This silly and naive policy is what results from the pervasive fundamental misunderstanding about the causes and roots of terrorism. From Reuters, with thanks to Ali Dashti:
LONDON – Britain signalled its commitment to its Muslim community yesterday as a leaked document revealed a project to ‘win the hearts and minds’ of Islamic extremists and Al-Qaeda sympathisers.
The government project codenamed Contest, which was leaked to the Sunday Times newspaper, suggested Britain might be harbouring as many as 10,000 Al-Qaeda sympathisers. …
‘We don’t comment on leaks, but the government is taking its relationship with the Muslim community very seriously,’ said a government spokesman. ‘But that is only one part of the strategy against terrorism.’
Moderate Muslim preachers would receive state funding under the plan, while radical foreign imams would be asked to pledge allegiance to the British way of life or face a ban, said the Sunday Times.
Oh, you mean they will promise to be loyal? Great idea! That will take care of any problem!
‘The aim is to prevent terrorism by tackling its underlying causes…to diminish support for terrorists by influencing relevant social and economic issues,’ Cabinet Secretary Sir Andrew Turnbull was quoted as saying in a letter prior to a May 19 meeting to discuss Contest.
The project is said to have been prompted by the March 11 attacks on Madrid commuter trains, killing 191, and the discovery of over half a tonne of bomb making material in a London warehouse.
‘Muslim-friendly workplaces’ could be set up, along with moderate Muslim television and radio stations.
In a note to Home Office Permanent Secretary John Gieve, Sir Andrew called for a blueprint to win ‘the hearts and minds’ of Muslim youth.
‘Al-Qaeda and its offshoots provide a dramatic pole of attraction for the most disaffected,’ he wrote. ‘The broader task is to address the roots of the problem, which include discrimination, disadvantage and exclusion suffered by many Muslim communities.’