Commission for Countering Extremism

I’ve just given evidence to the government’s Commission for Countering Extremism’s survey. The opening patter proclaims:

"Extremism is a generational issue. It is complex, multi-faceted and, for many people, an uncomfortable topic to talk about. That is why as an independent Commission our first step is to bring together people’s experiences, their insight and their evidence as part of our first-of-its-kind study into all forms of extremism.”

Unfortunately, the survey never defines what extremism is. Is it talking about views and ideologies that lead to violence? Or is it talking about people holding opinions which others don’t agree with? Is a creationist an extremist? A theist? A Calvinist? If one believes marriage is between a man and woman, or that there are two genders- male and female- is such a one an extremist? The survey blithely invites people to comment on a term for which there might be a plethora of meanings.

Interestingly, the survey lists groups that might cause extremism- including religious groups. No mention is made of secularists, until the list of victims of extremism is proffered. Those saintly secularists- always the victims and never the aggressors.