not worried in the slightest.
If Far Right = Fas* ists then they should be greatly feared as that Really is what Davos is – right out of Mussolini’s Playbook. Corporatocracy. The marriage of Political and Financial and Corporate.
Fascism is not a right wing ideology, it is decidedly a left wing idea since it is socialism with corporate participation.
Exactly. That’s why they called themselves National Socialists.
These left wing/right wing labels have really become meaningless. How do you categorise woke fascism?
The greatest lie Pravda (or anyone) ever told was that the Nazis were right wing. The whole world has believed it for 80 years.
‘Far-right’ is now considered anything that sets itself against existing politically correct narratives. Even stating the truth – that there are just two sexes – is purposefully being correlated with far-right ideology. In this way, under the guise of combatting domestic terrorism, Western governments can legally gain access to individuals’ private domains: home, work, assets, bank accounts, internet history, etc.
The photo captioned “Far-Right group National Action, which is proscribed under the 2000 Terrorism Act. Credit: Hope not Hate.”
I’ve seen lots of video and pics of neo communists in Antifa where the black clad participants look very similar to the far right. They were screaming at feminists in Glasgow last week for example. Even the flags look similar. They all seem like larpers in some 1920s-1930s recreation society.
Do Antifa and similar groups get recorded in these stats?
I came across a quote last week: “let them eat hate”. You do wonder sometimes if this organisation wouldn’t be better named “Hate, not Hope”.
Surely it is Hope not Hate and the ADL that ee to be prescribed under the 2000 Terrorism Act?
I would describe them as neo-fascist rather than neo-communist.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is where subjective justice gets you. Scrap all the “thought crime” nonsense. Prosecute real crimes.
“The review demonstrates this in one case where a Prevent Education Officer compared recruitment material from Salafi jihadis to that of conservative commentators such as Melanie Philips and Douglas Murray.”
This basically tells us all we need to know.
Anyone who truly believes in free speech can’t be a fascist. It should be one of the prime tests for extremist tendencies.
The whole point of fascism was to close out ‘the other’, to create one voice, and one system to support and amplify that voice. Belief in free speech and personal freedom are fundamentally the opposite. It’s impossible to be an authoritarian and yet still support allowing people to speak their minds and express ideas you disagree with.
Yes, I completely agree with you. What we have here is a situation where the far-right have cloaked themselves in left-wing diatribe and now go around classifying those who disagree with them as fas*cist extremists.
Not in the slightest. We should be far more concerned about those who claim to see it everywhere, and abase themselves to alien cultures which openly proclaim their hatred of us.
Thank (insert deity name here) Prevent aren’t in charge of countering the activities of “child grooming” gangs.
For fear of being labelled “Islamophobic” perhaps?
As expected, the reports of the review are themselves partisan, with those on the “Left”* disputing its independence, and those on the “Right”* lauding the report. All this makes it difficult for someone on the outside to make a decision, Having said that, I did see a comment saying that people like Mr Murray are indeed dangerous extremists; and, whilst I do not agree with all that Mr Murray writes, even what I disagree with bears no resemblance to extremism, so I’m coming down on the side of the accuracy of Lord Shawcross’ report. However, those not familiar with Mr Murray’s writings might be convinced by the critics.
Lord Shawcross himself has been vilified, and therefore anything he has to say is tainted by his so-called “F*scist” views. It reminds me of f when the CRED report was published, it, too, didn’t give the correct answers, therefore, the report is to be dismissed and it’s authors maligned. Only a report produced by a committee packed with persons approved by “activists” and which produces the correct outcome is to be believed; even if every member of a review body is a “social justice warrior” it still has to have an acceptable outcome. This also applies to “activists” on the other side; ther eis no trust any more, it seems.
*I’m using these designations merely as shorthand, it’s too difficult now to label these views.
So, may I ask, where are the organised, multi million pound funded ” right wing extremists” waging war across Africa and in Arab countries? This dangerous, morally bankrupt cowardice is a frightening example of how extreme Islamists are being waved into the west, due to the ludicrous, intelligence insulting, and profoundly sinister and dangerous prostration to ” Islamaphobia”.
I’m tempted to say just privatise the whole thing and pay by results. Probably won’t work – but can it be any worse than the utter shambles government/civil service/quangos/NGOs/lobby groups are making of it ? But we need to get everyone with a vested interest or agenda out of the process.
Why was a miniscule group like National Action banned and members sent to prison for an astonishing 8 years for membership? As far as I can see, they had committed absolutely no crimes at all. They certainly had a repulsive ideology but that’s hardly unusual. It doesn’t even make sense on security grounds as it’s far easier to monitor tiny groups like that if they’re legal
Islamophobia. When someone uses that word they may as well be holding those girls down.
I *think* I agree with Wasiq’s broader point…. but it’d be good know what those inadequate definitions of “Far-Right” and Islamist extremism are.
“How worried should we be about Right-wing extremism?”
Slightly less than we are about being knocked down in the street by a flying piano.
Surely, we can simply send them to UKR to fight and all will be forgiven; Jon Stewart will even award them medals!
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