Public consultation into all forms of extremism

The independent Commission for Countering Extremism has confirmed that it will launch a public consultation and commission research into the Far Right and Islamist extremism as part of plans for a wide-ranging study into all forms of extremism.

Due to be released in spring 2019, the study is seeking to improve understanding of extremism and its deep impact on individuals, communities and wider society and will be based on five themes: the public’s understanding of extremism; the scale of extremism; extremist objectives and tactics; harms caused by extremism; and the current response to extremism.

Communities have already shared their concerns about extremism through a YouGov poll, which found that 73 per cent of people were worried about ‘rising levels of extremism in the UK’ and that 78 per cent felt more needed to be done.

Sara Khan, Lead Commission for countering Extremism, said: “Extremism is widely discussed but remains a misunderstood and contested issue. It is often raised in the context of violence and terrorism. This is critical, but we cannot ignore the wider impact extremism is having in our society. We have to analyse extremism through a wider lens. Otherwise we risk missing the deep harm that extremism causes to individuals, communities and our wider society.

“Our mission is to help everyone do more to challenge extremism.] The first step is building understanding and consensus. That is why my commission will publish a wide-ranging study on all forms of extremism in Spring 2019. These terms of reference are our road map to producing that study. My approach to this study will be the same approach I have taken throughout my career: a robust defence of pluralism and human rights, gender equality, and our fundamental freedoms including freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief.

“Our study is the first stop on an important journey to build understanding of extremism in our country, and encourage everyone - families, civil society, schools, government, statutory agencies, private companies and the public as a whole – to do more to challenge extremism.”

The 10 questions in the study are:

1) What do people understand by ‘extremism’ and ‘extremist’?

2) What do the following indicators tell us about the scale of extremism?

3) What are the objectives of different extremist ideologies?

4) What evolving tactics do extremists and their leaders use to achieve their objectives?

5) What are the harms caused by extremist incidents?

6) What are the harms of extremism to women, young people, minorities and people countering extremism?

7) What are the wider harms and impact on our democracy and its institutions?

8) What is the government and civil society’s current response to extremism, how effective is it and what are the gaps?

9) How can we better support those countering extremism?

10) What could a positive, inclusive vision for our country look like?

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