Theresa May: We've been too tolerant of extremism

British PM Theresa May speaks about Saturday's terror attacks in London.

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Chana Roberts,

Theresa May
Theresa May
Reuters

Speaking to press in light of Saturday's terror attack, British PM Theresa May said, "We can't pretend that things can continue as they are."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and with their friends, families, and loved ones," May said. "This is the third terrorist attack Britain has experienced in the past three months."

"We believe we are experiencing a new trend in the threat we face, as terrorism breeds terrorism.

"We cannot, and must not, pretend that things can continue as they are. Things need to change, and they need to change in four important ways.

"While the recent attacks are not connected by common networks, they are connected in one important sense. They are bound together by the single evil ideology of Islamist extremism, that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism.

"It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy, and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam.... It is an ideology that is...a perversion of the truth.

"It cannot be defeated through military intervention alone. It will not be defeated by a permanent counter-terrorism operation.

"We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet, and the various companies that provide internet-based services, provide.

"We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements which regulate cyberspace.

"We must not forget about the safe spaces which continue to exist in the real world... It also means taking action here at home.

"There is, to be frank, far too much tolerance of extremism in our country... We need to become far more robust in identifying it and stamping it out across the public sector and across the society.

"As a country, our response must be what it has always been when confronted by violence: We must come together, we must pull together, and united, we will take on and defeat our enemies."

Seven people were killed in the terror attack, and 48 are currently hospitalized - some in life-threatening condition.