ON Monday (20) the prime minister outlined his vision on how we can together defeat extremism and build a stronger, more cohesive society.
This is at the heart of the One Nation government that the Conservatives and prime minister are working for – bringing our country together and giving everyone the chance to get on in life.
Undoubtedly, extremism is a serious threat and we have all read about individuals who have been enticed to Syria to join terrorist groups.
Importantly, in his speech, the prime minister recognised that there are many ways and reasons why people fall into radicalisation and extremism – they are radicalised in different ways and come from a variety of backgrounds. This is why a wide ranging strategy is needed. Quite rightly, part of this is about standing up for and respecting our British values.
The great thing about our country is that all are free to practice their religion, or none, and to live our lives as we choose and with this comes the obligation to respect British values. Integral to this strategy is bringing communities together and it is welcome that David Cameron spoke about establishing a new community engagement forum.
We need to listen and understand the issues faced by those affected. Having visited communities and mosques around the country and listened to people’s concerns, I found that there are a multitude of issues that arise. Many spoke about increasing opportunities, jobs and higher educational attainment. The prime minister acknowledged more needs to be done in relation to this.
One issue that was raised with me by Muslims was to stop referring to the brutal terrorist organisation as the “Islamic State”, ISIS or ISIL, as this confers legitimacy and links it to Islam. Many peace-loving Muslims in our country and around the world find this name to be abhorrent as it allows this group to distort a religion for its own violent and extremist ends and it confers legitimacy on their evil acts.
This is why I’ve started a campaign to get the government and the media to officially call them Daesh instead. This is the Arabic name for the group and has negative connotations, sounding similar to “Daes”, meaning “one who crushes something underfoot” and “Dahes” referring to “one who sows discord”.
It is used in the Middle East and by countries including France and Turkey. You can support this campaign by signing the online petition at https://www.change.org/p/ government-media-outlets-refer-to-so-calledislamic-state-isis-isil-as-daesh?just_created=true Getting the right terminology is a key part of deglamourising this terrorist group and helping to tackle extremism in our country.
While David Cameron said in Parliament that he is happy for people to use the word “Daesh”, it was a shame that he did not grab the opportunity to call them what they really are in his speech and get the government to officially call them Daesh.
Only together can we defeat this poisonous organisation, and whilst the prime minister’s great vision is part of the solution, we must also tackle head on the terrorist’s propaganda campaign, starting by calling them Daesh and not allowing the vulnerable and disillusioned to be sucked in.