Author Archives: Jonathan Russell

The Independent View: A reformed Prevent could tackle extremism more effectively

The government’s counter-extremism strategy, Prevent, is often criticised. Some say it acts like a thought-police, criminalises Islam and over-securitises places like schools. Others claim there is not enough buy in from Muslim communities, that it funds non-violent Islamists to tackle jihadists, or that it is not the government’s job to challenge ideology. Neither criticism is absolutely fair, but as criticised as Prevent is, it undoubtedly serves an important function and is here to stay.

While all terrorists are extremists, the vast majority of extremists do not use terrorism as a viable strategy, and a liberal and democratic nation cannot and should not deal with all extremists in the same way as it deals with terrorists. But catching terrorists who “love death as you love life” is a difficult proposition for the police or the security services when they’re keen to go down fighting and cause as much destruction as possible while they do it. Only dealing with extremism once it becomes violent and illegal is a high stakes game where the penalty for losing is the death of large numbers of innocent civilians. Tackling extremism of all kinds before it becomes violent can reduce the civilian casualties, reduce the number of violent extremists that have to be dealt with, and has the secondary benefit of challenging non-violent behaviour that nonetheless has a negative impact on British society.

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged , and | 10 Comments

The Independent View: Positively fighting back online

Circuit Bending Orchestra: Lara Grant at Diana Eng's Fairytale FWith the seemingly endless news of global and domestic extremism –  whether about the 250 girls kidnapped in Nigeria, the 500 Britons reportedly waging jihad in Syria, or the worrying allegations made against several Birmingham schools – it is rare that a report devoted to countering extremism should fill us with positivity. However, research released last week by Quilliam about the state of online extremism should encourage us all, not …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged , , , and | 3 Comments
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    Want to beat TIGGER in policy front? The latest Trudeau budget can give us a clue. If we look beyond the SNC Lavalin mess, evidence...
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    Well, Brexiter objections to concern that the Leave campaign violated electoral law amuses me, because they always refer to the Cameron govt leaflet ... surely...
  • User AvatarMichael 1 23rd Apr - 10:31pm
    @TonyH Thanks for your kind words - greatly appreciated! @David Evans I have a large degree of sympathy for much of what you say. Activism...
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    David E. Sorry, David, but that latest post of yours is gloomy nonsense. What 'objective measures' are those, when we keep hearing that we should...
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    Her MEP mailings on at least one occasion included material written by her husband (and employee) close to the MEP selection. When he came second....