This chapter differs somewhat from the previous two, as it explores the impact of the Prevent policy on Maybury’s Muslim communities. Five semi-structured focus groups with members of Maybury Muslim communities were used to gather the required data and explore Prevent’s impact and how perceptions about it have formed. (More information about Maybury and its communities can be found in Chapter 5.) Three focus groups were divided by age and gender, one focus group was a mixed one, and the final focus group was an all-male group which included community leaders, voluntary workers, and imams (see Appendix). The data not only suggests that to a large extent negative media discourses of Islam, Muslim communities and Prevent appear to have shaped the public’s perceptions about Prevent in Maybury, but also suggests that the media in general has had an important role in shaping the perceptions of the local Muslim communities vis-à-vis themselves. This chapter argues that these perceptions have been reinforced by negative personal and vicarious experiences of counter-terrorism and Prevent; it is the perceived impact of stop-andsearches and other terrorism powers, rather than their implementation, which appears to have influenced and perpetuated negative perceptions and stereotypes about Prevent. The hostile media discourses of Prevent, and the local counter-terrorism policing activity, appear to have led to a degree of alienation from mainstream British society and other local communities in Maybury.
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