Cameron launches new strategy to beat Islamist extremism in UK

 Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday unveiled a new five-year strategy to defeat the "poison" of Islamist extremism in the UK and vowed to take on terrorism in all its forms to win the "struggle of our generation".

PTI| Updated: Jul 20, 2015, 21:23 PM IST

London: Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday unveiled a new five-year strategy to defeat the "poison" of Islamist extremism in the UK and vowed to take on terrorism in all its forms to win the "struggle of our generation".

Speaking in Birmingham, Cameron set out the major issues which needed to be addressed in what has been described as his most significant speech on the subject, amid the alarming trend in the UK that has seen hundreds of Britons, including women and children, fleeing the country to join the ranks of Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

"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," he said.

"And it often backs violence to achieve this aim mostly violence against fellow Muslims ? who don't subscribe to its sick worldview," he added.

"This is how I believe we can win the struggle of our generation. Countering the extremist ideology. Standing up and promoting our shared British values. Taking on extremism in all its forms, both violent and non-violent," Cameron said.

"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 for all," he said.

The Prime Minister talked about Britain as a "multi-racial, multi-faith democracy" and as a "beacon to the world". He said no-one should be demonised and moderate Muslims also hated the "sick world view" of extremists.

"I want to work with you to defeat this poison," he said.

Cameron stressed that the connection between Islam and Islamic extremists cannot be ignored, adding that "No more turning a blind eye on the basis of cultural sensitivities".

"Extremists do not represent Islam. But, because the Islamists self-identify as Muslims, we need to challenge them. And that needs help from Muslim communities, and from Muslim scholars who can say they are wrong," he said.

"It is right to say these people have nothing to do with the true nature of Islam. But that, on its own, is not enough. We need to go further," he added.

He announced a new scheme to allow parents to apply directly to get their child's passport cancelled if they feared they had been radicalised.