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    The UK's New Study on Extremism: Key Points

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    The British government's new Commission for Countering Extremism has been conducting a study into extremism across England and Wales right after its establishment in 2018.

    The organization has issued a document outlining three primary objectives: countering terrorism, countering extremism, and promoting integration; it states, adding that many experts are unclear on the benefits of such categorization. 

    READ MORE: Number of People Brought to Trial in UK for Terrorism Hits 10-Year High 

    The independent body will approach terrorism and extremism from a holistic understanding and will work alongside current government programs such as Prevent and Counter Extremism (CONTEST) strategies.  

    Commissioners will publish finding in Spring 2019 and will update the Home Secretary about recommendations on future collaboration with the body. 

    The document centers on five primary themes, which are public understanding of extremism, the scale of extremism, extremists' tactics and objectives, harms caused by extremism, and the effectiveness of the government's current response. 

    According to CONTEST, extremism is "the vocal or active opposition to our shared values," including "democracy and the rule of law, mutual respect and tolerance of other faiths and beliefs," the government's Counter Extreme Strategy states.  

    READ MORE: Two Taken to Hospital After Car Hit Pedestrians Near Islamic Centre in London 

    It also considers advocating the death of British armed forces in the UK and abroad to be extremism. 

    According to YouGov, 73% of people said they were concerned about ‘rising levels of extremism in the UK', the document said. 

    However, the commission admits that current literature provides scant details on the scale of extremism, including online and offline behavior, and must define clear indicators to gauge it. 

    Extremists create environments of intimidation to prevent activists from fighting extremism publicly and us anti-racism or pro-free speech to end debate, and clearly outlining the objectives behind ideologies will help citizens respond more effectively, the document claims. 

    READ MORE: The Unusual Suspects: The Odder Terror Groups Banned Along With Daesh in UK 

    It also highlighted the relationship between the government, local councils and communities in combatting extremism via the Local Government Association (LGA) Special Interest Group on Countering Extremism (SIGCE), funded by the Home Office. 

    It also indicated that 49 percent of those surveyed believe ‘much more' should be done to counter extremism, and 78 percent believed the government needed to do more. 

    The Commission will also look at the drivers of extremism, which are widely disputed and could incorrectly target citizens, it states, adding that the internet raises concerns about ‘unintended consequences' of technology and how they could influence extremist ideas and behaviors. 

    "I believe although it is difficult, countering extremism also provides an opportunity. The opportunity to promote what a positive and inclusive vision for our society looks like in contrast to the hate and fear filled, discriminatory and homogenous society extremists seek to create," Sara Khan, Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism said.

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    Tags:
    counter-terrorism, terrorism, Home Office, UK Home Office, Sajid Javid, United Kingdom
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