Keeping tabs on Muslim students will marginalize them

Relationship cannot be cordial if you are asked to eye someone with suspicion


1st September 2011: Keeping tabs on Muslim students will only marginalize and isolate them.

Already, the community in the UK is finding itself at the receiving end.

It is an open secret that the attacks on Islamic institutions still continue. On an average three attacks a month are reported to the police    

The number of attacks is much higher, as the incidents do not include confrontations resulting in physical assault, except in cases these were accompanied by acts of vandalism.

As part of ongoing research on racial violence in the UK, the Institute of Race Relations IRR only recently claimed that it documented 21 attacks on Islamic institutions reported by the media in 2011: at least one incident, on average, every ten days.

The other attacks include sending suspicious packages initially thought to be anthrax, throwing pig's heads at mosques and firebomb threats.
The reason behind at least some of these hits may not be hard to comprehend. One of the worst aftereffects of a terror attack — which leaves so many people dead — is the burial of trust and faith.

And, that’s exactly what is happening in the UK. After it came out that "underpants bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had studied at University College, London, the government has revamped `Prevent strategy’ with focus on depressed or isolated Muslim students.

The move is bound to have its repercussions. To begin with, the strategy may actually see the damaging of relationship between the staff and students. After all, the staff has been literally asked to eye each and every Muslim student with suspicion. If you are asked not to trust someone, you just cannot share a cordial relationship with that person.

The gap with the fellow students too is bound to widen with the new instructions to the staff because of the obvious reasons. Out here is a situation, where the people — fellow students included — are being told and taught that the members of a particular community are susceptible to extremism.
Sweeping, blanket, orders and generalization has never done good to anyone and this case is no exception.

By Monika

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