David Cameron thinks it’s Islamic extremism – is he right? We opened up the question to Dazed readers
In an impassioned keynote speech in Birmingham, David Cameron described extremist ideology as the "struggle of our generation" and outlined a five-year plan for dealing with the rise of organisations like ISIS. It’s thought that 700 Britons have left the country and travelled to Syria to fight for ISIS, with the government alleging that half of them have returned, posing an unprecedented terrorist threat.
Extreme beliefs can always be dangerous – no doubt the Tories hold some of their own. While we aren’t discounting the threat of terrorism, describing it as the "struggle of our generation" felt hyperbolic and untrue. Banks ruling governments, climate change and minimal job prospects for British youth seem like more pressing battles. We asked Dazed readers what they thought the most important struggles facing them were. Here’s what you had to say.
RIMA ARMSTRONG: "I think this generation is far more accepting of people’s differences than any other before them. The real struggle is access to quality education at all levels, corporate dominance, corruption within the government and relative low earnings.
Religious extremism is used as a mask for tax increases and attacks. Mass media hysteria covers up what’s really going on that affects our daily lives – the backhanders and dirty deals government officials make everyday to line their own pockets with money and power."
NATALIA SMITHERS: "Our planet, slowly choking in pollution, is the struggle. It is too late to prevent climate change, it’s happening now. If our generation doesn’t act, unlike the slow progress of the generations before, then the "future" won't be one of development."
KELLY-ANNE TOMLINSON-DOCHERTY: "The struggle of our generation is affordable housing, jobs that pay, and living wage and services that are threatened to be cut. Media that promotes hatred rather than togethernes, be it about socio-economic culture, skin colour or religion.
BILLIE LOEBNER: This billionaire government’s and their powerful elite friends’ contempt for the general public is the biggest threat to us all. They have been selling off to each other what is not theirs; our public assets, land and services. They have taken away access to free education for all – a disgrace and a disaster for any advanced society. Above all, their policies such as the cynically divisive "Prevent" initiative – along with the cutting of ESOL – will isolate and demonise the most vulnerable sections of society, and fuel the rise of a pernicious Islamophobia.
ELLE SAVVY: "Apathy".