Cancer Research UK
Mental Health Media
Elephant Atta
College of Policing

‘Defeating extremism in all its forms needs a comprehensive, global approach’


by BARONESS WILLIAMS
Minister of state for
countering extremism and minister for equalities
by BARONESS WILLIAMS Minister of state for countering extremism and minister for equalities

BRITAIN and India are bound by personal, profes­sional, cultural and institutional ties. We have a shared interest in each other’s prosperity, generat­ing jobs, developing skills, and enhancing the competitiveness of our economies. And our business links are strengthened by the people-to-people links between our countries – what we now describe as a “Living Bridge”. These historical ties are, of course, also the foundation on which we cooperate on counter-ter­rorism and extremism issues. I want to take this opportunity to look beyond counter-terrorism and instead focus on our ap­proach to identifying and countering extremism in the UK. In the UK, we do not consider extremism and terrorism as the same thing. Of course, extremists use narratives to radicalise young Britons to join terrorist groups like Daesh. But radicalisation into terrorism is not the only harm of extremism. Extremists also use their twisted narratives to justify hatred and division, spread intolerance, iso­late communities and erode the rights of women and minorities. POINT OF VIEW: Baroness Williams with Indian minister MJ Akbar Our strategy defines extremism as the vocal and active opposition to our fundamental values, in­cluding democracy, the rule of law, individual lib­erty and the mutual respect and tolerance of dif­ferent faiths and beliefs. Countering extremism is complex. We must bal­ance the rights of individuals to practice a faith, or their right to have free speech. Law-abiding cam­paigning and nationalism, like we’ve seen closer to home with Scottish nationalism, for example, is acceptable in our democracy. But we will act decisively to disrupt extremist activity where our legal thresholds are broken and where individuals are crossing that line, whether that’s by inciting hatred or violence. The threat we face from extremists is unprecedented. The internet is enabling them to spread their ideologies at a pace and scale never seen before. It also…

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