Critical Race Feminism and the Counterterrorism Strategy ‘Prevent’.




Muslim women, education, Prevent, counterterrorism, gendered Islamophobia


There is extensive academic attention on the effects of counterterrorism policy on the Muslim population. My paper goes further by providing an analysis of the intersectionality of religion, race, gender, and the impact of counterterrorism policy, namely ‘Prevent’. I focus upon understanding Muslim women’s experiences concerning the UK’s counterterrorism strategy Prevent, with a theoretical framework of Critical Race Feminism. My research demonstrates the UK government’s incorporation of Muslim women into countering violent extremism policies and how this categorises Muslim women as a tool within deradicalisation. I directly address the gap between feminist research and the lived experiences of Prevent for Muslim women in post-16 education. This is achieved by drawing upon the qualitative experiences of Muslim women in further and higher education in the UK. Through an empirical exploration of focus group and interview data, my PhD paper is one of the first to offer insights into Muslim women’s feelings surrounding how Prevent operates within the UK’s post-16 education sector. To aid this exploration, Critical Race Feminism is used as a theoretical framework to advance the discussion of intersectionality. Within the data collected, certain themes were evident such as: the self-censoring of students; the responsibilization of Muslim women and gendered Islamophobia. The findings state that there is a gendered impact of the Prevent strategy within the UK’s post-16 education sector. This paper should be added to the context of debate about the future of Prevent (if any), and to existing work that discusses the securitisation of racialised people.

Author Biography

Lilly Barker, Nottingham Trent University

Lilly Barker is a PhD student at Nottingham Trent University, School of Social Sciences. Lilly’s research explores the impact of the Prevent strategy on young Muslim women’s and post-16 educators lived experiences and how Prevent operates within the education sector. Her research interests include critical terrorism studies, critical race feminism and CT/CVE policy.