We were just eight-years-old. But we all knew who the grocer’s daughter was. Even the boys did.Feeling terribly important, we divided ourselves into small groups as our eyes scanned the classroom for our huddled prey. These being the last days of Spring might have meant that we were cooped up inside for a few consecutive lunchtimes due to the inevitable cats-and-dog rainfall. When the time was right, we struck. Perching rather uncomfortably on top of the desks, itself an act of rebellion, we settled down to the business of ‘political discourse’. And it went something like this. She has to win. She will be Britain’s first woman Prime Minister. No! A woman can’t run the country. Yes, she can. No, she can’t. Yes, she can.Maggie, of course, triumphed. Thereby leaving us free to concentrate on far more pressing matters such as playing What’s the Time Mr Wolf or the equally suspense-filled albeit humble game of marbles. But friendsies. No keepsies. After all, we had proved our point. A woman had nabbed the top spot. Our work was done. Britain had to wait until the next century before it had a premiership woman once more. And this time around she presides over a rather different green and pleasant land. One with a British Pakistani Home Secretary of Muslim heritage, no less. But Theresa May is not eight-years-old. And her job is not yet done when it comes to tackling Islamist extremism.The new Home Secretary has spoken of how extremists have taken his parents’ religion and twisted it into something ugly. Yet aren’t Britain and its European NATO allies guilty of the same when they wage wars under the guise of humanitarian interventions for imperialist gains?Sajid Javid has just unveiled the country’s revised anti-terror framework under the single banner of CONTEST. Moreover, he identifies the Islamist threat as the gravest one facing Britain today; with ISIS in particular being singled out. Admittedly, the Home Secretary also points to the risk of the extreme far-right. Nevertheless, making an Asian man with a Muslim name the poster boy for a government now committed to spending £2 billion a year on counter-terrorism efforts — which largely encourage the citizenry to snoop and snitch on each other — is no substitute for a strategy that is both fair and comprehensive in outreach. Javid may term such a policy as “evolved”. But those of us living here in Pakistan know this for what it is: a very dangerous path to tread. Equally perilous is the failure of every subsequent set-up since (and including) Thatcher — from Major to Blair to Cameron to May — to contemplate the link between a militarised foreign policy and home-grown radicalisation. Javid has spoken movingly of how violent extremists have taken the religion of his parents and grandparents and twisted it into something ugly. Yet aren’t Britain and its European NATO allies guilty of the same when they wage wars under the guise of humanitarian interventions for imperialist gains?That being said, Javid still has a more nuanced understanding of the prevailing dynamics of modern multicultural Britain and his role therein than do certain sections of the national media. The Sun newspaper, the pinnacle of tabloid journalism that for some four decades traded on images of topless women to sell hard copies, provides just one example of wilful myopia. A single comment piece holds up the Home Secretary as the beacon of tolerant good ol’Blighty. A man ready to deliver the anti-extremist narrative. Holder of one of the Great Offices of State who by default is a veritable walking rejection of the fundamentalists’ argument that Britain is inherently prejudiced towards Muslims. Javid may well possess all these qualities and more. Yet having held this portfolio for less than two months means he has no real record to speak of. Thus far all he has done is outline his intent while offering some indication of the means of delivery. Yet the pedestrian media assumption that he will get it right each and every time because he is essentially ‘one of them’, is itself problematic. For it does away with notions of checks-and-balances and accountability. But most importantly, it readily narrows the scope for objective criticism of the Home Secretary’s performance. For to go down that track is to risk charges of the very Islamophobia over which the Tories are in denial.Indeed, it must have slipped the fourth estate’s mind that John Major’s promises of a classless society did not come into fruition despite his having left school at 16 with just three O’Levels under his belt. Though credit must be given to him for having smashed the Tory fascination with the Oxbridge cut-glass ceiling. Similarly, it soon became evident that Tony Blair’s “Third Way” was simply an alternative to turning Left. Of course, Sajid Javid is to be congratulated on becoming Britain’s first minority ethnic Home Secretary. But this should not be his only calling card. Not least because he may soon be wearing Theresa May’s crown.The writer is the Deputy Managing Editor, Daily Times. She can be reached at email@example.com and tweets @humeiweiPublished in Daily Times, June 10th 2018.