Do you think Londoners can play a role in keeping people safe from extremism and radicalisation? What support or advice do Londoners need to do this?
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Who defines "extremism" or "radicalisation" ?
Currently some "extreme" or "radical" positions are promoted by socially approved campaigners.
The only thing here that should be criminal is physical harm (or inciting others to commit harm).
In a genuinely free society, "Hate" crime is an abomination - as it is defined by whoever reports something they disapprove of.
"Hate crime" statistics are nonsense - as they are based on unsubstantiated "reports".
Since when did mind-reading become "evidence" of a crime ???
The criminals who stab people should be banged up - not people who hurt feelings on the internet.
Thanks everyone for sharing your views.
Some of you have commented on what the term extremism means. It's described by the Governmnent in the Prevent Strategy as "vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces”. Radicalisation is described as "the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism."
What more can be done for Londoners to safeguard people from extremism and radicalisation?
Should more be done to encourage Londoners to refer concerns to the authorities?
And as for Islamic fundamentalist extremism it has to be understood in its specificity, and distinguished from people's geopolitical views and the Muslim religion in general. This kind of extremism is extremist not for its abstract political or religious views and generational affiliations with other countries, but for wanting to wage war against random people in Britain, who are considered somehow responsible for what has been happening in the Middle East. We can't be suspicious of all Muslim people because of a tiny minority that has such crazy and murderous views, or consider all Muslims responsible for that minority. Otherwise we are creating a paranoid and discriminatory society, and that's really not good.
Also I agree with the comments above that 'extremism' is a very lose term that lumps very different things together. Some people think it is extremist to have views about wars that do not match Britain's interests. And others think it is extremist to have political views that are critical of our current democracy. It depends what the criticism is followed by. If people want to replace democracy with fascism, a police state, and mass expulsion of populations or mass murder then yes they are extremist. Those people should be challenged and not be allowed to promote their hateful views (even though we now have one of those people in the US presidency!) Those are the same kind of people who tell people on buses to 'go back to their own country' or perpetrate even more violent attacks. But criticism of current affairs in itself is not extremist as long as it doesn't group populations and people as 'good' and 'bad' and doesn't promote violence and harm against entire communities.
Londoners have above all a responsibility to educate themselves and others about history and geopolitical issues, and develop a nuanced understanding of the world and people from different places, without taking a polarised position, and being able to see contradictions and forms of violence on all sides, while being aware of imperialist hierarchies and Britain's role in them. There are no 'good' and 'bad' people or religions and community groups. But there are power relations and we cannot allow to perpetuate the oppression and discrimination against those who are 'different' (esp from non-European backgrounds).
In answer to the London Talk question:
Do you think extremism and radicalisation is something that can be prevented? Or should this simply be policed?
Is prevention of the issue as important as policing the issue?
Policing is more of a 'quick fix', prevention is key because it nips it in the bud before it happens. Education in schools (from an early age), peace talks with communities in UK and abroad.
Prejudice is often the result of frustration, jealousy and resentment (sometimes boredom too). The key is to focus on investing properly in our police and NHS. If these institutions worked more efficiently society on the whole would be healthier, safer (and happier).
Happy people don't tend to commit terrorist attacks or hate crimes do they?
We need to do something to counter the "bystander effect". There are so many videos of hate crimes now with people standing around doing nothing about it. I'm the type to jump in headfirst and challenge the person before considering the potential consequences to myself (and I have done so in the past, although I now think I should have spoken to the victim before doing anything). How do we train people in what to do in these situations?
Integration needs to happen in the least with the children in our communities, some schools seem so divided, i.e. different religions and races all together rather than integrated. If we can address education in the young and help show them that integration is normal and the way to go, then at least perhaps for the next generation we can have more harmony, keep up the segregation in schools and lacking education about each other and the future generations have no stand.
Also, this would help language integration, it's really hard to connect when you can't speak to same language...
hate crimes and extremism are totally different and should not be considered together
Hi Julesandlola. Thanks for sharing your views.
How would you define hate crime and extremism?
Do you think extremism and radicalisation is something that can be prevented? Or should this simply be policed? Is prevention as important as policing the issue?
Fair communication panels and security
Thank you for your comment. Could you expand on this please?
Many people believe Islam is most at risk of terrorist or extremist activity. Any place of public worship with a serious drug problem is at risk of this violent behaviour because it is usually associated with weapons and demands for money with menaces.Schools have knife arches and a dedicated police presence and these measures may eventually be adopted by places of public interest such as museums, churches, theatres. We will all have to accept some restrictions and heightened security in the interests of safety. Airports are not the only venues for drug dealing.
London is now and has been for a long time, a diverse and inclusive city. However I am seeing an increase in xenophobic rhetoric and it's stoked by the media and divisive politics. Playing on the fear of 'the other' is one of the factors that increases hate crime and political rhetoric that uses this merely emboldens those would would otherwise not act. We need civility back
Yes, "Playing on the fear of the other" is one of the biggest problems of our time .....
... exacerbated by divisive "identity politics" that:
- seeks out differences
- insists on putting people into groups
- labels them as a "community"
- then implying that one of that group is a "spokesman" with the same experiences and aspirations as others of the same "identity".
Then seeks advantage for some groups - based on a hierachy - mostly around a perceived "victim status".
This is the very antithesis of an "equal" or "fair" society that the proponents claim to support.
Yet anyone who questions minority group privilege is howled down with lazy epithets.
Thanks everyone for taking part in this discussion.
It shouldn't be policed at all. People are free to have their views, its what two generations of this country fought and died for.
Also why do you target only Muslims? why is glorifying the IRA, and arguing for republicanism and other forms of Irish extremism exempt? There are lots of Irish pubs in London with stuff glorifying the IRA yet no one is arrested, now of their material is seized nor any content taken down. Surely the law should be the same for all?
policing doesn't feel right to me, from the image given of the police of late, and their reduction in funds, I wouldn't feel confident going to the police, they need more support to do a good job, good intentions, but when squeezed, humans only have a limited capacity
The greatest evil in society is the average pleb or those that impose democracy of the most stupid 51%
By stupid I mean anyone who uses emotion over logic which is increasingly prevalent, though thankfully younger people are less afflicted and can take a smack of reality
exactly what I mean.
The most stupid 51% are the most opinionated and fascist
The greatest evil in society is those who think their views are better than everybody else's. We all need to learn to compromise. Democracy is not only about having the vote. It is also about learning to respect the result and to respect those people who think and vote in a different way from ourselves.
It is this very denegration of "the other" amongst ourselves that ultimately leads to extremism.
I volunteer at a social activity for older people. Politics comes up every now and then. Imagine if I started calling half of them "stupid"?
Tolerance is the key, but people who indulge in these acts don't feel it applies to them. There should be billboards everywhere with phone numbers etc to advise people whom to contact if they have concerns with regard to these issues and anonymity should be respected.
Yes good idea
As H. G. Wells said, "Our true nationality is Mankind".
all of us have a responsibility to try & reduce extremism & radicalisation and to work against terrorism of any kind not just in london but everywhere. I would like more info/advice on what to look for & where to report any info
The Uk is the 6th biggest exporter of arms on the planet. Helping to blow up foreigners is likely to create terrorists who hate the UK.
I've made a mistake in my reply to you. Sorry. I said it was Labour Party policy to retrain engineers. This is not so. However, it is the view of the party leader & the shdow minister for Peace & Disamament.
If you want to look more into all this, I suggest you check out this website:
No, I would not put them out of a job. I would retrain arms trade engineers to do green/ socially useful things.
This is not pie in the sky. Perhaps you've heard of Sellafield/Windscale nuclear power plant. It is being decommissioned now. Its engineers are being retrained.
Last year, the TUC agreed to look at diversifying the work done by arms trade engineers. The union Unite has agreeed to look at this. It is also Labour Party policy.
As for cars, I'd get rid of most of them. Replace most with buses, trains, bicycles &, for the disabled or pregnant, web-enabled rickshaws driven by strapping youth.
So you would put all those people working in manufacturing out of a job?
Cars are the biggest killer of children, should stop making those?
Very well said.
We must get rid of khan crime and everything nasty is rising alarmingly so under his watch
kahn crime.. yes, I like that.. crimes carried out by 2nd generation imigrants unable to speak English properly
Then I suggest you use your vote in the next Mayoral Election and stop spouting your very own imbeciic nastiness.
Can you make the link between government cuts to the police and rising crime? Sidiq Khan has no say over police budgets at all, that is the responsibilty of the government.
Signs and education about the impact on individuals as well as victims are important to allow people to recognise when a problem might be developing and what actions to take.
No only the Politicians like Mayor Mr. Khan, Police, Security Services and the Home office can Stop extremism. Most Lay People cant even differentiate between different communities.
Why does it matter if people don’t know how to differentiate between different communities? If we all tolerate each other then whe and if we start talking then we can inform each other about our cultures. Natural information flow will promote tolerance of diversity
London schools should teach children of all ages about other faiths and their history.
no, they should only teach about Christianity. everyone else must realise they are guests in the UK and behave
All schools anywhere in UK should concentrate on educating children to attain qualification to achieve a successful and rewarding future. Religious (sic) instruction should not be specific nor detailed to any particular religion or it's roots but be limited to basic morality in life. Religious instruction in particular faiths must be left to parents and the faiths concerned.
It is part of the curriculum for Religious Education. When I was at school, we learned about Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism.
London is a great diverse city and we should all be proud of that fact. But also need to acknowledge that not everyone of us has equal opportunities. We should learn early on in all schools that we are equal and of equal value.
Bisgrg01, we do meet. We meet on the bus. We meet at the front doors of our blocks of flats. They speak in their language and we speak in ours.
I find that parents tend to prioritise learning the language of the mother country over learning the English language. That makes it extra hard for our teachers. It also makes it harder for pupils to integrate in the classroom/playground. I don't think people should be coming to live in our country if they don't intend to speak our language.
In reality there is very little diversity in London. Different communities group together and very rarely interact or meet. London is a city of many cultures that stay segrigated, true intergration and diveristy simply doesn't exist.
London is a great city and we are proud that we are one of the most inclusive cities in the world. It is all our responsibilities to stamp out hate crime, Islamophobia and terrorism. Government should not play into the hands of right wing and extremist group with devisive rhetoric and ill thought out policies like Prevent.
Thanks for your comments everyone. How can we integrate our communities?
So people shouldn't be able to criticise islam?
Also anti semitic rhetoric is rife and a culture of it being acceptable in London. I constantly hear people talking about the Jews being part of a clandestine elite group who are destroying the world!
Bisgrg01, I agree about the problem of people living in isolated communities. I think businesses should be required to use the English language in signage on shopfronts, etc.
On the other hand, when it comes to isolated communities, we're nowhere near as bad as Luton!
Where is this inclusivity you speak of? All I see in London is different isolated communities that very rarely meet and have no interest in doing so.
I think Londoners have a responsibility to the community to do what they can. Not everyone is in a position to do something, and not always is direct intervention is the safest option. I think signable in popular places such as tube stops would be a helpful, informative way to communicate to people signs, signals, and what to do to the public.
The key thing to remember is these participants are people too. Ideology is often inherited and we should focus on reform, not punishment.
True story: I was travelling on the Underground with a family friend from the USA. When we reached our destination, she remarked that she saw a lot of posters telling people to report "anything suspicious". She asked, "What do they mean by suspicious?" My mum told her it was about unattended bags. She said, "Oh! I was going to say, I saw a lot of things that I thought were suspicious!" By that, I think she meant excentricity of appearance, etc.
Moral of the story: I don't think innuendos like "anything suspicious" give enough information to the travelling public about what they should be reporting to the police.