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Tip-toeing round extremists will not make Britain a safer place
by Ed Husain
There's something happening inside Britain's Muslim communities. There's good and bad news. Last week's terrorist attacks in India - with the possibility of British Muslim involvement - make the need to contain extremism in England ever more urgent. But how? Below the radar, fanatics continue to sow the seeds for more terror, while signs of hope are emerging from new, more engaged voices. But everything is up for grabs. The steps wider society takes today can help shape Islam in Britain tomorrow.
Last week also marked the beginning of a series of events where young, home-grown pluralist Muslims engage in unbridled discussions with senior officials from government and from across civil society. Hosted by the Quilliam Foundation, Britain's first Muslim-led counter-extremism think tank, these roundtables will expose key opinion formers to intra-Muslim discourse. Why? Because Muslim insularity must cease and, as one country, we ought to realise that Muslims' problems cannot be resolved in isolation by Muslims alone.
Britain's Muslims are at a critical juncture. A fortnight ago, a terrorism-supporting group gathered with 300 supporters in council property in Britain's most densely Muslim-populated area, Tower Hamlets, and called for rejection of British law and support for convicted terrorists in prison. They beamed in from Lebanon the banned cleric Omar Bakri, who called on young Muslims to disobey the law.
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