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Home Secretary attacks universities over Islamic radicalism

Home Secretary Theresa May has said universities are not taking seriously enough the challenge of tackling radicalisation and Islamic extremism on campus.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph ahead of the publication of the Government’s revised ‘Prevent’ strategy for dealing with homegrown terrorism, May said: “I think for too long there's been complacency around universities. I don’t think they have been sufficiently willing to recognise what can be happening on their campuses and the radicalisation that can take place. I think there is more that universities can do.”

It is reported that the revised strategy names 40 English universities that could be at “particular risk” of radicalisation or recruitment on campus, and it also raises concerns over the Federation of Student Islamic Societies.

May told the Telegraph: "They need to be prepared to stand up and say that organisations that are extreme or support extremism or have extremist speakers should not be part of their grouping."

The report will also name the 25 boroughs most at risk from Islamist extremism, including areas of London, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford and Manchester, it was reported, while about 20 organisations that have received funding in recent years will see it cut.

The Prevent strategy has been criticised by some Muslim groups who feel it is being used to spy on people doing nothing wrong.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The Government is currently reviewing the Prevent programme, which isn't working as well as it could. We need a strategy that is effective and properly focused. The findings will be published shortly.”

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