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Britain’s futile battle against extremism Islamism is still evading government censure

Kristian Buus/In Pictures/Getty Images

Kristian Buus/In Pictures/Getty Images


March 14, 2024   5 mins

Back in 2015, word came down from on high that every British school was now bound by law to promote “fundamental British values”, lest they fall foul of Ofsted, or worse. Cast your mind back to the start of the year: it had kicked off with the murder of Parisian cartoonists, swiftly followed by grainy CCTV images of three Bethnal Green schoolgirls on their way to join Isis splashed across every front page. The year before, a plot to de-secularise a handful of Birmingham schools and instil an “intolerant Islamic ethos” was uncovered in the Trojan Horse scandal — which, despite subsequent revisionism, really did take place.

Britain had been caught completely off-guard by Islamist extremism, and reasserting fundamental British values appeared to be the answer. In fact, extremism was even defined by the Government as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”. The only problem: the reassertion of fundamental British values against this threat never really came. Many schools were confused and just did their best to keep Ofsted inspectors at bay. I saw “fundamental British values” hall displays made up of portraits of semi-obscure Royals and pictures of fish and chips. Elsewhere, the use of the word “British” before “values” made the mainly Left-leaning public and education sectors expected to promote them squirm. And so, in the absence of any revitalisation of British democratic values, Islamists largely just carried on going about their business.

Almost a decade later, Britain has once again been caught off-guard by Islamism, with the Government expected to unveil a new practical definition of extremism today. But this will always prove a very difficult task: “extremism” is a fundamentally subjective notion, and is open to an inherent risk of politicisation and abuse, particularly at a time when there seems to be less and less agreement on what our shared values actually are.

It is by now a cliche in academic circles to point to Britain’s lack of written constitution, a problem not shared by our European neighbours. France, for instance, has dissolved both Islamist and far-Right groups for being contrary to Republican principles, while Germany has a Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which monitors and produces public reports on far-Right, far-Left and Islamist subversion. The UK, however, has no such luxury, and, as a result, the Government’s efforts to define “extremism” have left two of the most significant Islamist movements largely untouched: the Muslim Brotherhood and their South Asian equivalent, Jamaat-e-Islami. This has allowed individuals connected to these movements and their front groups to continue growing in power, through official appointments and even through the receipt of taxpayer money. Indeed, the logic behind renewing the definition seems to be exactly this — to provide clear rules for government departments for how to engage with organisations that are not merely opposed to the current government, but agitate against liberal democracy altogether.

When it comes to this brand of “non-violent” Islamism, British authorities have been incredibly lax. But even if they had been vigilant, tackling their influence would have been far from straightforward. To start with, Muslim Brotherhood networks in Britain are obsessively secretive (indeed, one formerly prominent member left because of this), which makes debating and defeating their ideas in the public square almost impossible. The resulting obscuration of their political programme means that these groups are unlikely to fall foul of the British values definition of extremism. On democracy, for instance, their representatives talk a great game: they are happy to work within existing democratic frameworks and even make pragmatic alliances in unlikely quarters, such as with Jewish and LGBT groups to advance their agenda. The ends (an eventual Islamic state) justify the means. Jamaat-e-Islami’s founder, Abul A’la Maududi, for instance, detailed how their agenda to reshape society should be so gradual as to be imperceptible to the host country, making it impossible to identify, much less confront.

To counter this, attempts have been made to position extremism in close proximity to “hate”. But “hate” doesn’t best describe the public face of these Islamist groups, whose members are mainly professional, educated and expert communicators — a far cry from the stereotype of a snarling hate-filled thug. And even for jihadists, this framing is not clear-cut: in 2015, before he murdered them, Amedy Coulibaly chatted calmly with his Jewish hostages in the Hypercacher supermarket, telling them he had “nothing against Jews”. His massacre, he explained, was ideologically — divinely — ordained.

“‘Hate” doesn’t best describe the public face of these Islamist groups.”

According to reports, the new proposed definition will — like the definition before it — still be values-based. The Times suggests that it will take in those who promote or advance “an ideology based on intolerance, hatred or violence that aims to undermine the rights or freedoms of others”, with a second rung of the definition targeted at those who seek to undermine or overturn Britain’s parliamentary democracy. On the face of it, this proposal seems better equipped to tackle the complex challenges posed by the aforementioned Islamist movements, while bringing Britain closer to how European states perceive their own constitutional threats. Within the Conservative Party behind it, however, there are fears that the definition will be used against social conservatives or gender-critical feminists. It’s not hard to see why there is concern, especially at a time when various political tribes are busy accusing one another of supposed extremism. Revelations that training materials and briefings under Prevent and other counter-terrorism efforts have expanded so far as to include the likes of Brexit voters, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Douglas Murray and Joe Rogan show that this alarm is far from unfounded.

A convincing alternative approach is offered by philosophy professor Quassim Cassam, who argues that any definition of extremism should be focused on behaviours, rather than beliefs. Cassam does not deny the central role of ideology, but warns of the dangers of a definitional focus: “It’s not that a person’s ideology is irrelevant or that extremism doesn’t have an ideological dimension. Rather, the main focus should be on what extremists do. What they think matters to the extent that it influences their actions.” He continues: “An extremist, then, is someone who engages in politically or religiously motivated intimidation, threats, or violence for political or religious ends.”

As sympathetic as I am to this argument, it nonetheless begs the question: how do two of the most significant Islamist organisations fit into this configuration? And not only that, but two Islamist organisations that are central reasons for the renewed Government concern.

Cassam is right to point out the unfairness of penalising a group or individual simply because their beliefs fall outside of the Overton window, but neither the Brotherhood nor Jamaat operate within these constraints. They are not open about their actual political agenda and so neither supporters nor opponents of their front groups in Britain can test or debate their actual ideas. To make matters worse, criticising the activities or policies of these fronts is often met with socially and professionally ruinous Islamophobia allegations, or financially ruinous legal threats. In other words, they are not playing by the rules of the game.

It’s for these reasons that the UK Government is also reportedly establishing a “centre of excellence” to tackle extremism. The lack of information relating to non-terroristic Islamism has made it tricky for officials and institutions to make informed decisions about engagement and funding, leading to repeated blunders. It remains to be seen how such a centre would be protected from the Islamist scene’s aggressive litigiousness — or, perhaps even more so, how it can be protected in the long term from meandering towards figures such as Andrew Tate instead of the various movements genuinely wielding the freedoms afforded under British democracy against itself.

It is in this context that a new definition of extremism will emerge. Striking the balance between protecting people’s essential liberties and marginalising the unique and subversive challenge posed by domestic Islamism — or at least ensuring that we are not paying for and legitimising that subversion — will be the key to whether we are here again in a decade, clamouring around for yet a new definition. In this eventuality I propose a simple test. Would I trust my political opponents with this definition? If the answer is no, then it’s back to the drawing board.


Liam Duffy is a researcher, speaker and trainer in counter-terrorism based in London.

LiamSD12

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Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
4 months ago

Resolving the current crisis demands that the British elite think deeply about Islam and its role in society, but the British elite doesn’t want to think deeply about Islam; they want to appear to be doing something without actually doing anything of consequence, certainly not something that demands either competence or courage. Acting competently now might result in you being demanded to act competently in the future; acting courageously will almost certainly cost you votes. The result is the current “battle” against the vague and gaseous boogeyman “extremism”. That this is rather like fighting a war against conviction, or against radicalism, or against opportunism, doesn’t seem to have occurred to Britain’s increasingly mediocre ruling class.
Thinking deeply about Islam would require learning something about Islam, and the absolute last thing you want to do in a multiculturalist regime is learn anything about other cultures; if you learn something about them, you might be required to make judgments about them, and once you start judging cultures, you might be on the slippery slope towards the conclusion that not all cultures are equal, a thought crime which is utterly verboten among our right-thinking (or rather, right-opinion-holding) elites.
Multiculturalism is fundamentally monoculturalism: it assumes a sort of metaculture which is identical to Western left-wing progressivism wherein all cultures are perfectly capable of existing in harmony provided that they all subscribe to the overarching metaculture of “tolerance”. That not all cultures are willing to do so, that many cultures contain profound differences, aspects that are mutually incompatible which no amount of “tolerance” can paper over, is not something the elite wish to countenance. To them, cultures are epiphenomena, a matter of clothes and food and maybe language, but deep down we are all the same: inside every Third-Worlder there is an Oxbridge graduate waiting to get out. Multiculturalism is a Sbarro next to a Panda Express next to a falafel hut.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago

Under multiculturalism learning about cultures is verboten under whatever it is you’re proposing there’s no need to bother because they’re not getting in anyway. Isn’t this place supposed to be a haven for classically liberal philosophy? Was it John Locke who said “nah don’t bother reading about that”?
So your criticism of multiculturalism is that it is fundamentally monoculturalism. What then are you proposing? A different sort of backward-looking exclusive monoculturalism that rather than being based on our common rationality is founded in the wisdom of our ancestors and an attachment to whatever happened in the past.
You are therefore I think in the wrong place. And so it seems are the many who support your comment. They are not liberals of any kind. They are closeted authoritarians and conservatives. (which by the way would be evident to any true liberals in this place)
Before liberalism was “icky gay stuff” it existed in opposition to conservatism. It had a faith in our intellectual capacity to see past difference and speak a common language of rationality, looking towards a cooperative united future.
The Israel/Palestine 21st century flare up has outed all the so-called liberals who actually just wanted conservative control over culture and politics. I have been astonished how quickly the narrative has flipped from “free speech on campus” to “ban all who criticise Israel”. That’s your monoculturalism.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Oh so you think John Locke was a wishy washy liberal with no discrimination. See my post above .

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago

Britain is a multicultural society, whether we like it or not, we don’t really have much option other than to make it work. It becomes clearer and clearer everyday that the approach that has been taken (call it multiculturalism if you want but that term has many definitions) is not really working.
Might Michaela school offer a microcosm of a workable alternative to multiculturalism (she calls it making multiculturalism work)?
https://unherd.com/newsroom/britains-strictest-head-teacher-my-case-to-ban-prayer-in-school/
I hope the court is going to back this courageous head teacher whose key message is we all have to make sacrifices to make society work and society won’t work unless you really work at it.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Reminds me of an internet comic. Two cartoon scientists in a lab, one with blue skin, one with green skin.
The one with blue skin holds up a test tube and says “at last! The cure to racism!”
The one with green skin looks on admirably, grinning.
Blue continues “… yes, with this everyone will have blue skin!”
Green’s expression changes and asks “… Blue?”

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

A potion that made everyone blue/green colour blind would work though.

Andrew F
Andrew F
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

What about white for the West?
The rest can fo what they like.

Mark M Breza
Mark M Breza
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Yes right wing hippie is an oxymoron.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
4 months ago
Reply to  Mark M Breza

Why is it?

Gerard A
Gerard A
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

I am struggling to identify a multicultural society that has worked anywhere at any time. Everyone I can think of has ended in violence. Whether or not this is due to our tribal nature, the disparities in wealth, status and power between the cultures, or any other reason history tells us that multicural societies are divisive.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Gerard A

The fact is we are where we are, we can’t go backwards even if we would like to, so what is your idea for preventing our society from ending in violence?
What I am convinced of is the divisiveness created and amplified by the way DEI has been implemented is not the answer and will lead to our society ending in violence even more quickly than it otherwise would.

Anthony Roe
Anthony Roe
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Some sort of civil strife and division is inevitable. The sooner it happens the better, given the projected demographics, for the native English.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Anthony Roe

Unavoidable maybe, especially if we continue down the path we have been on, but not inevitable. There have been some very dark days but we have not seen the “rivers of blood” that were deemed inevitable. We need to try doing something different if we are to avoid a conflict which will just leave a lot of dead and injured on all sides.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Rivers of Blood ? The Muslims did try to blow up a train under the Thames . And Powell was right in his projection of demographic change , though he was called a scaremonger , and we would not be where we are had people listened to him

Sayantani G
Sayantani G
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

Strangely I agree about EP. He was also not the racist he is made out to be. In fact while serving in the Indian army he was far more egalitarian than many other colleagues.
He was a complex man who hasn’t got his fair treatment.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

If there’s no fight back there’ll be no such rivers. Even Powell could not have anticipated the supine surrender of the British to their own destruction.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
4 months ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Welfare made them fat and lazy.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Rivers of blood are just a matter of time. I’m putting my money on Islam when their numbers reach critical mass and a Saladin-like figure emerges.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

Won’t what’s left of the native population simply submit and convert?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
4 months ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Yes, at the end of the sword. That’s why it is imperative that the West lose its Christian heritage, so those remaining have no issue with “converting” to the religion of piece. (Not a typo)

Katja Sipple
Katja Sipple
4 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Several of my distant ancestors died fighting again the Ottomans Turks. I shan’t go gown in history as the one who converts to the Religion of Pieces. I will take a few of them with me to the Netherworld.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
4 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

It’s almost as if there has been a concerted effort in the last 50 years to denigrate not only the west, but Christianity. The CofE is complicit in it

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
4 months ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

I used to think that but isn’t Welbyesque Christianity just too submissive to be any use against resurgent Islam . Even a critic of Welby , like the Unherd vicar , seems to believe he will make true converts of Muslims by being happy to convert Islamists in an immigration scam . I believe he thinks that by showing love to his enemy he will change their hearts and they will become true Christians . Or they might do and the mere possibility is enough for him . Moral narcissism ?

Andrew F
Andrew F
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

I admit you are one of naive ones in the West, who at least admit we are heading towards strife.
Most of my left wing acquintences just deny reality of mass immigration from crap cultures.
Till their granddaughters are forced to marry 60 year old Muslim pedo at 14.
Then it will be too late.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

It is inevitable – the Islamists won’t stop their takeover, however long it takes. The only way to avoid violent civil strife is to give in. Is that your solution?

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
4 months ago

We’d already be there were it not for Christian resistance. Once that goes away it’s all over.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
4 months ago

I’m not convinced the Islamists will effect a complete takeover. For a start there’s a large black population in this country who are not Muslims and who are now deemed top of the progressive race picking order. I don’t think they will see kindly to being forced to convert. Muslims will still be a small minority even with large scale immigration.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

A large percentage of the black influx to the UK appears to hate the UK. There is always the possibility that they will pick a side and it won’t be that of the British.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Whether they take kindly or not hardly matters. Look at the Sahel, at Norther Nigeria and so on.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
4 months ago

We will have violent civil strife with or without capitulating to Islam. Islam is hostile to every other religion and adherents will not be happy until the world has submitted to it. Nor is peace to be found between the various strands of Islam.
we might as well go down fighting for our culture rather than fighting, as canon fodder, for an alien one.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

We have had 96 people murdered by Islamists since 2007, so the rivers of blood have at least started.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
4 months ago
Reply to  Anthony Roe

I agree, we looks as though we might have to get stroppy about our social contract. So far we haven’t had the moral courage to enforce it and so the Muslim Brottherhood and Jamaat-e-Islam weedles away at the very fabric of our democracy. Our libralism will destroy us sadly, I beleive.

Andrew F
Andrew F
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Of course we can go backwards if we want.
People like you do not understand that importation of savages from incapable cultures and religions are root cause of the problems facing the West.
DEI is the secondary problem.
If we did not have savages here, there would be no need for DEI.
If you look at various scenarios, there are many options.
The basic one is stopping importation of savages.
Then, it is a question of what to do with ones already here.
Forced staralisation of benefit scroungers is the minimum.
Stopping housing and benefits from them would greatly improve things.
You should never get more in benefits than what minimum wage provides.
All the Muslim objecting can ask oil rich Muslim countries to sponsor them.
So problem is not lack of solutions but lack of will.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

Wow straight out of the BNP manifesto. even if we could expel millions of people, some of whom were born here, out economy and services would collapse. It is you who are living in a deluded dream world.
I agree we need to control immigration a lot better – we must not stop it because the fertility rate has been below replacement since 1972. We should focus on getting the right sort of people in – those who accept our laws and want to contribute to our society in return for the benefits our society has to offer. I am in favour of expelling those who reject that deal once they are here, but even that is very hard to do.
I agree the DEI approach and the stifling of all debate by yelling racist or Islamophobe just make the problem worse.
The answer is not to just bring on the bloodshed, but to work much harder at integration – something that the way we have approached multiculturalism has failed to promote, but has happened in many areas.

Jon Barrow
Jon Barrow
4 months ago
Reply to  Gerard A

Yes violence (because different groups want to determine their own laws, values etc.) or authoritarianism (suppression of group difference). Western elite hubris overlooks all this and repeats mantras.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
4 months ago
Reply to  Gerard A

Well, the great majority of empires were in fact multi ethnic and cultural.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

And ruled with an iron fist. If we move towards that, then we lose what makes the west `special’

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
4 months ago
Reply to  Gerard A

Yes Gerard, Im reminded of CUBA

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
4 months ago
Reply to  Gerard A

Norman Sicily in the 11th and 12th century. The Normans were smart enough to see that a cosmopolitan population would trade with the four corners of the Mediterrainian as well as north into Europe. After the efforts they made to grab the island they wanted to get on with the business of making money. They happily feuded with each other but left the populace alone to work. It all came crashing down when the Holy Roman Emperor decided he wanted it for himself.
And then there’s modern New York City…

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

We should distinguish between a multicultural society and multiculturalism; the former is simply a recognition of the reality that our society contains several cultures or subcultures, while the latter is an ideology that both assumes that this reality is a positive good and that all said cultures are of equivalent value to the whole. One might hold either of those precepts without causing significant harm, but holding them both is toxic, as the latter is almost certainly not true, while the former compels the multiculturalist to increase the number of cultures within the society without judgment between them, thereby increasing the points of friction within the society and contributing to its atomization, balkanization, and tribalization. The only way a multicultural society works is if those in power have a relatively deep understanding of the different cultures involved as well as how they fit (or do not fit) together, which allows the ruling class to work to sand off the rough edges via a process of targeted assimilation–that is, through an understanding that no new culture can be imported as it is, but requires adjustment so that it can be incorporated harmoniously into the whole, and that cultures already present in the society may not have been properly integrated and therefore must be encouraged to assimilate. This in turn requires a strong foundational central culture from which the ruling class can assimilate the newcomers with a sense of confidence and trust that the newcomers bring positive benefits to society; it is societies with weak central cultures that are most xenophobic, because they fear that their own cultures are not resilient enough to absorb new ideas and mores without being radically changed. Worst of all is a society that has no central culture; in such a polity, there is no arbiter between the different subcultures and thus no way of negotiating settlements between them on issues of seemingly intractable difference–the outcome is usually tribal war.
Whether Britain has a strong enough central culture to absorb and assimilate the deluge of newcomers it has so fecklessly allowed into its society under the banner of “multiculturalism”–or whether Britain even has a central culture any longer–I leave as an exercise for the reader.

elaine chambers
elaine chambers
4 months ago

It’s hard to belive we have any self respect left when we have allowed with impunity for many decades now, FGM, ‘honour’ killings, forced & child marriage, and polygamy.

Andrew F
Andrew F
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Keep dreaming your multi-culti dream.
Unfortunately, reality intrudes.
All the savages we keep importing from Asia and Africa neither appreciate Western culture nor are willing to assimilate.
They just want the “goodies” West generates.
Problem is that there more of them are here the worse it would get.
They left their shitholes but they have too low IQ to understand that problem is with them and not with the West.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

You sir are a complete fanatic as well as your analysis being absolutely way off. The problem is not fundamentally with the people of other cultures – human beings have always organised themselves in a number of different ways – but indeed with our own country, the West more broadly and its weakness and failure to stand up for its own values. As for DIE etc, this applies to sexual and gender issues as well as race ones, so is not whatever it’s many failings entirely generated by Islamists and Africans, whoever being allowed or encouraged to “take over”

It’s absolutely certain that your position will repel far more people than it would attract, even of the indigenous population. The constant extreme denigration of other human beings, as well as being completely obnoxious, is totally counterproductive. (I.e. “so we now see clearly that the people who oppose immigration are indeed racist fascists!”) I do actually know some Muslims and black people and they are not the “savages” as you describe them.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Britain is not a multicultural society. Too many of our cultural elements stand aloof and multiculturalism has encouraged them to do so.
What we have is a multiplicity of monocultures.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
4 months ago

acting courageously will almost certainly cost you votes.
Exactly. The economist Milton Friedman said the key to a well-functioning system was to make it politically advantageous for the wrong people to do the right things. Because without that, the right people won’t do those things, either, because doing so will mean they get voted out.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
4 months ago

Exactly the Blue Peter notion of cultural difference , focusing on different holiday foods mummy makes .
One thing even the Editor of the Spectator seems to have woken up to is that no Prime Minister is likely to want to.put at risk the multimillion pound contract they can expect from one of the Gulf States after leaving office . ( except theoretically Rishi because he is too rich to need it – and we know he see no problem with ‘legal’ immigration )

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Osband

Wishi Washi already HAS his multi-million pay-off, through his father-in-law. Also,he is a Hindu; he isn’t going to waste time arslikhan to Arabs

william langdale
william langdale
4 months ago

We don’t have a multicurural society,we have a multi separate society.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
4 months ago

Brilliant

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
4 months ago

There’s more to it than that. Islam has deeply penetrated the mentality of the top 1%, who xan afford “luxury beliefs” if that sort. It does not really register with the sizeable swathe of mid-middle to lower-middle class, semi-educated white-collar population, who have little contact with the reality of mass immigration; like sheep murmuring “racist” or “be kind” when goaded

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
4 months ago
Reply to  ben arnulfssen

The progressive elite are miles away from actually believing in Islam. For a start women would have to become second class citizens. They unwittingly of course facilitate Islamist advance, but that’s a different point.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
4 months ago

Excellent analysis.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
4 months ago

Very well put . Was leafing through a book seller’s catalogue who have a first edition of Locke’s letter on toleration : ‘Complete toleration should be given to every religious body whose doctrines are neither incompatible with civil society nor require their adherents to give their allegiance to a foreign prince ‘

Only someone willfully blind could think adherents to Islam pass this test .

Andrew Horsman
Andrew Horsman
4 months ago

“
 extremism was 
 defined by the Government as “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”.

“An extremist, then, is someone who engages in politically or religiously motivated intimidation, threats, or violence for political or religious ends.”

Under both of these definitions, the government of 2020-2022 was an extremist organisation and ought to have been banned. Under the first: suspension of parliament and judicial systems, removal of individual liberties of association, movement, and speech, character assassination of anyone who dared to question the Narrative, demonisation of anyone who didn’t comply with their vile mandates. Under the second: a deliberate, systematic and generally successful attempt to increase the level of personal threat felt by individuals, ostensibly to achieve the collective political objectives – and they are political, whether you like it or not – of “keeping everyone safe” and “protecting the NHS”, and threats (sometimes carried out) of loss of income and status for those who would not comply. I could go on.

This is why managerial bureaucracies awash with unthinking functionaries with tragically distorted and hopelessly myopic worldviews are facing a crisis of legitimacy: they have no steadfast principles, no guiding purpose, no moral or intellectual courage. They churn out nice sounding word-soups (“values”, “equity”, “sustainable”, “transformative” – though isn’t it interesting that that last one seems to have gone a bit out fashion after being all the rage back in 2020?). But they don’t mean anything. People have tuned out of it all. And that is what allows virulent threats like gradualist (or, perhaps, “Fabian”?) Islamism to grow like knotweed amongst the institutional ruins.

God help us all.

j watson
j watson
4 months ago

Much in that would agree with, and certainly would cry no tears if the particular two Organisations cited were banned. But also agree with the contention that we ought to focus on actions and that includes incitement rather than beliefs.
It’s worth also remembering the Far Right and Islamist extremists who murdered Jo Cox and David Amess were not members of any Organisation. Harbi Ali almost certainly soaked up hate filled propaganda, but a broader public discourse may have had as much impact as any Organisation’s prospectus. When politicians say things like ‘you have blood on your hands for x,y,z’ it can lead to the likes of Ali legitimising what he then did. Similarly Thomas Mair, who bought into Far Right conspiracies, was also intoxicated with the language about ‘enemies of the people’ and liberal elites/Blobs.
We all have a responsibility for how we use language and whether we deal in conspiracy nonsense. We should be aware if we help create a toxic public discourse we create the fuel that crackpots then think ok to ignite.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
4 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Good comment, but maybe a bit too even handed in the Islamists versus Far Right comparison. It would take me quite a while to come with a list of Far Right inspired bombing and murders in the U.K., but no time at all to do the same for the Islamist tendency.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

With the notable exception of the Tunbridge Wells Conservative Party there are NO credible Far Right organisations in this fair country of ours. More’s the pity.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Jo Cox?
Plymouth shooting involving “Professor Waffle” who posted a lot of alt-right stuff.
Brianna Ghey murder was arguably far-right linked.
There was a guy who drove a van into a mosque.
The reason it would take you a while is because they get far less coverage in the media and the sources from which you take your information.
Also thanks to the amplification of the islamist threat the government and police now have many more powers to investigate and track potential attackers before they do so. First they came for the Islamists…

Andrew R
Andrew R
4 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Nice attempt to link the so called “Blob” to the catch all “conspiracy theory”. Yes JW, we all have a responsibility for how we use language, maybe you should take your own advice.

j watson
j watson
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew R

Thanks.
It wasn’t an ‘attempt’, just a statement of the obvious. Folks who go around claiming some Blob behind stuff are irrefutably buying into a conspiracy theory – much like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion twaddle a hundred years ago. It’s the same playbook. Most will actually know that but enjoy the chance to berate something unspecific that can’t be evidenced, but the odd crackpot will then go that one step further.

Andrew R
Andrew R
4 months ago
Reply to  j watson

That’s hilarious JW even by your standards, that’s almost conspiratal nonsense all by itself.

The Left can’t debate or argue so they project, dissemble, use fallacies, sophistry, bait & switch and obsfuscate.

The “Blob” are quite simply a parasitic body swallowing up huge sums of public money in non productive exercise. They are Quangos, NGO’s, think tanks, consultancies and “charities”. They can be on the Left or the Right what they all have in common is a contempt for democracy, with their endless lobbying of government for more influence and yet more cash.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
4 months ago

The main flaw in the British state strategy is not to look at Far Left political organisations who consistently organise protests and actions that foment community tensions over Middle East politics. When two extreme acts of war take place then potential militants are looking for extreme reactions. The Socialist Workers Party, for instant, facilitates the expression of this wave of anger which arguably provides a platform for those who wish to promote terrorism while intimidating other communities.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

You say arguably yet fail to argue the point.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

He’s talking about all the antisemites that have crawled out of the woodwork and now feel comfortable enough to express their hatred of Jews without fear of societal backlash.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

That particular point about the SWP hardly needs arguing does it? Just look at their banners! It is obvious for anybody with eyes to see that the Socialist workers party jumps on any fanatical anti-western fanatical movement or cause including at drop of a hat, including of course the brave very left wing resistance (!!) movement of Hamas.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
4 months ago

“Unlike traditional civil rights discourse, which stresses incrementalism and step- by- step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.”

–Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic in Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, 3rd edition (p 3).

In terms of the new definition’s targeting of “those who seek to undermine or overturn Britain’s parliamentary democracy” can we now hope for the defunding of University Humanities Departments?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Wouldn’t enlightenment rationalism and the liberal order welcome a movement which questions its foundations?
They certainly wouldn’t welcome people who try to shut that questioning down by, for example, withdrawing funding from universities for asking too many questions.

Thomas Wagner
Thomas Wagner
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

They don’t ask questions. They don’t have to ask questions. They already have all the answers.

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

You have discovered the frightful truth buried in the cave of Trophonius!
Critical Theory in all it’s avatars is the legitimate and direct descendant of the Enlightement. It is not an aberration but a rigorous continuation of the principle ‘question everything’. Bacon. Locke, Leibniz, Voltaire, Diderot, Hume, Smith, Rousseau, Marx, Frankfurt School, Foucauld, Butler. This is the genealogy of immorality.
Which is why appeals to ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘freedom of enquiry’ are so misguided. This isn’t about debate and interrogation of ideas but about the limits of useful human knowledge. An older and more fruitful tradition seeks to conform human behavior and aspirations to the natural or created order rather than taxonomise or overturn this order. This is the pre-Enlightenment ideal attempted by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Dante, and Aquinas where, as Patrick Deneen has written “the primary purpose of education is learning to live in a world in which self-limitation is the appropriate response to a world of limits”
Or as Milton’s Raphael warned –
“Knowledge is as food, and needs no less
Her temperance over appetite, to know
In measure what the mind may well contain;
Oppresses else with surfeit, and soon turns
Wisdom to folly, as nourishment to wind.”

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

The critical approach aka critical thinking and critical analysis are as you say. Critical Theories are a perversion of those tools to pursue a neo Marxist agenda. They do this by starting not with asking what is wrong with what you see but by assuming a certain thing eg racism is the problem and then going out to “prove” that in what you see. Funny old thing, if you look for something hard enough you will invariably find it. The really evil part is it is not being done to make things better, but to sow division and advance the revolution through destruction of the existing social fabric.
The issue is never the issue, the issue is the revolution. That is why we see the same groups (mostly on the left of politics) involved in the “omni-cause” until certain minority groups, eg radical feminist and more recently gay men, are no longer useful to the revolution and they get discarded.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ol0HmwGH4VM

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

i.e. “maybe some things should remain unheard”

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

You missed out the key pivot point: Nietzsche.

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

He is indeed the conduit point for the final degringolade.
But at least he was honest with himself. And far sighted.

Andrew F
Andrew F
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

I have limited knowledge of philosophy but I was born under communism.
So I know that allowing dishonest actors free rain in the West is going to end badly.
Do you seriously believe that once they are in power, they will allow critique of their ideology?
History is against you.
You are either naive or one of them.

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew F

With respect, I think you may have misunderstood my initial position. Perhaps I wasn;t clear in how I expressed myself.
I too believe that futile, dishonest and spiritually corrosive ideology should be resisted and, if necessary, proscribed and supressed in society.
But I see the wellsprings of the posion as ultimately emanating from the Enlightenment period which is still so cherished by old liberal thinkers today. Without Voltaire and Rousseau there would have been no Marx and Fanon.

Jake Raven
Jake Raven
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Do you have examples of “withdrawing funding from universities for asking too many questions?”

Andrew F
Andrew F
4 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Utter nonsense.
There should be no freedom for enemies of freedom.
It is the left which is trying to stop discussion about issues.
Try to post anything anti “approved” narrative like covid, global warming, mass immigration etc on MSM.
I tried. It is censored right away.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago

Unfortunately the only answer is to allow genuine unrestricted free speech. Incitement and conspiracy to commit crime were illegal long before all the hate speech nonsense and those laws must remain, as should defamation law, which has both a harm threshold and an honestly held opinion defence. Every time there is an attempt to legislate to restrict speech further, it never tackles the real problem and just increases the level of anger being bottled up ready to explode.
It is no accident that the harms done by the trans activist movement can be traced back to #nodebate.

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Strictly speaking there is another answer, and one which laid the foundation of this nation’s peace and prosperity for 300 years and that is a Test Act.
The basis of such an act need not be religious any longer but the institution of a formal and solemn test and declaration of loyalty as the prerequisite to participation in public life would go some way to freeing up the space for honest differences of opinion.
We like to tell ourselves that free speech, belief and association are the founding principles of our commonwealth but really they now appear to be but the brief flowering of a period bookended by the repeal of the Test Acts in 1828 and the enaction of the Equality Act in 2010.
An outward show of loyalty and conformity which the Test Act enabled frees up the space for intellectual and political diversity but within a framework of shared loyalty. Loyalty is the shibboleth in English history, not Liberty. We flatter ourselves that we have passed beyond the need for such crude tools of corporate cohesion but that is the mere condescension of posterity.
Some hope though. We haven’t reached the bottom yet. It took a Civil War to bring about the first Test Act.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

Whilst doing more to encourage genuine loyalty to a society you have chosen to live in could help, it is far from being a solution. Asylum seekers are making fake conversions to Christianity, does this not show just how easily such a naive idea as “institution of a formal and solemn test and declaration of loyalty” can be undermined so as to make them worse than pointless?
You cite the Equality Act 2010 as a bookend but Hate speech laws predate that by quite a margin.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech_laws_in_the_United_Kingdom

William Amos
William Amos
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

Indeed, it is not a comprehensive solution but I’m pleased you agree it could help.
You say it is naive, but perhaps ‘modest’ would be fairer. It is, i would argue, undoubtedly less quixotic than basing the ties-that-bind on that strange beast of a moveable feast that Mr Gove calls ‘British Values’.
I believe Owen Jones and Calvin Robinson both currently lay claim to that capacious mantle.
Then there is the strange truth that the ‘values’ of my conservative Muslim neighbours would probably have appeared more recognisably ‘British’ to my grandsires than those of the Liberal Progressive ascendancy.
Making values rather than loyalty the basis of participation in the life of the commonwealth establishes an ideological purity test which will inevitably recoil on those of us who don’t subscribe to the Liberal Milennium. At this late stage that seems obvious, to me.

Adrian Smith
Adrian Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  William Amos

I think you hit the nail on the head wrt “British values” what are they – it is not sitting on a wall outside eating fish and chips.
One of the key liberal values is free speech, but so called Liberals have been responsible for denying it and many conservatives seem to only be in favour of it when it suits them.
If we really want things to get better then we need to do something different than we have been and reaffirming a genuine commitment to free speech is a good start.
I think the key is to create an environment where we all prioritise that which we have in common and unites us, rather than emphasising the differences that can then be used to divide us. Loyalty to our society at some level would be a part of that.
See my point about Michaela as a microcosm in another part of the discussion

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
4 months ago
Reply to  Adrian Smith

For John Major it included family life. For Cameron it was tolerance. Now? Historically the British were not tolerant to immigrants, viz the Huguenots. But this is a game anybody can play. The current attempts are as pathetic as the past ones..

Charlie Two
Charlie Two
4 months ago

nothing will work under the current system. the civil service is institutionally racist against Britain and England in particular. no matter what definition is used you cant get beyond that basic fact. Islam is incompatible with anything else, that’s a simple historical fact. The incredibly badly educated public school idiots that make up the civil service, are mentally incapable of understanding that.

John Riordan
John Riordan
4 months ago

I would have thought that the aim of the Muslim Brotherhood as described above contravenes the official legal definition of genocide.

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
4 months ago

Because Hamas attacked Israel (nothing whatsoever to do with Britain) and foreigners and leftists made pests of themselves in the streets of London, because of that RIGHT-WING organisations, whose only crime is unfashionable patriotism and a wish to “get our country back” will be named and shamed.

That’s the Tories for you.

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
4 months ago

Could anything be more extreme than the ongoing replacement of the native English in their homeland by mass foreign immigration?

Yet will we see the pro-immigration agitators and “charities” named and shamed? When pigs fly!

Jonathan Newham
Jonathan Newham
4 months ago

Find myself wondering what the security services in this country are actually FOR…?

Ian Shelley
Ian Shelley
4 months ago

We live under an extremist Establishment. A generation ago virtually all of us would have regarded the position of centrist politicians today as extreme on the issues that dominate our news and our culture. Non-Western societies continue to regard these as extreme: mutilating children in pursuit of Far Left gender theory. Allowing each year over half a million immigrants into our country, and assisting illegal immigrants across the channel. Police arresting people whose speech offends foreigners. On all these issues most of us are Far Right today. Our LibLabCon politicians present to us a landscape that calibrates the centre as whatever position they have been pushed into by the extreme Progressives in the media and the myriad of publicly-funded pressure groups.
Any society must have a religious, or quasi-religious foundation, for meaning, cohesiveness and purpose. The religion relates to the politics as the base of the iceberg does to the visible peak. Our politicians today are nearly all religious illiterates. Politicians of the Left have adopted Progressivism to perform the function of religion and Conservatives have been too scared to stand up to it. We find ourselves in a topsy-turvy world where extremist Progressives, on a Maoist mission to destroy the bad olds, masquerade as the centre while the tolerant gentle Christian centre, that built up our free society over the centuries, is cast as the far right. This fictitious threat is set up so that the real existential threat of Muslim domination can be downplayed by short-termist politicians, ever kicking the can down the road. They do this in fear of the recently-minted anathematizing words racist and islamophobic that are hurled by the priests of Progressivism at anyone who takes a responsible, long term view in concern for our children’s and grandchildren’s freedom.  

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian Shelley

Am i reading you right, or is there not an unintended irony in requiring society to have “a religious, or quasi-religious foundation” which is precisely the objective of Islam?

Ian Shelley
Ian Shelley
4 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I am not prescribing religion as my preference for the foundation of a society but rather observing that any society will always need to have a religious basis. If we dispose of religion it will reappear in another form. We have been enjoying the gradual process of liberalising our religious commitment in the West. Throwing off restrictions is usually gratifying, but productive humans understand the need for control, self-control, accountability which runs against our idle nature. Like cyclists who have coasted down a long hill, there comes a time when we need to do some hard pedalling again to build up the social structures we foolishly thought we could throw away.
Three religions offer alternative routes for the West today. There is the gentle old religion of Christianity, which built our societies. The external good referee, forgiveness and justification through faith, rather than works and self-righteousness, are key reasons why Christianity has produced such harmonious productive societies. Then there is Islam. Thirdly we have the religion of Progressivism which reaches for moral supremacy, and through that political power, repurposing Christian themes to create self-righteous religion. Progressivism makes Equality its implicit chief god, but it is an absurd god in whom few really believe.
Where there are humans there will be inequalities, so in pursuit of egalitarianism the Left will always be able to find social norms, customs or institutions that need to be torn down in the march to the ever-receding Utopia. To Progressives, Islam is a tool to dislodge Christianity as our foundation. They have no credible plan to put Islam back in its box and for Muslims to become just exotically-dressed obedient Progressives. So we have one harmonious gentle religion being bashed by two intolerant and utterly incompatible religions that are marching us towards extreme civil strife later this century.  

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian Shelley

I don’t disagree with your description of our current predicament, but it should always be remembered that Christianity (or its various sects and adherents) has been the cause of centuries of discord, fighting and death prior to the modern era. In citing Critical Theory as an extrusion from the Enlightenment, the latter might be seen as an attempt to overcome the religious elements that’d caused such mayhem. Returning to a religion-based model is therefore not the answer. We must move on from there.
It’s probably true to say that it’s not the religion itself which causes the problem but those who use it to try to gain temporal power. That’s why my sensibility goes against all creeds and -isms; they’re prone to being adopted for more dismal purposes. What we should finally be starting to do is to understand our own humanity better. You mention Nietzsche’s honesty – yes, precisely. That, i believe, was his key message (which has inevitably been distorted).

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
4 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I disagree. I posit that the reason the USA did so well up until the 1970s was that its scientific and technological progress was rooted in belief of the Christian G*d. Once the Bible got removed as a cornerstone of moral development within public schools, the curriculum gave way to postmodern shibboleths such as feminist, race, and queer theory, all of which are based on political resentment and a hatred of Christian values.
For all its faults, Christianity preached love and understanding for those that are different to you. It formed the basis of the Enlightenment which was an attempt to disengage nation-building from medieval superstitions. The identity politics taught in colleges today and trickling down to schools is in direct confrontation to that.
I think what Ian Shelley is saying is that without some form of religion to act as societal glue, nation-states are likely to devolve into cults and ideologies that preach narcissism, hatred, and cruelty to out-groups. Even the Aztecs believed they were an advanced enlightened people despite the fact that they sacrificed and cannibalized their enemies. And the ancient Greeks, who were considered pretty scientific for their time, engaged in bizarre and vicious behavior.
Without the Christian doctrine of divine love and equality under G*d, we may never have ended the cruel customs of treating women and children as chattel or the keeping of slaves. Once the temperance preached by Christianity has wholly dissipated from the West all that will be left will be the pursuit of raw power. We are in effect returning to the pre-Christian world – one ruled by ancient primitive urges dangerously enhanced by twenty-first century technology.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian Shelley

Quote so.
I don’t look forward to watching the young, eager female progressives getting decapitated for questioning the Islamists about why they must convert and marry old men.

Jake Raven
Jake Raven
4 months ago

I struggle with the “…. ideology based on intolerance, hatred …..”
I agree that anyone inciting violence should feel the weight of the law, but intolerance or hatred are entirely subjective.
So many, usually lefties or wokesters, consider any views contrary to their own to be intolerant or hateful, in reality they should look in a mirror, but could and will try to use this new definition against those with a contrary view.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
4 months ago

British culture is dead. In so far as anyone is interested in it it is to either deconstruct it or indulge in nostalgia for the lost world. What is left is shallow nonsense about ‘British values’ which apart from again the sepia nostalgia are no more than hedonism and rentier economics. Into this vacuum enters Islam (not Islamism which doesn’t exist). Islam knows what it is, what it believes and what it requires of its followers. The natives do not have children, do not want to work hard, do not have religious or moral fibre beyond a lazy and ‘don’t judge me’ materialist individualism, and do not have strong families. Such a ‘culture’ cannot survive. Something stronger, anything stronger and proximate, will inevitably replace it; pass whatever laws you want.

Glynis Roache
Glynis Roache
4 months ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

Culture has to be felt. It has components that operate below conscious level. It’s a sense of place, a feeling of belonging. Some things we do are not simply activities. They are, to some extent, ritual or ceremonial in that they carry folk memories and conjure feelings. But then, maybe you don’t live in a village that was mentioned in a manuscript written before the Domesday book and once had a name that means ‘haunt of goblins’, and now has a pub on the green where you can watch the cricket or the vintage car rally or the children playing. Maybe, you don’t go to garden openings for the NGS scheme and have a cup of tea and a piece of cake and buy a home propagated plant – all proceeds to charity. Maybe you don’t have a local agricultural show where you can look at the livestock etc and reflect that your ancestors tilled this land as far back as you can trace – hundreds of years worth of yeoman farmers. Maybe you don’t have local farm shops or a mistletoe market at Christmas. Maybe you don’t notice mistletoe in your trees and think about the druids. Maybe you don’t have a 1000 year old local church with a peal of bells that, even if you would never answer the call, still sparks something in you that the Muslim call to prayer never could. Perhaps this isn’t even what you would call culture but its a way of life that means a lot to me and I’d rather not have it denigrated as sepia nostalgia. I know what I am, how I live and what I represent. I and thousands of others who have put in hours for charities, followed professions, served in the armed forces, and continue to do the best they can for their families and friends and the locality, even in retirement. And even if you neither recognise nor respect our efforts.

Jon Barrow
Jon Barrow
4 months ago
Reply to  Glynis Roache

You’re both right. I live in a similar type of place but in the north; around us there are towns and areas of cities where very little (actually nothing) of traditional English culture, even the industrial working-class type, exists. Only some of the architecture.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  Glynis Roache

Actually I do live in such a place. Packaged as it is now to appeal to metropolitans on staycations with twee independent shops selling stuff locals don’t need but visitors might buy at inflated prices to decorate their city homes with dare I say rural nostalgia. The terrace of cottages in which I live is now being transformed into airb&b row. The Church I attend is full of old people like me. The passing seasons are still mirrored in the reduced rituals of the Prayer Book but the deep connection that once reflected the seasons and the agricultural year is shallow now, a pale reflection of what once was celebrated by my great grand parents and soon to be subsumed by post modernity, closure or maybe, once the white colonial countryside goes the way of the great cities, Islam.

B Emery
B Emery
4 months ago

So. What we did was let a load of people in, from a completely different culture – whilst simultaneously going to war with some of the countries these people come from. And some of these people don’t like western culture too much anyway. Sure way to cause trouble.
At the same time, we decided to have a war on terror, I’m sure there was much hype about stopping islamism and hate speech etc. SO WHY:

‘When it comes to this brand of “non-violent” Islamism, British authorities have been incredibly lax.’

WTF are the British authorities doing? Again, what do all these police people do? I thought we already had whole police departments and counter terrorism anti militant Muslim units?

The answer is provided, how stupid of me:

Revelations that training materials and briefings under Prevent and other counter-terrorism efforts have expanded so far as to include the likes of Brexit voters…..

I see. People that voted brexit because of all the above problems caused by our sham of a government are to blame. Let’s put them on the prevent list. Let’s in fact police the sh*t out of them. Let’s not police the militant Muslims, let’s police the native population instead.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
4 months ago

But Michael Gove is only doing what the Conservative In Name Only Party always does – issuing meaningless soundbites while doing the opposite

Steve Farrell
Steve Farrell
4 months ago

Can’t see any future in which this doesn’t pivot to the policing of right wing memes inside 12 months. The absolute bone headed refusal to admit where the main threat is coming from is too deeply embedded now.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
4 months ago

If a significant minority are highly motivated Islamist extremists, aided by an ongoing anti-British and indeed anti-western(*) ideology which has captured so many institutions, aided by the absolute incompetence of much of the administrative state, then really the structures and specific rules make little difference. France and Germany has very similar exactly problems to ours.

The solutions are pretty clear for anybody that wanted to deploy them. Firstly a vastly more restrictive immigration policy. Secondly the no-excuse deportation people either to wherever they come from or to a convenient uninhabited rocky island. (Maybe they could return if they recanted from islamism and condemned it). It could be done but it requires the scrapping of human rights legislation which overwhelmingly benefits bad actors, and a great deal of political will – where there is none.

[* In cryptic form this kind of ideological evolution is very western in nature – you simply cannot imagine almost any other civilization destroying its own roots in the way we are doing]