British Home Secretary targets internet extremism
China Veiw – January 19, 2008
British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith urged internet providers on Thursday to remove all al-Qaida and extremist websites in a bid to tackle radicalization among Britain's Muslims.
Smith said there was growing evidence that terrorists were using the internet to communicate.
"We need to use the lessons we've learnt about how we protect children from paedophiles on the internet to help prevent violent extremism and tackle terrorism as well," she said.
The secretary claimed that although grievances over Britain's foreign policy could never justify terrorism, there was a need to "debate, challenge and address" such complaints.
Her call came after an extremist website containing threats against Prime Minister Gordon Brown was discovered.
The British government will provide more than 500-million pounds (some 1,000 million U.S. dollars) to fund security and counter-terrorism measures, rising to nearly 600-million pounds (some 1,200 million dollars) over the following two years.
It has also given backing to national road shows at which leading Muslim scholars and opinion formers talk about extremist ideology, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported on Thursday.
Ministers estimate that about 60,000 people have attended so far and an associated website gets 50,000 hits a month.
The government hopes that by encouraging more interaction between opinion-formers in the country and in predominantly Muslim countries, misunderstandings about Islam can be corrected.
Editor: Yan Liang
Last updated 22/01/2008