In a recent volume compiled by The Tony Blair Faith Foundation on ‘How to prevent extremism and policy options,’ http://tonyblairfaithfoundation.org/foundation/news/how-prevent-extremism-and-policy-options the analysis provided by decision-makers conclusively suggests constructive measures which have been established after thorough investigation and by collecting valid data.
Certain unanimity exists on how to combat the menace of extremism. We all agree that the government needs to get involved; extremism has to be eradicated by engaging moderates, under-represented, marginalized sections of societies; the focus should be to remove glamourized perceptions about jihad and Islam’s medieval past and every support should be offered to promote critical thinking in education.
Judging from the point of view to combat extremism Cameron’s announcement to work towards that aim should be welcomed. However whether the recent move to downgrade schools where Muslim women are allowed to wear veils and to allow authorities to monitor students to detect signs of radicalization in the educational institutes is the outcome of what government aims to achieve will be assessed on the basis of how successfully they will be in implementing these measures. Similar such suggestions have suffered setbacks after backlash occurred from organizations and charities monitoring evidence of Islamophobia—it is obvious the condemnation of acts which are considered targeting and alienating individuals get the most instant response from public outcry.
The backlash from elements keen to spread the idea that Islamophobia is on the rise are not helping the Muslim community because of the failure to address the underlying complicated issues. The ones who are promoting their Islamist ideas take a confrontational stand against those who are highlighting the rise of Islamism. Tommy Robinson is regularly attacked by political leaders, Islamists and journalists for his criticism against Islam, whereas his firsthand experience of witnessing the infiltration of Islamic extremism is a story in its own right and has convinced many who want to confront extremism.
This clash between the pro-Islamists and anti-extremists is already perpetuating a sense of vulnerability among those who have nothing to do with it. Unfortunately the ones who should be resuscitating the Muslim community have taken the cause to defend Islam so close to their hearts that they have literally forsaken the responsibility of supporting individualism. There are Muslims out there who have nothing to do with Islamism and are eager to live along and be concerned with every day lives. But the issues rising from perception portraying Islam as an ideology will demand that Muslims robustly and convincingly demonstrate that diversity, religious and cultural differences are respected and not just tolerated.
The remarks made by Trevor Philips were meant to highlight that for Muslims the religious outlook is important and this will come in the way of integration. The victim card has been used for so long that fear and suspicion will continue to reign in the minds of those who don’t want to be associated with Islamism.