Today the Prime Minister David Cameron set out his plans to address extremism and seeing as Tower Hamlets is mentioned in the speech both indirectly and directly we thought it worth publishing his words.
The full text of the speech given at Ninestiles School in Birmingham can be read here.
Unlike most speeches by politicians it is worth reading in full and we were tempted to reproduce the entire text, but instead here are two extracts directly relevant to Tower Hamlets.
“Ask yourself, how is it possible that when young teenagers leave their London homes to fight for ISIL, the debate all too often focuses on whether the security services are to blame?”
A reference to the three school girls from Bethnal Green academy who left east London to join ISIL in February.
“There are other examples of this passive tolerance of practices running totally contrary to our values. The failure of social services, the police and local authorities, to deal with child sex abuse in places like Rotherham was frankly unforgivable.
And look what happened in Tower Hamlets, in the heart of our capital city. We had political corruption on an epic scale: with voters intimidated and a court adjudicating on accusations of ‘undue spiritual influence’ for the first time since the 19th century. As the judge said: those in authority were too afraid to ‘confront wrongdoing for fear of allegations of racism’.”
All well said.
But the reality is that when the PM quotes Justice Mawrey at the conclusion of the election petition as saying those in authority were too afraid to confront wrongdoing for fear of allegations of racism he should be reminded that ‘those in authority’ includes successive governments.
Update 24th July 2015
Tower Hamlets mayor raises concerns over PM’s approach
Below is text of press release from the office of John Biggs.
Following David Cameron’s speech about tackling Islamist extremism, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs has raised concerns about the approach the Government is taking.
‘When David Cameron speaks as he does, there is a risk people will be labelled in a way that is inappropriate and wrong. In Tower Hamlets we have a relatively peaceful borough – people know what is right and what is wrong.
Young people will always be vulnerable to wicked ideas, and I do believe ISIS is wicked and divisive. The spread of radical fundamentalism is a worldwide issue giving rise to an ideology which does not represent Islam but has hijacked it. This is not something we can tackle by looking at Tower Hamlets in isolation.’
He added: ‘It’s going to be a long term challenge. We will work alongside our schools, our youth organisations, our faith communities, our mosques, the police and the young people across our communities to help reduce the spread of extremism.
We know our Muslim community in Tower Hamlets is a law abiding and respectful community and is nothing like the image of Islam being currently promoted.’