Commission for Countering Extremism publishes four further academic papers on extremism

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Academic papers on Islamism

Mainstreaming Islamism: Islamist Institutions and Civil Society Organisations

Imam Sheikh Dr Usama Hasan, Head of Islamic Studies, Quiliam, assisted by David Toube, Director of Policy, Quilliam

The paper examines the circuit of islamist clerics who argue that all Muslims are subject to a religious obligation to establish a theocratic caliphate. It then considers the manner in which the institutions which promoted these clerics were welcomed into civil society, and the consequences of that process of mainstreaming.

Mainstream Islamism in Britain: Educating for the “Islamic Revival”

Dr Damon L. Perry, Associate Research Fellow, International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, London

This paper provides an analysis of ‘participationist’ or mainstream Islamism in Britain, including a brief history of the main groups, and a nuanced account of their goals, beliefs and values informed by original research. The paper also regards some of the conflicts and controversies in which mainstream Islamists have become involved in recent years, focusing on the field of education. The paper concludes with some remarks on some of their successes and setbacks.

What is to be Done about al-Muhajiroun? Containing the Emigrants in a Democratic Society

Dr Michael Kenney, Professor and Program Director of International Affairs, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh

Al-Muhajiroun is an outlawed network that seeks to create an Islamic state in Britain. This paper explains the network’s ideological struggle and the challenges facing British authorities in stopping it. Rather than increasing police powers to combat groups like al-Muhajiroun, the government should empower local communities and former activists who reject the network’s ideology.

Academic paper on Sikh activism

The changing nature of activism amongst Sikhs in the UK today

Dr Jagbir Jhutti-Johal, Sunny Hundal

Second generation Sikh activism has rarely been explored by British academics and journalists, which makes this paper unique in scope. Lecturer Dr Jagbir Jhutti-Johal and journalist Sunny Hundal cover four themes: whether British Sikhs are becoming more religious, claims of grooming of girls, links between some Sikh groups and the far-right, and whether accusations of Sikh extremism have any substance.

Sara Khan, Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism said:

I would like to thank all the academics for their contribution to our national conversation on extremism.

We have identified the amplifying of hate, persistent hatred and the equivocation over violence as the most harmful issues, outside of terrorism.

Today I argue, we can, and must, do more – starting with a new clarity and purpose to work to counter hateful extremism.

The papers on Islamism and Sikh activism bring to life the many issues we have heard through our evidence gathering and engagement.

They include clear examples of the democratic debate we must protect but also the hateful extremism we must recognise and challenge. I am calling for a whole society response built on stronger leadership, deeper understanding and innovative interventions.

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