James Forsyth James Forsyth

Counter-terrorism means stopping dealings with extremists

The coalition’s counter-terrorism strategy will be published tomorrow. This rather delayed review has been the subject of some semi-public wrangling, Cameron and Clegg have given speeches setting out very different visions for it.

But one thing to remember is that the test of the review’s robustness isn’t just whether it stops government money going to extremists groups. It also has to lead to government, at all levels, stopping dealings with these groups, denying them the oxygen of recognition.

Today’s Telegraph notes that 20 groups will lose their funding because the views they espouse are antithetical to British values. This is to be welcomed. But it won’t have much of an impact given the other sources of money available to these organisations unless it is accompanied by them being shut out of discussions with government. In short, the government needs to stop dealing with self-appointed Islamist community leaders and groups.

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