CROSSPOST: Blogger Umm Yusra writes an open letter addressing the increasing racism and Islamophobia among white British men towards Muslim women.
“Dear white van driver,
A letter to you, because you’ve made me upset. Who are you?
Well, you are the creepy man who pulled your van right next to my car and decided to let me know how you felt about my hijab. Luckily for me, I was actually listening to (you won’t like this bit for sure) some Quran recitation, so I couldn’t hear you very well at first, but then when I did, I realised you were asking me “what the f*** is on your head?”
I’ll tell you. It’s called a khimar commonly known as a hijab, which I wear as an observing Muslim woman. I’d love to tell you more about it, but I don’t think you’re actually interested. But, if you really, really want to know, one of the local mosque’s here will be more than happy to explain things to you and entertain any further questions. The Mosque also very kindly holds regular open days for anyone interested to learn. Please do attend, but please leave your beautiful vocabulary at home that day. Here’s hoping you don’t see this as a foreigner making demands.
A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience some years ago provided insight into learning and in particular, learning from one’s mistakes. The study found that good learners demonstrated greater neural activity and would use feedback not only to check their past performance, but also to adjust their next performance accordingly.
From an Islamic perspective, of course, this not exactly a ground-breaking discovery. The Qur’an encourages believers to take stock of history in an admonitory fashion:
“Has the news of those before you not reached you – the nation of Nuh, Aad, and Thamud?”
Well before Foucault was exploring the concept of the “technologies of the self”, Islam had encouraged individual spiritual accountability by pondering over one’s deeds and actions. Reflection is key to forging ahead in a manner where mistakes are not repeated. It contextualises the succinct narration of the Prophet, peace be upon, found in Bukhari,
“The believer is not stung from the same hole twice”.
This brings us neatly to recent events involving the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). The MCB’s behaviour has been somewhat strangely masochistic, enjoying an impending second sting with open arms.
It has been my attempt to relate the human cost of the PREVENT counter-extremism programme on this blog, whether it is teachers going through the humiliation and stress of being called “extremists” only to be exonerated two years later, or whether it is children suffering effective psychological child abuse upon coming into contact with the PREVENT referral apparatus. The theoretical analysis and argumentation can sanitise the real cost of such decrepit neoconservative policies like PREVENT.
Two years ago, it was suggested by CAGE’s Asim Qureshi that there was a possibility that children would be taken from their parents under PREVENT. Those PREVENT-milking state-collaborators in the persecution of the Muslim minority were rolled out repeatedly to discredit CAGE using specifically this claim to highlight that CAGE was “fearmongering” and spreading “myths”. Exactly who is linked to propaganda departments within the Home Office, and who is regurgitating their black propaganda “messaging” is known well-known. The reality is that the Muslim minority had already anticipated the child-snatching policy. Boris Johnson was foreshadowing the removal of children from “radical” parents as early as March 2014. The claims by PREVENT-supporters that children will not be taken away through the implementation of PREVENT has proven to be as vacuous and deceptive as their state-prostituted, ventriloquized minds.
The insidious counter-extremism programme PREVENT is not limited to Britain in terms of its effect and impact. Muslim minorities in the US are experiencing similar policies designed to target them through bogus psychometrics. See previous blogs on CVE, the responses to it in Western states, and the need to internationalise the response to a policy of persecution which has gone global. The piece below by journalist Waqas Mirza is important in that it demonstrates that the concerns about PREVENT are being echoed in the context of American CVE projects. It is an important step forward towards the aim of transcending borders to combat CVE.
Transcending Borders to Combat CVE
The Dark, Shoddy “Science” behind PREVENT
As British Government Leads CVE Globally, Britons Lead the way in Opposing it.
Globalising CVE: The New Western Imperialism
CROSSPOST: Waqas Mirza
Nearly fifteen years of the War on Terror may not have led to any appreciable decline of terrorist groups but they certainly have resulted in the US government coming up with some uniquely comical ideas on how the war should be fought. The State Department once spent millions of dollars for its Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications division to troll Islamic State accounts on Twitter. Earlier this year, the State Department offereda $1.5 million grant to produce a “television drama series” aimed at “countering violent extremism among young people in contemporary Afghan society.”
“for neither conscious nor shame ought to have any influence upon you… those who obtain great power do so either by force or fraud, and having got them they conceal under some honest name the foulness of their deeds”. – Irving Kristol, quoting Machiavelli
Lying and deception are traits ingrained in the post-modern political world we inhabit today. Worse still, is the continued unaccountability and societal indifference to the consequences of these traits. This remains the case despite wars initiated upon on blatant lies, ulterior motives and utter deception. The Iraq war comes to mind, however, it is frequently isolated as a case of bad planning and a blip in the normally “virtuous” causes of Western violence in the Middle East. Few recall that the massively delayed and strategically released (Jack Straw’s Brexit silver-lining) Chilcot report went through a sanitisation process with documents and correspondences blocked at the behest of the Americans. Whistle-blowers like Katharine Gun and her leaks demonstrating underhanded tactics to convince UN Security Council delegates to favour war, were ignored. It matters little that a grinding genocide has taken place over the course of the War on Terror.
Every facet of the Iraq war and the accompanying War on Terror is doused in deception.
CROSSPOST: Alastair Sloan
Any visitor to the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) website will find open and informative accounts of much of the organisation’s activities. Information abounds about trips to Israel on which hundreds of activists, candidates, MPs and peers have been shown carefully around the West Bank and Israel proper. They never go to Gaza, though, where the scale of the humanitarian crisis is so grave that no amount of Israeli spin could cover up the unethical monstrosity that is the illegal blockade.
The trip which took place in late August, for example, included five Conservative MPs, named and photographed on the CFI website as Stuart Andrew, Conor Burns, Philip Davies, Jonathan Djanogly and John Howell, as well as two peers and CFI officials. In a further tribute to the transparency with which CFI organises these trips, it was happy to reference the positive coverage that the trip received in the Times of Israel, the Jewish Chronicle and the Jerusalem Post. The Electoral Commission register is subsequently populated by new entries, as each MP properly declares that the CFI covered all the travel expenses for the trip; the register is available for anyone to search for free, online. This hardly seems like a secretive organisation, at least not when it comes to organising PR trips to Israel.
Birmingham. The geographic centre of the “Trojan Horse” fabrications unlocked varying manifestations of hatred. Among other things, it empowered racist, anti-Muslim teachers to bully and intimidate Muslim teachers and attack Islamic practices; it legitimised political Islamophobia through the entrenchment the discriminatory PREVENT Strategy; and it led to state-sanctioned psychological child abuse within schools thanks to PREVENT. The fickleness of the bevy of allegations, which I challenged and exposed throughout 2014 and 2015, are being found to be groundless even by the inquisition panels specifically set up by the Department of Education to try Muslims. However, the PREVENT implementation has rapidly permeated the public structures of society and continues to do so whilst remaining toxically anti-Muslim, yielding damaging results.
“Extremism” Hierarchy based on Mosques