Response to New UK Anti-Terror Plans
01 Sep 2014
Responding to new plans to tackle the threat of Islamist extremists announced by the UK Government, Tony Blair Faith Foundation Chief Executive Charlotte Keenan calls for long-term action beyond these immediate security measures:
"The challenge we face from Islamic State militants isn't just confined to where they are operating now. As well as the threat from those fighters returning, the accelerating pace of globalisation and technological change are being used by these extremists to find ever more creative ways to spread their message around the world.
"Governments have a duty to respond in kind and they must be prepared to take the security measures necessary for our immediate protection. But this alone will not be enough to address this long-term problem.
"Achieving lasting change will require addressing not just the consequences of extremism but also its root causes. Governments must start thinking about education as a security issue. We need do more to educate our young people in the critical thinking skills needed to dismiss extremist messages. If we can teach children to recognise what they have in common with those from other cultures, we can also help them to resist the prejudices of those who seek to distort the truth and divide people.
"On education and other related issues it is also crucial that governments work together and act internationally. For example, the UK should play an active part in supporting the proposed Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience, the first ever public-private global fund to support local, grassroots efforts to counter extremism."
We work across the world delivering a pioneering education programme to help prevent religious conflict and extremism. Over 100, 000 students have taken part. You can read more about our schools programme here.