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Foundation notes new Government measures to tackle extremism and radicalisation

December 11, 2013 | Nick Taylor

The Foundation for Peace has noted the publication of new measures to tackle extremism and radicalisation across the UK following a review by the Prime Minister’s Extremism Task Force.

The final report states that challenging and tackling extremism is a shared effort and includes a definition of Islamist extremism as a distinct ideology which should not be confused with traditional religious practice. It recommends:

* considering if there is a case for new civil powers, similar to the new anti-social behaviour powers, to target the behaviours extremists use to radicalise others

* considering if there is a case for new types of order to ban groups which seek to undermine democracy or use hate speech, when necessary to protect the public or prevent crime and disorder

* consulting on new legislation to strengthen the powers of the Charity Commission

* working with internet companies to restrict access to terrorist material online which is hosted overseas but illegal under UK law and help them with their continuing efforts to identify what material to include in family-friendly filters

* improving the process for the public to report extremist content online

* making delivery of the Channel programme, which supports individuals at risk of being radicalised, a legal requirement in England and Wales

* ensuring prisoners who have demonstrated extremist views in prison receive intervention and support on release

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This summer we saw events that shocked the nation with the horrific killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich and murder of Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham.

“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.

“I have been absolutely clear that this is not something we should be afraid to address for fear of cultural sensitivities. We have already put in place some of the toughest terrorism prevention controls in the democratic world, but we must work harder to defeat the radical views which lead some people to embrace violence.

“The taskforce I set up has proposed a broad range of measures to counter the extremist narrative and I will make sure they are taken forward.

“The implementation of these practical steps to tackle extremism in all its forms will be closely monitored.”

Click here to read the full report 

The Foundation provides services in the prevention, resolution and response to violent conflict. We are unique established as a charity funded by the generosity of the public, independent, not pursuing any particular cause and believing that violent conflict can be challenged by working with individuals and bringing communities together.

Nick Taylor, Chief Executive of the Foundation said: “‘Extremism is less likely to be tolerated by communities which come together to challenge it.

“Britain is strong because of its open, multi-faith and multi-racial communities, which can tackle extremists together and the Foundation welcome the further strengthening of the recommendations around giving more support to matters of community integration.

“One of our core areas of work has been about working with communities to open up the ‘thorny issues’ and hold those ‘difficult conversations’ that can lead to entrenchment, resentment and division. We believe that it is critical to work with communities to equip those on the frontline to deal with these issues.

“The main priority if for the proper sustainable funding of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) like the Foundation to carry out this work.”

Kelly Simcock, who has designed and led many of the programmes delivered by the Foundation, including those with young people, said: “We welcome the recognition that schools need to be front and centre of the PREVENT agenda. As a Foundation, we have always been interested in preventing violent extremism and work with schools has always been a central focus of our efforts.

“We believe in tackling the issues that threaten to divide us as the earliest possible stage. This means educating our young people and equipping them with the skills confidence and tools to be able to challenge prejudice, manage conflicts, to think critically about the world and their place in it- and critically, to have confidence in their abilities to affect positive change.

In our experience, schools can be a breeding ground for pernicious views to take hold. The earlier that we can equip teachers and young people with the skills and tools to tackle these issues -the more chance we have of creating a society that has no place for extremist views and ideologies.”

The Foundation continues to work to challenge prejudice and discrimination and you can find out more about our work by clicking here or how you can help by clicking here.

Read a case study of our work in schools.

For more information about our work to prevent and resolve violent conflict contact kelly.simcock@foundation4peace.org