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October 13, 2006

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer: 'West Must Win Battle Of Cultures With Militant Islam'

It seems like the West just might be finally waking up to what it's been facing but has done much to ignore. In a major foreign policy address introducing new financial controls designed to cut off the flow of funds to terrorists from Western sympathizers, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown spoke on Tuesday about the ideological conflict between the West and militant Islam.

... We are "not just dealing with criminality. We are dealing with a terrorist ideology that supports the abolition of Israel, the creation of a caliphate," and "supports death" to those who "oppose the ideology of al-Qaida," he said.

... "This is a long-term issue of hearts and minds" that cannot be won by force of arms alone, but through a "cultural campaign to isolate and expose the propaganda that comes from these terrorist groups,"

... We must expose the barrenness, sterility and violence in dogma of that extreme ideology" he said, and pursue a "cultural campaign as well as a military security campaign" against al-Qaida and its supporters.

... "Our aim is simple: Just as there be no safe haven for terrorists, so there be no hiding place for those who finance terrorism," he added.

... Brown promised tougher financial scrutiny within Britain, and backed plans for electronic border controls, national ID cards and for granting police the power to hold suspects longer than 28 days without charges in terrorism investigations. He said the new security initiatives would be coupled with civil rights safeguards from an independent judiciary and through Parliamentary review.

... "Today we have to argue not just against terrorism and terrorists, but also against the violent perversion of a peaceful religious faith," he said. "We are not engaged in a war against Islam," but seek instead to build a "common humanity amongst moderates of all faiths in all parts of the world."

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Posted by Abdul at October 13, 2006 8:48 AM

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