Perhaps the so-called "radicalisation" of these schoolchildren has more to do with being groomed, or acting out to be a rebel, as opposed to well-thought-out politicised acts. The societal/familial background contribute just as much to their actions, something that is entirely overlooked in debates surrounding the radicalisation of British Muslim youth.
Every time something cruel happens, the reflex is go into the rattle bag of clichés of condemnation. What that does is prevent serious thought about the politics and ideology behind the decision to fly a plane into the World Trade Centre, murder Daniel Pearl in Pakistan because he was Jewish, and now butcher James Foley because he was American.
There are around 100 British nationals serving with the IDF as we speak, apparently with no legal difficulties. But a Brit who trains or fights with any anti-Assad rebel group runs the risk of being jailed as a terrorist. If we are worried about young British Muslims heading off to the Middle East to receive military training, should we be equally worried about Jews?
British Muslims are an extremely enterprising community. They contribute over £31billion to the UK economy every year. Over 100,000 British Muslims are civil servants, doctors, lawyers and accountants. In London alone, small businesses run by Muslims employ over 70,000 people... The majority of people view British Muslims as contributing well to our national way of life. Let us build on and strengthen that. While I'm fasting this weekend - when I'm hungry and thirsty - I will be thinking about what I can do to promote a more positive view of British Muslims - I think we should all do the same.
Personal experiences of hipsters are a far cry from Williamsburg, New York but instead it was like watching pockets of East London being swallowed up by a swarm of skinny jean wearing, flat white drinking locusts. As preened men were dubbed "Metrosexuals" and "scallies" evolved into "Chavs"; in my circle "Indie" became "Hipster".
This is the time for politicians of all hues to work with and not against the local and (new) national leadership in the Muslim communities. It may be weak and poorly organised, led largely by volunteers. But who is out there to engage with the Muslim community and bring a semblance of understanding and balance as well as practical support to the challenges they face to get things right?
The issue of great concern for most Muslim communities is not that they see a conflict between 'Muslim values' and 'British values' but that their children are growing up in a society in which such an imaginary binary opposition is constantly propagated by both politicians and 'extremist' elements within their communities.
We know that in our society there is huge cultural pressure on young people and in particular girls to be skinny, waif like and attain impossible barbie like body shapes. The gendered link between media pressure and eating disorders is inescapable. But frustratingly just as women from ethnic minorities are absent from everyday media appearances, the fact that they too are also subjected to the same cultural pressures and resultant illnesses, is also absent.
Was it an editorial decision by the Today programme bosses, out of fear of coming across as patronising or even 'left wing', to deliberately go soft on Robinson? Or did Montague and her team just not do their homework? Here are ten questions that I've bashed out over the past hour, which the Today programme could have put to the leader of the EDL.
When I first saw the distressing news reports on television networks that a man thought to be a British soldier had been brutally murdered on the streets of London by two men in what was suspected to be an act of terrorism I immediately had a strong feeling that the killers would claim to be Muslims.
Forty years ago, as a young journalist, I learned that 'there are no indiscreet questions, only indiscreet answers'. In general, the same applies to polling. We do not create public opinion; we measure it. That opinion may give us pleasure or pain; it might reassure us or frighten us. The issue is whether it is better to know how people feel or to remain in ignorance.
We need an open discussion on foreign policy where no one should be silenced for disagreeing or agreeing with mainstream political views. Will Afghans be better off when the troops withdraw? Was going into Iraq a mistake? Who is being held accountable for the killing of civilians? The majority of Muslims want answers to these questions.