The Prime Minister agrees with Sajid Javid, the Culture Secretary, that the Muslim community has a “special burden” and that it is “lazy and wrong” to say that the Paris attacks have nothing to do with Islam.
His official spokesman said that Muslim families in Britain are seeing a “small number of their relatives” travelling abroad and joining radical groups. He added that “it is that community whose religion is being warped”.
He said: “He would agree with the points that the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport was making.
“The government works with communities to deal with and try and help tackle extremism. Tackling Islamist extremism means working extremely closely with the Muslim community.
“Of course that is an important part of the Prevent strategy. That in no way detracts from the fact that Islamist extremism is a perversion of the Muslim faith.
“One of the things we should bear in mind is that it is that community whose religion is being warped and it is families in that community who are having to face the fact that a small number of their relatives, often strongly against their wishes, are travelling to join radical groups.”
Mr Javid, who is of Muslim heritage, said on Sunday there can be “no getting away from the fact” that those behind terrorists in Paris, London and Madrid “call themselves Muslims”.
Mr Javid told Pienaar’s Politics on BBC Radio 5 Live: “There is no getting away from the fact that the people carrying out these acts – what we have seen just horrifically this week in Paris, what has happened in London and Madrid – these people call themselves Muslims.
“The lazy answer would be to say that this has got nothing whatsoever to do with Islam or Muslims and that should be the end of that. That would be lazy and wrong. You can’t get away from the fact that these people are using Islam, taking a peaceful religion and using it as a tool to carry out their activities.”
Mr Javid, who has been tipped as a future Conservative leader, has previously acknowledged his “Muslim heritage” but practices no religion himself. His wife is a Christian.
He told the Murnaghan programme on Sky News: “All communities can do more to try and help and deal with terrorists, try and help track them down, but I think it is absolutely fair to say that there is a special burden on Muslim communities, because whether we like it or not, these terrorists call themselves Muslims.
“It is no good for people to say they are not Muslims, that is what they call themselves. They do try to take what is a great peaceful religion and warp it for their own means.”