Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
26 November 2009

Cameron’s U-turn on “Islamists“ and “Islamism“

Is he doing "the terrorist ideologues' work for them"?

By Mehdi Hasan

Leave aside, for a moment, the specifics of the row over the two Muslim schools and their alleged links to the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, as well as the various “inaccuracies” in the Tory narrative, exposed by Jeremy Paxman and Richard Watson on BBC2’s Newsnight. Instead, has anyone else noticed David Cameron’s use of language and the hardening of his position on Muslim extremism?

Here is Cameron, writing in the Observer of 13 May 2007 (in a piece entitled “What I learned from my stay with a Muslim family”):

We must also be careful about the language we use . . . our efforts are not helped by lazy use of language. Indeed, by using the word “Islamist” to describe the threat, we actually help do the terrorist ideologues’ work for them.

And here is David Cameron, speaking in the Commons yesterday at PMQs:

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Let me draw the Prime Minister’s attention to the fact that two schools have been established by an extremist Islamist foundation, the ISF or Islamic Shaksiyah Foundation, which is a front organisation for Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them

Hmm. Methinks Michael Gove finally got to him . . .


Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter