British PM draws up new strategy on extremists
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with a local resident in the English city of Birmingham prior to delivering a speech on extremism, July 20, 2015. (AFP/File)
Prime Minister of the UK David Cameron has unveiled a strategy he hopes will defeat Islamist extremism with new methods, including improved integration of Muslims into British society.
"Failures of integration" have caused hundreds of British citizens to join the Islamic State, Cameron said in a speech on Monday in Birmingham, adding that many British-born Muslims "have little attachment" to the country.
The government will create an engagement forum to increase integration as a preventive way to tackle extremism.
"Islamist extremism is an extreme ideology that seeks to destroy nation-states and invent its own barbaric realm. It often uses violence, mostly against Muslims. But it also promotes ideas hostile to our values of democracy," Cameron wrote in a statement. "To tackle this, we need to understand why this ideology is proving so attractive."
Cameron posited that radical Islamist ideology is attractive because it is not only subversive, but exciting, gaining traction through identity and integration issues.
"This is how I believe we can win the struggle of our generation: countering the extremist ideology by standing up for and promoting 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," Cameron added.
"I want to work with you to defeat this poison," Cameron said.
The government's strategy includes plans to allow parents to revoke their children's passports if suspected of planning to travel abroad to join a radical group and to allow the UK's Office of Communications to limit the broadcasting of extremist messages on cable television.
A study on the spread of extremism will be launched as well as an inquiry into the method social housing is allocated as to prevent the segregation of communities.
New methods of emphasizing British values will be researched as part of a cultural drive against radicalization. Victims of forced marriages may be able to receive a lifetime of anonymity as part of the government plans.
By Andrew V. Pestano