Government consulted Jewish security group to draw up anti-extremism strategy

By Sandy Rashty, October 19, 2015
Home Secretary Theresa May

Home Secretary Theresa May

The UK government consulted a leading Jewish security group in its latest bid to tackle extremism, which was announced today.

The government spoke to leaders at the Community Security Trust ahead of announcing its new counter-extremism strategy – which will specifically target extremist Islamist and neo-Nazi hate.

The strategy, which was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May today, has been developed to tackle violent and non-violent forms of hate – and specifically target the leaders of radical groups.

Mrs May noted that extremist groups who spread antisemitism would be hit by the government initiative.

Mark Gardner, CST director of communications, said: “We are pleased that the government’s counter-extremism strategy acknowledges the role played by antisemitism in extremist ideology and the need to tackle antisemitic hate crime as part of its overall strategy.

"We will continue to work with Government to play our part in combating the extremism that threatens everybody in our society, and that poses a specific threat to Jewish communities.”

The Home Secretary said: “In recent times, we have seen extremists operating at an unprecedented pace and scale, seeking to divide our communities and cause great harm.

“The rise of ISIL is particularly alarming, driven in part by their sophisticated use of the internet and social media. But the threat posed by extremists is not limited to violence, nor to Islamist extremism. The rise of neo-Nazi groups, and the increase in antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred is deeply concerning.”

She continued: “Where non-violent extremism goes unchallenged, the values that bind our society together fragment. Women’s rights are eroded, intolerance and bigotry become normalised, minorities are targeted and communities become separated from the mainstream.

“Such behaviour cannot go uncontested. We will systematically confront and challenge extremist ideology, exposing it for the lie it is. And we will thwart its destructive consequences. We will disrupt all those who seek to spread hate and we will prosecute all those who break the law.

“But most importantly of all, we will stand up for all those who know that in Britain we are stronger together. Because when we join up all the voices of those who want to defeat extremism, they are louder and more powerful than the voices of those who seek to divide us.”

A government spokesman described the initiative as: “A partnership between government and individuals, groups and communities, who want to see extremism defeated. It is a partnership that will not only seek to counter the ideology spread by extremists, but will stand up for the shared values that unite us as a country: values that include democracy, free speech, mutual respect, and opportunity for all.”

Last updated: 4:45pm, October 19 2015