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February 07, 2011


Liam Murray

The fact that "high-profile terrorists have been fluent English speakers" doesn't undermine the idea that broader use of the language (& all that entails in regard to access to differing views, wider debate etc.) would make it harder for extremism to take hold. Likewise the observation that "well integrated - educated, economically successful" Muslims are "more likely to strongly identify with their religion than less educated ones." - your assuming 'likely to identify with their religion' is synonymous with 'likely to become terrorists' which is clearly nonsense.

Agreed Cameron has much to do to demonstrate these measures will work. Probably about the same his opponents have to do to demonstrate they won't! (& yes, the burden is on him, I accept that)


The problem with a "genuinely liberal country" that promotes substantive values through the state is that it them ceases to be liberal - instead it is a society with a state-approved truth.

But, leaving that aside, the state, and the law are pretty poor at changing society. All they can exert is gentle and gradual pressure, as by concentrating the poor in housing estates, and ensuring that a degree is required for all but the most basic of jobs that involve paperwork, they can gradually create an underclass that feels separated from society.

This seems to be main problem with our politicians: they have the illusion of being in control. I suspect that it is caused by their own proclivities, and an age in which information and communication is so cheap, central government is not forced to rely on local institutions for implementation and information (or at lease, do not feel they need to).

If only we could tie our own government up in red tape before it announced an initiative.


Cameron needs to revisit his political theory:neutrality is a fundamental tenet of liberalism.


@ Liam - you're right. Of course, identifying with one's religion and becoming a terrorist are analytically different. However, other evidence from Alan Krueger suggests that terrorists are disproportionately educated:
This matters, I think, because it challenges one's (my) presupposition that education naturally tends to inculcate liberal values.
@ Jack. Marcin - in fairness to Cameron, it's not clear that he's calling for the state to advance substantive values, as distinct from individuals or society.


Cameron is talking nonsense then Chris; if he and you and everyone else cannot work out what he means?

In a free society it is not the job of the state to tell people what to think or what to worship.
Nor to discriminate on such a basis.

What is more the sort of ideas such as prejudice against womens or Gay rights are not a monopoly of Islam or islamists. The USA is full of christian fundamentalist idiots as well. Who think "fags" will burn in hell. Together with shell fish eaters. Why target muslims for criticism rather than mormans?

Ralph Musgrave

How to promote liberal values? Well for a start, how about desisting from sacking people for being members of anti-immigration organisations like the BNP? I seem to remember Hitler and Stalin sacked people for holding the “wrong” political views.

And how about desisting from racist behaviour: like arresting people for criticising Islam, while exactly the same criticisms of Christianity go unpunished (think cartoons).


Oh, come on Keith. Are you really trying to claim that there is a Christian Taliban/Al Quaeda to compare to the Islamic one. You're in danger of giving relativism a bad name.


Dear Recusant,

who bombed abortion clinics in the USA in the 1980s and who murdered Dr. Tiller for performing abortions? American loony fundamentalist people.
The same people who think the US Constitution with its separation of church and state should be undone. The Ameriam Taliban are alive and well.
So when do we start to bomb Utah to end poligamy?

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