Here’s a piece I wrote for the Huffington Post a few weeks ago that I forgot to post here. To read the article in full, click here.
Thinking Through Cameron’s Five-Year Counter-Extremism Strategy
On Monday this week, David Cameron set out his government’s five-year strategy for defeating Islamist extremism. Describing it as an ideology that seeks to destroy nation states in order to invent its own barbaric realm, Cameron said the fight against Islamist extremism would be the ‘struggle of our generation’. Explaining how, in addition to a new Extremism Bill, the five-year strategy for defeating this ‘subversive doctrine’ would require government to:
- Confront the ideology of Islamism
- Tackle both violent and non-violent forms of extremism
- Embolden the ‘Muslim community’, and
- Build a more cohesive society
Vitriolic and at times accusatory, Cameron spoke about how the police, universities, internet companies, schools, universities, mosques, prisons and parents all needed to do more to tackle the ‘poison’ infecting young minds. The National Union of Students was earmarked for particular criticism.
Some of his speech was far from new. Claiming that ‘British values’ were the ‘strongest weapon’ available in fighting Islamist extremism, that well-oiled mantra remained as elusive as to exactly what these ‘values’ might be.
Some suggested a rethink about existing practices. It was unclear for instance how the announcement about the introduction of specific de-radicalisation programmes might differ from those that have been in place for the last five years through Channel, part of the government’s existing Prevent strategy.
To read on, click here.