Prime Minister David Cameron is launching a five-year plan to defeat Islamic extremism, saying it is time to counter the ideology that has attracted so many young people to the Islamic State group.
In a speech prepared for delivery Monday in Birmingham, Cameron says that the extremist ideology of the group, also known as ISIL, must be countered to create a more cohesive nation in which young Muslims feel they have a stake.
Excerpts were released by Cameron's office.
Many people born in Britain have little attachment to the country and that makes them vulnerable to radicalization, Cameron says.
Indeed, there is a danger in some of our communities that you can go your whole life and have little to do with people from other faiths and backgrounds,” he says. “So when groups like ISIL seek to rally our young people to their poisonous cause, it can offer them a sense of belonging that they can lack here at home.”
The prime minister is expected to announce a study designed to find ways to increase opportunities for young people from ethnic minorities and increase their integration in society.
Cameron also takes on the sensitive question of the role Britain's Muslim community should play in fighting Islamic State, saying extreme views such as believing in a “Jewish conspiracy” and opposition to “fundamental liberal values” are the gateway to violence.
“There are so many strong, positive Muslim voices being drowned out,” he says. “Ask yourself, how is it possible that when young teenagers leave their London homes to fight for ISIL, the debate focuses on whether the security services are to blame?”
When we allow the extremists to set the terms of the debate in this way, is it any wonder that people are attracted to this ideology?”