October 19, 2015 Faith Matters

Response from Faith Matters to Counter-Extremism Measures Announced Today

The announcement from the Prime Minister regarding a raft of measures as part of the counter-extremism strategy primarily looks to disrupt extremist activities including the use of venues, the posting of extremist material and tougher measures on radio and television channels showing extremist content. These are a raft of measures that will be implemented in the coming months.

Whilst we acknowledge the real and ongoing threat to our nation and to our security, the work that Faith Matters undertakes through Tell MAMA has brought to the forefront, the issue of far right extremism and the impacts that it is having on Muslim communities. These measures must also be used robustly against far right groups that have consistently skirted around the law when promoting their extremism. Also, whilst we are aware that the threat of far right extremist groups is lower than that of groups like the so-called Islamic State, nonetheless, there are risks of lone wolf attacks against mosques and Muslim communities given the rhetoric and threats that we come across in Tell MAMA.

Faith Matters also acknowledges and commends the actions of this Government in tackling anti-Muslim hatred and the Prime Minister has listened to concerns within Muslim communities. We believe that together, collectively, we must all stand together against the scourge of extremism, though we must also support those who stand up publicly to denounce those who promote radicalisation and extremism. The Prime Minister has mentioned that the Government will actively support such individuals and we value and acknowledge this. 

Commenting on the counter-extremism policy initiatives, the Director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, stated:

“There is much here that can help in the battle against those who promote extremism and we must not forget that there is a real and ongoing threat from far right extremist groups and their activism should also be caught in these measures. The Government must also ensure that it does not alienate mainstream Muslim communities who are a solution to the problem of IS and Al Qaeda inspired extremism. Side by side with these measures, we must also tackle issues of integration, disaffection and social exclusion which also feed into creating excluded communities.”