As Sadakat Kadri’s article showed (Why is the government trying to undermine its anti-terror programme?, 1 March), Prevent arouses strong views. This is not surprising. The stakes are very high.

As a writer and journalist, I have seen that terrorism comes from many sources, and inflicts terrible wounds on souls as well as bodies. I have attempted to deal head-on with the thorny moral and legal issues that emerged as the west responded to the threat of Islamist terrorism after 9/11. This has led to some of my views being misrepresented or misinterpreted.

Muslims are the principal victims of Islamist terrorism and, as chair of the Charity Commission between 2012 and 2018, I am proud of what we did to help protect Muslim charities from exploitation by Isis and other extremist organisations during the Syrian conflict.

Mr Kadri shows that the extreme-right terrorism threat in the UK and elsewhere is growing. Islamist terrorism remains an enduring global threat. The review will consider what role Prevent can and should play in helping address such threats. I want to hear the case for and against Prevent based on evidence that can be tested. I approach this review in a spirit of collaboration in seeking to protect people as effectively as possible from being drawn into terrorism, whatever its source.
William Shawcross
Independent reviewer of Prevent



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