Islamic Extremism

Last weekend, at one of the public meetings which I hold in my constituency, I was asked why Muslim clerics who advocate violence aren't prosecuted. Fortunately they are. Last year Abu Hamza was convicted of soliciting to murder and was jailed for seven years.

This week's news of a plot to kidnap and publicly execute a British Muslim solider was deeply shocking, not just because of the violence intended, but also because most of the suspects are young British men.

A poll this week found that young British Muslims are becoming far more hardline than their parents. Under two thirds of them feel that they have as much in common with non-Muslims as Muslims.

Most worrying, one in eight actually "admire organisations like Al-Qaeda that are prepared to fight the West", and more than one in three would prefer to live under Sharia law - which for instance allows for the stoning to death of women who commit adultery.

As a Conservative Party Policy group said this week, we cannot allow a false understanding of multiculturalism to drive communities apart. British identity can and should include people of diverse ethnic origin and religious affiliation. I will have no truck whatsoever with racism. But being British should also mean subscribing to the basic democratic values of our country.

We cannot stand by and watch the ever deepening isolation of a generation of young men in their own country. Uncontrolled immigration, poor education and weak leadership in Muslim communities have all contributed to this state of affairs. All must be tackled.

Every child should learn English. Every child should be taught history - not just a piece of modern history, but our island story: what made our nation; how previous generations fought for liberty, free speech and the vote. And everyone must be shown that violence and hatred will not stand in our society.

Michelle Taylor