The treatment of Maajid Nawaz by the Guardian (in contrast to its recently-published interview with the leader of Hizb-ut-Tahrir in Britain) reveals a worrying trend in the British Left today, namely its fascination with the search for a Community Representative and the compartmentalising of identity.
David Cameron, when still the leader of the opposition, quoted Edmund Burke saying, "To make men love their country, their country ought to be lovable." He continued, "Integration has to be about more than immigrant communities, 'their' responsibilities and 'their' duties. It has to be about 'us' too - the quality of life that we offer, our society and our values."
In setting out to confront those who are born and raised in the UK but "who don't really identify with Britain", as he now puts it, the Prime Minister and others, like many before, implicitly reveal the real chink in their counter-narrative armour - which is that they do not offer any narrative of their own. They are clear about what they are against, but not about what they are for.
As Britain's Muslim community became more frustrated due to the draconian nature of Prevent, and its insistence in tarnishing mainstream Muslim organisations, speakers and activists as "extreme" for espousing normative Islamic beliefs, it was inevitable that a collective movement would emerge against it.
Like many Londoners, 7 July 2005 began for me as a normal working day. I drove from my flat in Queens Park to Ealing where I was working as an estate agent. Morning briefing done, our team of sales negotiators 'hit the phones' to drum up business and book appointments. Then people's mobiles started beeping. Other offices started calling in. Something was going on in central London.
The role the internet plays in radicalisation is poorly understood. It is generally held that offline factors are at the heart of what turns young men and women to turn to violent extremism. Nevertheless, ten years after 7/7, digitally-driven radicalisation is a reality that must be at the centre of any attempts to counter terrorist narratives...