London: Britain`s government denies a
programme aimed at tackling religious extremism is being used
as cover to spy on Muslim communities.
The Home Office said today that the 140 million pounds
per year (USD 230 million) Prevent strategy was not intended
to covertly gather intelligence on potential terrorists.
Prevent funds projects aimed at rejecting extremist
ideology and asks youth workers and teachers to help young
Muslims deemed to be vulnerable to extremism.
In a critical report, the Institute of Race Relations
says the programme had, in effect, established "one of the
most elaborate systems of surveillance ever seen in Britain."
It says community workers are under pressure to report
details about the political opinions and mental health of
young Muslims to police.