David Cameron Speech on Extremism

In full…

At Ninestiles School in Birmingham, Prime Minister David Cameron set out his plans to address extremism;

It’s great to be here at this outstanding school, Ninestiles School. Your inspiring teachers and your commitment to British values means you are not just achieving outstanding academic success, but you are building a shared community where children of many faiths and backgrounds learn not just with each other, but from each other too.

And that goes right to the heart of what I want to talk about today.

I said on the steps of Downing Street that this would be a ‘one nation’ government, bringing our country together.

Today, I want to talk about a vital element of that. How together we defeat extremism and at the same time build a stronger, more cohesive society.

My starting point is this.

Over generations, we have built something extraordinary in Britain – a successful multi-racial, multi-faith democracy. It’s open, diverse, welcoming – these characteristics are as British as queuing and talking about the weather.

It is here in Britain where different people, from different backgrounds, who follow different religions and different customs don’t just rub alongside each other but are relatives and friends; husbands, wives, cousins, neighbours and colleagues.

It is here in Britain where in one or two generations people can come with nothing and rise as high as their talent allows.

It is here in Britain where success is achieved not in spite of our diversity, but because of our diversity.

So as we talk about the threat of extremism and the challenge of integration, we should not do our country down – we are, without a shadow of doubt, a beacon to the world.

And as we debate these issues, neither should we demonise people of particular backgrounds. Every one of the communities that has come to call our country home has made Britain a better place. And because the focus of my remarks today is on tackling Islamist extremism – not Islam the religion – let me say this.

I know what a profound contribution Muslims from all backgrounds and denominations are making in every sphere of our society, proud to be both British and Muslim, without conflict or contradiction.

And I know something else: I know too how much you hate the extremists who are seeking to divide our communities and how you loathe that damage they do.

As Prime Minister, I want to work with you to confront and defeat this poison. Today, I want to set out how. I want to explain what I believe we need to do as a country to defeat this extremism, and help to strengthen our multi-racial, multi-faith democracy.

Roots of the problem

It begins – it must begin – by understanding the threat we face and why we face it. What we are fighting, in Islamist extremism, is an ideology. It is an extreme doctrine.

And like any extreme doctrine, it is subversive. At its furthest end it seeks to destroy nation-states to invent its own barbaric realm. And it often backs violence to achieve this aim – mostly violence against fellow Muslims – who don’t subscribe to its sick worldview.

But you don’t have to support violence to subscribe to certain intolerant ideas which create a climate in which extremists can flourish.

ideas which are hostile to basic liberal values such as democracy, freedom and sexual equality.

Ideas which actively promote discrimination, sectarianism and segregation.

Ideas – like those of the despicable far right – which privilege one identity to the detriment of the rights and freedoms of others.

And ideas also 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. In this warped worldview, such conclusions are reached – that 9/11 was actually inspired by Mossad to provoke the invasion of Afghanistan; that British security services knew about 7/7, but didn’t do anything about it because they wanted to provoke an anti-Muslim backlash.

And like so many ideologies that have existed before – whether fascist or communist – many people, especially young people, are being drawn to it. We need to understand why it is proving so attractive.

Some argue it’s because of historic injustices and recent wars, or because of poverty and hardship. This argument, what I call the grievance justification, must be challenged.

So 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.

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 ISIL, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram that are the ones murdering Muslims.

Now 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.

Now let me be clear, I am not saying these issues aren’t important. But let’s not delude ourselves. We could deal with all these issues – and some people in our country and elsewhere would still be drawn to Islamist extremism.

No – we must be clear. The root cause of the threat we face is the extremist ideology itself.

And I would argue that young people are drawn to it for 4 main reasons.

One – like any extreme doctrine, it can seem energising, especially to young people. They are watching videos that eulogise ISIL as a pioneering state taking on the world, that makes celebrities of violent murderers. So people today don’t just have a cause in Islamist extremism; iin ISIL, they now have its living and breathing expression.

Two – you 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.

Three: the adherents of this ideology are overpowering other voices within Muslim debate, especially those trying to challenge it. There are so many strong, positive Muslim voices that are being drowned out.

Ask yourself, how is it possible that when young teenagers leave their London homes to fight for ISIL, the debate all too often focuses on whether the security services are to blame? And how can it be that after the tragic events at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, weeks were spent discussing the limits of free speech and satire, rather than whether terrorists should be executing people full stop?

When we allow the extremists to set the terms of the debate in this way, is it any wonder that people are attracted to this ideology?

Four: there is also the question of identity.

For all our successes as multi-racial, multi-faith democracy, we have to confront a tragic truth that there are people born and raised in this country who don’t really identify with Britain – and who feel little or no attachment to other people here. Indeed, there is a danger in some of our communities that you can go your whole life and have little to do with people from other faiths and backgrounds.

So when groups like ISIL seek to rally our young people to their poisonous cause, it can offer them a sense of belonging that they can lack here at home, leaving them more susceptible to radicalisation and even violence against other British people to whom they feel no real allegiance.

So this is what we face – a radical ideology – that is not just subversive, but can seem exciting; one that has often sucked people in from non-violence to violence; one that is overpowering moderate voices within the debate and one which can gain traction because of issues of identity and failures of integration.

So we have to answer each 1 of these 4 points. If we do that, the right approach for defeating this extremism will follow.

In the autumn, we will publish our Counter-Extremism Strategy, setting out in detail what we will do to counter this threat. But today I want to set out the principles that we will adopt.

Counter-ideology

First, any strategy to defeat extremism must confront, head on, the extreme ideology that underpins it. We must take its component parts to pieces – the cultish worldview, the conspiracy theories, and yes, the so-called glamorous parts of it as well.

In doing so, let’s not forget our strongest weapon: our own liberal values. We should expose their extremism for what it is – a belief system that glorifies violence and subjugates its people – not least Muslim people.

We should contrast their bigotry, aggression and theocracy with our values. We have, in our country, a very clear creed and we need to promote it much more confidently. Wherever we are from, whatever our background, whatever our religion, there are things we share together.

We are all British. We respect democracy and the rule of law. We believe in freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of worship, equal rights regardless of race, sex, sexuality or faith.

We believe in respecting different faiths but also expecting those faiths to support the British way of life. These are British values. And are underpinned by distinct British institutions. Our freedom comes from our Parliamentary democracy. The rule of law exists because of our independent judiciary. This is the home that we are building together.

Whether you are Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian or Sikh, whether you were born here or born abroad, we can all feel part of this country – and we must now all come together and stand up for our values with confidence and pride.

And as we do so, 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.

We should challenge together the conspiracy theories about our Muslim communities too and I know how much pain these can cause.

We must stand up to those who try to suggest that there is some kind of secret Muslim conspiracy to take over our government, or that Islam and Britain are somehow incompatible.

People who say these things are trying to undermine our shared values and make Muslims feel like they don’t belong here, and we will not let these conspiracy theorists win.

We must also de-glamourise the extremist cause, especially ISIL. This is a group that throws people off buildings, that burns them alive, and as Channel 4’s documentary last week showed, its men rape underage girls, and stone innocent women to death. This isn’t a pioneering movement – it is vicious, brutal, and a fundamentally abhorrent existence.

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.

So when we bring forward our Counter- Extremism Strategy in the autumn, here are the things we will be looking at:

  • using people who really understand the true nature of what life is like under ISIL to communicate to young and vulnerable people the brutal reality of this ideology
  • empowering the UK’s Syrian, Iraqi and Kurdish communities, so they can have platforms from which to speak out against the carnage ISIL is conducting in their countries
  • countering this ideology better on the ground through specific de-radicalisation programmes

I also want to go much further in dealing with this ideology in prison and online. We need to have a total rethink of what we do in our prisons to tackle extremism. And we need our internet companies to go further in helping us identify potential terrorists online.

Many of their commercial models are built around monitoring platforms for personal data, packaging it up and selling it on to third parties. And when it comes to doing what’s right for their business, they are happy to engineer technologies to track our likes and dislikes. But when it comes to doing what’s right in the fight against terrorism, we too often hear that it’s all too difficult.

Well I’m sorry – I just don’t buy that.

They – the internet companies – have shown with the vital work they are doing in clamping down on child abuse images that they can step up when there is a moral imperative to act. And it’s now time for them to do the same to protect their users from the scourge of radicalisation.

And as we do all of this work to counter the Islamist extremist ideology, let’s also recognise that we will have to enter some pretty uncomfortable debates – especially cultural ones. Too often we have lacked the confidence to enforce our values, for fear of causing offence. The failure in the past to confront the horrors of forced marriage I view as a case in point. So is the utter brutality of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

It sickens me to think that there were nearly 4,000 cases of FGM reported in our country last year alone. Four thousand cases; think about that. And 11,000 cases of so called honour-based violence over the last 5 years – and that’s just the reported cases.

We need more co-ordinated efforts to drive this out of our society. More prosecutions. No more turning a blind eye on the false basis of cultural sensitivities. Why does this matter so much?

Well, think what passive tolerance says to young British Muslim girls.

We can’t expect them to see the power and liberating force of our values if we don’t stand up for them when they come under attack. So I am glad we have gone further than any government in tackling these appalling crimes. And we are keeping up the pressure on cultural practices that can run directly counter to these vital values.

That’s why the Home Secretary has already announced a review of sharia courts.

It’s why we have said we will toughen the regulations. so schools have to report children who go missing from school rolls mid-year – some of whom, we fear, may be being forced into marriage.

It’s why we legislated for authorities to seize the passports of people they suspect are planning on taking girls abroad for FGM – new protection orders which came into force last Friday and were used immediately by Bedfordshire police to prevent two girls being taken to Africa.

And it’s why today I can also announce we will consult on legislating for lifetime anonymity for victims of forced marriage, so that no-one should ever again feel afraid to come forward and report these horrific crimes.

There are other examples of this passive tolerance of practices running totally contrary to our values. The failure of social services, the police and local authorities, to deal with child sex abuse in places like Rotherham was frankly unforgiveable.

And look what happened in Tower Hamlets, in the heart of our capital city. We had political corruption on an epic scale: with voters intimidated and a court adjudicating on accusations of ‘undue spiritual influence’ for the first time since the 19th century. As the judge said: those in authority were too afraid to ‘confront wrongdoing for fear of allegations of racism’.

Well this has got to stop.

We need everyone – government, local authorities, police, schools, all of us – to enforce our values right across the spectrum.

Non-violent and violent

Second, as we counter this ideology, a key part of our strategy must be to 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.

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.

We must demand that people also condemn the wild conspiracy theories, the anti-Semitism, and the sectarianism too. Being tough on this is entirely keeping with our values. We should challenge every part of the hateful ideology spread by neo-Nazis – so why shouldn’t we here?

Government has a key role to play in this. It’s why we ban hate preachers from our country. It’s why we threw out Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada. And it’s why, since my Munich speech in 2011, we have redirected public funds from bodies that promote non-violent extremism to those that don’t. We also need to do more in education.

We undertook an immediate review when it became apparent that extremists had taken over some of our schools in the so-called Trojan Horse scandal here in Birmingham. But I have to be honest here – one year on, although we are making progress, it is not quick enough. It has taken too long to take action against the governors and teachers involved in the scandal and to support the schools affected to turn themselves around.

So as we develop our Counter-Extremism Strategy, I want us to deal with these issues properly, and we will also bring forward further measures to guard against the radicalisation of children in some so-called supplementary schools or tuition centres.

And there’s something else we will do.

We need to put out of action the key extremist influencers who are careful to operate just inside the law, but who clearly detest British society and everything we stand for. These people aren’t just extremists. There are despicable far right groups too. And what links them all is their aim to groom young people and brainwash their minds.

And again let’s be clear who benefits most from us being tough on these non-violent extremists – it’s Muslim families living in fear that their children could be radicalised and run off to Syria, and communities worried about some poisonous far right extremists who are planning to attack your mosque.

So as part of our Extremism Bill, we are going to introduce new narrowly targeted powers to enable us to deal with these facilitators and cult leaders, and stop them peddling their hatred. And we will also work to strengthen Ofcom’s role to enable us to take action against foreign channels that broadcast hate preachers and extremist content.

But confronting non-violent extremism isn’t just about changing laws, it’s about all of us, changing our approach. Take, for example, some of our universities. Now, of course universities are bastions of free speech and incubators of new and challenging ideas. But sometimes they fail to see the creeping extremism on their campuses.

When David Irving goes to a university to deny the Holocaust – university leaders rightly come out and condemn him. They don’t deny his right to speak but they do challenge what he says. But when an Islamist extremist goes there to promote their poisonous ideology, too often university leaders look the other way through a mixture of misguided liberalism and cultural sensitivity.

As I said, this is not about clamping down on free speech. It’s just about applying our shared values uniformly.

And while I am it, I want to say something to the National Union of Students. When you choose to ally yourselves with an organisation like CAGE, which called Jihadi John a “beautiful young man” and told people to “support the jihad” in Iraq and Afghanistan, it really does, in my opinion, shame your organisation and your noble history of campaigning for justice.

We also need the support of families and communities too. The local environment, their families, their peers, their communities, are among the key influencers in any young person’s life. So if they hear parts of the extremist worldview in their home, or their wider community, it will help legitimise it in their minds.

And government will help where it can. I know how worried some people are that their children might turn to this ideology – and even seek to travel to Syria or Iraq.

So I can announce today we are going to introduce a new scheme to enable parents to apply directly to get their child’s passport cancelled to prevent travel.

Together, in partnership, let us protect our young people.

Islam

Now the third plank of our strategy is to embolden different voices within the Muslim community. Just as we do not engage with extremist groups and individuals, we’re now going to actively encourage the reforming and moderate Muslim voices. This is a significant shift in government approach – and an important one.

In the past, governments have been too quick to dismiss the religious aspect of Islamist extremism. That is totally understandable. It cannot be said clearly enough: this extremist ideology is not true Islam. I have said it myself many, many times, and it’s absolutely right to do so. And I’ll say it again today.

But simply denying any connection between the religion of Islam and the extremists doesn’t work, because these extremists are self-identifying as Muslims. The fact is from Woolwich to Tunisia, from Ottawa to Bali, these murderers all spout the same twisted narrative, one that claims to be based on a particular faith.

Now it is an exercise in futility to deny that. And more than that, it can be dangerous. To deny it has anything to do with Islam means you disempower the critical reforming voices; the voices that are challenging the fusing of religion and politics; the voices that want to challenge the scriptural basis which extremists claim to be acting on; the voices that are crucial in providing an alternative worldview that could stop a teenager’s slide along the spectrum of extremism.

These reforming voices, they have a tough enough time as it is: the extremists are the ones who have the money, the leaders, the iconography and the propaganda machines. We need to turn the tables.

We can’t stand neutral in this battle of ideas. We have to back those who share our values. So here’s my offer.

If you’re interested in reform; if you want to challenge the extremists in our midst; if you want to build an alternative narrative or if you just want to help protect your kids – we are with you and we will back you – with practical help, with funding, with campaigns, with protection and with political representation.

This should form a key part of our Counter-Extremism Strategy.

And let’s remember that it’s only the extremists who divide people into good Muslims and bad Muslims, by forcing their warped doctrine onto fellow Muslims and telling them that it is the only way to believe. Our new approach is about isolating the extremists from everyone else, so that all our Muslim communities can be free from the poison of Islamist extremism.

Now for my part, I am going to set up a new community engagement forum so I can hear directly from those out there who are challenging extremism. And I also want to issue a challenge to the broadcasters in our country. You are, of course, free to put whoever you want on the airwaves.

But there are a huge number of Muslims in our country who have a proper claim to represent liberal values in local communities – people who run credible charities, community organisations, councillors and MPs – including Labour MPs here in Birmingham – so do consider giving them the platform they deserve.

I know other voices may make for more explosive television – but please exercise your judgement, and do recognise the huge power you have in shaping these debates in a positive way.

Isolation and identity

The fourth and final part of our strategy must be to build a more cohesive society, so more people feel a part of it and are therefore less vulnerable to extremism.

And I want to say this directly to all young people growing up in our country.

I understand that it can be hard being young, and that it can be even harder being young and Muslim, or young and Sikh, or young and black in our country. I know that at times you are grappling with huge issues over your identity, neither feeling a part of the British mainstream nor a part of the culture from your parents’ background.

And I know that for as long as injustice remains – be it with racism, discrimination or sickening Islamophobia – you may feel there is no place for you in Britain. But I want you to know: there is a place for you and I will do everything I can to support you.

The speech I was proudest to give in the election campaign was where I outlined my 2020 vision for our black and minority ethnic communities.

20% more jobs; 20% more university places; a 20% increase in apprenticeship take-up and police and armed forces that are much more representative of the people they serve.

And it’s not just about representation – it’s about being in positions of influence, leadership and political power. That also means more magistrates, more school governors, more Members of Parliament, more councillors, and yes, Cabinet Ministers too.

When we discussed childcare at Cabinet last week (political content), the item was introduced by a Black British son of a single parent – Sam Gyimah, who was backed up by the daughter of Gujarati immigrants from East Africa – Priti Patel – and the first speaker was the son of Pakistani immigrants – Sajid Javid – whose father came to Britain to drive the buses.

So we’ve made good progress in recent years, including I am pleased to say – in my own political party. But we need to go further. Because it comes down to this.

We need young people to understand that here in the UK they can shape the future by being an active part of our great democracy.

Achieve this and more people from ethnic minority backgrounds will feel they have a real stake in our society. And at the same time we need to lift the horizons of some of our most isolated and deprived communities. At the moment we have parts of our country where opportunities remain limited; where language remains a real barrier; where too many women from minority communities remain trapped outside the workforce and where educational attainment is low.

So we need specific action here. So I can announce today I have charged Louise Casey to carry out a review of how to boost opportunity and integration in these communities and bring Britain together as one nation. She will look at issues like how we can ensure people learn English; how we boost employment outcomes, especially for women; how state agencies can work with these communities to properly promote integration and opportunity but also learning lessons from past mistakes – when funding was simply handed over to self-appointed ‘community leaders’ who sometimes used the money in a divisive way.

Louise will provide an interim report early next year. And we will use this report to inform our plans for funding a new wider Cohesive Communities Programme next year, focusing resources on improving integration and extending opportunity in those communities that most need it.

But as well as tackling isolation, there is one other area we must look at if we are to build a truly cohesive society – and that is segregation.

It cannot be right, for example, that people can grow up and go to school and hardly ever come into meaningful contact with people from other backgrounds and faiths. That doesn’t foster a sense of shared belonging and understanding – it can drive people apart. Now let’s be clear that these patterns of segregation in schools or housing are not the fault or responsibility of any particular community. This is a complex problem that dates back decades.

But we do need to recognise the scale of the challenge in some communities. Areas of cities and towns like Bradford or Oldham continue to be some of the most segregated parts of our country. And it’s no coincidence that these can be some of the places where community relations have historically been most tense, where poisonous far right and Islamist extremists desperately try to stoke tension and foster division.

Now let me be clear. I’m not talking about uprooting people from their homes or schools and forcing integration. But I am talking about taking a fresh look at the sort of shared future we want for our young people. In terms of housing, for example, there are parts of our country where segregation has actually increased or stayed deeply entrenched for decades.

So the government needs to start asking searching questions about social housing, to promote integration, to avoid segregated social housing estates where people living there are from the same single minority ethnic background.

Similarly in education, while overall segregation in schooling is declining, in our most divided communities, the education that our young people receive is actually even more segregated than the neighbourhoods they live in.

Now, bussing children to different areas is not the right approach for this country. Nor should we try to dismantle faith schools.

Many faith schools achieve excellent results and I’m the first to support the great education they provide. I chose one for my own children. Today I visited King David’s school, a Jewish school here in Birmingham where the majority of children are from faith backgrounds.

But it is right to look again more broadly at how we can move away from segregated schooling in our most divided communities. We have already said that all new faith academies and free schools must allocate half their places without reference to faith.

But now we’ll go further to incentivise schools in our most divided areas to provide a shared future for our children, whether by sharing the same site and facilities; by more integrated teaching across sites; or by supporting the creation of new integrated free schools in the most segregated areas.

At the same time, we will continue to back National Citizen Service, which is bringing together 16 and 17 year olds from every background and every part of our country.

Because when you see how NCS changes the perceptions that young people have of other communities – I’ve seen it myself many, many times – it should give us all the hope and the confidence that our young people can be the key to bringing our country together.

Conclusion

So this is how I believe we can win the struggle of our generation. Countering the extremist ideology by standing up and promoting our shared British values. Taking on extremism in all its forms – both violent and non-violent.

Empowering those moderate and reforming voices who speak for the vast majority of Muslims that want to reclaim their religion. And addressing the identity crisis that some young people feel by bringing our communities together and extending opportunity to all.

And I hope I have given a sense of how we have all got to contribute to this process. This isn’t an issue for just any one community or any one part of our society – it’s for all of us. Of course, Muslim communities have crucial parts to play. You are part of the solution. But we in government have got to deal with failure, like dealing with extremism in schools.

We need the police to step up and not stand by as crimes take place. We need universities to stand up against extremism; broadcasters to give platforms to different voices; and internet service providers to do their bit too. Together, we can do this.

Britain has never been cowed by fear or hatred or terror.

Our Great British resolve faced down Hitler; it defeated Communism; it saw off the IRA’s assaults on our way of life. Time and again we have stood up to aggression and tyranny.

We have refused to compromise on our values or to give up our way of life. And we shall do so again.

Together we will defeat the extremists and build a stronger and more cohesive country, for our children, our grandchildren and for every generation to come.

Or you could just watch the video

 

19 Comments
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stephen duckworth
July 20, 2015 10:42 pm

“….. I believe we can win the struggle of our generation.”
Indeed it is , a huge mountain to climb but there isn’t one we haven’t yet.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 20, 2015 10:53 pm

…true, but we normally map and survey it in a rather more committed and clear-sighted way than we have this one…at least so far.

GNB

stephen duckworth
July 20, 2015 11:15 pm

@GNB
The authorities by DC’s admission in this speech have been guilty of unforgivable acts by turning a blind eye to 10,000’s of horrendous crimes in the name of community relations. Once an individual or a group becomes aware it can literally get away with murder , humans baser instincts come to the fore normally restrained by the rule of law but in these cases unleashed on a defenceless group whose lives are now destroyed. It needs to be clearly stated to all those concerned ,be they the authorities or any individual citizen that the rule of law applies to EVERYONE equally. If we are going to be in this together let’s all play by the same rules.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 20, 2015 11:33 pm

…pretty much my point; there was good material in the speech, and it or something like it might have made a real difference if the Home Secretary of the day had made it in Bradford in 1988, when the Imams were leading book-burnings…we were very obviously in a hole then, but have kept on digging for nearly thirty years.

You will note the date…three years before GW1, and five years after the destruction of the US Embassy and Marine Base in Beirut in 1983; worth bearing in mind every time the finger is pointed at US or UK Foreign Policy as being “the real cause”…

GNB

Challenger
Challenger
July 21, 2015 12:15 am

Completely agree with what you guys are saying.

The one that gets my back up every time is people saying members of these fanatical groups ‘aren’t true followers of Islam’ and ‘misrepresent or distort the faith’, which is absolute drivel steeped in a heck of a lot of denial!

The majority of pragmatic, sane, believers who fit their religion in and around 21st century life (whether it’s Western or not) are the ones who aren’t following the Islamic code to the letter…and thank the heavens they aren’t!

It’s the psychotic, barbaric, murderous, ignorant thugs in Syria, Iraq, Libya etc who ARE the really devoted and serious followers, because they are 100% locked into a closed system of thought that hails from the 7th century and makes no bones about the fact (as it see’s it) that only utter devotion to the Koran and the ‘teachings’ of Mohammed (why is it that everyone, including those who don’t believe he is a prophet refer to him as the prophet?) will bring about a world united under the banner of Islamic devotion delivered via the business end of an AK-47.

THIS is the real and colossal issue the world is currently facing. If these guys were going completely against the teachings and beliefs of Islam as inscribed over the centuries then it would be a lot easier to marginalize and isolate them, crucially with the rest of the Muslim world’s support.

The fact that they are devoted believers in this mythology and know their texts inside out is the central issue, because in this set of circumstances few other Muslims want to come out and admit the truth about the connection between these madmen and their beliefs, because where would that leave their own, admittedly more selective and pragmatic, but still passionately held faith?

I really think until the collective global Muslim population can start to question it’s own systems, beliefs, practices and in doing so challenge these fundamentalists for what they really are we aren’t going to crack the problem.

Without essentially a Islamic reformation/enlightenment the best we in the West can hope for is containment and self preservation in a steadily more dangerous world.

stephen duckworth
July 21, 2015 12:17 am

We do need to move away from this bleeding heart mentality that when a particular group arrives we need to somehow compensate them that their place of origin is a sh*thole and we have to make them feel special. Being here and having the same rights,responsibilities and protection as the rest of us is enough and no more. Granted initially language and assimilation assistance would be needed just to prevent misunderstandings on both sides but should be gradually withdrawn as English , both spoken and written , education takes effect. Yes it’s a long process , years in effect , but not decades. A good start is stopping further ghettoization as DC mentioned , yes it might suit the authorities to lump an ethnic group together to save money initially on the same language issues/cultural specialists but long term it costs far more and reduces opportunities for existing English speakers in the relevant group to gain employment as translators/private teachers. A very positive and brave step by DC , just wait for the backlash from those who he is basically telling have been it getting wrong for the 50 years since we absorded these communities after partion and the African expulsions.

From Luddite Lodge
From Luddite Lodge
July 21, 2015 6:34 am

Foreign policy is one thing, perhaps the thing that we never look at is the growth of Western culture i.e MTV etc together with the growth of Western technology. It is when you see a small village in the Middle East looking much the same as it has done for many years, but with huge satellite dishes spewing forth material that is decidedly unIslamic ranging from Beach Volleyball at the Olympics to TV like Game Of Thrones.
If you look beyond governments you have the rise of 20th/21st century media hitting a 7th century culture. The scary thing is that every time you see a Hijab or Burka , I ask myself why does person want to live in a country alien to their beliefs.

Observer
Observer
July 21, 2015 7:01 am

You know you’re in a slow news area when this is the front page news for today. :)

Phil
July 21, 2015 8:45 am

What he is talking about is, conversion.

It’s no different than converting someone from one religion to another.

The processes behind conversion are well studied and known. Certainly not an impossible task with the state backing it up, and has been done quite often before, obviously.

Chris
Editor
Chris
July 21, 2015 8:50 am

Funnily enough Obs its close to constitutional change over here. For reasons good or bad the accepted norm, backed by official rulings and directives, was that the law would only apply to members of other cultural identities (other than those that had been integrated prior to 1940) if the law in question was compatible with their cultural heritage. The first example I recall from schooldays was when Sikhs won a court victory to be excused from the then new law of wearing crash helmets when riding motorbikes because it clashed with the commandment to wear turbans. In the big scheme of things this ruling in itself was a minor bend of the rules no doubt helped by the fact that the turban itself presented a degree of head protection. It has to be said I only ever saw Sikhs on small commuter bikes and mopeds, never on high powered sports bikes so I assume for their own wellbeing the Sikhs who choose to ride fast bikes use crash hats anyway. But it set a precedent that cultural norms outrank the law of the land.

This speech DC made yesterday signalled a revision. It seems that (finally) there is a move toward proper integrationist policies for those cultural groups that have arrived and grown since the middle of last century, rather than a multi-cultural approach. The immigrant communities of earlier times (of which there have been many) integrated because it was the only way to survive and prosper – there are not special rules for Hugenots or those of Victorian Chinese heritage* or the substantial Jewish community – the labels are unnecessary as all of these groups are British and are treated no differently than any other group. And as an integrated society there are no boundaries at which friction can cause problems. This has to be the right approach.

*In Victorian times the sudden inrush of Chinese, many sent over by criminal organisations to profit from opium smuggling and extortion, was known as the “Yellow Peril”. A hundred years on and no-one was concerned at all with the presence of oriental families in the neighbourhood. Integration works.

Topman
Topman
July 21, 2015 9:12 am

@ Chris

‘or the substantial Jewish community’

Not quite true they have their own courts for example, Beth Din.

Chris
Editor
Chris
July 21, 2015 9:27 am

Topman – ref courts – I bow to your better knowledge, but I don’t recall any cases of Jewish miscreants escaping the long arm of the law because there was a line of text in the Scriptures that made their crime culturally acceptable? Or that a blind eye had been turned for the sakes of not wanting to be seen as anti-Semitic?

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
July 21, 2015 9:54 am

Regards ghettoisation, surely one of the driving factors is that when there is a sudden influx of immigrants from one background they tend to try and stick together and help each other out and so create a community in a certain area. Then when more immigrants come and the next generation is growing up they tend to want to stay near family and so the community stays in one area, this isn’t only true for immigrants but also for everyone else. So in the short term it is unavoidable. Over the next century or so there will probably be enough movement of population to dilute this, one factor is the amount of wealth in the community, i.e. if the 2nd/3rd generation immigrants are going to university and getting better jobs and earning more, they will want to live in better areas and so will move. This is also a factor in politics, I read an interesting article on how ethnic minorities vote and it was saying that the problem with all the studies in this area is that if they want to find out how a community will vote they go to the area where it is dominant, so as to speed up the research, but those areas tend to be where the poorer members of the community live and so it tends to point to a large majority backing Labour, and they miss the wealthy members of the community that have moved away who are just as likely to vote conservative as anyone else.

On solving extremism I don’t think there is an answer, it is just a matter of managing the risk, if there was an answer someone would have found it years ago.

stephen duckworth
July 21, 2015 11:48 am

@Engineer Tom
I think the PM was referring to the initial allocation of an influx of refugees/migrants. For an instance here in Leicester at the turn of the Century we were chosen to host a group of refugees from the horrors of the Somalian warlords. About 3000 arrived enmass and were primarily settle in a pair of social housing estates a km from each other that had been recently refurbished and were been held available on Central government instruction in anticipation of this imminent need. This concentration of refugees eased the logistical issues for the local authorities , translator allocation, community centre retailoring , religious spaces being provided etc. The community has now grown to 15,000 and provides an extra dimension to Leicester’s cosmopolitan nature. Integration is happening but very slowly as most of the community looks inwards in terms of dress,social interaction,marriage etc. Leicester is unusual as it has a British minority so the conflict that happens are happening on traditional lines. Indian Hindu v Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi Muslim ( and between them selves) v Sikh v Somalian v East/Central Europeans. The incidents of these ‘ racist’ clashes are rarely logged or even prosecuted by the police in the view of maintaining community relations etc but is a regular occurance. Longer term you can’t stop people living were they want to or afford to but its this initial planting of communities of a critical size that sustains it ‘home’ identity and and is not dilluted into the greater whole. No simple solutions but this has been shown to be erroneous.

Observer
Observer
July 21, 2015 1:37 pm

Chris, think you might have misunderstood. It was front page news for us. Which just proves that nothing happens over here at all. :)

Phil
July 21, 2015 1:47 pm

Social housing allocation has been concentrating and therefore exacerbating social problems for decades now. This needs to be tackled. And I believe it is on the “to do list”. However practically speaking it is now a big problem to tackle for a myriad of cross cutting reasons including a shortage of social housing and the desire to cut the housing benefit expenditures in the face of high private rents.

You also have the issue that keeping families and relatives together decreases a number of other indirect costs to the country, but that entails concentration. And you have the fact that by the time many immigrants get social housing they’ve been here a while and laid down some roots.

It will need to be unpicked in detail. But I am convinced that if you remove the concentration of social housing allocations, remove the “needs” test and and force people to integrate via forcing them to find jobs then you will go some way to helping this problem. I’m not just talking about immigrants here either.

Dangerous Dave
July 21, 2015 7:45 pm
Reply to  Chris

actually, I heard that Edward I’s Edict of Expulsion of the Jewish people still hadn’t been withdrawn. So technically they are illegal immigrants. Just pointing out that British History is scattered with stuff like this – our “tolerance” is a relatively recent thing.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 21, 2015 9:51 pm

@TD – As a Director of a forward-looking Housing Association, I’m pleased you appreciate our efforts…but it’s worth observing that one of our key advantages over our Council Colleagues is that we are NOT the “Housing Authority of Last Resort”, whereas they are. This means that we can manage lettings to create balanced communities, and we do without apology…meanwhile the Council must allocate on the basis of absolute need – meaning that if the completion or more probably refurbishment of an estate coincides with a refugee crisis, they are pretty much boxed in to creating another potential ghetto. (As an aside, this is why they get stuck with impossible tenants…who can be evicted if they behave badly enough…but must be re-housed elsewhere if they have children, possibly after a brief “punishment stint” in a private let).

However, the biggest cause of Ghetto formation at least in the North and Midlands is that the first generation of New Commonwealth immigrants saved hard and bought property in poor condition…provoking “White Flight”…freeing up more cheap property in the same place and so on. Thus Gloomyville boasts a number of Kashmiri and Mirpuri Hill Villages where the Emir lets his houses to his clan and his co-religionists more generally, and lets them rent his taxis, work in his restaurants and so on…his original stake often having been a redundancy payment, or a settlement after an industrial accident. There are also generally links and land purchases back home, long distance marriages arranged (with or without violent coercion) and a certain amount of low-volume high-value international trade. I’ll give you a clue, it’s no longer joss-sticks and poshteen coats…

Hence the sort of closed communities where the Rotherham horror is still unfolding. Not Gloomyville, but you can see it from here…

@Dangerous Dave – repealed by Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell…and in fairness we were deemed pretty tolerant, but I suspect it worked better for all concerned when we were allowed to use all kinds of highly inappropriate language about new-comers en masse…but were actually pretty civil and in due course of time neighbourly towards the real family living next door. We should remember that London had a considerable population of Black Freemen in Elizabethan times, and our traditional and rather bellicose belief in ourselves as the Home of Liberty led a High Tory Judge, Lord Justice Mansfield, to rule that “To breathe the air of England is to breathe it as a Free Man” in the Somerset Case in 1772 in respect of an escaped Slave. The Middle Passage was pretty much done for then, although it took some time…the Cousins could see it though, and it was one of the underlying issues for some of the Rebels just a few years later…along with Crown determination to honour Treaties with the First Nations of the Eastern Seaboard and Great Lakes.

GNB