Orders of the Day — Terrorism Bill
1:24 pm

Photo of Charles Clarke

Charles Clarke (Home Secretary; Norwich South, Labour)

I shall not give way at the moment.

Al-Qaeda's methods, too, are different. It recognises no common bonds with people who have different beliefs and its members are prepared to kill indiscriminately. Indeed, mass murder is their explicit objective—the measure of success in their terms. Their methods of recruitment bear more comparison to self-destructive cults than political movements. However, we must acknowledge that their modern nihilism is innovative, flexible and cunning. Al-Qaeda and the networks that are inspired by it approach the task with all the resources of modern technology and all the focus of modern zealotry.

The most important conclusion to draw from this analysis is that there is no particular Government policy decision, or even an overall policy stance, which we could change in order somehow to remove our society from the al-Qaeda firing line. Its nihilism means that our societies would cease to be a target only if we were to renounce all the values of freedom and liberty that we have fought to extend over so many years. Our only answer to this threat must be to contest and then to defeat it, and that is why we need this legislation.

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