New Government legislation will include powers to put non-violent extremists who radicalise young people “out of action”, David Cameron has said.
The action against Islamist “influencers” forms part of a five-year plan to crush the home-grown extremism which the Prime Minister said had led to up to 700 young Britons travelling abroad to fight for the Islamic State terror group and left Muslim parents “living in fear” that their children may be radicalised. The move comes after Dewsbury Talha Asmal became the youngest ever British-born suicide bomber following an attack in Northern Iraq earlier this year.
Mr Cameron announced plans for a new scheme allowing parents to apply to have their own children’s passports removed if they suspect them of planning to travel abroad to join a radical group. The PM said Britain must act to “de-glamourise” groups like IS by making young people aware of the brutal reality of life in the parts of Iraq and Syria which they control.
“We need to put out of action the key extremist influencers who are careful to operate just inside the law but who clearly detest British society,” said Mr Cameron.
A new Extremism Bill will include “narrowly-targeted” powers to tackle these “facilitators and cult leaders” and stop them “peddling their hatred”, he said. He also said the Government would take action to tackle sectarian and communal segregation in schools, and called on communications watchdog Ofcom to clamp down on channels broadcasting extremism.
Universities should be ready to challenge extremists on campus and broadcasters should use a wider range of speakers, rather than repeatedly putting extreme voices on screen, he said.