Tony Blair: The Neoconservative Threat to the World (3) – Declaring War on Islam

TonyBlairAttackIslam

This is the third piece in the series exploring the neocon “mode of thinking” based upon Tony Blair’s essay. The first piece can be accessed here. The second piece is available here.

“Spectrums”

What becomes evident is that, though other factors exist for violence, for Blair, they are trivial compared to the threat of Islamism. Be it extremism of other faiths now, or Christian barbarity of the past. “We are dealing with the present” we are told. And in the present, we have the Boko Haram and ISIS.

Blair writes that they are fanatic, and “thus it is hard to envisage compromise with such people. They have no reasonable demands upon which we can negotiate.” Therefore there is no alternative except to fight such people:

“At a certain point, once they know superior and determined force is being used against them, some of them at least may be prepared to change.”

In other words, take a leaf out of Israel’s book and bomb the people into compliance. Ironically, a month after Blair writing his neocon manual for World War III, ISIS have been negotiating with States and releasing prisoners whilst the Boko Haram have negotiated a truce.

The feed for these groups are the “spectrum”. And herein lies Blair’s blatant imperialistic design. “Islamism” he defines as a “politicisation of religion to an intense and all-encompassing degree”. It is an ideology and a theology derived from Salafist thinking, he claims. It isn’t. An analysis of contemporary Islamic political movements (most of which are reactions formed in the colonialist/Nation State paradigm) is beyond the scope of this piece however, suffice to say, an outright rejection of an Islamic political and military ascendancy denies 1300 years of Islamic history in which Islam ruled through the Caliphate. The existence and the preference for a khilafa within the Islamic paradigm is a position adopted by all four mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

The spectrum is elaborated as those people whom have an “exclusive, reactionary world view” which is promulgated through the various Islamic seats of learning. Blair elaborates,

“a belief in religious exclusivity not merely in spiritual but in temporal terms; a desire to re-shape society according to a set of social and political norms, based on religious belief about Islam, wholly at odds with the way the rest of the world has developed, for example in relation to attitudes to women; a view of the West, particularly the USA, that is innately hostile and regards it essentially as the enemy, not only in policy but in culture and way of living.”

Thus, the problem is the notion of returning to status quo ante; a social, political and economic system established on mainstream Islamic principles, at odds with the imposed exploitable development of the “rest of the world” (an arrogant and inaccurate reference to secular liberalism, capitalism and Nation states). The above coupled with his reference to Shaykh Mohamed al-Arefe also highlights his problem with traditional Islamic positions. The upshot is, his “spectrum” is doublespeak for mainstream Islam itself.

Having understood the “spectrum” of Islamism to be Islam, what should happen to the faith? Being at pains to state that it is not a war on peaceful Islam, he declares

“you cannot uproot this extremism unless you go to where it originates and fight it.”

The traditional Islamic faith which designates roles for men and women, guides meticulously each and every aspect of life, presents a paradigmatically unique world view which frees man from the subservience of the self to the subservience of God, which recognises Jihad as a means to remove injustice and tyranny, which mandates charity to uplift society and which encourages the establishment of a khilafa, is to be “fought”; the same Islam which, as Blair recognised in the beginning of his essay, “shamed” the Western world. He McCarthyistically continues,

“World-wide, we should be on the look-out for where there is evidence that Islamist organisations are on the march. Those that fund and support them should know that we’re watching, should know that what they want hidden, will instead be exposed to the light.”

Liberals are to be supported and the “Islamists” challenged. The enemy is shown to be an extremity (in the guise of various brutalities), the war however, is declared against Islam and its adherents.

Education

Focussing on education Blair writes,

“Each and every day the world over, millions, even tens of millions of young children are taught formally in school or in informal settings, a view of the world that is hostile to those of different beliefs. That world view has been promulgated, proselytised and preached as a result of vast networks of funding and organisation, some coming out of the Middle East, others now locally fostered. These are the incubators of the radicalism. In particular the export of the doctrines of Salafi Wahhabism has had a huge impact on the teaching of Islam round the world.”

The irony in the above assessment is that word for word it applies to the secular liberal understanding and the neocon foreign policy. The Trojan Hoax affair is an example of, in essence, forcing an understanding of secularism upon children. This secular liberalism is “exported” around the globe through the discourse of “regime change”, human rights and democracy which is, as evident in Blair’s own essay, hostile to mainstream Islam. Of course that is not to say all liberals have this mind-set. But the neocons in Western offices in Europe and the US are doing everything to achieve this (I will address the neoconservative policy of exporting liberalism in my Concluding Remarks). This policy is at the very core of British government.

His Foundation has “educational programmes” in various countries. The question is, what sort of education do neocons promote? The claim is “mutual respect”, but what type of respect? An interesting book authored by neocon Carnes Lord and inspired by Machiavelli’s The Prince explores the future of leadership and “statecraft” (a popular term in neoconservative discourse which ultimately seeks to create a state in the form of a Platonic dualist society, where the “vulgar many” are ruled by the elite “statesmen” few, with the elite being the only ones capable of guiding society). Approving of a requirement of American and “British history” in curricula, or in the present discourse “British values” which is linked to a form of “patriotism” (the meaning of which we will soon see), he criticises the decentralisation of education and the lack of direct political involvement in education. Lord looks at universities in England, namely the Oxbridge universities, and Japan’s Tokyo University and recognises that they are “virtually integral components of the regime by the fact that they create or validate a national elite”, but it is “hard to hold them accountable”. In referring to the role of governments establishing schools of “professional education”, the real goal desired by neocons from education institutions is brought forth: to monitor and manage schools from the beginning “to serve the interests of the state as a whole”.[1] The impact of such education is conformity with state policies decided by an elite, turning patriotism into government compliance.

In understanding this, we come to realise that the neocon “education programmes” will achieve the same: a creation of pseudo-elitists versed in the “American way”, whom serve, through the smokescreen of patriotism, the interests of a state subservient or amenable to Western “interests” and foreign economic and military policies.

Notorious neocon think-tanks like RAND have been targeting youth in the Middle East for their research for years. In the UK, in a Select Committee meeting on “roots of violent extremism”,[2] in highlighting a slight tactical change from neoconservatism, Maajid Nawaz says that a “demand for democratic culture” should be created at the grass roots in Muslim countries whilst organisations like Quilliam “tweaks the policy” of the government to supply that demand. In other words, they both instigate and subvert Muslim countries making them more tractable to Western intervention.

Blair calls for a charter to teach “religious respect”. This however, already exists in various international legal instruments such as the UN Human Rights Security Council Resolution 16/18 which calls on member states to “speak out against intolerance and religious hatred”,[3] an aspect the UK government actively violates with its continuous blusters on “Islamism”, fuelling anti-Muslim sentiment which result in attacks on Muslim women by a right-wing thugs.[4]

Once again, through the rubric of “religious respect” and “human rights”, we have an ideological attack on the faith of Islam. Blair’s assertions are to be taken in the context of his essay which seek to reform Islam or crush it if the first aim is unachievable. What is more disturbing is that with Blair’s distorted mentality which targets mainstream Islam, his Foundation is operating its brainwashing programs in 30 countries.


Read Part 1 here

Read Part 2 here


 

References:

[1] Carnes, L. The Modern Prince: What Leaders Need to Know Now, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Virginia US, 2003, pp.139-140.

[2] Home Affairs Committee – Nineteenth Report Roots of violent radicalisation (published 2012), Examination of Witnesses (Questions 45-93), – http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmhaff/1446/11091303.htm

[3] Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief, UN Doc A/HRC/RES/16/18, 12 April 2011, Adopted without voted 24 April 2012

[4] See this report for instance which claims “Muslim hate crime rises 65% in London”. – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-29424165

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