Mehdi Hasan // Plans To Tackle Extremism Are A ‘Waste Of Time’

Woolwich Attack: Overreacting To Extremism ‘Could Bring Back Al Qaeda’ Ex CIA Officer Warns – Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and former CIA operations officer who worked with the Afghan mujahedin in the late 1980s, says that “a good [counter-extremism] policy should be based on an understanding on what’s happening on the ground. “The notion that there is any serious process called ‘radicalisation’, or indoctrination, is really a mistake. What you have is some young people acquiring some extreme ideas – but it’s a similar process to acquiring any type of ideas. It often begins with discussions with a friend.” Sageman, the author of Leaderless Jihad and Understanding Terror Networks, has analysed 500 terrorist biographies and tells the Huffington Post UK that prime minister David Cameron and home secretary Theresa May’s plans to counter extremism in the wake of the Woolwich murder – including the creation of a new Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Task Force (TERFOR) made up of senior ministers, MI5, police and moderate Muslim leaders – “are very much a waste of time”. Banning free speech isn’t the solution, he argues. “These [extremists] need to be confronted and shown how ridiculous some of their views are; by banning them you are giving them some cache and suggesting that they’re really important and dangerous.”

 

Source: Plans To Tackle Extremism Are A ‘Waste Of Time’

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