Read CS Lewis & Get Reported to Prevent
Whilst researching Prevent, the Home Office’s anti-terrorist programme, author Douglas Murray obtained a list of books Prevent considers the writing of CS Lewis as “key texts” for “white nationalists/supremacists.”
Murray requested the list of works that influence their readers to extreme positions. The report provided by Prevent’s Research Information and Communications Unit (RICU) reputedly has Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe along with books by Aldous Huxley, Joseph Conrad, George Orwell, and JRR Tolkien as books on the “reading lists” for extremists.
Murray published his findings in The Spectator.
Responses from Lewis’ home town of Belfast were indignant.
UUP Councillor John Kyle told the Belfast News Letter,
“I know that communist and totalitarian regimes have viewed Christianity as dangerously subversive, but when the British Government labels CS Lewis’ Narnia books a terrorist threat its counter-terrorism unit has lost touch with reality.” He also called the report, “bonkers.”
The General Secretary of the Free Speech Union, Toby Young, told the News Letter, “The programme is supposed to prevent young people from becoming terrorists, not prevent them reading classic works of English literature or seminal texts in political philosophy.”