As the grip of extremist Islam becomes more prevalent, those who live in democracies, will need to challenge the extremists living among us, in order to protect our way of life.
Many people claim that this extremist ideology is not true Islam, yet there are not many Muslims standing and voicing their opposition to these extremist factions.
Only devout Muslims can challenge the scriptural basis upon which the extremists proclaim the laws of their faith.
Only these moderate Muslim voices can provide a credible alternative view challenging this form of extremism and encouraging reform within the Muslim community.
Our democratic culture must continue to stand for tolerance and the right to freedom of expression, and we must insist that those who choose to live among us share our democratic values.
We require our universities to provide a platform for alternative thinking, however, we must not allow extremists to use our liberalism to promote their lethal ideologies by hiding behind allegations of racism and cultural insensitivity.
In order to begin to counter this extremist ideology we need to initiate some very difficult cultural debates, that must be aired without the fear of being branded an Islamophobic.
There are many examples today of our passive tolerance of practices that are contrary to the progressive values upon which we have built our civilizations.
The future of our nations rests with our children and they will naturally assimilate the culture in which they live.
Many of the children of landed immigrants, in many countries today, lack the sense of belonging, they lack a bond with the general population, and remaining strangers to its culture have failed to identity with their home nation.
We need to have the confidence to inspire others our values as they will form part of the identity that our children will choose.
We know that extremist ideologies evolve in the minority communities within our countries, in neighbourhoods that are isolated and where opportunities for young people are limited.
There, language barriers and poor education restrict possibilities and prevent women from entering the workplace and attaining any sort of independence for themselves.
These conditions segregate communities and subjugate the inhabitants, limiting their identity to a closed faith or ideology.
We need to reform these communities through education and integration, to expose radical Islam as a theocratic belief system and contrast their subversive intolerance of freedom and sexual discrimination with our values.
We cannot allow the moderate voices within this dialogue to be silenced by these failures of integration.
Many democracies in the world have built diverse communities that include minority cultures and faiths that co-exist and create a country that is far greater that the sum of its parts.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” (Robert F. Kennedy)
By Blake & Boky
This blog was inspired by a speech made by Prime Minister David Cameron at Ninestiles School July 20, 2015.