Islamism, according to the PREVENT policy is the political projection of Islam. As the 2013 PREVENT strategy defines it:
“‘Islamist’, a word used in a variety of ways to refer to a political philosophy which, in the broadest sense, promotes the application of Islamic principles to governance.” (para. 8.15)
Of course this is an undeniably facet of the history of Islam and though politicisation of Islam is not an aim, it is a means to an aim which is peace, justice and ultimately the pleasure of Allah. However as per the PREVENT policy this has in essence been criminalised. Even holding such beliefs is sanctioned, as it will be deemed, as per the discredited “conveyor belt theory”, a stepping to stone to violence. The PREVENT definition of extremism is,
“Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our deﬁnition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas”.
Thus anyone who does not subscribe to the secular liberal outlook of society is an extremist.
David Cameron the Christianist Extremist
Of late, we have been witnessing a drip-feeding of what I call, “Christianism”: Christianity being propounded at the State level through policy and action. David Cameron started the ball rolling through his Big Society principles. Divine inspiration, rather like Bush’s conversation with God in deciding to invade Iraq, was what inspired Cameron’s Big Society policy. In Cameron’s own words,
“Jesus invented the Big Society 2,000 years ago, I just want to see more of it.”
He then goes on to dog-whistle his good friend Angela Merkel, the far-right and the neoconservatives in his claim that Christians were the most persecuted people in the world. Perhaps so, but only slightly more after Muslims and considering the fact that there are more Christians than Muslims in the world, on a pro-rata basis, more Muslims are suffering restrictions on their ability to practice their faith. And this “persecution” is closer to Cameron’s home then he would like other’s to believe.
Moving on from the slight digression, the question is raised, what other policies is Cameron’s Christianity inspiring? Does it include his interventionist neocon foreign policy as well?
In fact Cameron’s foreign policy seems to be actively opposing British values. In Egypt, El-Sisi’s secular military dictatorship which has been involved in mass rights-violations, massacres of civilians, Muslim population and mass death sentences. In many ways it could be argued that through David Cameron’s investigation into the thus-far peaceful, democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood at the behest of the Saudi regime (which is funding Sisi), the UK is indirectly supporting the Egyptian military regime, against British values of democracy, rule of law and individual liberty. It thus transpires that there is an active opposition to British values. In the definition of “Islamist”, if we replace Islamist with Christianist, the definition becomes,
“‘Christianist’, a word used in a variety of ways to refer to a political philosophy which, in the broadest sense, promotes the application of Christian principles to governance.”
David Cameron’s Big Society policy coupled with his support for dictatorships makes him a Christianist extremist.
Jack Straw the Christian Extremist
Jack Straw created quite a stir back in 2006 when he practically attacked the niqab stating he’d rather women did not wear it. He even went on to interfere with right of Muslim women to hold religious beliefs by insinuating scholars “differed” on it. These irresponsible remarks then were succeeded by “debates” on national tv which sought to further demonise niqab-wearing women and which also resulted in niqabs and hijabs being torn off.
Perhaps his impulse regarding his rather bigoted interference emanated from his religious understanding? Using the fabricated, Geert Wilders-esque-titled “Trojan Horse” plot as his basis he stated that Muslims must accept “Britain’s Christian values”:
“The parents have to accept… that we also live in the United Kingdom and that alongside values that are religiously based, there has to be a clear understanding that this is the UK, and there are a set of values, that are indeed Christian based, which permeate our sense of citizenship,”
This is getting really confusing; on the one hand Muslims are told that they must comply with secular norms, on the other hand we have opportunist politicians imposing “Christian values” on Muslims specifically. What happened to the great Western standards of human rights and democracy? Is Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees an individuals’ right to freedom of thought conscious and religion no longer important anymore?
It further flies against the international norms related to minorities which guarantees groups the right to enjoy and practise their own culture and religion (ICCPR Art. 27). This was enshrined to protect against insinuations, like Jack Straw’s, where a religion or its values are imposed on another group.
It is interesting to note in the Telegraph article that soon after Straw’s comment about power struggles purportedly being experienced within Muslim communities related to “denominations”, Khalid Mahmood’s name crops up in support of the “Trojan Horse” plot. It is pertinent to note at this point in time that Khalid Mahmood is an advisor to the notorious neocon Henry Jackson Society which has the renowned Muslim-hater Douglas Murray as its Director. So much for any integrity in his comments then.
Returning from another, necessary digression once again, we have to conclude that in opposition to human rights, and imposing Christian values on Muslims specifically Jack Straw is a Christian extremist.
Both David Cameron and Jack Straw are Christianist extremists according to their own policies. To deny real Christian extremism would be naive. One merely needs to look at the BNP and EDL to verify that this exists. They have been actively recruiting Christians, and there is even an off-shoot of the EDL called the “Christian Defence League“.
As it is then, I suggest PREVENT officers are sent to question both David Cameron and Jack Straw. Their phones and laptops should be confiscated and their families made to bare the humiliation of such actions against them and then finally they should be referred under the Channel programme for deradicalisation.
Note: I am not against Christianity. The mention of religion in the public sphere is a welcome point and Muslims should support Christians to freely practice their religion privately and publicly. However, not at the expense of the Muslim minority and their beliefs, as Jack Straw has done possibly to deflect against is subconscious anti-Muslim tendencies. The purpose of the above piece is to highlight the erroneous and highly discriminatory nature of the PREVENT policy. The Orwellian PREVENT policy must be scrapped.