PM Targets Islamist Extremism In War On IS
Parents will be given the power to cancel their children's passports under new moves to stop young British Muslims travelling to join Islamic State terrorists, David Cameron has announced.
The measure is part of the Government's five-year plan as part of the war on Islamic State terrorists which will target Muslims who hold "intolerant ideas".
In a speech in Birmingham, Mr Cameron warned young British Muslims not to be "brainwashed" by "poisonous ideologies".
He warned young Muslims tempted to join IS that the terrorist organisation did not offer a life of glamour and said: "If you are a boy, they will brainwash you, strap bombs to your body and blow you up.
"If you are a girl, they will enslave and abuse you. That is the sick and brutal reality of Isil."
Mr Cameron said: "Today we're going to introduce a new scheme to enable parents to apply to get their child's passport cancelled, to prevent travel."
The move is a direct response to the number of teenagers being groomed by IS online and travelling to Syria to join the terrorists.
In February three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green academy in East London slipped out of their homes and travelled to Syria without the consent, or knowledge, of their families.
The Government will unveil a full counter extremism strategy in the autumn which will see new measures introduced to tackle the problem including banning orders for extremist groups and powers to close down buildings in which they operate.
Mr Cameron said there were people born in Britain who did not identify with the country because of "failures of integration".
He said: "So when groups like ISIL seek to rally our young people to their poisonous cause, it can offer them a sense of belonging that they can lack here at home, leaving them more susceptible to radicalism and even violence against other British people to whom they feel no real allegiance.
"This is what we face: a radical ideology that is not just subversive, but can seem exciting, one that has often sucked people in from non-violence to violence, that is overpowering moderate voices within the debate and which can gain traction because of issues of identity and failures of integration."
He described the battle as the "struggle of our generation".
:: Urged internet giants to step up measures to protect against online radicalisation
:: Said there should not be "passive tolerance" in communities of female genital mutilation and honour-based violence
:: Promised to consult on giving victims of forced marriage lifetime anonymity
:: Criticised university leaders for allowing extremist preachers to give speeches on campuses branding it "misguided liberalism"
:: Attacked the National Union of Students for allying itself with an organisation which refered to Jihadi John as a "beautiful young man"
:: Said conspiracy theories on 9/11 and 7/7 should be ridiculed
Security services estimate some 700 British people have travelled out to fight with the IS terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
Mr Cameron continued: "When they say that these are wronged Muslims getting revenge on their Western wrongdoers, let's remind them: from Kosovo to Somalia, countries like Britain have stepped in to save Muslim people from massacres.
"It's groups like Isil, al Qaeda and Boko Haram that are the ones murdering Muslims."
The Government's policies are increasingly driven by the principle that extremism cannot be dealt with merely through military action and by combating those intent on carrying out terrorist acts.
This was echoed by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, as he made a statement following the disclosure that British forces embedded with the US military had played a part in strikes in Syria.
In the Commons, he said: "There is a well-planned, integrated strategy to defeat Isil which includes action to cut off its funding, stopping the flow of foreign fighters, humanitarian assistance to both Iraq and Syria, strategic communications to tackle its poisonous ideology, and the military campaign."
Mr Fallon insisted the Government's strategy is "comprehensive and broader than simply military action" - but said the military element was "essential", as it has helped to "halt and hold Isil after its rapid advance across Iraq last summer".
Prior to Mr Cameron's comments, the former chief of the Armed Forces Lord Richards said that "sooner or later" the UK would have to put ground forces into Iraq and Syria.
Lord Richards told the Andrew Marr Show: "Tanks would have to roll and there's going to have to be boots on the ground."
In response, Mr Cameron said: "Of course if we are going to succeed in defeating Isil either in Iraq or Syria there will need to be boots on the ground. But they should be Iraqi boots, Syrian boots.
"What we need is an Iraq that is capable of governing its own country, and Iraqi government that is capable of governing its own country.
"The same goes in Syria. It is more complicated because the government of Syria, in the form of Bashar Assad, is the chief recruiting sergeant for ISIL because of his butchery of his own people."
Speaking on Monday, Home Secretary Theresa May said Britain would have to "do more" in the fight against IS in Iraq and Syria but said the Government would have to "take Parliament with us".
As part of Mr Cameron's attempt to ensure young Muslims feel they have a stake in British society, he is asking senior civil servant Louise Casey to carry out a review on how to boost opportunity and integration in Muslim as well as other black and ethnic minority communities.
Ms Casey said: "There is no bigger challenge facing us as a society than how we unite our communities so that everyone is engaged and nobody is left isolated or exposed to extremism.
"There will be no no-go areas, only a determination to do the best we can for everyone living in our country today."