UK’s PM Cameron will give a keynote speech on Islamist terror …
People must challenge the view that people become radicalised because of historic injustices, recent wars, poverty or hardship, David Cameron will say, describing such arguments as “grievance justification”.
In a keynote speech in Birmingham on Monday, the prime minister will set out the government’s five-year strategy for tackling extremist ideology, describing it as “struggle of our generation”.
Cameron will say “the root cause of the threat we face is the extremist ideology itself,” arguing that we need first to understand what makes Islamist extremism so attractive to people in order to prevent it.
The prime minister will also use his speech to announce that Louise Casey, the head of the government’s troubled families unit, will chair a review of how to boost opportunity and integration in the most isolated and deprived communities.
“When people say: ‘It’s because of the involvement in the Iraq war that people are attacking the west,’ we should remind them: 9/11 – the biggest loss of life of British citizens in a terrorist attack – happened before the Iraq war,” David Cameron will say.
“When they say that these are wronged Muslims getting revenge on their western wrongdoers, let’s remind them: from Kosovo to Somalia, countries like Britain have stepped in to save Muslim people from massacres. It’s groups like Islamic State, al-Qaida and Boko Haram that are the ones murdering Muslims.”
The anti-Muslim drumbeat has become deafening across the western world. As images of atrocities by the jihadi terror group Isis multiply online, and a steady trickle of young Europeans and North Americans head to Syria and Iraq to join them, Muslim communities are under siege. Last week David Cameron accused British Muslims of “quietly condoning” the ideology that drives Isis sectarian brutality, normalising hatred of “British values”, and blaming the authorities for the “radicalisation” of those who go to fight for it.
It was too much for Sayeeda Warsi, the former Conservative party chair, who condemned the prime minister’s “misguided emphasis” on “Muslim community complicity”. He risked “further alienating” the large majority of Muslims fighting the influence of such groups, she warned. Even Charles Farr, the hawkish counter-terrorism mandarin at the Home Office, balked. Perhaps fewer than 100 Britons were currently fighting with Isis, he said, and “we risk labelling Muslim communities as somehow intrinsically extremist”.
But Cameron and his neoconservative allies are preparing the ground for the government’s next onslaught. The target will not be terrorism, but “non-violent extremism”. Next month, from nursery schools to optometrists, health services to universities, all will be legally obliged to monitor students and patients for any sign of “extremism” or “radicalisation”.
On terrorism, David Cameron is reading from the Blair script
By John Harris on Aug. 27, 2014
Britain’s response to the rise of Islamic State may look like a mess of ambivalence, hesitation and all-round cluelessness – for which the prime minister’s antics with that surfboard probably stand as some kind of grim metaphor. But at the core of our politicians’ reaction to events in Syria and Iraq and the recruitment of British-born fighters, there are the remains of a familiar script: the one written by Tony Blair 13 years ago, when the events of 11 September 2001 began the disastrous phase of geopolitical history in which the then prime minister believed his moment had arrived.
Strange, perhaps, that when the awful consequences are now so obvious, the basics of his approach should linger on. First, there is the idea that British military intervention will ideally be part of what happens in the coming months – which David Cameron must know will be a difficult political sell, though his recent claim that the UK’s “military prowess” will be part of any solution surely indicates where his heart lies. Second, note the PM’s rhetoric: his claims that Britain itself is under threat and faces a “generational struggle” which “we will be fighting for the rest of my political lifetime” are Blair redux, once again echoing the jihadists’ own vanities. Third, on the domestic front, policy looks to have been polluted by classical Blairite doublethink, whereby our adversaries are said to represent the antithesis of democracy and the rule of law, but if they are to be defeated, the fundamentals of our liberty – “British values”, you could call them – will have to be set aside.