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to be Safe
A toolkit to help colleges contribute to the prevention of violent extremism
Learning Together to be Safe

Introduction 3
1 Understanding the issues 8
2 Leadership and values 14
3 Teaching, learning and the curriculum 21
4 Student support and challenge 26
5 Managing risk and responding to events 30
1 Links between strategies impacting on Further Education 35
and Sixth Form colleges
2 Key objectives and best practice in colleges 38
3 Further information about extremism issues: useful websites 42
4 Legal and contractual powers 45
5 The Al-Qaida ‘single narrative’ 49

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In February 2008, the Government n help colleges understand the positive
published guidance to local partners contribution they can make to
on preventing violent extremism that empowering young people to create
emphasised the importance of working communities that are more resilient to
with children and young people and extremism, and protecting the well-
encouraged local partnerships to engage being of particular students or groups
with schools and colleges. This toolkit who may be vulnerable to being drawn
supplements that guidance, responding to into violent extremist activity;
calls for more practical advice specifically n provide advice on managing risks
focused on the education context. It is and responding to incidents locally,
the product of discussions with young nationally or internationally that
people, teachers, local authorities, police might have an impact on the college
and community representatives across the community.
The purpose throughout is to support the
This toolkit seeks to: confidence and capacity of staff and to
n raise awareness amongst colleges of encourage local partnership working.
the threat from violent extremist groups The following key objectives are taken
and the risks for young people; from the consultation document issued
n provide information about what by the Association of Colleges and the
can cause violent extremism, about Department for Innovation, Universities
preventative actions taking place locally and Skills published in February 2008:
and nationally and about where colleges The Role of Further Education Providers in
can get additional information and Promoting Community Cohesion, Fostering
advice; Shared Values and Preventing Violent
Extremism: Consultation Document.
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Key objectives “The effects of terrorism and

1 To promote and reinforce shared violent extremism have an impact
values; to create space for free and on everyone in society, including
open debate; and to listen to and young people. Young people from all
support mainstream voices. backgrounds need to be empowered
to discuss matters relating to
2 To break down segregation amongst terrorism and preventing violent
different student/learner communities extremism on their own terms.
including by supporting inter-faith
and inter-cultural dialogue and “We need more support for teachers
understanding and to engage all who are dealing with such sensitive
students/learners in playing a full subjects. As a Muslim myself, to
and active role in wider engagement deal with extremism, we have
in society. to incorporate all faiths in these
discussions. Teachers should be given
3 To ensure student/learner safety and
support and materials which they can
colleges that are free from bullying,
use to achieve this.”
harassment and intimidation.
4 To provide support for students/ Usman Nawaz, aged 18, Member UK
learners who may be at risk and Youth Parliament for Rochdale
appropriate sources of advice and
guidance. This toolkit complements similar
5 To ensure that students/learners and guidance aimed at schools and issued
staff are aware of their roles and in October 2008.
responsibilities in preventing violent

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Aims of the toolkit other students can model to students

how diverse views can be heard,
Who the toolkit is for
analysed and challenged in a way which
This toolkit is for all general Further
values freedom of speech and freedom
Education and Sixth Form colleges in
from harm;
England. A version is also available
for schools. 2 understand how to prevent harm
to students by individuals, groups or
The nature and extent of the threat from others who promote violent extremism in
violent extremism will vary across the colleges and communities, and manage
country. However all communities are risks within the college and respond to
affected, whether directly or indirectly, specific local or national incidents;
and in an increasingly interconnected
3 understand how to support individuals
world it is important that young people
who are vulnerable – strategies to
are equipped with the knowledge and
support, challenge and protect;
skills they need for the future regardless
of where they go to college. It is therefore 4 increase the resilience of students
important that all colleges are aware and of college communities – through
of the issues and consider what actions helping students acquire skills and
are appropriate, in conjunction with knowledge to challenge extremist views,
local partners. and promoting an ethos and values that
promote respect for others;
In a college context the five strands
5 use teaching styles and curriculum
are to:
opportunities which allow perceived
1 understand how an extremist narrative grievances to be aired, explored and
which can lead to harm can be demonstrate the role of conflict resolution
challenged by staff in colleges; staff and and active citizenship.
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Colleges will already be contributing to the The toolkit provides practical advice to
goal of preventing violent extremism. For colleges in five areas. These are:
example, colleges can build on work they 1 Understanding the issues
already do in:
2 Leadership and values
n promoting the Every Child Matters (ECM)
outcomes for all students; 3 Teaching, learning and the curriculum
n promoting student well-being, equalities 4 Student support and challenge
and community cohesion; 5 Managing risk and responding to events
n building the resilience of the college,
working with partners, to prevent
students becoming the victims or causes
of harm;
n working with other agencies and
building community networks of support
for the college.

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A tiered approach:

- Provide effective student support processes

- Raise staff awareness on key issues
 to - Form good links with families, police and other
individuals partners to share information
- Access external support from statutory or voluntary

- Use curriculum to challenge extremist narratives

- Allow space for debate and increase staff confidence
Targeted in discussing controversial issues
activities related
to preventing - Understand local issues and tensions with help from
violent extremism local authority and police
- Develop a network of community contacts and links
with mentors and role models

- Promote ECM outcomes, community cohesion,

equalities and well-being
- Implement effective anti-bullying policies
 niversal actions
- Focus on narrowing the attainment gap for all groups
- Encourage active citizenship and learner voice
- Links with families and local communities

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1 Understanding the issues

as well as from foreign terrorists planning
This section addresses the need for attacks from abroad.
The majority of violent extremist networks
n to understand the nature of the are located in major urban conurbations
threats (at a local and national level); such as London, Greater Manchester and
n to be aware of the activities the West Midlands. However recent arrests
happening locally and nationally to in Bristol and Exeter also demonstrate that
prevent violent extremism and how violent extremists are widely distributed
colleges can contribute; across the UK.
n to understand how the experiences Experience suggests there is no typical
faced by some students, families and profile of UK-based violent extremists
communities may contribute to the influenced by Al-Qaida. They can come
process of radicalisation and support from a range of geographical areas, from
for extreme violence. different ethnic and cultural backgrounds
and include a number of converts to
Understanding the threat Islam. The nature of support for violent
extremist activity varies but can include
nationally and locally
radicalising others, training, fundraising
National threats and procurement of support for terrorist
The Government assesses that the UK activities. Training can include outward
is a high priority target for international bound type courses to encourage bonding
terrorists aligned with Al-Qaida and is either in the UK or in camps operated by
likely to remain so for the foreseeable Al-Qaida overseas.
future. In practice this means a threat from
British nationals and UK-based terrorists
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In addition to the severe threat posed by A list of the groups or movements that
Al-Qaida influenced groups, dissident Irish espouse the use of violence and meet the
republican terrorist groups who oppose the conditions for being banned – proscribed –
Northern Ireland peace process still pose a under terrorism legislation, is at:
threat to British interests. Other UK-based
extremist groups including racist and legislation/current-legislation/terrorism-
fascist organisations and far right extremist act-2000/proscribed-groups
groups also pose a threat to public order
and the British multicultural way of life.
These groups often aspire to campaigns of
violence against individuals, families and
particular communities and, if unchecked,
may provide a catalyst for alienation
and disaffection within particular ethnic
communities. Evidence suggests that the
route to violent far right extremism often
begins with organisations seeking to
recruit young people and even arranging
specific training activities that include
encouraging the use of guns and knives.

The Security Service’s appraisal of terrorist

threats currently facing the UK can be
found at:

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date with specific local issues affecting

“As a country, we are rightly their communities. Local authorities and
concerned to protect children and police will be able to help colleges gain an
young people from exploitation in overview of current local issues.
other areas. We need to do the same Colleges can also help local authorities
in relation to violent extremism. As I and police understand tensions affecting
speak, terrorists are methodically and their students. Colleges will observe or
intentionally targeting young people hear how communities are feeling, may
and children in this country. They witness an event that has happened, or
are radicalising, indoctrinating and be aware that something might happen.
grooming young, vulnerable people to In all these three types of situation,
carry out acts of terrorism. This year, information from colleges is important to
we have seen individuals as young help the local authority or police gain a
as 15 and 16 implicated in terrorist- whole community view and so protect
related activity.” young people from harm or causing harm.
Director General of the Security Colleges, in conjunction with local
Service, Speech to the Society of authorities, the police and other agencies,
Editors’ Annual Conference, should agree appropriate mechanisms
5 November 2007 for sharing information relating to
threats or community tensions. This
The local picture could be as part of existing local tension
The challenge from violent extremism monitoring arrangements. As part of this,
and activities of different groups will colleges should ensure they are fulfilling
vary across the country. It is important their statutory duty to record and report
that colleges understand and keep up to racist incidents.
i - Local information available
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What is the Government doing to n increasing the resilience of

prevent violent extremism? communities to violent extremism;
The Government has a ‘Prevent’ strategy na
 ddressing grievances, both genuine
as part of its overall approach to countering and perceived, that ideologues are
terrorism with the aim of preventing exploiting. These can stem from
people becoming terrorists or national or international issues – for
supporting violent extremism. example relating to foreign policy,
or perceptions of distorted media
The Prevent strategy has five strands representation, or be based on local
designed to address the factors that perceptions of inequality or experiences
research suggests can cause people to of racism or community conflict.
become involved in Al-Qaida associated Activities are taking place at a local,
violent extremism. The five strands of the national and international level under
strategy are: each of the strands, in partnership with
community organisations. Many of these
n c hallenging the violent extremist
activities are focused on working with
ideology and supporting mainstream
young people. More detail is available in
guidance to local partners published in
 isrupting those who promote violent February 2008:
extremism and supporting institutions
where they may be active; publications/publication-search/prevent-
n s upporting individuals who are being strategy/
targeted and recruited to the cause of
violent extremism;

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In addition to the Prevent strategy, there is led by the local authority, the police and
a range of policies, locally and nationally, other statutory and voluntary agencies
to tackle racism and inequalities and to and include the active involvement of
promote cohesion and inter-faith relations. local communities. The range of activities
These include activities to prevent young will vary depending on the scale of the
people from joining far right organisations, challenges in the local area.
often falling under the umbrella of
preventing hate crime. All local authorities are monitored against
a ‘National Indicator’ measure of their
activity to “build resilience to violent
“A strong civil society is one that extremism”, including the extent of
is not afraid to critique but which their partnership working. Some local
has people with the skills and authorities have included this as one of
dispositions to engage in this without their priority indicators in their Local
violence.” Area Agreements (LAA).
Professor Lynn Davies, ‘Educating Colleges should be included in local
Against Extremism’, Trentham Books, partnership working on the prevention
2008 of violent extremism and on promoting
community cohesion. Local authorities,
Roles of local agencies and partners the police and other partners can also
The February 2008 guidance encourages be a source of support and advice for
local areas to have a preventing violent colleges on issues concerning extremism
extremism action plan with activities and engagement with local community
across all five strands of the strategy. organisations.
These will involve a range of partners
i - Local information available
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Violent extremism – key points members of staff to raise such concerns,

perhaps including a designated
 xtremists use persuasive narratives
individual to liaise with partners.
to attract people to their cause,
based on a particular interpretation or nT
 he particular risks to students
distortion of history, politics or religion. and for college communities from
Education can play a powerful role in extremist groups will vary across
encouraging young people to challenge the country. Colleges should seek
ideas, think for themselves and take advice from their local authorities and
responsibility for their actions. the police (via their college liaison police
officer or safer neighbourhood team)
 here is no obvious profile of a
on their local context and make sure
person likely to become involved
mechanisms are in place to keep abreast
in extremism, or single indicator of
of local issues.
when a person might move to adopt
violence in support of extremist nT
 here will be a range of activities
ideas. The starting point for colleges, taking place in local areas aimed
as in all learning, is knowing their at the prevention of violent extremism
students, listening and responding to which may be relevant to colleges or
their changing needs. If members of the college community. Local authorities
staff do have concerns about behaviour can help individual colleges to become
patterns, they should seek advice involved in local partnership working
from other partners and use their and understand what resources and
professional judgement to consider projects are available locally.
whether a young person might be at
risk. To this end, colleges should have
in place appropriate procedures for

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2 Leadership and values

to develop resilience to those ideologies
This sets out practical advice on how that promote hatred and violence.
colleges can contribute to preventing
violent extremism through: Underpinning the ethos of a college which
plays a positive role in preventing violent
n specific leadership roles including extremism are specific values and
developing local partnerships; leadership strategies.
n a values-based approach.
These should be developed, understood
and shared by leaders at all levels in the
Further Education colleges are typically college – governors, the senior leadership
leaders in their community. Not just in team and all staff in their leadership roles –
education but as institutions that can drive and then made explicit to students, parents
economic development and regeneration and the community served by the college.
through their presence, participation and The learner voice, parent and community
leadership. While their core role is to engagement processes of the college can
develop the talent and innovation capacity inform college improvement planning, self-
of this country, the focus must extend evaluation and policy review.
beyond the purely vocational and include
the ability to engage with the social
challenges our society faces.

This brings a responsibility for colleges to

engage with some of the more challenging
aspects of community life. In some areas,
this can include working with communities

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In preventing violent extremism college leaders need to:

i) Uphold a clear ethos which:

Possible college actions

- is based on the promotion of human rights, - c reating explicit value statements that are
equalities and freedoms under the law inclusive of all students
- reviewing curriculum and student
participation and support processes
- promotes critical scholarship and -d
 eveloping critical personal thinking
informed moral purpose in engaging skills and using curriculum opportunities
students with local, national and including small group work
international issues and grievances
- recognises and meets the social and -d
 eveloping an emotional literacy agenda
emotional learning needs of students and in tutorials
- promotes a shared culture of openness - e xploring and promoting the diversity
and pluralism in the college and with and shared values between and within
the wider community, regardless of the communities
specific status, location or faith affiliation - c hallenging Islamophobia, anti-Semitism
of the college or other prejudices
- promotes a strong sense of belonging, - focusing support on those at risk of being
shared community care and isolated
responsibility for others -b  uilding ties with all local communities,
seeking opportunities for linking with
schools and other colleges

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Possible college actions

- challenges any behaviours which harm -u
 sing anti-bullying strategies to minimise
the ability of individuals and groups hate and prejudice-based bullying
to work together and models ways to -u
 sing restorative approaches to repair
recognise grievance and repair harm harm caused

College action: evaluate the evidence which would demonstrate to students, staff and
the community the college’s commitment to these principles.

ii) Promote the core values of a democratic society and model the processes by:

- upholding the right to equality under the - including clear statements in the induction
law by people regardless of gender, age, of students, staff, governors and in the
race, belief, class, ability or disability, curriculum
sexual orientation

- promoting the use of due processes to - e nsuring fair processes which protect
resolve disagreement and to protect the those harmed or affected

- modelling participatory and -m

 odelling freedom of speech through
representative democracy by engaging learner participation strategies, while
and examining views expressed ensuring protection of vulnerable students
and promoting critical analysis of evidence

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Possible college actions

- modelling positive problem solving -p
 romoting active citizenship to model
how perceived injustice can be peacefully
 eveloping restorative approaches to
resolve personal conflicts and so repair
harm caused

College action: review the policies and practice for students and staff which
encompass democratic values.

iii) Build staff understanding of their roles and confidence in their skills:

- to build staff awareness of local issues - reviewing routines for briefing and
engaging staff and governors on local

- to provide the safe place for discussion -d

 eveloping teaching skills for dealing with
which can deal with grievances controversial issues
 roviding opportunities for small group
supported discussion

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Possible college actions

- to promote the well-being of students - raising awareness amongst staff of
including when vulnerable to group student support processes
pressures linked to violent extremism - e nforcing safe behaviours in the use of
the internet

- to play relevant roles in targeted and - e nsuring relevant staff are engaged in
specialist provision linking with local provision

- in responding to events which affect the -p

 romoting opportunities for informed
college, students or local communities discussion
 irecting students and staff to sources
of help

College action: review professional development needs for staff to build capacity for
preventing violent extremism.

iv) Deepen engagement with the communities the college serves by:

- openness to hearing and understanding -p

 romoting ways for students, staff and
tensions within the communities served parents and others to channel concerns to
by the college those who can help

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Possible college actions

- being an active partner in community - reviewing how the college and local
leadership (with other college leaders, authority partners are engaged in support
statutory agencies and with community for different communities
groups) -d  eveloping links with local faith
communities and supplementary colleges
- s eek to be represented on local Prevent
- encouraging students as citizens to -m
 odelling how students can express their
support the vulnerable and to use views, for example on media coverage
democratic and lawful vehicles for protest of local or national issues, or through
involvement with local decision making
- respectful engagement with families and -d
 eveloping college partnership in
community groups which also, when understanding of community issues and
necessary, challenges unacceptable views finding respectful ways to promote college
and models ways to solve problems values to local communities

College action: evaluate and develop processes for community engagement by the
college – especially with communities that may be vulnerable because of prejudice or
where there are communication barriers.

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In contributing to the prevention of violent

extremism, college leaders should work
in partnership with other schools and
colleges, the local authority and other
agencies, including the police:
n to understand local issues, share
knowledge about support and
n for specific teaching and learning
activities and professional development
n for individual case support,
safeguarding, prevention programmes,
family strategies, community safety and
tension monitoring.

College action: evaluate college links

with local partners and agencies and
ensure contact points for advice and
support are clearly identified.

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3 Teaching, learning and the curriculum

n help students to develop the skills
This section sets out how colleges needed to evaluate effectively and
can contribute to preventing violent discuss potentially controversial issues;
extremism through: n use spaces for students to discuss
n a curriculum which is adapted to openly issues that concern them,
recognise local needs, challenge including exploring their own identities
extremist narratives and promote and how these relate to the diversity
universal rights; of the society in which they live;
n t eaching and learning strategies n provide opportunities for students to
which explore controversial issues understand, meet and engage with
in a way which promotes critical people from different backgrounds in
analysis and pro-social values; ways which promote the common values
n the use of external programmes while recognising diversity of values
or groups to support learning while within communities;
ensuring that the input supports the n provide fact sheets that challenge
college goals and values. distributed information on race,
gender, religion.
In using teaching, learning and the Violent extremists use narratives that
curriculum to build resilience to violent mix fact or selected fact with assertions,
extremism, colleges can build on what subjective opinion and emotion to justify
they already do to: their actions and promote violence. Violent
n use naturally occurring opportunities extremist narrative does not allow for
within vocational and academic courses alternative interpretations and denies
to create student knowledge and to contradictory factual evidence or analysis.
challenge information prejudices;
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Violent extremism, and racial or hate- n s uccessful learners – which includes

driven discrimination of all forms, also developing enquiring minds, and
relies on sustaining and exaggerating engaging with the big issues of
divisions in society, often by exploiting our world.
people’s fears or lack of understanding i) Cross-curricular dimensions
of others. Three cross-curricular dimensions can
Education in a democracy should contribute particularly to preventing
encourage each issue to be critically violent extremism:
discussed and debated on its own merits nm
 edia and technology – becoming
with proper intellectual and ethical rigour. critical users of media messages;
It should also promote the rights of citizens
to lawful protest. ng
 lobal dimension and sustainable
development – becoming global
The curriculum citizens;
The core aim of the curriculum is to n identity and cultural diversity –
produce students who are: becoming comfortable with self identity
in a plural community.
n r esponsible citizens – which includes
ii) Developing relevant skills
understanding identity, valuing diversity,
The development of personal, learning
working co-operatively to promote
and thinking skills supports students
positive change;
in resisting the messages of violent
n c onfident individuals – which extremists, in particular the skills of
includes developing independence, self- independent enquiry and effective
awareness and moral judgements; participation:

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n independent
 enquirers – evaluating Teaching and learning strategies
evidence to take reasoned decisions
The Ajegbo report ‘Identity and Diversity:
while recognising the beliefs of others;
A Curriculum Review’ (DCSF 2007)
n effective
 participators – responsible highlighted that “engaging young people
participants to engage issues and help in sometimes controversial but deeply
improve college and community. relevant issues will excite them, involve
them, develop their thinking skills and
both raise standards and make our country
College action: identify skills
an even better place”.
development needs and opportunities.
Possible examples: Effectively addressing controversial issues
will also help to challenge misinformed
- a cross-college focus on developing
views and perceptions amongst students,
critical skills in managing harmful
challenge commonly held myths and build
media and internet information about
understanding and appreciation about
particular communities;
others. This requires:
- a college theme to model how peaceful n questioning techniques to open up
action has achieved results at local safe debate;
national or international levels.
n confidence to promote honesty about
pluralist views;
n ensuring both freedom of expression
and freedom from threat;
n debating fundamental moral and
human rights principles;

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n promoting open respectful dialogue;

n affirming the multiple dynamic identities The Khayaal Theatre Company’s
we all have. production ‘Hearts & Minds’ is a
theatre-in-education production for
schools and colleges which aims to
College action: review staff confidence encapsulate some of the dilemmas and
in the core approaches to dealing discourses occupying the hearts and
with controversial issues and define minds of young Muslims, including
professional development needs. issues of extremism:
Using external programmes The GW Theatre Company production
and groups ‘One Extreme to the Other’, aimed at
Engaging with external speakers, young people aged 14-25, includes a
programmes or groups can be an effective comprehensive multimedia follow-up
way of building awareness and skills of package including a major website to
young people and encouraging debate. For inform further discussion and lead in
example, theatre and drama productions good practice:
are often a powerful stimulus for learning
about controversial issues.
Which criteria should colleges use for
selecting programmes or groups?
n W hat evidence is there to validate the
approach used? This might be available
from published evaluations, other
colleges or the local authority.
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n Is the programme explicitly aligned with

the values which the college promotes?
n Is it clear how the preparation, activity
and follow-up (including evaluation) will
take place to ensure effective learning?
n If using local groups to support learning
around issues of politics, ethnicity or
faith are the adults clear about the
college expectations and, as needed, do
they have CRB checks?
n W hat follow-up personal or learning
support is available for individuals or
groups as needed?

College action: use customised local

information and advice from other
colleges, local authorities or other
sources to identify local available groups
who can engage with colleges.

i - Local information available

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4 Student support and challenge

for safeguarding and crime prevention.
This section addresses how colleges This includes challenging unacceptable
can support the welfare of individuals behaviour such as racism or bullying
and groups of students through: that can impact on the well-being of
n using normal college student support individuals or groups of students.
approaches but, when relevant, Understanding what is happening
being confident to seek further The starting point for colleges ensuring
support; they are fulfilling their duty of care will
n using informed professional be knowing their students and the wider
judgement to implement strategies in community, and listening and responding
individual cases; to their changing needs, and supporting
n drawing on wider support from the those who may be vulnerable to being
community and other local partners drawn into violent extremist activity.
to work with individuals or groups of There are a number of signs or behaviours
students. that colleges may come across that may
cause staff concern and which would
Responsibilities require them to use their professional
The professional standards for teachers, judgement to determine whether a
contractual and safeguarding frameworks response is needed. Staff will need to
for all adults working with children take into consideration how reliable or
and young people, and the Every Child significant signs are and whether there
Matters outcomes for young people all are other factors or issues that could
require the exercise of a duty of care and, indicate vulnerability.
where necessary, the taking of actions

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What college staff might see Challenge and support processes

or hear about: Responses could be in-college actions
n graffiti symbols, writing or artwork (for example removing hate-related graffiti,
promoting extremist messages or challenging views expressed through
images; classroom discussion or supporting
n students accessing extremist material students through normal student welfare
online, including through social strategies) or involve external agencies
networking sites; to ascertain whether there are other
risk factors to be taken into account and
n parental reports of changes in determine an appropriate support plan.
behaviour, friendship or actions and
requests for assistance; It may be that a student is facing multiple
n partner colleges, local authority challenges in their life, of which exposure
services, and police reports of issues to extremist influences is just one. The
affecting students in other colleges; college should contribute to a multi-agency
assessment where appropriate in line with
n students voicing opinions drawn from the local authority protocols.
extremist ideologies and narratives;
n particular individuals or groups Colleges may wish to identify a member of
which espouse more rigid doctrinal/ staff – this may be the designated member
ideological and adversarial views of staff for safeguarding – who can act as
gaining ascendency in college a source of advice for other members of
societies or informal association; staff and lead on engaging with external
n use of extremist or ‘hate’ terms to
exclude others or incite violence.

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College action: review student support Colleges may identify a need for specific
systems. Agree information sharing, support programmes for individuals or
support and challenge strategies locally groups of students such as mentoring,
with the multi-agency team. or access to experts who can provide
guidance on issues of faith. These could
Recent examples of concerns that be within the college or in partnership
have arisen in colleges: with others – for example college 14-19
partnerships, other schools, local authority
- The college is approached by a group services, community partners, Youth
of students who find that the local Offending Teams, the police or other
mosques do not provide enough scope voluntary or statutory organisations.
for them to discuss and debate particular
topical issues that relate to religious The National Council for Faiths and
ideology and how they can apply their Beliefs in FE (fbfe) has a team of Regional
understanding of their faith within Development Officers (RDOs) that can
the modern world. They want to set work with colleges to help them develop
up a society where they can do this. their support for learners’ spiritual
- The IT monitoring system has and moral development, often through
identified that an individual has been facilitating partnerships with local faith
seeking to access an Arabic website community groups.
that is not on the agreed list.
- You have a report that a student
i - Local information available
is upsetting other students by
challenging their clothing as un-
Islamic and encouraging them not to
mix with non-Muslims.
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Problem solving and repairing harm

Barking and Dagenham project to Support to meet individual or group needs
support students at risk of joining is often well developed within a college.
far right organisations Students also need to be helped to develop
The project worked with 40 young techniques for personal support, resolving
male students with attitudes which conflict and repairing harm.
could be characterised as inward- Helping students and adults
looking, having a strong geographical access support
identity and holding racist views. Students, parents and families, college
Mentors were used to provide staff and other professionals engaging
role models and to assist young with colleges may need to have access
male students to develop positive to personal advice and understand who
responsible self-images. they can turn to for support in relation to
Outcomes: preventing violent extremism issues.

n a move away from extreme far

College action: review problem solving
right views;
and personal support available for
n decrease in race/faith incidents; students, staff and parents.
n reduction in youth crime;
n improvement in community safety.

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5 Managing risk and responding to events

Examples of legal and contractual powers
This section helps colleges: that may be relevant to preventing violent
n to respond to events which could extremism are set out at Annex 4.
have an impact on the college Harmful influences on students
community; College staff, including temporary staff,
n to ensure they are aware of and may express views, bring material into
managing potential risks to students the college, or use or direct students
and the wider college community to extremist websites, or act in other
effectively. ways that are counter to the professional
standards expected of staff or potentially
against the law. In such an event they
Managing risks should be subject to normal professional
Although there are very few instances of disciplinary procedures and if necessary
young people being exposed to extremist colleges should ensure that behaviours
messages within colleges this is a risk of are taken up with the local authority and
which colleges need to be aware. Risks police. The Independent Safeguarding
could arise from: Authority (ISA) from 2009 (currently the
n harmful influences on students – for Vetting and Barring Scheme) may also
example from staff, parents, external need to be informed.
groups or other students;
Colleges should review:
n inappropriate use of ICT systems;
n whether the college’s recruitment
n external groups using college and induction material (including for
premises. governors) makes explicit the role of all
staff in keeping students safe from harm;

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n how professional standards for teachers place with recourse to police and other
(set out by Lifelong Learning UK) are partners as necessary.
promoted and reinforced;
College action: review the ICT policy
n whether personnel processes ensure fair
and practice to:
treatment of all staff;
- ensure that hardware and software
n whether the college’s duty to report systems used in the college
racial incidents is exercised are accredited through Becta’s
systematically. accreditation schemes:
College action: review relevant college php?section=is&catcode=ss_to_es_
personnel policies and processes. pys_fc_03 These require providers to
block illegal content and at least 90%
Accessing inappropriate content of inappropriate content. The definition
through the use of ICT of illegal content that Becta uses includes
Websites and social networking sites are racist and hate material, and material
important vehicles for violent extremists to that promotes violence or attack on
promote their message and to encourage individuals or institutions on the basis
engagement. of religious, racial or gender grounds;
- review the Acceptable Use Policy of
Colleges should do all that they can to the college for students and staff to
promote effective and responsible use of ensure that use of material related to
ICT and to prevent staff or students from violent extremism is prohibited; and
accessing illegal or inappropriate material ensure students, staff and governors
through college ICT systems, including are clear on the policy, monitoring
having appropriate monitoring systems in practices and the sanctions;
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- ensure that staff, students and parents College action: review the college and
are aware of the issues regarding local authority lettings policy and ensure
risk and responsible use and that staff managing college lettings
are discerning and discriminating know where to seek advice.
consumers of online information.
Responding to events
External groups using college
Violent extremism is unlikely to affect
premises or facilities
most colleges directly. However some
There have been examples of groups linked
colleges and their communities have
to violent extremism trying to use college
been affected by:
premises for campaigning or other events.
Colleges should be aware of this risk and n national incidents such as the 7/7
ensure that the college or local authority bombings (which had a particular
lettings policy sets out the values of the impact on colleges in London and
college and makes clear that any group Leeds);
whose aims are counter to those values n international politics linked to events
may not hire the facility. such as the invasion of Iraq, the
situation in Afghanistan, Somalia or
It is recommended that colleges liaise
other scenes of conflict;
early with the local authorities or police
to check the bona fides of groups if they n domestic political events in other
have any concerns. This will then allow countries relevant to particular
time for sensitive handling of particular diaspora communities within the UK;
applications for use of college premises. n local counter-terrorism operations and
related community tensions;
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n media reports on political or faith Colleges should also ensure personal

groups which are seen as biased; support is in place for staff and students
n high profile trials of those accused most affected by incidents.
of terrorist related offences. Local authority and partner services
Colleges need to understand their may be drawn on for:
communities to be aware of what may n advice briefings or support from police
impact on students and be prepared or other agencies;
to respond. n educational psychology service
Events in the local, national or support for college leaders in
international news responding to incidents;
In the aftermath of an event or an incident n individual student case work;
colleges may choose to undertake whole n corporate services for media
college, year group or class-based sessions management;
to promote opportunities for informed
discussion including: n human resources support for staff issues.

n getting the facts clear – evidence College action: review the college
versus rumour; emergency plan including post-event
n understanding motivations; actions to ensure appropriate processes
n promoting human rights and legal for supporting students and staff are
protection – freedom of speech and incorporated.
due process to raise grievances.

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Luton Sixth Form College actively Students involved in these debates get
encourages debate amongst students, briefed and supported in developing
with a Debating Society that explores their arguments and presenting these
a very eclectic range of topics and not effectively. Students benefit from
ducking difficult issues, such as the having their eyes opened to different
factors surrounding Barack Obama’s ways of thinking about issues as well
election as the first black President, as finding unexpected common ground.
US influence around the world and Recent controversial events, such as
whether hip hop is a positive aspect the situation in Gaza and the right for
of youth culture. It is managed clergy to membership of the BNP, will
and supported by a member of be on the agenda after half-term when
staff and the college will often put the Society restarts after its mid-winter
teams forward in external debating break for A and AS module exams.

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Annex 1: Links between strategies impacting on

Further Education and Sixth Form colleges
Key objectives Five strands of Prevent strategy –
DIUS/AoC guidance Preventing Violent Government action
February 2008 Extremism Toolkit on Preventing Violent
Shared values - staff and other students Challenging the violent
To promote and reinforce can model to students extremist ideology and
shared values; to create how diverse views can supporting mainstream
space for free and open be heard, analysed and voices
debate; and to listen to and challenged in a way
support mainstream voices which values freedom
of speech and freedom
from harm
- understand how an
extremist narrative
which can lead to harm
can be challenged by
staff in colleges
- use teaching styles and
curriculum which allow
grievances to be aired,
explored and demonstrate
the role of conflict
resolution and active

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Key objectives Five strands of Prevent strategy –

DIUS/AoC guidance Preventing Violent Government action
February 2008 Extremism Toolkit on Preventing Violent
Break down community - increase the resilience of Increasing the resilience
segregation students and of college of communities to violent
To break down segregation communities – through extremism
amongst different student helping students acquire
learner communities skills and knowledge to
including by supporting challenge extremist views,
inter-faith and inter-cultural and promoting an ethos
dialogue and understanding and values that promotes
and to engage all students/ respect for others
learners in playing a full
and active role in wider
engagement in society
Safety of learners -u
 nderstand how to
To ensure student/learner support individuals
safety and colleges that who are vulnerable –
are free from bullying, strategies to support,
harassment and intimidation challenge and protect

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Key objectives Five strands of Prevent strategy –

DIUS/AoC guidance Preventing Violent Government action
February 2008 Extremism Toolkit on Preventing Violent
Support for learners - understand how to Supporting individuals who
To provide support for students support individuals are being targeted and
/learners who may be at who are vulnerable – recruited to the cause of
risk and appropriate sources strategies to support, violent extremism
of advice and guidance challenge and protect
Roles and - understand how to Addressing grievances, both
responsibilities of staff support individuals genuine and perceived, that
and students who are vulnerable – ideologues are exploiting.
To ensure that students/ strategies to support, These can stem from
learners and staff are challenge and protect national and international
aware of their roles issues – for example
and responsibilities relating to foreign policy,
in preventing violent or perceptions of distorted
extremism media representation;
or be based on local
perceptions of inequality
or experience of racism
or community conflict

*The Prevent strategy also includes:

disrupting those who promote violent extremism and supporting institutions where
they may be active which does directly impact on college-based activity. 37
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Annex 2: Key objectives

and best practice in colleges
1 To promote and reinforce shared ii) Encouraging active citizenship and
values; to create space for free and learner voice
open debate; and to listen to and Learner voice strategies are resourced
support mainstream voices. to encourage involvement of students at
all levels of college activity. Strategies
i) Promoting ECM outcomes, model the democratic process and
community cohesion, equalities and encourage learners to take responsibility
well-being for their actions. Best practice in learner
College policies are checked to ensure involvement in course team planning
they emphasise the shared values of a meetings, the governing body, staff
pluralist society. Tutorial and induction recruitment panels and lesson observation
activities encourage engagement and schemes are planned for.
discussion of these values.
iii) Using curriculum to challenge
Activities are planned in the college year extremist narratives
to promote community cohesion. Students are motivated to engage in the
wider curriculum when it is delivered
The outcomes for Every Child Matters are through naturally occurring opportunities.
customised for relevance to the 14-19 Managers ensure that courses are planned
age group and integrated into the tutorial to integrate the Every Child Matters
programme. Curriculum is designed around agenda. Students are encouraged to debate
opportunities to deliver ECM outcomes. issues of community cohesion in relation to
their main subject area. Course planning in
areas without ethnic or religious diversity
emphasise that future employment will
be within an increasingly global economy

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and society. Schemes of work demonstrate ii) Developing a network of community

a wide range of teaching and learning contacts and links with mentors and
activities including the use of debate role models including families
and discussion to solve problems and air Student services in colleges maintain a
controversial issues. network of contacts locally – religious
and community leaders, local politicians,
2 To break down segregation voluntary organisations and young people’s
amongst different student/learner advice and counselling services. This
communities including by supporting network is used to support course teams
inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue in curriculum delivery and tutorial co-
and understanding and to engage ordinators in their annual planning cycle.
all students/learners in playing a
full and active role in wider Police liaison officers are used to reinforce
engagement in society. positively shared values and equality of
treatment under the law. Key incident
i) Gain understanding of local issues alerts are established with the police and
through contacts with the local a college contact so that the college can
authority and police react quickly to local flashpoints and plan
The tutorial programme is planned a strategy of intervention and diffusion.
to include involvement of inter-faith College risk strategy includes action in the
community leaders and access to a range event of a major incident either nationally
of political views. or locally that could affect its student body.
Tutorial planning allows time to discuss Opportunities are used to place students
world events that impact on the college in work placements in community
community. organisations that help to foster a
deeper understanding on inter-faith
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and intercultural issues. Colleges model 3 To ensure student/learner safety and

national and local democratic processes colleges that are free from bullying,
to gain representation on student harassment and intimidation.
union bodies and course committees.
Consideration on reflecting the religious i) Implement effective
and ethnic diversity on student anti-bullying policies
representative bodies should be given. This Induction of students makes clear reference
might include training for representation to anti-bullying policies. Bullying is
and mentoring courses for students. addressed swiftly and clear lines of
responsibility are established to protect
Links with families need to be strong. learners.
Colleges need to develop strategies to
communicate with parents and guardians ii) Focus on narrowing the
and also recognise the importance of the attainment gap for all groups
extended family in some communities. College improvement strategies make
Newsletters targeted at parents provide clear reference to the connection between
a good communication network and attainment and fulfilling lives. Strategies
consideration needs to be given to are in place to support underperforming
translation into the parents’ first language learners. Attendance policy ensures that
where there is a need. These newsletters poor attendees are targeted for support.
can also be used to encourage parental
participation in college events. Open 4 To provide support for students/
evenings are advertised widely to learners who may be at risk and
encourage participation. appropriate sources of advice
and guidance.

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i) Provide effective student The promotion of diversity is considered

support processes a priority and a high profile and is
At risk procedures target learners maintained throughout the year.
who are vulnerable to pressures
to be involved in criminal violence.

Mentoring schemes are established to

provide support from student peers.

5 To ensure that students/learners

and staff are aware of their roles
and responsibilities in preventing
violent extremism.

i) Allow space for debate and

increase staff confidence in
discussing controversial issues
Staff are trained to understand and
engage in issues where communities and
individuals might have historical or cultural
grievances. Local and national sources
are used to develop resources to support
staff to counter prejudice and biased
information. Materials are developed to
support tutorial staff.

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Annex 3: Further information about

extremism issues: useful websites
Preventing violent extremism The Security Service website provides
This short booklet explains the information on the radicalisation process
Government’s plans for countering violent and on extremist groups including Al-
extremism to protect the security of the Qaida:
UK in the long term: qaidas-ideology.html
publications/violentextremism/ The Improvement and Development Agency
If you have any questions or would like (IDeA) which supports local authorities
to discuss the role of children’s services has a web resource available on the
or schools in this area, please contact: Knowledge section of its website dedicated to preventing violent extremism which
Managing conflicting rights and issues provides updates on policy, useful links
of discrimination: promoting good and information:
relationships within the college community core/
(AoC and QIA: January 2007) provides The US-based Anti-Defamation League
guidance on how to deal with situations provides information on graphic and
where different groups have conflicting numerical symbols used by far right groups:
Educating against extremism – by Lynn
Davies, Birmingham University. Looks at
the processes that can lead individuals to
extreme beliefs or the use of violence and
suggests ways in which education can help.

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Teaching, learning and Teachernet – Teaching about controversial

curriculum resources issues
Guidelines for handling controversial
DEA – Global dimension issues, both in the classroom and in
A guide to resources which support global informal conversations with students,
and intercultural understanding: drawing on recent publications in this area:
1001 Inventions wholeschool/behaviour/tacklingbullying/
A resource that looks at the heritage that racistbullying/preventing/
the Muslim community shares with other controversialissues/
communities in the UK, Europe and across Commission for Racial Equality –
the World: Defeating organised racial hatred
Oxfam – Global citizenship guides: Information to challenge common myths
teaching controversial issues about people from minority groups:
Strategies and activities to help teachers
address controversial issues: www.oxfam. Documents/Race/Employment/Defeating_ organised_racial_hatred.pdf
controversial/ The Holocaust Centre and Holocaust
Educational Trust
Outreach programmes and teaching
materials to educate young people about
the Holocaust and lessons to be learned on
combating prejudice and racism: and

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QCA – Respect for all Radical Middle Way

A range of whole college and subject- Information, resources and events aimed
related guidance and resources on valuing at articulating a relevant mainstream
diversity and challenging racism through understanding of Islam that is proactive
the curriculum: and relevant to young British Muslims:

Teachernet - Racism, anti-Semitism and Diversity and Dialogue

Islamophobia An online directory of projects and
Links to a variety of resources to support resources aimed at bringing young
the college workforce in tackling issues of people from different faiths and
racism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: backgrounds together:
behaviour/tacklingbullying/ All Faiths and None (AFAN)
racistbullying/developing/ The AFAN website provides resources
racismantisemitism/ to enable learners and staff to develop
Muslim Youth Helpline an understanding of other worldviews.
Faith and culturally sensitive counselling AFAN contributors have been working
service to Muslim youth aged 16-25: with fbfe Regional Development Officers to run staff development days in colleges
around the country:

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Annex 4: Legal and contractual powers

Issue Legal and contractual powers
Institute for Learning Code The Code of Professional Practice defines the professional
of Professional Practice behaviour which, in the public interest, the Institute
expects of its members throughout their membership and
professional career. In publishing the Code, the Institute is
able to maintain and promote its standards of professional
conduct, ensuring continued public confidence. In retaining
membership, members recognise their ongoing obligations
under the Code and agree to abide by and be bound by it,
and any other rules of membership.
Members alleged to be in breach of the Code will be subject
to disciplinary investigation. In applying for and retaining
membership, members of the Institute agree to be bound by
the Disciplinary Procedures.
The Institute can only investigate concerns relating to
misconduct by its members (or that they have been cautioned
or convicted for a relevant offence) and any such concerns
must relate to the professional behaviour of the member.
Any alleged breach of the standards may trigger an
investigation and other action under the college’s own
disciplinary procedures:

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Issue Legal and contractual powers

College behaviour policy In setting a college behaviour policy, governors working
with Principal, staff and students can set a framework
which supports the values it wishes to promote.

Searching for and Under section 85B of the Further and Higher Education
confiscation of Act 1992 (inserted by the Violent Crime Reduction Act
inappropriate items 2006), the Principal of an FE institution or an authorised
member of the college staff has a statutory power to search
a student or his/her possessions without consent if there
are reasonable grounds for suspecting the student is in
possession of a weapon. Specific guidance on searching
students for weapons is available:
Use of force Section 85C of the Further and Higher Education Act
1992 enables a member of staff to use reasonable force in
certain defined circumstances to prevent an offence or the
continuation of one; to prevent personal injury or damage
to the property of any person (including the student);
and to prevent anything which prejudices the maintenance
of good order and discipline at the institution.

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Issue Legal and contractual powers

Nuisance or disturbance Section 85A of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992
on educational premises provides that any person who without lawful authority
is present on premises to which this section applies
(including premises of an FE institution) and causes or
permits nuisance or disturbance to the annoyance of
persons who lawfully use those premises (whether or
not any such persons are present at the time) is guilty
of an offence. The section empowers a police constable
or a person authorised by the “appropriate authority”
to exercise this power, to remove from the premises in
question any person whom he has reasonable cause to
suspect of committing, or having committed, an offence
under this section.
Freedom of speech Section 43 of the Education (No 2) Act 1986 provides
that all those concerned in the government of Further
Education institutions are to take reasonably practicable
steps to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is
secured for members, students, employees and visiting
speakers. The duty includes ensuring, so far as reasonably
practicable, that use of premises, including those occupied
by the students’ union, is not denied on account of beliefs
or policies. Governing bodies are to issue and keep up to
date codes of practice on conduct and procedures to be

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Issue Legal and contractual powers

followed by members, students and employees in
connection with the organisation of meetings and
other activities; and compliance with the codes
(together, if need be, with disciplinary measures) is
the responsibility of those concerned in the government
of the establishment.
Preventing use of violent The college can require students and staff to abide by
extremist websites Acceptable User Policies which make clear that accessing
such sites is unacceptable. Using college computers to
email terrorist publications to others might constitute
a criminal offence.

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Annex 5: The Al-Qaida ‘single narrative’

Al-Qaida’s ideology claims that the They assert that the solution is to eradicate
(alleged) impoverished state of the Western influences from the Muslim world
Muslim world today is the result of a and replace existing governments with
Zionist-Christian alliance against Islam a single political entity ruling over all
dating back to the crusades. They use Muslims and adopting Islamic law –
a ‘single narrative’ linking a particular a return to the historical ‘Caliphate’.
interpretation of history with a number
of current grievances – some of which Al-Qaida’s members adopt an extreme
may be quite widely shared by Muslims interpretation of Islamic teaching which
and non-Muslims alike – to build up a they believe places an obligation on
picture of a global conspiracy against believers to fight and kill to achieve their
Muslims. These include perceived aims. Most Muslims and the world’s
injustices (e.g. Palestine); opposition leading Islamic scholars reject this position.
to military intervention (e.g. in Iraq or Europe’s leading Islamic scholars have
Afghanistan); the treatment of Muslim declared that “under no circumstances
prisoners at Guantanamo; local perceptions does Islam permit terrorism and the
of discrimination (e.g. a view that stop killing of civilians. Terrorism is in direct
and search rules are not operated fairly). contravention to the principles of Islam
and the vast majority of Muslims remain
faithful to these teachings”.

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Al-Qaida strongly opposes Western Some other fundamentalist groups,

influences and ideas that it regards as sometimes referred to as ‘Islamist’, also
‘un-Islamic’. Notably, it is explicitly opposed oppose ‘Western’ values, seek strict
to democratic principles. It claims that adherence to Islamic law, and share the
democracy is a rival ‘religion’ and that political aim of the restoration of the
principles such as freedom of speech Caliphate. However, they do not agree that
and freedom of religion are equivalent to there is religious justification for the use of
apostasy, punishable by death. Al-Qaida’s violence to achieve these aims.
opposition to ‘un-Islamic’ ideas extends to
condemnation of Muslim religious practices Al-Qaida relies on audiences lacking an
of which they disapprove. In particular, in-depth knowledge of the issues and on
Al-Qaida supports a narrow interpretation the spread of misinformation. It ignores
of Sunnism, the largest denomination of factual evidence contrary to its claims
Islam, and is violently opposed to other about the role of Western powers (e.g.
Islamic denominations which it regards as military intervention to protect Kosovan
‘infidel’, as well as to Sunni Muslims whom Albanian Muslims or aid to Palestinian
it regards as insufficiently pious. peoples) and glosses over the fact that
the majority of the victims of extremist
violence are fellow Muslims.

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