The first Muslim woman in Britain to sit in Cabinet has warned that politicians should focus on tackling young people who are being radicalized via the internet instead of blaming mosques for turning people into terrorists.
Baroness Warsi, who resigned as a Foreign Office minister last summer over what she described as the Government’s “morally indefensible” stance on the Gaza conflict, said that Britain is fighting an “ever-losing battle” to stop young people being “radicalized in their bedrooms”.
The Conservative Party peer told Sky News: “(Online) is where young people hang out, it’s where they get a lot of their information and therefore it’s only natural it’s where they would go for their material in terms of becoming radicalised.
“It also means that sometimes we’ve been wanting to find an easy answer – we’ve said ‘look, mosques should do more, madrassas should do more’ and it’s becoming more and more apparent that people are not being radicalised in places of worship but they’re being radicalised in their bedrooms by being on the internet.”
“Much resource has gone into making sure websites are taken down but we are fighting an ever-losing battle with extremist groups.
“One of the things that IS (Islamic State) has been incredibly successful at has been using the internet and social networking spaces for their own propaganda.”
More involvement with British Muslim communities is one of the solutions to the problem, Lady Warsi said.
Her comments come as police launched a worldwide search for three young British girls who flew to Turkey from Gatwick Airport last week.
Shamima Begum, 15, Kadiza Sultana, 16, and 15-year-old Amira Abase are believed to have fled to Syria to join Islamic State.
According to reports, at least one of the girls had been in contact with Aqsa Mahmood, who left her Glasgow home in November 2013 after becoming radicalised.