THE Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Church and Society Council, Rev Sally Foster-Fulton is calling on David Cameron to embody the ‘British values’ he has laid out today by welcoming refugees, promoting social cohesion and advancing international dialogue.
In a response to the Prime Minister’s speech, Ms Foster-Fulton says these values will be undermined by moves to expand military operations and tighten surveillance measures.
“I believe the Prime Minister’s presentation of extremism as a ‘problem’ which needs ‘solutions’ is disheartening.”, she said.
“This is not some technical procedure that the right legislation and government funding can fix in five years. That type of response is flawed in that it suggests that the drivers of violent extremism can be disarmed with surveillance at home, air strikes abroad and the co-option of a range of statutory and non-governmental organisations into the Government’s agenda.
“Our experience is that the best ways to develop societal cohesion are through well-rounded Religious and Moral Education in schools, through inter-faith dialogue in the community and through genuine collaboration.
“It is through positive relationships, mutual understanding and common acceptance that bridges of respect can be built up and barriers of fear and misunderstanding come down.”