At the heart of this strategy is a partnership between government and all those individuals, groups and communities, who want to see extremism defeated. It is a partnership that will not only seek to counter the ideology spread by extremists, but will stand up for the shared values that unite us as a country: values that include democracy, free speech, mutual respect, and opportunity for all.
It is these values that allow us to enjoy our individual freedoms and to lead varied lives in diverse communities. But they also come with a responsibility to respect the rights of others to live as they choose.
Yet, in recent times, we have seen extremists operating at an unprecedented pace and scale, seeking to divide our communities and cause great harm.
Where this leads to violence the threat is all too apparent, from the 38 people murdered in Tunisia in June to the 17 people murdered in Paris in the attacks in January this year. The rise of ISIL is particularly alarming, driven in part by their sophisticated use of the internet and social media. More than 750 UK-linked individuals have travelled to take part in the Syrian conflict.
But the threat posed by extremists is not limited to violence, nor to Islamist extremism.
The rise of neo-Nazi groups, and the increase in antisemitic and anti-Muslim hatred is deeply concerning. Where non-violent extremism goes unchallenged, the values that bind our society together fragment. Women’s rights are eroded, intolerance and bigotry become normalised, minorities are targeted and communities become separated from the mainstream.
Such behaviour cannot go uncontested. A new approach is required to tackle this growing threat and protect people from the damage extremists cause. This strategy therefore addresses the full spectrum of extremism: violent and non-violent, Islamist and neo-Nazi – hate and fear in all their forms.
We will systematically confront and challenge extremist ideology, exposing it for the lie it is. And we will thwart its destructive consequences. We will disrupt all those who seek to spread hate and we will prosecute all those who break the law. But most importantly of all, we will stand up for all those who know that in Britain we are stronger together. Because when we join up all the voices of those who want to defeat extremism, they are louder and more powerful than the voices of those who seek to divide us.
This strategy sets out how we will work across government, and with individuals and groups across Britain, to defeat extremism in all its forms.