Young Muslims are drawn to fundamentalist Islam in the same way young Germans were attracted to fascism in the 20th century, David Cameron will suggest today, as he sets out a five-year strategy to combat Isis-inspired radicalisation.
In a speech in Birmingham, Mr Cameron will say Islamic extremist ideology is based on the same intolerant ideas of “discrimination, sectarianism and segregation” that led to the rise of Hitler and that still exist in the far right.
He will also reject suggestions that Western foreign policy has contributed to the rise of Isis and its popularity among Muslim populations in the West, arguing that such extremism existed long before the Iraq war.
The Prime Minister will also announce details of a new drive to promote integration led by the Government’s “tsar” for troubled families, Louise Casey. This will include addressing issues around integration, language and employment and learning from “past mistakes” where government funding was “simply handed” over to “self-appointed ‘community leaders’” who “sometimes used it in a divisive way”.
Downing Street said Mr Cameron was determined to make tackling Islamic extremism in Britain a central priority over the next five years with a comprehensive strategy that involved not just the police and the criminal justice system but also “softer interventions” to tackle the root causes of radicalisation.
However he is likely to face criticism for the tough language in the speech from some in the Muslim community who have warned it could play into the hands of extremists.
Addressing the threat posed by radical Islam in Britain Mr Cameron is expected to say that for “all our successes as a multiracial, multi-faith democracy” Britain faces the “struggle of our generation” to counter extremist ideology.
“What we are fighting in Islamist extremism is an ideology,” he will say.
Terror plots foiled by British security since 7/7 attack
Terror plots foiled by British security since 7/7 attack
1/10 'Poppy terror plot'
Nadir Ali Sayed, 21, his cousin Yousaf Shah Syed, 19, and Haseeb Hamayoon, 27, were charged with terrorism offences over an alleged plot to behead a member of public. The trio were arrested in London and High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire on 6 November - three days before Remembrance Sunday
2/10 Heathrow airport arrests
A 19-year-old from Coventry man was arrested at London's Heathrow airport on suspicion of preparing for acts of terrorism in November 2014
3/10 Extradition of Abu Hamza
Radical muslim cleric Abu Hamza was used as an example of the kind of people the Home Office has extradited
4/10 South East Counter Terrorism Unit arrests
Six people were arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences after a series of dawn raids in the south of England in October 2014. Three men and three women were detained separately in two properties in Portsmouth, one in Farnborough and one in Greenwich following an operation by the South East Counter Terrorism Unit. Counter-terror officers said they had disrupted what was believed to be the early stages of what could have turned into a “significant plot”
5/10 Law student arrest
A law student who was the subject of a controversial secret trial was convicted for possessing a bomb-making manual, it can now be reported. Erol Incedal, 26, is said to have kept the manual on a memory card adhesive-taped to the inside of his iPhone cover. He now faces a retrial starting on 23 February next year after jurors failed to agree whether he was plotting a terrorist attack
6/10 October 2014 arrests
Three men were arrested in central London on 13 October as part of an investigation into Islamist-related terrorism. The arrests come nearly a week after five men were arrested in dawn raids that Whitehall officials said “may have foiled the early stages” of a plan to attack the UK
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
7/10 Anjem Choudary arrest
Anjem Choudary, the radical activist and co-founder of the banned al-Muhajiroun group, was arrested in September 2014 as efforts intensify to disrupt the ideological backers of young British Muslims travelling to fight in foreign conflicts. Mr Choudary was among nine men held on suspicion of supporting a banned terrorist group and encouraging terrorism. The arrests came shortly after Mr Choudary fired off a series of angry tweets after David Cameron called on MPs to back air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria
Oli Scarff/Getty Images
8/10 North West Counter Terrorism Unit funds seizing
Police seize £250,000 of cash intended to fund Isis at Manchester Airport and north-west ports. Using powers under the Terrorism Act, the money was confiscated by officers from the North West Counter Terrorism Unit
9/10 Tarik Hassane arrest
A medical student who was offered a place at a London university has been named among four men who are being questioned by counter-terror police after a series of raids across the capital. Tarik Hassane, 21, is believed to have been Tasered when he was arrested on suspicion of being involved in a "significant" Islamist terror plot on 7 October
10/10 Abu Qatada removed from UK
Radical preacher Abu Qatada will not be returning to the UK after being cleared of terror charges in Jordan
“It is an extreme doctrine and like any extreme doctrine, it is subversive. [It] subscribes to 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.”
Mr Cameron will argue that such a “warped world view” leads to conclusions that 9/11 was “actually inspired by Mossad to provoke the invasion of Afghanistan” and that the British security services knew about 7/7, but “didn’t do anything about it because they wanted to provoke an anti-Muslim backlash”.
He will say that extreme views can gain traction – especially with the young. “Like so many ideologies that have existed before – whether fascist or communist – many people, especially young people, are being drawn to it,” he will say. “So we need to understand why it is proving so attractive.”
Mr Cameron will reject claims that support for Isis is formed on the basis of “historic injustices and recent wars, because of poverty and hardship”. Instead he will argue that the “root cause of the threat we face is the extremist ideology itself”.
“Like any extreme doctrine, it can seem energising, especially to young people,” he will say. “They are watching videos that eulogise Isil (Isis) 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 in Isil, they now have its living and breathing expression.”
Mr Cameron will add that “adherents” of radical Islam are “overpowering other voices within Muslim debate, especially those trying to challenge it”.
“There are so many strong, positive Muslim voices being drowned out,” he will add.
Mr Cameron will suggest that if the ideology is tackled then the “right approach for defeating this extremism follows”.
Downing Street said Mr Cameron would use the speech to set out his “blueprint” of how to achieve this.Reuse content