Yes, winning hearts and minds is going to be tough. But why does Brown assume that if Muslims support suicide bombing, it is because of something that the British have done and can thus undo? What if the support for suicide bombing comes from imperatives within Islam?
As many as one in 11 British Muslims agree with and proactively support terrorism, a Government adviser has warned police.
Haras Rafiq also told officers at Scotland Yard that up to 20 per cent of the Muslim population ‘ sympathise’ with militants, while stopping short of being prepared to ‘blow themselves up’.
His remarks underline the scale of the task facing Gordon Brown to win the hearts and minds of Muslims, only a week after he promised an extra Â£70million to councils and community groups to fight extremism.
Mr Rafiq, an adviser to the Government’s preventing extremism taskforce, said: “A percentage of people actually agree and support proactively the people that are deciding to blow themselves up.
“It varies, it can be 7 per cent, 5 per cent, 9 per cent.”
With 1.6million Muslims living in the UK, nine per cent is the equivalent of 144,000 people supporting terrorism.
‘Proactively’ supporting terrorism is understood to mean the people are vocal in their support for fanatics, rather than actively helping them to commit atrocities.