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29 January 2007

Cameron should be applauded

David Cameron's contribution to the debate on radical Islam in the UK is a welcome one

By Martin Bright

David Cameron has finally entered the debate on radical Islam in Britain – no easy matter for a Conservative leader.

His comments on radical Islam being the mirror image of the BNP are spot on.

The Tory leader has been biding his time before wading into this troubled debate, but he has clearly been taking seriously the work of Policy Exchange on the subject.

The centre-right think tank has brought out a report today suggesting that 40 per cent of young Muslims now say they would rather live under sharia law in Britain.

I have always believed that the moderate voices in British Islam outnumbered the radicals. This is thankfully still the case. But there is a generational problem here that has been brewing for a decade. There is little governments can do about this except encourage moderate voices to flourish. But even then they are accused of divide-and-rule tactics.

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This government has tried and failed to accommodate the Islamic far right. Cameron shows signs that he may develop a more nuanced and sophisticated approach and he should be applauded for trying.