Have ‘we’ forgotten about Prevent?

endprevent

CROSSPOST: Tait Coles

Student well-being and mental health is now high on the agenda of most schools; as it should be. The idea of students requiring support, advice and time to discuss their feelings of possible loneliness, depression and alienation is a positive one. Creating opportunities in schools to address students’ perceived stress and emotional well-being is an honourable and much-needed intervention. But, do we have the same approach for all of our students?

Well, we don’t if they’re subjected to Prevent. Prevent is a Government initiative to, “prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. However, it is far more than that. As Arun Kundnani describes, it has become, “the basis for one of the most elaborate programs of surveillance and social control attempted in a Western state in recent decades” An excellent brief history of the Prevent agenda and how Counter Terrorism has infiltrated the state, by Dr. Maria Norris, can be found here.

Continue reading

Who’s responsible for Muslim woman losing her unborn child in Milton Keynes attack?

thames-valley-police-e1474675418458

CROSSPOST: Maz Saleem investigates the recent Islamophobic attack on a pregnant Muslim woman in Milton Keynes and raises questions over the actions of Thames Valley Police, South Central Ambulance Service, Milton Keynes Hospital and the Co-op supermarket.

A pregnant 34 year old Muslim woman and her husband were brutally attacked in the Co-op supermarket car park in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, seven weeks ago. Following the attack she lost her unborn child.

Yet the police only released the information on this horrific Islamophobic attack around 10 days ago. The woman from Somalia was wearing the hijab when the attack occurred.

The information that has come to light after my own investigation into this Islamophobic hate crime poses many questions about the actions of Thames Valley Police, Milton Keynes Hospital, South Central Ambulance Service and the Co-op.

Continue reading

“English Islam” and the “Wahaabi” Scapegoat

BritishFutureNewHorizonsinBritishIslam.png

The deformation of Islam has not always had its roots in what are today clearly identifiable subversive “reform Muslims” and organisations. Traditional Ulama (Islamic scholars) have been politically exploited to provide the means by which neocons can push their agenda to deconstruct Islam.  These “moderate” scholars would provide the legitimising face behind which lurked an insidious agenda to deform Islam into what Cheryl Bernard’s RAND corporation publication would call a “democratised Islam”; a postmodernist faith devoid of substance or meaning.

The push for the creation of a “British Islam” during the late 2000s was rooted in an underlying aim to create an “institutionally approved, ‘mainstream’, and ‘moderate’ expression of Islam”, which, through state-funded Muslim organisations (like Radical Middle Way and National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group), would “engineer if not exact power” in the Muslim community. Of course, scholars that had initially given backing to such organisations have now distanced themselves from the counter-extremism policies which these initial projects engendered.

The effort to abuse Sufi Islam into courting a political agenda has seen a resurgence domestically and internationally. These trends and movements are, tellingly, monitored and advocated by Israel due to the somewhat misplaced assumption that it provides for a pliant Islam which is amenable to Western military escapades in Muslim lands.

“English Islam”

Recent reports and events demonstrate an evolution of this tired trickery.

Continue reading

Astonishing as it may seem, chanting ‘Viva Palestina’ could soon be a ‘hate crime’

pro-israel-and-pro-palestinian-protestors-outside-downing-st-during-netanyahu-visit-sep-9-2015-7-palestine-protestors

Source: MEMO

CROSSPOST: Yvonne Ridley

“Viva Palestina” is an enduring chant along with “Long Live Palestine” and “Long Live Gaza”, all of which are often used by human rights activists and others who want to show their support and goodwill for the long life and well-being of the state and its people. However, using such slogans and messages of solidarity could soon become a hate crime in Scotland, a nation which has often been praised for its refusal to give unconditional support to Israel and its brutal military occupation of Palestine.

To the astonishment of legal observers and human rights activists, a landmark trial is set to go ahead in Aberdeen after Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) member Alister Coutts, 56, was charged with “acting in a racially aggravated manner with intent to cause distress and alarm”. His “crime” was to utter “Viva Palestina” next to the Jericho Cosmetics stall in the city’s Union Square shopping mall.

His arrest, charge and impending court appearance has now fuelled speculation that pro-Israel Zionist groups in Scotland are exerting undue pressure on the authorities to “get tough” with SPSC and other Palestinian-supporting groups. Following an initial crime investigation the police will send a report to the local Procurator Fiscal, who will consider the content and decide whether to take any further action.

Continue reading

PREVENT in Prisons: Religious Profiling and Muslim Minority Discrimination

PREVENTinPrisons.png

Counter-extremism and terrorism strategies and laws have decimated the rule of law. The Countering Violent Extremism agenda is being slated by the professoriate and resisted by Muslim minorities in the West. Calls are being made to scrap PREVENT.

Despite this picture, it is “business as usual” in Britain.  The scandalous nature of PREVENT peaks as taxi-drivers are now being trained to become the “eyes and ears” of local authorities and police. One can envisage the scenario of an overzealous taxi driver reporting individuals heading to protests, a mosque or a get together at the local Arab restaurant. The insidiously suppressive nature of counter-extremism makes this all possible.

Prisons have been the latest theatre of ideological war for the neocon counter-extremism craze.  With the imprisonment of Anjem Choudhry came proposals which were last dog-whistled by original Quilliamite and current Tony Blair Faith Foundation senior advisor Ed Husain.  It has been suggested that in order to combat the “pernicious” ideology of “Islamist extremism”, prisoners ought to be kept apart from the rest of the prison population.  As I commented back in March, such measures are counter-productive and not needed.

Continue reading

How Britain Bypassed Justice to become a Counter-Terrorism State

bush-and-blair

An excellent overview by Dr Maria Norris on how Britain has become an on-edge security state.  For further reading on the ideologues and philosophy driving the “closed society” see:

Neoconservatism: Why we don’t need it and why it must be opposed.


Fifteen years on from 9/11, how the UK bypassed justice to become a counter-terrorism state

By Dr Maria Norris

The sinister story of legislation in Britain following the New York terrorist attacks.

Fifteen years since 9/11. 11 years since 7/7. 16 years of counter-terrorism legislation in the United Kingdom.

Before the Terrorism Act 2000, terrorism legislation was made up of a series of temporary, but renewable measures. Even in the height of The Troubles, terrorism legislation was regarded as temporary emergency measures.

Now, the UK has several pieces of terrorism legislation such as the Terrorism Act 2000, the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, the Terrorism Act 2006, the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 and the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. This does not include several secondary laws such as the Immigration Act 2014 and the Criminal Justice Act 2003 – all of which have provisions dealing with terrorism.

And the government is not done with terrorism legislation, with the Extremism Bill due to be published as soon as the government can decide what extremism is.

Continue reading

Transcending Borders to Combat CVE

Cedar Riverside protest against CVE

Cedar Riverside, credit Burhan Mohamud/arraweelo.wordpress.com

In Britain, the PREVENT counter-extremism programme is now being challenged academically and practically to the point that voices within the mainstream political spectrum are calling for it to be scrapped.

However, despite this policy failure, beyond Britain and in countries like Australia and the Unites States of America, the ideology of PREVENT is spreading like a virus.

Australia

There have been developments in Australia, where counter extremism policies are maintaining the discriminatory targeting of the Muslim minority.  Australia is looking to ramp up its counter-extremism measures, both in a hard and soft capacity.  The Australian measures will include the strongly-lambasted control orders to be used on individuals whom have not been convicted of a crime. Further those “high-risk extremists” whom have been convicted of a crime and have completed their prison sentence may be indefinitely detained. In other words, the rule of law is being decimated by disproportionate, authoritarian measures which will most likely be used majoritarily against Muslims.

Continue reading