Britain: The “Struggle of Our Generation”

  • “We’ve got to show that if you say ‘yes I condemn terror — but the Kuffar are inferior’, or ‘violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter’ — then you too are part of the problem. Unwittingly or not, and in a lot of cases it’s not unwittingly, you are providing succour to those who want to commit, or get others to commit to, violence.” — Prime Minister David Cameron.
  • In a series of religious rulings published on its website, the Islamic Network charity advocated the murder of apostates; encouraged Muslims to hate non-Muslims; stated that when non-Muslims die, “the whole of humanity are relieved;” and described Western civilisation as “evil.”
  • The Charity Commission’s solution, however, was to give the charity’s trustees booklets titled, “How to manage risks in your charity,” and warn them not to do it again.

In a speech before Ninestiles School, in the city of Birmingham, Cameron articulated a view of the Islamist threat that, just a couple of years ago, few else in British politics would have dared to support.

In a report for BBC Radio 4, the journalist John Ware described Cameron’s speech, and the government’s proposed counter-extremism measures, as “something no British government has ever done in my lifetime: the launch of a formal strategy to recognize, challenge and root out ideology.”

We must recognize, Cameron reasoned, that Islamist terror is the product of Islamist ideology. It is definitely not, he argued, “because of historic injustices and recent wars, or because of poverty and hardship. This argument, what I call the grievance justification, must be challenged. … others might say: it’s because terrorists are driven to their actions by poverty. But that ignores the fact that many of these terrorists have had the full advantages of prosperous families or a Western university education.”

“Extreme doctrine” is to blame — a doctrine that is “hostile to basic liberal values … Ideas which actively promote discrimination, sectarianism and segregation. … which privilege one identity to the detriment of the rights and freedoms of others.” This is a doctrine “based on conspiracy: that Jews exercise malevolent power; or that Western powers, in concert with Israel, are deliberately humiliating Muslims, because they aim to destroy Islam.”

People are drawn to such extremist ideas, Cameron argued, because:

“[Y]ou don’t have to believe in barbaric violence to be drawn to the ideology. No-one becomes a terrorist from a standing start. It starts with a process of radicalisation. When you look in detail at the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were first influenced by what some would call non-violent extremists.

“It may begin with hearing about the so-called Jewish conspiracy and then develop into hostility to the West and fundamental liberal values, before finally becoming a cultish attachment to death. Put another way, the extremist world view is the gateway, and violence is the ultimate destination.”

To counteract the extremist threat, Cameron concludes, the government will “tackle both parts of the creed — the non-violent and violent. This means confronting groups and organisations that may not advocate violence — but which do promote other parts of the extremist narrative.”

Further, no longer will extremist groups be able to burnish their moderate credentials by pointing to ISIS as the Islamic bogeyman:

“We’ve got to show that if you say ‘yes I condemn terror — but the Kuffar are inferior’, or ‘violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter’ – then you too are part of the problem. Unwittingly or not, and in a lot of cases it’s not unwittingly, you are providing succour to those who want to commit, or get others to commit to, violence.

For example, I find it remarkable that some groups say ‘We don’t support ISIL’ as if that alone proves their anti-extremist credentials. And let’s be clear Al-Qaeda don’t support ISIL. So we can’t let the bar sink to that level. Condemning a mass-murdering, child-raping organisation cannot be enough to prove you’re challenging the extremists.”

 

Full article: Britain: The “Struggle of Our Generation” (Gatestone Institute)

Comments are closed.