Dealing with Muslim dissent

The solution to extremism lies through strategies that enable rather than constrain the space for Muslim free expression.

Zaheer Kazmi in Open Democracy:

ZaheerKazmi2.final_In expanding the focus of the state’s enforcement powers from monitoring the planning and execution of specific terrorist acts to scrutinizing any opinions it deems ‘extremist’ in everyday environments, Cameron’s anti-extremism strategy also marks a significant departure from previous governments in its unprecedented degree of intervention into the policing of ideas in the UK.

Stifling dissent in these ways—through what Cameron has called the need for a “muscular” rather than “misguided” liberalism—can have paradoxical implications which allow ISIS to subvert the role of the ‘freedom fighter.’ This subversion lies at the heart of the radicalisation conundrum and can help to explain why jihadists can attract young Muslims to their cause. Cameron’s Birmingham speech rightly identified the problem of the allure which ‘makes celebrities of violent murderers,’ but suppressing rather than re-channelling the impulses that lead impressionable minds to make such dangerously mistaken choices may not, in the end, defuse the potency of this attraction.

More here.