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When British Prime Minister David Cameron announced June 24 he was quitting 10 Downing Street, the media focus was entirely on the effects of the UK referendum vote to leave the European Union.

Cameron is a pragmatist. Yes, he is a Conservative member of parliament but he favors remaining in the EU. While it may seem counter-intuitive for a Brit who wants to remain in Europe, he is also one of the biggest supporters of the fight against Islamist extremism.

He is a man who believes it is possible to have largely open borders and yet crack down on the fundamentalists who seek to impose sharia law on the West and worse still want to perpetrate acts of terror in Europe, the United States and other democracies.

Cameron urged his peers to join his fight, including U.S. President Barack Obama:

“Barack, you said it and you’re right — every religion has its extremists,” Cameron said nine months ago. “But we have to be frank that the biggest problem we have today is the Islamist extremist violence that has given birth to ISIL, to al-Shabab, to al-Nusra, al Qaeda and so many other groups.”

Cameron delivered a keynote speech on Islamism in July 2015:

“Simply denying any connection between the religion of Islam and the extremists doesn’t work, because these extremists are self-identifying as Muslims. The fact is from Woolwich to Tunisia, from Ottawa to Bali, these murderers all spout the same twisted narrative, one that claims to be based on a particular faith. Now it is an exercise in futility to deny that.”

You can listen to that full speech here.

The Eton and Oxford educated Cameron is by no means perfect. For example, he continued the UK’s strong relationship with Saudi Arabia, whose abuses of human rights are notorious. However, in the greater scheme of things, judging his six years as Britian’s top politician, one sees a man who cares dearly about this issue and has put British pounds where his mouth is in trying to free the UK – and indeed Europe – from the scourge that is Islamist extremism.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org