Britain to tackle ‘Islamist extremism’ after soldier’s murder

Britain plans to classify “Islamist extremism” as a distinct ideology.

Written by Reuters | Shanghai | Published: December 5, 2013 12:47 am

Britain plans to classify “Islamist extremism” as a distinct ideology,British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday,as part the government’s response to the murder of a soldier on a busy London street.

Cameron said he would implement recommendations he had received from a task force he set up after the murder of Lee Rigby in May,to try to stop people being radicalised by “hate preachers”. Two men are on trial for the killing. A court heard that one of them said it was an “eye for an eye” and revenge for what they considered to be Britain’s wars against Muslims. Both have pleaded not guilty.

“This summer we saw events that shocked the nation,” Cameron,who is in China on a trade trip,told reporters. “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.”

“Islamist extremism” would,for the first time,be classified as a distinct ideology to guard against it being confused with traditional religious practice,he said.

The new definition would make it clear that “Islamist extremism” was a distorted interpretation of Islam that betrayed the religion’s principles and tried to sow division.

“I want to see an end to hate preaching in Britain,” Cameron said.

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