James Forsyth

Theresa May: the Paris attacks ‘have nothing to do with Islam’

Theresa May: the Paris attacks 'have nothing to do with Islam’
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On a day when Jeremy Corbyn has been making clear his concerns about both the government’s use of drones and any shoot-to-kill policy for terrorists on British streets, Theresa May’s statement on the Paris attacks was striking for the level of cross-party agreement.

Andy Burnham paid generous tribute to the Home Secretary and pledged Labour’s support for her anti-terror crackdown. The only discordant note came on the question of police funding. Burnham aligned himself with Bernard Hogan-Howe’s warning that cuts of more than 10 percent to police funding would make it harder to keep the streets safe.

May set out how the police here would ‘intensify’ their approach to big events in an attempt to prevent a Paris-style attack here. She stressed that the kind of weapons used in Paris on Friday night were ‘not readily available in the UK’ and said she would urge other EU countries to toughen up their firearms laws in an attempt to restrict the supply of automatic weapons. She also declared that ‘the attacks have nothing to do with Islam’. Now, one can understand why the Home Secretary wanted to say this. But denying the link between this attack and a particular interpretation of Islam is not going to make it any easier to counter either the terrorist threat or the attempt to radicalise a segment of the population.