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Having put back Muslim educational activism a decade through his Trojan Horse allegations, Michael Gove MP,  now installed at the Ministry of Justice, is taking steps to dismantle the reputation of Muslims working in the prison service.  It is based on simplistic Bad Muslim/Good Muslim, anti-West/pro-West categorisations, with the political ideology of Tory ministers disrupting the work of dedicated professionals and activists. Just like Muslim teachers and governors in some way contribute to radicalisation for Gove, so too Muslim chaplains in prison are to be eliminated, with very simplistic generalisations about ‘Deobandi imams’.

Richard Kerbaj’s  report in the Sunday Times, 6th March 2016, is very much in ‘his master’s voice’:

An independent [sic] review into the role of Ahtsham Ali, the Muslim adviser to the National Offender Management Service, has found that he oversaw the appointment of prison imams who have studied Deobandi Islam. a hardline [sic] Sunni interpretation of Islamic scripture contrary to British values and human rights.

. . .  Questions over Ali’s future role with the National Offender Management Service coincide with the completion of a second independent [sic] review into Islamist extremism in prison commissioned by Michael Gove, the justice secretary.

More policy-based evidence, rather than evidence-based policy!

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