The PREVENT policy and Channel programme have discriminatorily targeted the Muslim minority. This is something that even ACPO Channel statistics acknowledge.
With recent sensationalist, hyperbolic bluster from the neocons in the government and the media which has obsessively targeted the “evil” of “Islamist” extremism, there is a consistent and conspicuous reduction in noise when it comes to acts of terrorism conducted by white-supremacist individuals and groups with a Christian understanding.
Even when it comes to targeting women to “PREVENT” extremism, there is a recognition of discriminatory treatment against the Muslim minority but a refusal to target “white, working class women” in order to prevent right-wing terrorism:
“Who do we target not to build resilience to far-right extremism? Do we now start approaching white, working class women and saying we need to build their resilience (and their family’s) to becoming racists? Clearly not because this would be as insulting as that was. And while we may have previously been accused of breaching the human rights of UK Muslim communities in our discrimination of them on the grounds of religion, a protected characteristic, I do not suggest perpetuating this mistake with other groups in the interests of consistency.”
The recognition by Detective Inspector Khizra Dhindsa that indeed the government’ policy may have violated human rights, and is insulting, shows that at the international level there is an acknowledgement of Muslim minority rights discrimination. However, more pertinently for this discussion, it is worth highlighting the second-class citizenship of the Muslims. It is fine to violate the human rights of the Muslim minority, not quite so when it comes to white, non-Muslim mothers of prospective neo-nazi, far-right terrorists. Of course, the Inspector’s statement would carry more weight had it resulted in the canning of the highly discriminatory PREVENT policy, however this has not been the case and in fact the police have again targeted Muslim women in their campaign which ultimately results in the supporting of Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its human rights violation.
Indeed this discrimination extends to the treatment of terrorist suspects. As already highlighted before, when the terrorist suspect is a Muslim, the news of the raids are reported across the entire media spectrum, and are repeatedly followed up. In the cases of right-wing terrorists, this is generally not the case. In fact, the report is usually dampened by the notion that there is some sort of psychological instability which has led the individual down the path of blowing mosques up and terrorising the Muslim minority. As an example, there is the case of the teenager, Michael Piggin, who stored weapons, and terrorist manuals, plotted a “Columbine-style” massacre at his school and wanted take out “some Muslims”. In reports it was noted that he was suffering from Asperger’s syndrome and was a victim of bullying.
In the case of Anders Breivik, there was a concerted effort to categorise him as mentally ill, “mad”, “insane” and “schizophrenic”, much to the contested outcries of Breivik himself. On top of this, his religion (Christianity), was rarely mentioned.
In the latest terror-conviction of another white, right-wing Adolf and Breivik admirer, Ian Forman, wanted to manifest his “deep hatred” of Muslims by blowing up a list of mosques. He researched how to make explosives and tested them at his home. The treatment of his case is similar as other right-wing extremist terrorists: news only came out after his conviction (as opposed to his arrest) and his act was mitigated due to him being someone pathetic with appalling views, but not an “average terrorist”. In media speak, presumably that means he is not a Muslim.
Again, the same occurred with Pavlo Lapshyn. Though his actions of slaughtering an elderly Muslim man in cold blood on the street and bombing mosques was driven by his far-right views, most of the media did not refer to him as a terrorist.
This treatment by the media and the government is merely an extension of the PREVENT policy assumptions:
There is a range of extremist individuals and organisations, including Islamists, the far right and others. As the greatest risk to our security comes from Al Qa’ida and like-minded groups, and terrorist ideologies draw on and make use of extremist ideas, we believe it is also necessary to define the ideology of Islamist extremism.
When government policy itself discriminates against the Muslim minority, referring to far right terrorism and extremism as a “lesser” risk, what would one expect of the neocon media juggernaut? The conclusion from this is that the ideologies which drive right-wing extremism and eventually terrorism are not worth investigating. Indeed, doing so would reveal that the rhetoric promulgated by these right-wing fascists is similar to that espoused by neocons like Douglas Murray, Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller (who admires Melanie Phillips) and Melanie Phillips. Indeed in the latter’s case, Anders Breivik had cited entire articles written by her.
Matthew Goodwin makes an interesting point in his Guardian piece,
“Lapshyn, who will be sentenced on Friday, has not concealed his motive. Though many like to dismiss so-called “lone wolves” as irrational and mentally ill, like others before him he drew influence from a wider extreme-right subculture. He admired the Oklahoma bomber, Timothy McVeigh, and Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik, and absorbed Hunter and The Turner Diaries, violent novels by an American neo-Nazi that detail the assassination of minorities and advocate race war. Asked about his own campaign of violence, Lapshyn responded: “I would like to increase racial conflict.”
These ideas reflect a deeply held set of beliefs among hardcore rightwing extremists, which give them a compelling rationale for violence: the survival of Europe or the nation is under threat from multiculturalism or Islam; established politicians are unwilling to save the native group, or complicit in their downfall; only urgent and radical action can fend off the threat; and activists have a moral obligation to act to save their group and future generations.”
According to Charles Farr, director of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism,
“The biggest weapons caches found in this country in the last five years, have been connected with people sympathetic to extreme rightwing (sic) causes.”
The question is what is the UK government doing to deal with this? The recent explosion of the academically wanting “Islamist extremism” narrative has only brought more focus on the Muslim minority. Rare utterances have been made of the growing problem of right-wing terrorism. Nothing is being done at a policy level to contain the incredibly anti-Muslim rhetoric of the likes of William Shawcross, Douglas Murray and Melanie Philips, which forms the same narrative as that regurgitated in far less refined terms by far right terrorists.
If anything, the analysis above reinforces the point that the UK government is engaged in state discrimination against the Muslim minority. With the surveillance state focussing on Muslim behaviour through the PREVENT agenda, the Muslim minority has been relegated to second-class citizenship. When the Muslims are arrested under the anti-terror legislation, human rights are stripped, a media campaign is initiated from the outset and Muslims become relegated to a sub-human status.