ISD’s Milo Comerford spoke to LBC about the proposal by Conservative leadership candidate Rishi Sunak to broaden the UK’s definition of ‘extremism’ to include notions of the “vilification” of Britain. Sunak also advocates for the UK’s Prevent programme to focus on Islamist extremism, as well as intervene in cases of individuals with “extreme hatred” for Britain.
“Hatred is a very confusing word here. Hatred is a different thing to extremism. Hatred can be directed, it can be expressed personally — it is a perspective and viewpoint. Extremism is an ideology, a consolidated worldview and supremacist perspective that attacks people on the basis of their characteristics, whether that’s racial religious, ethnic or otherwise,” Milo told LBC.
“It’s dangerous supposition to assume that extremism is inherently hateful. A lot of what is attractive about extremism is a positive utopian vision for society.”
Milo also noted the diverse range of threats and hybrid threats in the UK, including the rise of far-right extremism. “What’s notable is there are a lot of extremists who don’t hate Britain.”