During the McCarthy era, many Americans under the pretence of the “Red Scare” were accused of communism, or being “communist-sympathisers” and were then thrown the (often unconstitutional) rule book in an aggressive manner, much like the authoritarian, discriminatory “investigations” into Muslim charities under the auspices of the neocon, anti-Muslim William Shawcross, the blatant attack on the Muslims of Birmingham and their local schools by the ideologically-driven, sociopathic neocon Michael Gove. Combined with the heightened sense of fear of an enemy, people were imprisoned without proper evidence.
Some 60 years later, merely decrying someone an “Islamist”, decrees that one is a threat to society, and is societally punished through the tarnishing of his reputation, loss of job and other pecuniary losses. After that, based on the flimsiest evidence, (and indeed, in some cases no evidence at all) he may be detained without trial for several days, his property confiscated, referred through the Channel programme to be “deprogrammed” of his non-conformist beliefs or sentenced to prison. Joseph McCarthy would be proud.
What follows though, would make Hitler and Bill Clinton proud.
In the US, during the Clinton years when Islamic organisations, mainly concerned with campaigning about the ordeal of the Palestinians, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 provided the basis for prosecution of Muslims in American for “expressing an ideology” and allowed the government evidence to be heard in secret detention hearings and trials. Kundnandi (2004), writes,
“It was a power used mainly against Arabs and Muslim Americans.”
With existing policy such as PREVENT in the UK targeting Islam and Muslims disproportionately, further measures will only effectuate the same, especially under the current neocon-crippled Government.
Thus, the news of secret court hearings should send shockwaves through the British landscape and through the minds of every Muslim, every reasonable human being in Britain. Recent news report states regarding a terrorism case that,
“Senior judges have been hearing that the Crown Prosecution Service wants the criminal case to be dealt with completely behind closed doors on grounds of national security.”
Such a draconian call was rightly struck down in part, by the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal still allowed the government to handpick journalists: if the Trojan Hoax plot taught us one thing, it is that a partial media and spin-doctors rule the media spectrum. Allowing a government to hand-pick journalists, demolishes the notion of any form of true representation of fact. If anything, it sounds like a PR campaign for the government.
It is interesting to note this demand came from Theresa May and the foreign secretary William Hague. Neocon Theresa May’s track record with regards to “British values” is not shining, as shown in an earlier blog so this is understandable. But it does strongly indicate the direction in which Britain is heading. Were this an exceptional case, and were the calls coming from a group of people who are not associated with an insidious ideology which practically preaches state secrecy, then it would not have been a worry. However, when the calls are coming from someone like Theresa May, who is in-line with the neoconservative-thinking and has support from people like Douglas Murray, the neocon preacher, who has stated that “Theresa May knows what is necessary to fight Islamism” and lists the ECHR as an obstacle for her, then the British public should be very worried.
What further compounds this is that these calls for secret courts are not exceptional. The Conservative MP David Davis revealed that,
“This demand for secrecy which has become habitual from the government is at odds with the traditions of our nation when the threats were much higher than they are today.”
The demand is habitual. This is a real cause for concern and further evidence that Britain is heading towards tyranny under the helm of the neoconservatives. As per the slippery slope phenomenon, “national security” cries will be applied to progressively less-exceptional cases. Perhaps Cameron’s bluster of “muscular liberalism”, which is a euphemism for neoconservatism, and his call for the need to assert principles derived from the magna carta such as rule of law and democracy, needs to be applied to the government itelf before it is trumpeted on the public.
The West’s “national security” excuse strikes a reminiscent chord with Nazi Germany. During the Nazi era, Jews were targeted and discriminated against in policy and procedure and were subjected to secret court decisions thus avoiding public scrutiny. The justification given at that time was because of,
“Military secrets, disclosure of which would have put the safety of the state in danger.”
It started with such demands, policies and procedures. The rest as they say, became history.