David Cameron: Muslim silent majority must tackle Islamist extremism

David Cameron has said it is time for the Muslim “silent majority” to stand up and tackle Islamist extremism in their communities. The Prime Minister said those who have so far failed to confront the fanatics’ ideology can “make all the difference” and must speak up.

He said they were central to challenging their warped views and can show young people how to be proud to be both Muslim and British. Mr Cameron spoke out as he prepared to launch the Government’s extremism strategy designed to tackle fanatics and hate preachers and restrict their activities.

But writing on Facebook, he added: “As a government, I know we must own this problem. But our Muslim communities must own it, too. We have all got a critical part to play, but I strongly feel the currently silent majority can make all the difference.

“They’re central to standing up and challenging the warped interpretation of theology and scripture. They’re central to putting forward a liberal, tolerant and inclusive Islam, and demonstrating how it can work in harmony with democracy, freedom and equality. They can show the boy in East London or the girl in Birmingham how proud you can feel to be both British and Muslim, without conflict or contradiction. And in standing up, by speaking out, I am confident that we will defeat the extremists, and together build the Greater Britain that is within our grasp.”

Mr Cameron will later say that defeating Islamist extremists “will be the struggle of our generation” as he reveals a series of new laws to “disrupt” radicals operating in Britain. Mr Cameron will announce sweeping new powers for the Disclosure and Barring Service to ensure that anyone with a conviction for terrorist or extremist activity is automatically banned from working with children and vulnerable people – in the same way as those convicted of sexual offences against children.

He will also announce Asbo-style restriction orders, named “extremist disruption orders”, designed to restrict Islamist preachers from broadcasting, using social media or speaking at public events. The Government will also extend powers allowing parents to apply for their children’s passports to be removed if they fear they are at risk of travelling abroad to fight alongside terrorists. Under the current rules, parents could apply to have the passports of under 16s removed by the authorities. However, Mr Cameron will say this will now be extending to under 18s amid fears that terror groups such as Isil are using social media websites like Twitter to radicalise teens and convince them to travel to Syria.

Mr Cameron will say that the measures are to be included in a new extremism bill.

He will signal his intention to revive the so-called “snoopers’ charter”, which was blocked by the Liberal Democrats during the coalition and will give the security services tough new powers to monitor telephone and internet communications by suspected terrorists.

David Cameron tells teenage jihadists they are ‘cannon fodder’

Muslims who travel to the Middle East for the “glamour” of jihad will become nothing more than “cannon fodder” for terrorists, David Cameron warns.

 

The “sick and brutal reality” is that young men will be used as suicide bombers, while women who join the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant will face horrific abuse, the Prime Minister will say.

In a major speech, heralding a five-year plan to tackle extremism, Mr Cameron will say British values are “our strongest weapon” in the battle against the twisted narrative of extremists. It came as Mr Cameron confirmed he was drawing up plans to expand Britain’s military action against Isil into Syria.

UK aircraft have been launching air strikes against terrorist targets in Iraq since September but Parliament is likely to be asked to approve bombing raids in the skies over Syria too because Britain should “do more” to defeat Isil, he told NBC News in America.

The Prime Minister’s upcoming speech will mark a new phase in the government’s assault on the ideology behind the rise of Islamist terrorism, in the aftermath of the mass gun attack that killed 30 British tourists in Tunisia last month. A new counter-extremism strategy will be published later this year, setting out in detail how government will seek to confront and stamp out the “twisted” ideology that justifies terrorism.

The Prime Minister will call for a new drive to promote traditional British values “much more” assertively across the country. “And here’s my message to any young person here in Britain thinking of going out there: You won’t be some valued member of a movement. You are cannon fodder for them. They will use you. If you are a boy, they will brainwash you, strap bombs to your body and blow you up. If you are a girl, they will enslave and abuse you. That is the sick and brutal reality of Isil.”

AP
AP

 

“We should together challenge the ludicrous conspiracy theories of the extremists. The world is not conspiring against Islam; the security services aren’t behind terrorist attacks; our new Prevent duty for schools is not about criminalising or spying on Muslim children. This is paranoia in the extreme. In fact that duty will empower parents and teachers to protect children from all forms of extremism – whether Islamist or neo-Nazi.”

David Cameron launches a 5 year plan to tackle extremism

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.Cameron

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”.

Warsi: Cameron wrong to target British Muslims over radicalisation

David Cameron is at risk of demoralising British Muslims with his “misguided emphasis” on saying that some people in the community are quietly condoning Islamist extremism, according to a former cabinet colleague and Conservative party co-chair. Writing in the Guardian, Lady Warsi said the prime minister may have further alienated Muslims with a speech about tackling radicalisation, which he made on Friday.

She warned that Cameron and ministers lacked the credibility to demand that British Muslims do more to weed out extremism when the government was itself failing to adequately champion and support them – although she said she did support the prime minister’s anti-extremist intention.

Criticising Cameron’s heavy focus on “Muslim community complicity”, Warsi wrote:“My concern is that this call to Muslims to do more, without an understanding of what they already do now, will demoralise the very people who will continue to lead this fight. As one prominent female Muslim activist told me: ‘This speech has undermined what I’ve been doing.’
“David Cameron is right that there are ‘some’ – a minority within a minority within a minority – who condone the Isis view of the world, but there are many, many, many more of this minority who are fighting a very real and sustained battle, the same battle he is fighting. They know they have to do more, they are willing to do more but they will do it a lot better knowing we are on the same side. “The government needs to champion them, support them. Only then will it
have the credibility to demand that communities themselves do more.”

Sayeeda Warsi criticised David Cameron for giving his radicalisation speech in Bratislava rather than Bradford or Birmingham. Photograph: Paul Cooper/Rex
Sayeeda Warsi criticised David Cameron for giving his radicalisation speech in Bratislava rather than Bradford or Birmingham. Photograph: Paul Cooper/Rex

The outspoken intervention came after Cameron told a global security summit in Slovakia. Cameron chose to make his speech at a time of heightened concerns about Britons travelling to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic State.

First Interview with Lady Warsi on Palestine and why she left her position

"“There is a lack of political will and our moral compass is missing,” says Lady Warsi. (Photo: Paul Cooper/Rex Features)
“There is a lack of political will and our moral compass is missing,” says Lady Warsi. (Photo: Paul Cooper/Rex Features)

The tipping point for Sayeeda Warsi came in the aftermath of one of the most notorious incidents of this year’s Gazan war: the killing of four Palestinian children by Israeli shells as they played football on the beach. Warsi hoped that David Cameron would condemn the attack as beyond the pale. Instead, she heard only the dry language of diplomacy. She insists her resignation was not a knee-jerk response and makes clear that she is far from an isolated voice within her party.

 

On domestic issues such as extremism and the government’s approach to counter-radicalisation, Warsi refuses to be drawn. “My argument is that extremists are more of a threat to British Muslims than the community as whole; not only do those people cause us harm like everybody else – they’re indiscriminate – but also the backlash. It’s a double whammy. British Muslims have more incentive to rid society of extremists.”

 

For her, the issue is how will Islam evolve and overcome an atmosphere of mistrust and misunderstanding towards it. “What will British Islam look like for my kids, grandkids? Chinese Islam is very different to Saudi Islam; the challenge for our times is how we find this place.”