The shadow home secretary blasted John Bickley, Ukip’s immigration spokesman, after he said communities “have got to be on our side” in the fight against extremism.
He insisted that there was a “problem in some parts of the Muslim community” while discussing the programme, which involves the Government working with institutions to stop those vulnerable to radicalisation committing acts of terrorism.
The strategy involves training staff in schools and hospitals to become aware of those harbouring radical ideologies and challenging those who promote it.
Speaking on Sky News, Mr Bickley said: “I think Prevent needs to be looked at but much more importantly we need to find a way to get the majority of Muslims, who actually want to live in the country and represent our values –they’ve got to be on our side.”
Diane Abbott lost it with John Bickley after his comments on the Prevent programme
Don’t talk about Muslim communities as if they’re the enemy within
But Ms Abbott fired back: “They are on our side, they are on your side!”
However, the Brexiteer ignored the interruption and insisted “some of them aren’t”.
He said: “We know from Trevor Philips’ documentary last year there’s a problem in some parts of the Muslim community – to pretend otherwise is putting your head in the sand.
“Radical Islam is the biggest challenge we have in this country, do you not accept that?”
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The discussion on the Sky News panel became heated as the guests talked about terrorism
The Labour politician rejected the notion during the heated exchange.
She replied: “What I know is, the vast majority of the Muslim community are as horrified by jihadism and terrorism as anyone around this table.
“Don’t talk about Muslim communities as if they’re the enemy within.”
Mr Bickley hit back and added: “I never said that – some of them are a problem.”
But Ms Abbott rebuked the comment and replied: “Some of them are a problem?
“I think we need to do what the Home Affairs Select Committee has said and the Joint Committee on Human Rights has said and David Anderson, the independent reviewer… which is we need to review Prevent.
“To an unfortunate extent, the Muslim community sees it as something that’s done to them rather than something they’re participating in.”