Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: A United Stand for Democracy and Tolerance - The UK's Stance Against Global Extremism

Wednesday 01st November 2023 05:59 EDT

This week I hosted an event in Parliament as Chair of the City Hindus Network, and the President of the India League. I closed the event referencing the problem of extremism. Three weeks ago I was giving a speech on extremism in commemoration of Gandhiji’s birth. Again, the topic was dealing with extremists.

In the wake of an unspeakable act of terrorism orchestrated by Hamas in Israel on 7th October, a crucial call to action reverberates across the UK, urging every citizen to form a collective front against extremism, terrorism, and fanaticism. This incident not only delineates a defining chapter in history but also underscores the perilous intent harboured by extremist factions like Hamas and ISIS. Their ultimate goal, it seems clear, is to disintegrate the fabric of liberal democracies and supplant them with their radical ideologies, thereby extinguishing the flames of tolerance and coexistence that are the hallmarks of a civilized society.

At this juncture, it's imperative to acknowledge that such destructive ideologies find support, albeit from a minority, even within the UK's borders. This isn't merely a confrontation between differing civilizations; it's a battle to preserve the essence of civilisation itself. The core values that the UK holds dear—tolerance, freedom, and the sanctity of human life—are being insidiously targeted by these extremist entities. The repercussions of their nefarious agendas are already palpable within the UK, and the threat looms large over the democratic ethos we cherish.

The call to action is unequivocal. Silence is no longer a luxury we can afford. The need of the hour is a united front that unequivocally communicates that extremism will find no quarter here. It's a call that demands courage, unwavering commitment, and a collective resolve to uphold the democratic values that define the UK. The battle against extremism isn't new to us; we've faced and thwarted such threats before. The legacy of defending our civilization against forces of extremism is a testament to our collective strength and the enduring values we uphold.

The onus now lies on every citizen, irrespective of colour, race, religion, political affiliation, or gender identity, to rally together under a common banner of tolerance, freedom, and democracy. The present circumstances necessitate that we reaffirm our commitment to these values, and stand united against the forces that seek to undermine them. The ethos of the UK is rooted in the principles of tolerance and coexistence, and it's these very principles that will guide us as we navigate through these turbulent times.

The battle against extremism transcends political and personal differences. It's a shared responsibility that beckons every citizen to play a part in safeguarding the democratic foundation of our society. Together, as a united front, we can ensure that the forces of extremism are effectively countered, thereby preserving the cherished values that form the bedrock of the UK's identity.

As we unite to stand against extremism, we reiterate our unwavering resolve to protect the values that define our nation, and in doing so, ensure a safe and tolerant society for future generations to thrive. The path may be fraught with challenges, but with a united resolve, the UK will emerge stronger, upholding the torch of democracy and tolerance against the dark shadows of extremism and terror.

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