UK's Cameron unveils counter extremism plans

Muslim leaders warn that PM’s plans to prevent extremism may prove counterproductive

UK's Cameron unveils counter extremism plans

World Bulletin / News Desk

Britain unveiled new plans to combat radicalization among the country’s youths Monday, including a crackdown on extremist material online.

Prime Minister David Cameron said extremism was a "poison" that had to be confronted by countering the ideology that underpins it.

"Subversive, well-organised and sophisticated in their methods, Islamist extremists don’t just threaten our security, they jeopardise all that we’ve built together -- our successful multi-racial, multi-faith democracy. So we have to confront them wherever we find them," Cameron wrote in a Facebook post this morning.

But Muslim leaders in the U.K. said the government’s new Counter-Extremism Strategy was flawed.

Under the new plan, those convicted for extremist activity will not be permitted to work with children, while parents who suspect their 16 or 17-year-old children have become radicalized and may want to travel to fight alongside ISIL in Syria will be able to apply to have their passports cancelled.

Internet companies will also be required to work more closely with police to prevent extremist material from being posted online.

Cameron insisted such extremists "in no way represent the true spirit of Islam" but added: "We cannot ignore the fact that they attempt to justify their views and actions through Islamic scripture and theology."

"Globally, it is a challenge for all of Islam that a perverted, illiberal and hostile interpretation of this great religion has been allowed to grow," he added.

But Shuja Shafi, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), said the plan reinforced the perception that Muslims must undergo a "compliance test" to prove their loyalty to the U.K.

"Today’s [...] counter extremism strategy continues down a flawed path, focusing on Muslims in particular, and are based on fuzzy conceptions of British values," he said. "It risks being counterproductive by alienating the very people needed to confront al-Qaeda or ISIL-related terrorism: British Muslim communities."

Shafi added that the MCB, which represents more than 500 mosques and schools across Britain, had opposed terrorism "consistently" and would continue to use its own resources to work with Muslims in this fight. 

Last Mod: 19 Ekim 2015, 17:24
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