Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

Cameron unveils anti-extremism plan, urges internet firms to help


LONDON: Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that moderate Muslims in Britain should speak out against Islamist militants, saying it was wrong to deny any connection between their religion and acts of violence.

Cameron outlined a counterext­remism strategy designed to halt the spread in Britain of the radical ideology promoted by Islamic State militants (IS) in Syria and Iraq - what he called the “struggle of our generation”.

He also demanded that internet companies do more to help fight the spread of radical ideologies.

An aim of the strategy will be to target ‘home-grown’ militants. Around 700 Britons are estimated to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join IS militants, some of whom have since returned.

Cameron said to meet that goal, the religious drivers behind extremism had to be acknowledg­ed and that moderate Muslim voices needed to be heard.

“Simply denying any connection between the religion of Islam and the extremists doesn’t work,” he said. “It is an exercise in futility to deny that and more than that, it can be dangerous.”

“When it comes to doing what’s right for their businesses they’re happy to engineer technologi­es that track our likes and our dislikes,” he said, without naming specific firms.

“But when it comes to doing what’s right in the fight against terrorism we too often hear that it’s all too difficult — I’m sorry I just don’t buy that.”

Cameron is preparing to extend Britain’s fight against IS overseas by seeking parliament­ary approval to undertake anti-IS bombing missions in Syria. Britain currently only conducts airstrikes in neighbouri­ng Iraq, although pilots seconded to allied air forces have taken part in air strikes.

Interfaith group Faith Matters broadly welcomed the strategy but cautioned against placing the blame on religion.

“Positing ideology as the main driver overlooks a multitude of factors that drives individual­s towards violent extremism,” the group said in a statement.

 ??  ?? David Cameron, British PM
David Cameron, British PM

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India