SPIEGEL: British government members stopped using the terms "war on terror" or "Islamic terrorists."You tend to speak of "anti-Islamic activists." Why?

Smith: Part of the reason why people turn to extremism is the appeal that is made to them by those who are promoting an ideology that seeks to create hatred. It is an approach that uses a certain language and certain messages. For example, they claim that there is an incompatibility between the British or the Germans and European Muslims, that it is impossible to be a Muslim within a democratic system. Part of the way to respond to that is in the way of communication. We work hard to get the message out that this is plainly wrong and that secondly we are talking about criminal acts that have nothing to do with the principles of Islam.

SPIEGEL: Do you really think that this will stop the radicalization of young Muslims?

Smith: I would not call it an image campaign, but the communication of what the daily life of a Muslim in Western democracies is really like. And I think we have to ask ourselves what it is that turns people to violent extremism. We think that the way and manner with which extremists address themselves to others is playing an important role, and we founded a special working unit to deal with exactly those questions. They are identifying the sources of the propaganda and are making proposals about how and where to address counter-messages to young Muslims. We cannot allow a minority ideology to become the only voice in the Internet, for example.

British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith discusses how the UK is seeking to reach out to young Muslims before they radicalize.

See the rest of the interview for her views on taking in former inmates from Guantanamo .

Source: Spiegel (English)

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