17 June 2016

With the research emerging overnight that Jo Cox MP’s murderer Tommy Mair was a supporter of various extreme right wing groups and the three eyewitness accounts that he shouted “Britain first”, it is looking increasingly likely that this was an act of nationalist far right terrorism.

Quilliam condemns this repulsive act and remembers the wonderful life of Jo Cox, an MP, a mother of two, a tireless campaigner for refugees, the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group ‘Friends of Syria’ and the former Head of Policy at Oxfam. Our thoughts are with her friends and family on this dark day for British politics.

The suspected terrorist Tommy Mair was a long standing member of the neo nazi direct action group, the National Alliance and the pro apartheid group White Rhino before carrying out his act of terror yesterday.

We call on the media to treat this act as it would any act of suspected jihadist terrorism. We call on society to expose, isolate and challenge all extremist ideologies and narratives for what they are. And we call on states to continue tackling extremism of all kinds, with consistency and urgency.

Within a week of the jihadist terrorist attack in Orlando, we must remember the negative symbiosis between Islamist and far right extremism, and the atmosphere that both extremism create which is conducive to terrorism of any kind. Social polarisation, intolerance and acts of violence are rising across the world and cannot be seen in isolation from the predominant extremist ideologies and narratives.

Quilliam’s Managing Director Haras Rafiq says:

“For many years now, Quilliam has been raising awareness about the negative symbiosis between Islamist extremism and Far-Right extremism. These two are set to rise if we do not consistently call out both. build bridges and more importantly – allow for difficult conversations.The Far-Right and Islamist extremism share the same characteristics and emotional triggers – the same pathways in and out of extremism.”

From all of us at Quilliam, we remember Jo and take inspiration from the bright horizon and vision of the future that she painted for us, free from the hate and extremism that threatens us all. And we call on our nation to unite to prevent such future tragedies.

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