29 May 2017

Sayeeda Warsi: UK policy on radicalisation 'has been flawed for years

.... Speaking at Hay literary festival on Monday, Lady Warsi – the Conservative peer and first Muslim in a British cabinet – said government policy was currently too focused on ideology as the sole cause of radicalisation, and not on other factors, including upbringing and drug and gang culture.

“We say it is all ideology,” she told the audience. “Ideology is a part of it, but it is not all ideology. And the concern that I have in terms of government decision making is if we’re genuinely wanting to deal with this – which we are – then we have to go back to seeing what the evidence says ...

.... At her event, Warsi, who was minister of state for faith and communities until 2014, also said she hoped British Muslims would push for the phasing out of wearing burqas in Britain, calling the head-to-toe garments “not the best manifestation of British Islam”.

“I want British Muslims to lead that charge … but I don’t want it to be done with a government diktat of what women can or can’t wear, because at what point do you start to draw the lines?” she said. “What else will offend us that we don’t want people to go around wearing? There are people in conservative societies across this country who would be offended at what certain girls are wearing out on a Friday night. What are we going to do, ban that next because we’re offended by it?”

She also revealed that the “jury was still out” on whether she supported faith-segregated schools: “I was a huge supporter of faith schools but ... I’m not convinced bringing up kids in a single-faith school is good for them.” [The Guardian] Read more