Javid Challenges Anti-Immigration Rhetoric & ‘Zionist’ Conspiracy Theories in Counter-Extremism Speech
The Home Secretary will call on public figures to “moderate their language” to halt the spread of poisonous ideologies.
In a speech on Friday, Sajid Javid is expected to call for an honest “national conversation” about extremism and challenge anti-immigration rhetoric, which he says is stoking division and fear.
It comes after Donald Trump sparked a racism row when he sent tweets telling four female Democratic politicians to “go back” to the countries from which they came.
Mr Javid is expected to say: “I’m from an immigrant family, I know what it’s like to be told to go back to where I came from.
“We must confront the myths about immigration that extremists use to drive divisions.
“We know the scale is exaggerated to stoke up fear and that they use immigration as a proxy for race.
“Anyone can challenge the myths peddled by extremists that deepen divisions.
“So tell your friends, shout it loud and proud: people from minority backgrounds did not steal our jobs, they’re not terrorists, that there is no global ‘Zionist conspiracy’.”
Mr Javid will outline a three-pronged approach of tackling extremism – confronting narratives, strengthening communities’ resilience and tackling causes of confronting extremist narratives – in what is being touted as one of the first major interventions since the Counter Extremism Strategy was launched in 2015.
He will call for further integration within society, more help for people to learn English, greater support for communities and a celebration of national identity.
“I will not flinch from confronting extremism. I will do everything in my power to stop those who seek to undermine our country,” Mr Javid is expected to tell civil society groups, charities and academics.
“If we are to stop extremism in its tracks we must have the courage to confront it, the strength to take decisive action, and the foresight to tackle the root causes.
“Public discourse is hardening and becoming less constructive.
“Everyone has a part to play: broadcasters who must not give a platform to extremists; police who must swoop on the worst offenders; public figures who must moderate their language.”
The speech will take place following the publication of a poll carried out by the independent Commission for Countering Extremism, which is working on a review of the threat and response to extremism in England and Wales.
Almost 3,000 people replied to the call to share their experience of extremism, the commission said.
The results show more than half (52%) of the respondents have witnessed extremism, with 45% of them saying they had seen it online and 39% of them reporting seeing it in their local area.
Of those, 59% said they had seen Islamist extremism, 37% far right extremism and 29% far left extremism.
Speaking ahead of the Home Secretary’s speech entitled Confronting Extremism Together, lead commissioner Sara Khan said: “I was shocked to see that more than half of the respondents have witnessed extremism in some way, and that two-fifths of those that had witnessed it said they’d seen it in their local area.
“The findings underline the breadth and severity of the concerns we have in 2019.
“People are scared that violent extremists will incite or carry out an attack.
“Communities are also deeply concerned about the impact of groups exploiting local tensions to spread hate and division.”