Extremist groups should not receive taxpayers' money to pursue hostile ideology
People in this country face a threat to life and limb from terrorists who seek to cause maximum carnage in pursuit of an extremist ideology that has its roots in fundamentalist Islam. Whether the country faces a threat to its way of life is another matter. These people are few in number and their ambitions to establish some sort of caliphate are fanciful. The one impact they have had on our way of life is to require levels of security and surveillance that border on the intolerable in a free society. They have become necessary to limit the threat; yet they undermine the very freedoms we seek to defend.
Yesterday, the Government published its updated strategy for confronting this menace. It is called "Contest 2", and its principal components are to protect against an attack and to prepare for one; to pursue the terrorists and disrupt their activities; and to prevent the radicalisation of young Muslim men who may join the ranks of the terrorists.
It goes without saying that people who would bring murder and mayhem to our streets should be thwarted. Diligent policing and good intelligence are the twin prongs of any effective strategy. Equally important is help from the communities in which terrorists thrive. Muslims must confront the fundamentalist preachers – none of whom have been ejected as promised, and whose anti-Western rhetoric can tip angry and impressionable young men towards violence. Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, said that publicly funded organisations can expect to be "openly challenged" if they oppose British traditions of democracy, tolerance and free speech. They must be more than challenged. Even if they do not espouse violence, any suggestion that extremist groups should receive taxpayers' money to pursue an ideology hostile to the interests of the country is simply unacceptable.
Here's a suggestion:
How about blocking immigration from Muslim states and deporting anyone with dual citizenship who's a family member of anyone linked to groups proven to be extremist and hostile?
You know what I'd call that? A first step. The British caused this problem by importing it without giving it a second thought. It's time to have A thought.