Open letter to the Prime Minister on countering extremism in partnership with local communities

Dear Prime Minister,

We the undersigned are committed to protecting and ensuring the safety, security, and cohesion of our communities.  As proud British nationals, we understand that extremism is a real and present danger to our country. This means that we are committed to tackling extremism whether from groups like ISIS or Al Qaeda, or from far right groups in this country who promote anti-Muslim hatred.

Muslim communities need to be front and centre in the strategy to tackle extremism. We strongly encourage our government to continue and expand its engagement work with Muslim communities. Whilst we understand and acknowledge the challenges the Government has surmounted in implementing the Prevent strategy, without the support of Muslim communities, such a strategy cannot work. This requires investment, community engagement, and at times, for the Government to listen and act on real concerns within Muslim communities.

We also want to add that Muslims should not only be seen through the prism of counter-extremism or securitisation agendas. Doing so risks the marginalisation of a vibrant, pro-active, and diverse set of communities in the UK, impeding integration and community confidence in the state. The only way forward is through multi-level engagement and dialogue, irrespective of political differences. Her Majesty’s Government is also our Government and we firmly believe that dialogue and partnership are the best ways to counter extremism.

With this in mind, we the undersigned pledge our continuing support for engagement with Government departments and bodies in the spirit of co-operation, transparency, and care for the future of our nation. What we ask for in return is an ongoing partnership with Government that is constructive and ensures the safety, security, and development of all communities. Together, we can deliver effective and valuable services to communities.

We welcome a future that is built on a joint desire to keep the ‘Great’ in Great Britain. Muslim communities must be front and centre in that drive.