Mr Cameron will express his concern for the rights of millions of Christians, especially in Egypt, where the Coptic minority say they are facing increasing persecution 


Muslims 'must embrace democracy' says David Cameron

Muslims must embrace democracy and respect the rights of Christians around the world, David Cameron will say.

British Prime Minister David Cameron  talks to journalists during a join press conference with  Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (not in picture) at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia 11 April 2011

Prime Minister David Cameron in Jakarta, Indonesia Photo: EPA


Speaking in Indonesia, the world’s largest Islamic country, the Prime Minister will urge young Muslims to abandon “the dead-end choice of dictatorship and extremism” by forcing their countries to hold elections.

He will claim it would be “the greatest defeat that Al Qaeda could ever suffer,” if more rebel and follow the lead of the young Muslims who sparked the Arab Spring.

Mr Cameron will express his concern for the rights of millions of Christians, especially in Egypt, where the Coptic minority say they are facing increasing persecution. In a strong rebuke to Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood party, Mr Cameron will demand it does not “deny the rights of religious minorities who do not share their specific religious views”.

Egypt’s Coptic community, which accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s 80 million population, has been subjected to a continuous campaign of sectarian attacks since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak last February. Thirteen were killed last May and another 10 two months before in attacks by suspected Islamists.

Addressing students at Al Azhar University, Mr Cameron will use Indonesia as an example of how Islam and democracy can go hand in hand. The country became a democracy in 1998 after years of a military dictatorship. It has successfully fought extremism since a bomb in Bali killed more than 200 in 2002.

While praising Indonesia’s efforts to modernise, he will argue that there are still four big “opponents who threaten our shared interests” – authoritarian leaders, corrupt elites, extremists and tribalists.

He will say democracy has the ability to defeat these “dangerous foes”, such as the murderous authoritarian regime in Syria, even though they will “do everything in their power to defeat us”.

Mr Cameron will become the first Western leader to visit Myanmar since the country began to openup. Ahead of his historic visit, the Prime Minister will pay tribute in the speech to its president, Thein Sein, for paving the way for free elections.

He will also praise the “inspirational” Aung San Suu Kyi, the democracy campaigner who has been voted into parliament after many years under house arrest.

Mr Cameron will face an awkward situation during the visit, as he will take business leaders to Myanmar despite sanctions prohibiting trade with the Asian country.

The chief executives will have to be treated “like tourists”, rather than taking part in meetings.

Before heading to Myanmar, the Prime Minister will make a stop in Malaysia to promote British business, especially education, as many British universities have campuses in the country.

Malaysia, once a British colony, had a slogan of “Buy British last” in the 1980s after a row over trade — the Prime Minister will be working hard to overturn any negative sentiment that might remain.

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