Young Muslims are drawn to fundamentalist Islam in the same way young Germans were attracted to fascism in the 20th century, David Cameron will suggest, as he sets out a five-year strategy to combat Isis-inspired radicalisation.
In a speech in Birmingham, Mr Cameron will say Islamic extremist ideology is based on the same intolerant ideas of “discrimination, sectarianism and segregation” that led to the rise of Hitler and that still exist in the far right.
He will also reject suggestions that Western foreign policy has contributed to the rise of Isis and its popularity among Muslim populations in the West, arguing that such extremism existed long before the Iraq war.
Downing Street said Mr Cameron was determined to make tackling Islamic extremism in Britain a central priority over the next five years with a comprehensive strategy that involved not just the police and the criminal justice system but also “softer interventions” to tackle the root causes of radicalisation.
He will say that extreme views can gain traction – especially with the young. “Like so many ideologies that have existed before – whether fascist or communist – many people, especially young people, are being drawn to it,” he will say. “So we need to understand why it is proving so attractive.”
Mr Cameron will reject claims that support for Isis is formed on the basis of “historic injustices and recent wars, because of poverty and hardship”. Instead he will argue that the “root cause of the threat we face is the extremist ideology itself”.