Muslim children exposed to "the contagion of radical Islamic extremism" should be taken into care, Boris Johnson has said, lamenting "politically-correct" social services who leave children vulnerable.
Children, the Mayor of London said, were being left to absorb “crazy stuff”, similar to the views expressed by Lee Rigby’s killers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale.
"The law should obviously treat radicalisation as a form of child abuse," wrote Johnson in his Daily Telegraph column.
"It is the strong view of many of those involved in counter-terrorism that there should be a clearer legal position, so that those children who are being turned into potential killers or suicide bombers can be removed into care – for their own safety and for the safety of the public."
Johnson defended his view of Islamic radicalism on his LBC radio show on Monday morning, calling it "a pretty sort of bleak nihilistic view of the world. It's a sort of virus that infects people and its tragic when it happens."
Though the government was "watching like hawks" for radical preachers and jihadists returning from Syria, children being radicalised at home by their parents was not on the radar, his piece continued.
"What has been less widely understood is that some young people are now being radicalised at home, by their parents or by their step-parents," he said. "It is estimated that there could be hundreds of children – especially those who come within the orbit of the banned extremist group Al-Muhajiroun – who are being taught crazy stuff: the kind of mad yearning for murder and death that we heard from Lee Rigby’s killers.
"A child may be taken into care if he or she is being exposed to pornography, or is being abused – but not if the child is being habituated to this utterly bleak and nihilistic view of the world that could lead them to become murderers.
"I have been told of at least one case where the younger siblings of a convicted terrorist are well on the road to radicalisation – and it is simply not clear that the law would support intervention.
Counter terrorism officer must "work out who are the most vulnerable young people... I worry that their work is being hampered by what I am obliged to call political correctness," the Mayor continued.
Johnson compared the reticence to address children's radicalisation with the "appalling failure of this country to tackle the evil of Female Genital Mutilation".
"This practice is utter savagery," he said. "Both Britain and France banned this barbarism in the mid-Eighties; and yet the French have been much more effective in tackling it than we have.
"There are still Left-wing academics protesting that the war on FGM is a form of imperialism, and that we are wrong to impose our Western norms.
"I say that is utter rubbish, and a monstrous inversion of what I mean by liberalism."Suggest a correction