British Prime Minister David Cameron said that he is willing to classify “Islamist extremism” as an ideology distinct from Islam in his country. He wants to use the same techniques Britain has used to target online pornography by easing the process for extremist material on the Internet to be reported and asking Internet providers to offer filters that block violent and extremist content.
Cameron is following the lead of a task force’s recommendations that were triggered by the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in May. The goal is to stop the radicalization of young Muslims by “hate preachers”.
Two men have been charged with Rigby’s murder; one asserted in court that the act was an “eye for an eye” and vengeance against Britain for what he said were the country’s wars against Muslims.
Cameron, speaking in China, said, “This summer we saw events that shocked the nation. These tragedies were a wakeup call for government and wider society to take action to confront extremism in all its forms, whether in our communities, schools, prisons, Islamic centres or universities.”
The new definition of “Islamist extremism” that Cameron espouses claims that the violent ideology is a distortion of Islam. Cameron is trying to draw the distinction to avoid offending Britain’s 2.7 million Muslims. His government wants to unchain the police so they can target “extremism” and try to legislate a ban on radical groups.
Cameron asserted, “There are just too many people who have been radicalized at Islamic centers, who have been in contact with extremist preachers, who have come across material on the Internet who haven’t been sufficiently challenged. I want to see an end to hate preaching in Britain.”