Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced a £1 million program to counter the rise of violent extremism with a focus on the “far-right” in London.
That’s right. Those known, marauding gangs of Neo-Nazis baying for blood between Pret A Manger and Westminster Abbey.
“The rise of the far right in the UK and across the globe is a growing threat to us all,” said Khan earlier this week.
“They’re gaining ground and winning power in places that seemed unimaginable not too long ago. I am therefore pleased to announce today an extra £1 million to combat this scourge in London and that we are able to discuss ways to stop the spread of these vile ideologies with so many Mayors and city leaders.”
“The rise of the far right in the UK and across the globe is a growing threat to us all,” said Khan.
“With the continuing uncertainty caused by Brexit, I’ll also be extending the warm hand of friendship to my counterparts – reminding them London will always be open. We will always consider ourselves proud Europeans, living in a European city and those who have made their home here will always be welcome,” he added.
Infamous for stating that terrorism is “part and parcel of living in a big city”—a point the Mayor has reiterated time and again both on social media and in interviews—Khan’s announcement follows £400,000 previously invested by the mayor to tackle violent extremism, according to the Mayor’s office.
Khan made his announcement in a first-of-its-kind summit in London involving mayors from 12 European capital cities, who joined the Mayor of London to tackle a variety of issues including climate change and the “rise of the far-right.” The meeting at City Hall on Tuesday included the mayors of Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin, and Amsterdam; and senior representatives from six other European capitals.
The meeting coincided with the publication of a new report by the Mayor of London’s office on how to safeguard vulnerable groups and suppress the spread of extremism. According to the Mayor, the report is the “most comprehensive listening exercise of this policy area ever, hearing from marginalized communities, disempowered women and young people.”
The report calls in to question terms like “international terrorism” and “domestic terrorism,” the former of which usually refers to Islamist-inspired terror attacks. The latter usually refers to right-wing extremists and domestic organizations like the Irish Republican Army (IRA).
Crucially, most of the terror attacks listed in the report were Islamist-inspired, including the recent April attack in Sri Lanka that claimed the lives of over 250 Christians on Easter Sunday.
“The perpetrators targeted Christians worshiping on Easter Sunday and tourists at hotels. Evidence suggests that the attackers were linked to DAESH. British citizens were amongst those killed,” the report states.
The remainder of the report highlights the rise of “right-wing extremism,” with a focus on anti-multicultural and identitarian movements opposing mass immigration. It cites Tommy Robinson and his street protests as a manifestation of “right-wing extremism.”
“Most recently, so-called identarian [sic] movements have sought to market themselves as the ‘new right’ of rightwing extremist politics. Generation Identity (GI) is one such identarian [sic] extremist group. GI, which was created in France and spread out across Europe, claims to represent “indigenous Europeans” and propagates the rightwing conspiracy theory that white people are becoming a minority in what it calls the “Great Replacement”. GI has been noted to be active in London delivering publicity stunts and attending rallies.
Recorded instances of knife-related crimes in London stand in the tens of thousands
“New figures released by the Home Office show that over 7,000 people were referred to the Government’s Prevent programme between March 2017 and April 2018, and of those who were given support through Channel, 45% related to Islamist terrorism and 44% extreme right terrorism. Channel support is assigned to those considered to be most at risk of radicalisation.”
The meeting concluded with a promise to issue a joint declaration to tackle “hatred and intolerance by renewing and improving countering violent extremism activity across Europe,” along with implementing climate change policies.
Despite all this, the Mayor offered no word on his plans to properly tackle acid attacks and knife crime aside from posters urging criminals to give up their kitchen utensils. He refuses to be drawn on how he continues to criticize central government “cuts” in policing expenditure, while his office blows £1m on a report about extremism, instead of on front line policing.
The statistics speak for themselves. Recorded instances of knife-related crimes in London stand in the tens of thousands—a figure that Khan seems eager to sweep under the carpet as he refocuses his efforts to pursue the “far-right” bogeyman.
Ian Miles Cheong is the managing editor of Human Events
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