David Cameron gives parents power to cancel their children's passports to stop them joining Isis

New law was among several measures announced by the Prime Minister as part of five-year strategy to combat Islamic extremism in the UK

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Parents will be given the power to cancel their children's passports if they fear they are planning on travelling to Iraq and Syria to join Isis, David Cameron has announced.

The Prime Minister unveiled the new law in a set-piece speech in Birmingham where he laid out the government's five-year strategy to fight Islamic extremism in the UK.

A new scheme will be opened for parents to apply for their children's passports to be made invalid, which is believed will be introduced immediately to combat the growing number of youngsters fleeing the UK to join Isis.

Mr Cameron said it would help Muslim parents "living in fear" that their children may be the next to be won over by the Islamist ideology. The new law would only apply to children under the age of 16.

It was among a range of new measures the government will implement to prevent young people from being radicalised in what Mr Cameron described as a "significant shift in government approach" to tackling extremism.

The government will also create legislation that will put non-violent extremists who radicalise young people "out of action," which Mr Cameron said had led up to 700 young Britons joining Isis in Syria or Iraq.

Mr Cameron said the responsibility to "de-glamourise" groups like Isis lay with a combination of the authorities, community and religious leaders, schools and families, and British society must work together to "de-glamourise" groups like Isis by making youngsters aware of the brutual reality of life in the parts of Iraq and Syria under Isis control.

In a chilling message to anyone tempted by joining Isis, Mr Cameron said: "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."

Announcing his plans to crack down on youngsters fleeing to Iraq and Syria, Mr Cameron said:  “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.”

Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry, welcomed the Prime Minister's approach and said it was now up to Britain’s Muslim communities to take a renewed responsibility for combating extremist ideology.

“He [Mr Cameron] has gone as far as he should at the moment and I think what we need to do is all of us have to take stock and see how we can actually deliver and then see how we can move forward,” Mr Mahmood said.

“Above all, there has to be a significant remit in terms of responsibility by the community and by the parents.

“There are religious obligations on the parents and the community – it’s important the Muslim community and the parents provide the right understanding of their religion; that’s incumbent on the Muslim community to do that; it’s where we fail our young people to do that and where they deviate from the true preaching of Islam.

"We can’t leave that to the state; we can’t leave it to anybody else; it’s a real responsibility for us to handle and to deal with so there is a real response here for us to deal with and we’re not doing that.”

Mr Mahmood said the move to allow parents to strip their kids of their passports was the right move because the “best way to ensure the safety of young people is in the family”. “You can’t keep control of them all of the time – they might just leave and if you’re that fearful then as parents you have that right and obligation to take that mode of travel away from them.

“Of course parents should have the right to do that and that should be encouraged in communities so they can feel they can exercise discipline. If the parents are doing it I think that is a very, very positive step.”

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