John Reid has issued a dire warning that the Government risks losing the “battle of ideas” with al-Qa’eda. The Home Secretary spoke out at an emergency meeting of ministers and security officials amid an ever-growing threat from home-grown Islamist terror groups.
He called for an urgent but controversial escalation in the propaganda war and said al-Qa’eda’s so-called “single extremist narrative” was proving ever more attractive to young British Muslims. The Government needed to do much more to win the “battle of ideas”, Mr Reid said.
The meeting came as ministers – including Jack Straw, Ruth Kelly and Phil Woolas – started to take a much more aggressive stance against radical Islam.
If Al-Qaeda is indeed “winning the war of ideas” among young British Muslims, it’s odd that the recent 1990 Trust poll of Muslim opinion found that less than 2% of respondents agreed with the 7/7 bombings. In fact, if anything is likely to broaden the terrorists’ minuscule base of support within Muslim communities, it’s the sort of Islamophobic hysteria that has been unleashed and encouraged by the irresponsible statements of Labour politicians in recent weeks.