| "Extremism" |
(plastic word, enemy image, polarising perspective)
|Interest of||• Active Change Foundation|
• American Freedom Alliance
• Jessikka Aro
• Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism
• Commission for Countering Extremism
• Counter Extremism Project
• Julia Ebner
• Hany Farid
• Jon Hazel
• Shima Keene
• Media Diversity Institute
• Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens
• Muslim Contact Unit
• National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit
• Jan-Willem van Prooijen
• Alex Schmid
• Richard Titley
|"Extremism" is used as a more modern replacement for "terrorism", one that is used to facilitate the criminalisation of ideas as well as just actions. It polarises the world into the normal ("mainstream") and the abnormal, unhealthy ("extreme").|
"Extremism" is an enemy image used to designate ideas which are unwelcome to the speaker. The establishment uses the word with negative overtones (often implying a connection with "violent extremism", a.k.a. "terrorism"). Commercially-controlled media have used it to refer to a wide variety of alternatives to neoliberalism.
- 1 Official narrative
- 2 Definition
- 3 In practice
- 4 Political spectrum
- 5 By nation state
- 6 United Kingdom
- 7 Examples
- 8 Related Quotations
- 9 Related Documents
- 10 Official examples
- 11 Rating
- 12 References
The Western commercially-controlled media often use the word "extremism" is conjunction with "religious", particularly "Islamic" - (i.e. "Islamic extremism"), sometimes in the compound "domestic extremism", but rarely in conjunction with other religions. The word is a flexible one which lacks much of a proper definition. It is pejorative and exonymic - i.e. people use it to put down other people, and never apply it to themselves.
Denial by UK Police
The Canary reported in 2018 that “Despite widespread evidence to the contrary, including a PREVENT training presentation from the police describing anti-fracking protesters as extremists, the police argued in court that anti-fracking protesters were not viewed in this way.” 
As is common for enemy images, "extremism" is a plastic word - i.e. has lacked a clear and consistent definition. In 2014, the UK government defined extremism as "vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs".
Sociology professor David Miller has suggested that corporate media appear to be stoking fear of Islam by very disproportionate reporting of "Islamic extremists". This is does as a component of the "war on terror" narrative used to facilitate the changing of laws purportedly intended to fight "terrorism". Once passed, the lack of a legal definition of "extremism" or "terrorism" means that they are routinely used to facilitate social control such as mass surveillance of entire populations. An "extremist" becomes anyone who expresses dissenting opinions to that which the nation state promotes.
The lack of a proper definition have allowed different agencies within the UK government to use the word "extremism" in contradictory ways. The purported 'research' into counter-extremism is so unempirical and vague as to not really merit that term. Nafeez Ahmed has referred to it as "astonishingly crap". Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan police commissioner promised when the Met's "anti-extremism unit" was set up that it would target serious criminals rather than peaceful protesters, but it has been used against senior UK Green party members Caroline Lucas and Sian Berry.
The label "extremism" is use to try to promote fear event of peaceful protest ("non-violent extremism"), enabling a more modern, somewhat subtler form of lèse-majesté. Such ideas form the core of the public pretext used by the Internet censorship projects being carried out by the deep state.
In 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee today the House and Senate intelligence committees were preparing plans to counter “extremist content and Russian disinformation online.” Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union, announced that corporations must remove "extremist" material from the internet within hours, if its uploading could not be prevented altogether.
The phrase "violent extremism" is an increasingly common phrase which appears to be used as a replacement for the word "terrorism", which also is problematic as regards definition. Although the label "extremism" is associated with violence, some governments have used the phrase "non-violent extremism" when drafting legislation. Alex Schmid of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism argued that “the distinction between “non-violent extremism” and “violent extremism” is not a valid one.” 
The FBI has been borrowing from the UK's PREVENT programme, encouraging high schools to report anyone who criticises government policy as potential future "terrorists", warning that “anarchist extremists” are in the same category as ISIS.
- Full article: Political spectrum
- Full article: Political spectrum
The notion of "extremism" is used in conjunction with the metaphor of the political spectrum to create two enemy images - "extreme left" and "extreme right". The metaphor casts these two as opposite, so it is testimony to its inherent oversimplification that many of these groups often have so much in common that people may not agree on what which is which.
By nation state
China used the meme of "extremism" in 2017 to sharpen social control measures in the majority Moslem province of Xinjiang. These measures have seen many people interned in "re-education" camps, and restricted dress, cultural life, banned "abnormal beards" etc. These were claimed to be measures to fight "extremism".
In 2016 the mayor of Cannes banned full-body swimsuits known as "burkinis" from the beach, stating that they are a "symbol of Islamic extremism".
In September 2021, Sky News reported that extremism, racism, homophobia and conspiracy theories are flourishing in British schools due to a lack of internet censorship. Conspiracies about 9/11, immigration, Bill Gates and COVID-19 are the most common. The website, Educate Against Hate, is promoted by the Department of Education
|"Domestic extremism"||An enemy image used to try to justify repression of alternative ideas|
|"Extreme left"||One pole of the highly suspect "political spectrum". A tool in the divide and conquer strategy of party politics.|
|"Extreme right"||One pole of the highly suspect "political spectrum". A tool in the divide and conquer strategy of party politics.|
|"Non-violent extremism"||An enemy image used to try to justify violent repression of those who advocate non-violent change.|
|"Violent extremism"||A drop in replacement for "terrorism" that was followed by "non-violent extremism", a term used to frame the justification of violence towards the explicitly non-violent.|
|Proud Boys||A FBI affiliated "opposition" group.|
|"Non-violent extremism"||“It can even be argued that ‘non-violent extremism’ is a contradiction in terms. While there can be non-violent and violent radicals, it makes, in my view and based on the distinction between radicalism and extremism elaborated above, less sense to distinguish between violent and non-violent extremists.”||Alex Schmid||March 2013|
|2021||“The Biden administration is revving up for a war against an enemy which the feds have chosen to never explicitly define.”||James Bovard||19 June 2021|
|Commission for Countering Extremism||“Engaging widely and openly on extremism and Britain’s values across the public sector, communities, civil society, and with legal and academic experts. We need to make the case for tackling extremism and the harms it causes, beyond terrorism, in our communities.
Producing a strategic assessment of the threat we face from extremism, and the current response. This will consider the prevalence, concentration and range of extremism that exists in this country, identify the drivers of extremism, and review the success of current approaches in tackling it.Advising Ministers on the Commission’s future structures, work programme and the appointment of further commissioners. This advice will in part be informed by the Lead Commissioner’s engagement with stakeholders.”
|25 January 2018|
|Commission for Countering Extremism||“the Commission will play a key role in the ongoing fight to counter extremism in the UK. It will:
||25 January 2018|
|Tom Cotton||“Waterboarding isn’t torture. We do waterboarding on our own soldiers in the military.”||Tom Cotton|
|Tom Cotton||““It has come to our attention while observing your nuclear negotiations with our government that you may not fully understand our constitutional system. Thus, we are writing to bring to your attention two features of our Constitution—the power to make binding international agreements and the different character of federal offices—which you should seriously consider as negotiations progress.
First, under our Constitution, while the president negotiates international agreements, Congress plays the significant role of ratifying them. In the case of a treaty, the Senate must ratify it by a two-thirds vote. A so-called congressional-executive agreement requires a majority vote in both the House and the Senate (which, because of procedural rules, effectively means a three-fifths vote in the Senate). Anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement.
Second, the offices of our Constitution have different characteristics. For example, the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms. As applied today, for instance, President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time."”
|Internet/Censorship||“Radical and extremist Islamic propaganda distributed in Europe continues to feed off events happening outside Europe. The Internet is one media outlet, perhaps the essential media outlet for this propaganda.”||6 November 2007|
|MLK||“A doctrine of black supremacy is as dangerous as a doctrine of white supremacy. God is not interested in the freedom of black men or brown men or yellow men. God is interested in the freedom of the whole human race, the creation of a society where every man will respect the dignity and worth of personality.”||MLK|
|Theresa May||“There is to be frank, far too much tolerance of extremism in our country.”||Theresa May||2017|
|Nonviolence||“preventing violent extremism is not enough; rather all extremism – Islamist and other – ought to be prevented, given the bloody track record of extremism in power in the twentieth century and beyond. Rather than distinguishing between non-violent and violent extremists, we should distinguish between extremists and non-extremists and support the latter against Islamists at home and abroad. Governments should challenge and resist all extremism, whether it is violent or not, whether it is Islamist or not.”||Alex Schmid||May 2014|
|Religion||“Some years ago, a leaked MI5 behavioural study of pathways to terrorism concluded that there was no single profile or pathway to violent radicalisation. It also found, contrary to conventional assumptions, that religious conservatism tended to act as a bulwark against extremism.”||Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed||13 February 2015|
|Document:British extremists are importing tactics from the US hard right. Their target? Family drag shows||Article||22 June 2023||Tim Squirrell||The Institute for Strategic Dialogue has identified a new terror threat in this article published by Tim Squirrell, its head of communications, in the Guardian.|
|Document:Someone said they wanted to see me trapped in a burning car and watch flames melt my flesh||Article||22 October 2021||Nadine Dorries||After the murder of MP David Amess, a crackdown on "internet trolls" is being demanded by most politicians. The UK's new Culture Minister Nadine Dorries is pursuing new overreaching legislation regulating Big Tech. The "Online Safety Bill" will abolish online anonymity and empower internet censorship. There are fears that it will be the end for freedom of expression in the UK.|
|Document:The Astonishingly Crap Science of 'Counter-Extremism'||webpage||17 March 2016||Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed||An expose of the crass lack of any valid scientific basis of government strategies to fight radicalisation. Nafeez Ahmed agrues that the "most academically accurate concept to capture this absurd level of crappiness is ‘bullshit’".|
|Document:The new alliance between anti-vaxxers and the far right is a deadly threat||Article||1 August 2021||Paul Mason||"Though they claim to be “peaceful”......by setting themselves up as the victims of genocide, the anti-vaxxers give themselves permission to threaten violence.....Those behind the “crime” are said to include governments and the World Economic Forum (WEF)" because the real fascists are the ones that oppose oppressive government mandates and forced injections.|
|Document:Unthinking extremism - Radicalising narratives that legitimise surveillance||paper||26 October 2015||Ben Harbisher|
|Document:Weekend Clashes Emblematic of Political Violence Around the Country||Article||16 October 2018||Anti-Defamation League||This ADL blog post from 2018 outlines instances of "terrorism", blamed mainly on the Proud Boys during first two years of the Presidency of Donald Trump. Since then, they were revealed to have links to FBI informants.|
|Document:Why We Need to Remember Srebrenica||article||3 December 2015||Zarah Sultana||Zarah Sultana, then a student at the University of Birmingham, wrote an article about her trip to Srebrenica|
|Document:Why some people are spreading false rumours about the Texas gunman||Article||9 May 2023||Shayan Sardarizadeh|
|The BBC factchecks the recent 2023 Allen, Texas outlet mall shooting regarding the alleged Nazism of the Hispanic shooter|
|File:FBI-Extremist Symbols 2006.pdf||report||9 November 2006||(U//LES//FOUO) The Colorado Information Analysis Center has received information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Terrorism Task Force (FBI/JTTF) regarding extremist symbols, tattoos and terminology. The following is a guideline for possible identification of members and or activists related to the individual groups|
|The Power of Unreason||paper||August 2010||Jamie Bartlett|
|A critique and deconstruction of an 'Official Narrative'-type paper on 'Conspiracy Theory' from the 'think-tank' publisher Demos. It includes an exchange of correspondence between its authors and a Wikispooks editor which is continued on the discussion page.|
- One look on a search engine will conform the standard usage..
- Document:Radicalisation - UK.gov gets itself in cluster-muddle over 'terrorism'
- Document:The Astonishingly Crap Science of 'Counter-Extremism'
- http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/waronterror/2011/04/19/freedom-of-speech-extremism-terrorism/ LSE Blog , 2011-04-09
- https://www.icct.nl/download/file/ICCT-Schmid-Violent-Non-Violent-Extremism-May-2014.pdf International Centre for Counter-Terrorism , May 2014