This evening London Live invited Researching Reform to discuss the Prime Minister’s latest measures to tackle terrorism, which include increased powers for parents to remove their children’s passports if they fear they are being radicalised.
Whilst the Prime Minister’s speech was well received in some quarters, others were less encouraged by its content. In particular, the Muslim Council of Britain, which felt that the measures outlined were dangerously close to curtailing the very freedoms which Britain stands for and risked alienating British Muslims further.
Home Secretary Theresa May also echoed David Cameron’s no-nonsense approach to extremism, vowing to challenge and disrupt terror.
The programme began at 6pm and ended at 7pm and can be viewed online, or via Freeview 8, Sky 117, Virgin 159, or You View 8. Researching Reform was interviewed at the start of the show, from 6pm.
We spoke about our concerns in relation to extended passport removal powers. In particular, we were concerned that the government had not released any data on how those measures had impacted the children whose passports were taken and the families they belonged to, and whether or not the measures incited children to engage with extremist organisations further through social media once their physical freedom had been curtailed.
We were also worried that such measures might cause tension between family members, leaving children feeling as if they were being alienated by their parents and may then look to organisations like Daesh and IS for support and a sense of family. These reactions then, would simply drive Terrorist movements further underground and cause greater problems in the long run. We expressed the view that children who look to Extremism need to be engaged with in a healthy way, rather than have their freedoms violated.
London Live also asked us about the possibility that these new measures may alienate the British Muslim population further and we explained that there was a chance that this could happen. We also expressed the view that whilst David Cameron, in his speech on the new measures, was quick to mitigate the effects of austerity as a cause for the sharp rise in terror related offences in the UK, he was wrong to do so and that austerity has played a part in rising resentment across the country, not just within Muslim communities, but secular Caucasian ones, too.