Prime Minister David Cameron has come out explicitly, and in detail, about the dangers of Islam... or, at the least, about “extreme” Islam. Except, of course, he doesn't actually use the word “Islam” (not once); though he does use the word “extreme”. He talks, instead, of an “extremist ideology”.
David Cameron's words (which were spoken at a security conference in the Slovakian capital Bratislava) are partly a response to the Muslim family (from Bradford, in the north of England) which travelled to Syria recently. The sisters (Khadija, Sugra and Zohra Dawood, along with their nine children) first travelled to Saudi Arabia (on a religious pilgrimage) and were then thought to have travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State (IS).
Cameron isn't only reacting to this case, but also to reports of the death of Talha Asmal. Asmal (who was only 17 and again from West Yorkshire) is believed to have become the UK's youngest-ever suicide bomber.
In tandem with all that, Cameron has also criticised those British Muslims who “quietly condone” Islamic extremism in the form of the Islamic State and Islamic groups. He knows that what's happened with the British sisters travelling to Syria (or at least similar things) has happened too many times before for it to be a small problem or a problem with, as they say, “a small minority of Muslims”. After all, this case has almost exactly replicated the former case of another group of three British Muslim girls/young women who travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State. So much so that we've had a replication of the previous press conference: concerned fathers and what looks like another Islamist lawyer. You may recall that in the last case, the seemingly concerned father (who spoke at the press conference) was himself a radical Muslim who'd attended a violent rally (led by Anjem Choudary) which also included the killer of Lee Rigby. Abase Hussen can also be seen (in a photo) burning the American flag.
As I said, Cameron has been very explicit this time. He said that the “cause is ideological”. Cameron continues:
"It says religious doctrine trumps the rule of law and Caliphate trumps nation state and it justifies violence in asserting itself and achieving its aims.”
He immediately followed those words up with this question: “How do people arrive at this worldview?”
As for moderate Muslims (or at least pseudo-moderate Muslims), Cameron went on to say:
"I am clear that one of the reasons is that there are people who hold some of these views who don't go as far as advocating violence, but do buy into some of these prejudices, giving the extreme Islamist narrative weight and telling fellow Muslims, 'You are part of this.'"
This could almost have been said about the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which is currently agitating to be part of the government's “de-radicalisation” programme. That's strange because - as Cameron believes (both very recently and as far back as 2007)- the MCB is actually part of the problem.
Cameron also makes the point that this isn't just about “firebrand preachers” (such as Anjem Choudary) or “extremist websites” – it's about the entire Muslim community. Sure, not every Muslim in the Muslim community; but Muslims who are undoubtedly part of that community.
Cameron says that "[w]e need to treat the causes, not just the symptoms”. This means that, when it comes to de-radicalisation, it's not just the “government which has a role to play, so do communities and so do families too". Cameron continues:
"I think part of the reason it's so potent is that it has been given this credence.
"So if you're a troubled boy who is angry at the world or a girl looking for an identity, for something to believe in and there's something that is quietly condoned online or perhaps even in parts of your local community then it's less of a leap to go from a British teenager to an Isil fighter or an Isil wife than it would be for someone who hasn't been exposed to these things."
Cameron (indirectly) says that Islamism (or violent Islam) is to many young Muslims what revolutionary socialism is to many young middle-class students. He said that "angry young men and woman" have always found "supposedly revolutionary causes" appealing and that this fact is "particularly potent today". Moreover, radical Islam (or, depending on your position, Islam) "paves the way for young people to turn simmering prejudice into murderous intent" and to "go from listening to firebrand preachers online to boarding a plane to Istanbul and travelling onward to join the jihadis".
***********************************************Of course all the usual suspects will speak out strongly against what David Cameron has said. Not all of them will accuse him of “racism”/”Islamophobia” or of “victimising the Muslim community”. The clever ones (such as the Muslim Council of Britain and Hope Not Hate) will use the classic “encouraging Islamophobia” (or “encouraging racism”) meme instead. Those two words are subtly different from the words “racism” or “Islamophobia” on their own... aren't they? Yet if Cameron knows that he's encouraging Islamophobia (or encouraging racism), then isn't he an Islamophobe (or a racist)? Thus accusing someone (or some group) of “encouraging Islamophobia” is effectively accusing someone (or some group) of Islamophobia.
Unite Against Fascism-Socialist Workers Party, Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPACUK), Owen Jones, George Galloway, Press TV, 5 Pillars, etc. won't be so subtle. They'll use their favourite word and accuse Cameron of being either a 'racist' or an 'Islamophobe'. They'll also use the classic phrase “generalising about the whole Muslim community” (as Owen Jones does) if they can. That isn't to say such people won't at times also use the words “encouraging Islamophobia”. It'll depend on which journalists or broadcasters they're talking to at the time.