On February 1, 2023, the Police Scotland College in Kincardine, central Scotland, invited a representative of the British Muslim advocacy group Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) to hold an Islamophobia awareness training for its cadets. According to a tweet by the College:
Yesterday Course 03/22 received its final input from staff associations, including the Scottish Police Muslim Association. #LifeOfAProbationer @SPMAinfo @mendcommunity
Read the tweet here.
The Kincardine facility serves as both Police Scotland’s Corporate Headquarters and a key training venue providing training for newly promoted Scottish police officers in various specialist areas, including criminal investigation, road policing, and intelligence analysis.
MEND, a UK Islamic NGO close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) in Britain, thanked the college for the invitation, saying they were honored to have been part of the session. MEND has a history of undermining and delegitimizing the British government’s Prevent Strategy, part of a comprehensive policy framework aimed at stopping people from being drawn into terrorism. MEND leadership has included British Muslim activist Azad Ali, who has praised al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki and said that “democracy, if it means at the expense of not implementing the Sharia, of course no-one agrees with that.”
According to the Police Scotland College, as part of the training, staff also received input from the Scottish Police Muslim Association, a partner of the British National Association of Muslim Police (NAMP), a representative body for Muslims working within policing and that is tied to the GMB in the UK. In November 2022, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that the NAMP had campaigned to have the term “Islamist” dropped from counter-terrorism policing over concerns it unfairly stigmatizes Islam.
Countering government action against Islamist radicalization and counter-terrorism policies has long been an essential pillar of GMB activity in the UK. In August 2021, the GIOR reported that a Scottish parliamentary Cross-Party Group had published an inquiry into Islamophobia that recommended the scrapping of Prevent and to which several British GMB groups contributed.