Governments across the world are aware of the need to win the war of ideas with Islamism. However, many governments in the West have chosen to prosecute this war very timidly.
Many of these efforts have revolved around “preventing” or “countering violent extremism,” a phrase which emerged in the United Kingdom after the London suicide bombings of July 2005 and the Labour government’s attempts to address homegrown radicalization. In 2010, a Home Office official told me that “violent extremism” was the preferred phrase of choice for the British government in its attempts to stop people turning to terrorism as it removed any religious connotations. Unfortunately, however, even “violent extremism” was too offensive for some.