Commission publishes new extremism statistics
Ansar Ahmed Ullah || London GBnews ||
Commission for Countering Extremism has published statistics from their call for evidence on extremism. The online survey received almost 3,000 responses between November 2018 and January 2019.
The Commission has also released five peer-reviewed academic papers on the threat from the Far Right and the Far Left. The publications mark the start of a summer of publishing evidence as the Commission build up to their report making recommendations on extremism.
Three quarters 75% of the public respondents find the Government’s current definition of extremism “very unhelpful” or “unhelpful”. Yet just over half 55% of practitioners found it either “very helpful” or “helpful”.
Just over half 52% of all respondents had witnessed extremism in some way. Of these, two fifths 39% reported seeing it in their local area. Of those who had witnessed extremism, just under half 45% reported seeing it online.
The public and practitioners associated the Far Right with propaganda e.g. on social or traditional media, events e.g. marches and criminal offending e.g. hate crime more than with any other activities.
The public associated Muslim / Islamist extremism with criminal offending and links to terrorism, while practitioners associated it with propaganda, criminal offending and incidents in regulated spaces.
Harms caused by extremism and the top five that are most at risk are everyone, religious minority communities Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities people countering extremism and women.
Eighty-three percent of practitioner respondents were concerned that extremism is causing harm to our wider society and democracy.
To respond to extremism the public and practitioners agreed that “a lot more” should be done online to counter extremism 56% and 73% respectively.
The five academic papers covered overview of the far right by Dr Benjamin Lee, Senior Research Associate, Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University, Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) who said “This paper provides readers with an overview of the far-right in the UK. It covers the various ideological strains that inhabit the far-right space (broadly interpreted) as well as some of their different aims and objectives. The paper finishes by setting out some of the available indicators of the scale of far-right support in the UK.”
Modernising and Mainstreaming: The Contemporary British Far Right by Dr Joe Mulhall, Senior Researcher, at HOPE not hate, who said, “By analysing the rhetoric espoused at a series of major far-right events across 2018 and comparing it to societal polling it becomes evident that large parts of the contemporary far-right’s platform – namely anti-Muslim politics, co-option of the free speech debate and an anti-elite populism – has widespread public support.”
National Action: Links between the far right, extremism and terrorism by Dr Chris Allen, Associate Professor in Hate Studies, The Centre for Hate Studies, Department of Criminology, University of Leicester who said, “In 2016, National Action made history for being the first far-right group to be proscribed in the UK. Investigating the group’s history, ideology and activities, this article considers how its commitment to a ‘pure’ form of nationalism helped it to transition from non-violent to violent extremism.”
The values of the Far Left and their acceptance among the general British public and the self-identifying ‘very left wing’ by Dr Daniel Allington, Senior Lecturer in Social and Cultural Artificial Intelligence, King’s College London, who said “The sectarian Far Left consists of a number of small, close-knit groups, each of which aspires to lead the workers into revolution. Survey data suggest that people who agree with the ideas promoted by the sectarian far left are more likely to sympathise with violent extremism.”
Talking Our Way Out of Conflict: Critical reflections on ‘mediated dialogue’ as a tool for secondary level CVE by Dr Ajmal Hussain, Research Fellow in Sociology, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, who said, “This paper reflects on a researcher-practitioner collaboration in conducting a mediated dialogue between young people from an ‘Islamist’ milieu and from an ‘extreme right’ milieu. It situates the intervention in the literature on the effectiveness of intergroup contact in reducing prejudice and on social cohesion and suggests how it might be developed for use in community led counter extremism practice.”