Muslims oppose U.K.'s tough new counter-extremism program

The United Kingdom on Monday launched a strategy to combat the spread of radicalization among young people, and Muslim groups immediately criticized the program as something that will only alienate Muslims further.

Under the U.K.'s "Counter-Extremism Strategy," parents of 16 and 17-year-olds who suspect their teenagers are planning on traveling abroad to connect with extremists can now have their passports removed. The initiative also bans any known terrorists from working with children.

The text of the plan identifies schools, charities, prisons, faith institutions and social media as platforms on which extremist views can be shared.

A number of prevention programs were introduced in response, including a council at universities to "ensure extremist speakers do not go unchallenged." At faith institutions, the British government is commissioning a "new program of support to help faith institutions to establish strong governance" to counter extremism. Online, the government wants to limit access by extremists and terrorists "without compromising the principle of an open Internet."

Another newly-christened panel will examine the threat of Shari'a law to the extent that it is being "misused or applied in a way which is incompatible with the law." A report will be released in 2016.