The fascinating story of a four year old boy about a game of Fortnite culminated in the government’s anti-extremism strategy Prevent, which saw police visiting family in 2019. The boy was referred to Prevent after claiming his father had “guns and bombs in his shed “.
The boy in question is from the West Midlands and is a Muslim. The child’s mother said the removal would never have happened if the boy was white.
âThe office sent me all the information, including the transcript of this conversation. It’s pretty clear he mentioned Fortnite, âthe mother said, addressing The Guardian anonymously. âHe’s just a little boy with an imagination. Teachers should know in this context that [children] to have imagination. They know exactly what children and young boys look like. I think if it was a white boy they wouldn’t have gone to that extreme in referring him to the Prevent program. “
She expressed her sincere fear that things could have been much more serious if the police had chosen to escalate matters.
âIt could have gone very badly. I’m afraid the armed police have come to my house and, you know, arrested the parents, with the intervention of social services. “
According to an access to information request from The Guardian, 624 children under the age of six were referred to the program between 2016 and 2019, and 1,405 additional children between the ages of six and nine.
Prevent is, frankly, a terrible system. He calls on teachers, healthcare workers and other trusted figures in the community to act as the personal government super weed. They must denounce children at the slightest suspicion of radicalization, without considering that children (especially young boys) have always been lively and enthusiastic about guns and bombs, this takes a common trait in children and turns it into a form of racial profiling. The diet has been widely criticized for being largely ineffective and, according to reports from Rights Watch UK, saw a “massively disproportionate” focus on Muslim communities.
As this case shows, the people in these positions cannot be trusted to exercise good judgment, and this could have serious consequences for innocent families. If the events of the past few years have shown us anything, it is that children are not the ones at serious risk of radicalization, they are often young men and adults. The failed US Capitol insurgency was not the result of the radicalization of six-year-olds, it was the result of adult brainwashing.
In a statement from the Home Office, referring to the case in question, they said: âWhere a person is concerned, a child may have been deliberately exposed to damaging terrorist narratives, it is right that they refers her to the necessary authorities. Prevent is above all a question of safeguarding, and thanks to this orientation, the child will be able to receive the vital support he needs.
It was a game of Fortnite, what support might he need? Will you let him in Minecraft instead of? Even it contains dynamite for a silly snitch to make a false report. Maybe you should develop a strategy that is not inherently rooted in prejudice? Just a thought.