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UK Radicalization Surveys Are 'Traps' Which Marginalize Muslims Claims NGO

© AFP 2021 / Adrian DENNISAn Iman helps a young boy learn The Koran at The Central Mosque in Luton
An Iman helps a young boy learn The Koran at The Central Mosque in Luton - Sputnik International
Surveys distributed among UK schoolchildren to detect signs of Islamic radicalization are a dragnet attempt to "trap" those espousing different sets of beliefs, the president of the Muslim Association of Britain told Sputnik.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik), Alexander Mosesov British media reports appeared on Thursday describing an east London council's $550,000 project seeking to identify early signs of radicalization via surveys among children as young as 10 years old in schools with a sizable Muslim minority.

"Nationwide, we have witnessed moves and comments which are gradually working to equate a Muslim practicing their religion in the UK with extremism. These surveys serve to cast a net to trap anyone who has distinct ideas or religious behavior," Omer El-Hamdoon told Sputnik.

The Waltham Forest council pilot project, dubbed the "Radicalisation Leading to Terrorism Programme," distributed questionnaires to sixth-grade students across five of its schools. Parents complained of not being warned in advance, but learning about the school-wide surveys from their children.

El-Hamdoon told Sputnik the continuous targeting and marginalization of Muslims in the United Kingdom "isn't helpful in tackling terrorism."

"The Muslim Association of Britain believes that these surveys are indiscriminately targeting Muslims in an attempt to pry into the thoughts and lives of Muslim children in Britain," El-Hamdoon said.

Britain's terror threat elevated in August 2014 as more and more of its nationals were revealed to have travelled to Iraq and Syria to join radical militant groups there. Terrorism-related arrests in the United Kingdom increased by 40 percent last year in comparison to figures in 2013.

In mid-May, Scotland Yard estimated that as many of 700 potential terror suspects have travelled from Britain to Syria with the intent to join the country's numerous militant groups. Over half are thought to have returned home, where they may pose a significant threat.

In Wednesday's speech unveiling the UK government's five-year legislative plan, Queen Elizabeth II instructed Prime Minister David Cameron to root out homegrown extremism.

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