This report outlines a series of roundtables organised by Forward Thinking across May and June of 2017, between Max Hill QC, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, and a diverse range Muslim community organisations throughout England.

The report written by Forward Thinking, entitled “Community Roundtables: A report on the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester”, includes a foreword by Mr Hill.

Meetings were organised in:

  1. Leicester – 2nd May
  2. Bradford – 8th May
  3. Manchester – 9th June
  4. London (Finsbury Park Mosque) – 23rd June

These roundtables were intended to provide a space in which representatives from communities which feel they have been greatly affected by terror legislation could freely share their perceptions and experiences of this legislation with the Independent Reviewer. However, in light of the tragic events of London Bridge, Manchester Arena, Finsbury Park Mosque and Westminster, they inadvertently came to provide a window into the immediate consequences of terrorist attacks for British Muslim communities at a grassroots level.

As such we felt it vital that a record of these meetings be made available before parliamentary recess, so that the views contained within can be heard more widely and perhaps help to prompt greater debate at a time when the question of how to respond to challenge of terrorism is more pertinent than ever.

These roundtables formed a part of Forward Thinking’s ‘Building Bridges’ Programme which facilitates dialogue between UK Muslim communities and grassroots organisations, and British authorities (local government, parliamentarians, policymakers and the national media). Since 2004, we have facilitated community meetings with Ruth Kelly, the former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, John Reid, former Home Secretary, David Anderson QC, former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, in addition to over 400 civil servants. The ultimate aim of all such engagements is to promote greater understanding between communities and British authorities and to develop shared approaches to common challenges.

Jordan Morgan, UK Programme Manager