Tags: douglas murray | right-wing | extremism | radical | islam | u.k. | books

UK Program: Tolkien Works Pave a Path to Right-Wing Extremism

inside a tolkein book
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By    |   Thursday, 16 February 2023 06:43 PM EST

The British government claims that works from authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, George Orwell, and C.S. Lewis can radicalize readers, author Douglas Murray alleges in a column published by The Spectator.

Established as a counterterrorism unit, the U.K.'s Prevent program began to focus not only on extremists from Islam but also from the far right. Prevent was advised by left-wing activist groups like Hope Not Hate. "Such groups have long believed that the definition of far-right should encompass, for instance, many people who supported Brexit," Murray wrote.

"There is also a reading list of historical texts which produce red flags to RICU. ... Elsewhere RICU warns that radicalization could occur from books by authors including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Aldous Huxley, and Joseph Conrad. I kid you not, though it seems that all satire is dead, but the list of suspect books also includes '1984' by George Orwell," wrote Murray, whose writings RICU also flagged.

In 2019, the U.K. government committed to carrying out an independent review of Prevent. William Shawcross was appointed as the new independent reviewer of Prevent in 2021, and his review was made public on Feb. 8.

In the forward for the review, Home Secretary Suella Braverman wrote, "The review finds that there has been an institutional hesitancy to deal with Islamist extremism and a reticence in challenging those who claim that our efforts to tackle it are Islamophobic.

"This has also contributed to Prevent applying different thresholds for different ideologies. It has defined the extreme right-wing too broadly, so that it sometimes draws in right-wing and center-right politicians and commentators. Meanwhile, it has given too narrow a scope to Islamist extremism, which has enabled some extremist groups to operate unchecked."

According to The Guardian, RICU was modeled after a propaganda unit from 1948: the Information Research Department. Before it was shut down in 1977, according to the report, the IRD would hoodwink journalists and academics while targeting trade unionists.

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The British government claims that works from authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, George Orwell, and C.S. Lewis can radicalize readers, author Douglas Murray alleges in a column published by The Spectator.
douglas murray, right-wing, extremism, radical, islam, u.k., books
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2023-43-16
Thursday, 16 February 2023 06:43 PM
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