British schoolchildren who express support for a Palestinian State in school are being questioned by police and referred to a counter-radicalization program, according to a story by Al-Jazeera English.

At the beginning of July, new legislation came into force, requiring teachers in the UK to report any students that they deem at risk of radicalization to police. Teachers report being given training where examples of reportable behaviour such as children expressing ideas such as Islam being at war with the West, or attending protests against the Israeli bombing of Gaza were used.

One teenaged Shia Muslim boy spoke to Al-Jazeera about an encounter with a police officer after bringing a Boycott Israel pamphlet to school. When the police officer questioned the boy about his views, the boy explained that he supported a free Palestine and that he though Israel should be boycotted. The police officer told him that these were “terrorist-like beliefs” and explicitly told the boy that he was not allowed to discuss his opinions with his classmates. The boy was also told that the “Free Palestine” badges that he wore to school were “extremist”.

The police officer also questioned the boy at length about ISIL, somehow failing to grasp that ISIL is made up of radical Sunni Muslims who routinely massacre Shia as apostates. They boy was referred to a counter radicalization program, and as soon as he turned 16 he left school.

I wonder what would have happened if the boy had been a white kid who had gotten the boycott Israel pamphlet from his local Anglican Vicar? After all, the Synod of the Church of England has voted in favour of disinvestment in Israel.

It would be one thing if the kid was talking about driving the Israelis into the sea, but all he was doing was expressing support for the two state solution.

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