SHANGHAI Dec 4 Britain plans to classify
"Islamist extremism" as a distinct ideology, British Prime
Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday, as part the government's
response to the murder of a soldier on a busy London street.
Cameron said he would implement recommendations he had
received from a task force he set up after the murder of Lee
Rigby in May, to try to stop people being radicalised by "hate
Two men are on trial for the killing. A court heard that one
of them said it was an "eye for an eye" and revenge for what
they considered to be Britain's wars against Muslims.
Both have pleaded not guilty.
"This summer we saw events that shocked the nation,"
Cameron, who is in China on a trade trip, told reporters.
"These tragedies were a wakeup call for government and wider
society to take action to confront extremism in all its forms,
whether in our communities, schools, prisons, Islamic centres or
"Islamist extremism" would, for the first time, be
classified as a distinct ideology to guard against it being
confused with traditional religious practice, he said.
Cameron wants to tackle violent ideologies that claim
Islamic justification but by doing so in a way that does not
alienate Britain's 2.7 million Muslims.
The new definition would make it clear that "Islamist
extremism" was a distorted interpretation of Islam that betrayed
the religion's principles and tried to sow division.
Britain will also draw on techniques it has used to fight
online pornography to make it easier for people to report
material deemed extremist and work with Internet providers to
create filters to allow people to block such content.
Officials said the police could be given new powers to
target "extremism" and that the government would consider
introducing a new type of ban to outlaw radical groups.
"There are just too many people who have been radicalised at
Islamic centres, who have been in contact with extremist
preachers, who have come across material on the Internet who
haven't been sufficiently challenged," Cameron said.
"I want to see an end to hate preaching in Britain."
(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)