One in four Londoners have witnessed support for extremism, according to a poll taken for the mayor’s office.
The poll indicated 25 percent of Londoners had personally witnessed views “promoting, endorsing or supporting extremism,” The Independent reported.
The survey also indicated close to two-thirds of Londoners would not know how to seek support over terror concerns. Less than 25 % said they were able to spot the signs of extremism.
Speaking to survivors of terror attacks, religious leaders and counter-radicalization activists, London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said, “It’s clear that our ability as a country to tackle radicalization and violent extremism is simply not good enough, and this is putting our safety and security at risk.”
Khan took responsibility for this state of affairs, adding, “I don’t think there are things such as hard to reach communities, there is hard to reach government and we need to do a far better job at making sure we engage with all Londoners.”
He called for a “full and frank assessment” of existing counter-radicalization program, including the government’s premier program Prevent, saying it needed to be overhauled.
That program has been criticized by Muslims who feel targeted by it. Others say it sets the bar at levels that are far too low to be effective. A review of the program by the government is set to begin in six months.
Khan said 18 terror plots were foiled last year alone.
“Every single day, the real and constant threat from violent extremism weighs heavily on all our minds,” he added. “The best way we can honor those we lost is not only to ensure we uphold and cherish the values the extremists most hate – democracy, justice, equality and openness to others – but to get much better at rooting out those who seek to spread these vile ideologies.”
As recognized by Clarion Project and our new program, Preventing Violent Extremism, Khan spoke to the need to stop the process of radicalization before people get “in the pipeline.”
Kahn rightly noted,
“If you look at the radicalization paths of far-right extremists, they’re very similar to the radicalization paths of Islamist groups. People not having a sense of belonging, being worried about the other, having a sense of grievance. And then somebody comes along, usually somebody who is charismatic, who diverts you away to the often nihilistic views that they’ve got as the solution … people are being radicalized and groomed in their bedrooms via the internet.”