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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  • User AvatarLaurence Cox 21st Jul - 6:22pm
    @David Evans @Tim13 It is because the Government has over a period of decades (beginning with Thatcher) funded more and more of Local Government spending...
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    The tone of this thread has got a bit negative which seems odd when we are doing much better than we have for Years, since...
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    Good luck, Jane. I was looking for your donation address. A good campaign is essential, like that of Lee Howgate now Lib Dem councillor in...
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    @Michael BG It’s KestevEn, by the way. If you were referring to the candidate, who got elected, was a choice made largely out of desperation,...
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    @ Michael BG I respect your views on the need to tackle poverty Michael, and I'm sorry you didn't make it to the SLF Conference...
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    John Marriott Just add: ...and west of Reading to your last sentence! I agree with David Evans and disagree profoundly with Laurence Cox. There MUST...
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