HOME AFFAIRS – PREVENT STRATEGY – 7 June 2011

Dr Julian Lewis: During the Cold War, Governments of Labour and Conservative persuasions differentiated between communists who were subversive and broke the law and communists who preached a totalitarian philosophy. Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is the job of the police and of the Security Service to deal with those Islamists or, as I prefer to call them, un-Islamic extremists who break the law, but that the job of Prevent must be to destroy the philosophical basis of the perversion of the religion that they seek to convey?

[The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): I certainly agree with my hon. Friend that we need to ensure that those who break the law are dealt with appropriately. We need to ensure also that we challenge the ideology – or, the perverse ideology – that people use to lure others down the road of radicalisation and into violent acts and into terrorism. In terms of the Prevent point of view and the very clear counter-terrorism aspect of the strategy that we have identified, that work will be done in a number of ways. In the Prevent strategy, we set out how we will deal with issues such as the internet and the use of the internet to radicalise people, but it will also be done through work with individuals who are identified as vulnerable.]