A REVIEW of the Government's efforts to tackle extremism, set up
after the killing of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, has said that ministers
could and should do more to confront extremist preaching.
A report by the Government's Extremism Taskforce, Tackling
Extremism in the UK, recommends a number of measures,
including stopping extremists from exploiting charities,
considering creating new ASBO-like civil orders to handicap efforts
to radicalise others, and ensuring terrorist material hosted by
foreign websites cannot be accessed in the UK.
In a statement on 4 December, the Home Secretary, Theresa May,
spoke of practical steps to address "the gaps in our response to
extremism". The report warns that, in the past, the Government has
been "reticent" in challenging Islamism "because of a misplaced
concern that attacking Islamist extremism equates to an attack on
Islam itself". The report says, however: "Britain is stronger
because of its open, multi-faith and multi-racial communities,
which can tackle extremists together and challenge the view that it
is not possible to be a true Muslim and be integrated in British
The Old Bailey heard last week how one of the men accused of
killing Fusilier Rigby described himself as a "soldier of Allah" in
a war against Britain. Michael Adebolajo, 28, denies murdering
Fusilier Rigby, but told the court he considered al-Qaeda as his
"brothers in Islam". In an interview with police officers, shown to
the court, Mr Adebolajo said: "That word British is now associated
with murder, pillaging, and rape. [There is a] war between the
Muslims and the British people."
Prisons and schools should be targeted by counter-extremism
efforts as they are places where the authorities can exert greater
influence, Tackling Extremism in the UK says. It states:
"All schools in England . . . including those with a faith ethos,
must expect that they will be inspected and assessed on their
measures to protect their pupils from extremist material." Rules on
legal correspondence for prisoners will also be tightened.