Statement on The Commission for Countering Extremism
25. January, 2018 – London
The Association of British Muslims congratulates Sara Khan on her appointment as Lead Commissioner of the new Commission for Countering Extremism. We ask that British Muslims focus on courage and confidence in engaging with the British government’s new Counter Extremism Tsar.
The task of the Commission for Countering Extremism is not limited to those forms of extremism that falsely present as “Islamic”, but on all forms of extremism. Currently, it is far right, and other forms of extremism that are on the rise in the UK and across Europe.
Tackling extremism is not just an effort from the top-down, from government to grassroots, but rather it should be from bottom up; grassroots organisations and individuals need to be empowered to face the challenges our society faces from all forms of extremism.
We all have an interest and responsibility as citizens to challenge extremism, to ensure the safety of our children and vulnerable members of our communities, and do what we can in the face of threats to our communities and way of life.
Another area of concern that the new Counter Extremism Tsar needs to address is the financial support for far right extremism, coming into the UK from extremists in the United States. In addition, there needs to be more coordination in tackling the growth of Barelvi extremism being exported to the UK, supported by Barelvi extremists based in Pakistan.
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong
Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims