The new front in the War on Terror is the ‘homegrown enemy’ - domestic terrorists who have become the focus of sprawling counterterrorism structures of policing and surveillance across the UK. As a result, domestic surveillance has mushroomed. British police compiled secret suspect lists of more than 8,000 al-Qaeda 'sympathisers,' and included almost 300 children aged 15 and under in an operation investigating potential extremists. MI5 has doubled in size in just five years.
However, the official accounts of ‘radicalization’ and ‘extremism’ that underpin these policies fail to grasp the real causes of political violence. Public debate has ignored the impacts of such surveillance on ‘suspect communities’ targeted within the UK - especially young Muslims. Meanwhile, a tide of Islamophobia has swept Europe in the wake of these 'anti-terror' policies.
Arun Kundnani, author of new book The Muslims are Coming! , critiques the root of our domestic anti-terror policies to expose the anxiety, intolerance, and racism that inform them. He argues that the War on Terror could not be sustained without the racialized dehumanization of its Muslim victims, especially here in the UK.
Join him in conversation at Foyles as he discusses the impact of surveillance on Muslim communities, and the rising tide of Islamophobia across Europe alongside journalist, and author of Chavs, Owen Jones.
The Gallery at Foyles, Charing Cross Road
Tickets: £3. Book your ticket on the Foyles website.