Monday, November 05, 2007

Jonathan Evans' brilliant speech on MI5 and the terrorist threat

This (via Ben Brogan) is an absolutely superb speech. Well worth reading in full as the press have, very understandably, focussed on the number of potential terrorists and the news that 15 year olds are being enlisted by the terrorist movement. While those are the most sensational and novel claims in the speech this is the most analytically section important in my opinion:

"But before we look at the violent manifestation of that threat in the UK, we need to remember where this comes from. The violence directed against us is the product of a much wider extremist ideology, whose basic tenets are inimical to the tolerance and liberty which form the basis of our democracy. So although the most visible manifestations of this problem are the attacks and attempted attacks we have suffered in recent years, the root of the problem is ideological.

Why? Because the ideology underlying Al Qaida and other violent groups is extreme. It does not accept the legitimacy of other viewpoints. It is intolerant, and it believes in a form of government which is explicitly anti-democratic. And the more that this ideology spreads in our communities, the harder it will be to maintain the kind of society that the vast majority of us wish to live in."

As he describes there is little reason to view 9/11 or any subsequent event at the beginning of this challenge to our way of life and its end is not in sight. It is an attack on our values by those who hate them.

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