David Cameron’s deradicalisation strategy depends on guiding potential jihadists away from Islamic extremism. But can the mentors be trusted?
In last week’s issue of the Spectator, Peter Oborne threw his weight behind a faction within the coalition government, headed by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who are urging David Cameron and some of his closest allies to reassess their current stance on the role Islamist groups should play both in the direction of British Islam and in the government’s counter-radicalisation efforts. He believes that Cameron’s neoconservative cabal in Whitehall has fundamentally misunderstood what constitutes extremist Islam, and is mistaken in its rejection of a wide array of British Islamist organisations. Instead, he thinks Cameron and his allies must understand that non-violent Islamist groups can act as a useful bulwark against violent extremism. As well as being flawed, his argument also reveals a surprisingly low opinion of Britain’s Muslims.
So now we know. Hizb ut Tahrir, the group which loves to project itself as the vanguard of Islam has been receiving handouts from the British state to run a series of schools called the Islamic Shakhsiyah (means ‘personality’) Foundation (ISF).
For the past couple of days, the Guardian has been running scare stories about the Government’s Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) programme. Gleefully feeding Islamist propaganda about the government’s supposed demonisation of Muslims, it is an irresponsible and potentially dangerous attack.
The narrowly avoided appearance of an al-Qaeda sympathiser on Kensington and Chelsea council premises illustrates the failures of the government’s Prevent agenda.