Cameron: To Defeat ISIS We Must Also Defeat Ideology Peddled by Muslim ‘Preachers of Hate’

By Patrick Goodenough | September 25, 2014 | 4:27 AM EDT

United Kingdom's Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

( – To defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL), the international community must also “defeat its ideology in all its forms,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday, calling for the world view promoted by radical clerics to be challenged.

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Cameron said it was clear that many people convicted of terrorist offenses had been “initially influenced by preachers who claim not to encourage violence, but whose world view can be used as a justification for it.”

“We know this world view – the peddling of lies: that 9/11 was a Jewish plot or that the 7/7 London attacks were staged; the idea that Muslims are persecuted all over the world as a deliberate act of Western policy; the concept of an inevitable clash of civilizations.”

“We must be clear: to defeat the ideology of extremism we need to deal with all forms of extremism – not just violent extremism.”

Cameron said governments could do this by banning “preachers of hate” from entering their countries, by proscribing organizations that incite terrorism; by preventing radicals from inciting hatred in schools and prisons; and by taking down material posted online like the videos depicting ISIS’ recent beheading of American and British hostages.

“Of course there are some who will argue that this is not compatible with free speech and intellectual inquiry,” he said. “But I say: would we sit back and allow right-wing extremists, Nazis or Klu Klux Klansmen to recruit on our university campuses? No. So we shouldn’t stand by and just allow any form of non-violent extremism.”

In the fight against ISIS, Cameron argued against cooperating with Syria’s Assad regime, as some have suggested, saying that doing so would not help to defeat the terrorists since the regime’s brutality was one of their most powerful recruiting tools.

“Our enemies’ enemy is not our friend,” he said. “It is another enemy.”

Cameron did not rule out Iran playing a role, however, saying that the Iranians “could help secure a more stable, inclusive Iraq, and a more stable and inclusive Syria.”

“If they are prepared to do this, then we should welcome their engagement.”

Cameron concluded his speech by saying that as the Iraqi government has now requested the U.N. Security Council to support its action against ISIS, “we have a clear basis in international law for action” and Britain would accordingly join the fight.

“I am therefore recalling the British Parliament on Friday to secure approval for the United Kingdom to take part in international airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq,” he said. “We are facing an evil against which the whole of the world should unite. And, as ever in the cause of freedom, democracy and justice, Britain will play its part.”

Patrick Goodenough
Patrick Goodenough
Spencer Journalism Fellow

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