Questions & Answers

The government is determined to defeat extremism and terrorism in all its forms.

Extremism is the vocal or active opposition to our fundamental values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and respect and tolerance for different faiths and beliefs. We also regard calls for the death of members of our armed forces as extremist.
(Source: Counter Extremism Strategy, October 2015)

The current UK definition of terrorism is given in the Terrorism Act 2000. In summary this defines terrorism as an action that endangers or causes serious violence to a person/people; causes serious damage to property; or seriously interferes or disrupts an electronic system. The use or threat must be designed to influence the government or to intimidate the public and is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious or ideological cause.

One of our greatest current challenges is the global rise of Islamist extremism and the threat posed by Daesh (Isis). Daesh’s terrorist activity and its social-media output have led to an unprecedented number of attacks carried out in its name, exporting the threat to countries with little or no history of terrorism, and they have also encouraged young British people to travel to conflict zones.

We also face a threat from extreme rightwing groups, who share an ideology based on intense hostility to minorities and a belief that violence between ethnic and religious groups is inevitable. Alongside antisemitism and racism, hostility to Islam has become a common element of these groups.

Popular Resources

Suggestions and guidance on how to engage with antisemitism in the classroom, including ways to talk about the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Guides and resources for setting up a debate club in your school, and details of the Institute of Ideas’ national Debating Matters Competition.

Session plans for young people, exploring how democracy works and encouraging students to see themselves as active members of society.

Short films and classroom exercises which encourage critical thinking and challenge myths in order to build resilience to extremism.

Lawyers who work with small groups of students to explore a range of legal topics, such as human rights, consumer law and intellectual property.

Magistrates who visit schools, colleges and community groups to discuss how our justice system works, including how verdicts and sentences are decided.

Ways to engage with the democratic process at Westminster, including augmented reality experiences at the Parliamentary Education Centre.

Members of the House of Lords visit schools and colleges to talk and answer questions about their work and their role in our parliamentary system.