Decaffeinated Coffee and the “Islam-Deforming” Season

Malcolm X some decades ago described, in his usually deft and eloquent style, the infiltration of a mass black protest movement thusly,

 “It’s just like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means it’s too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep.”

Continuing this analogy, the “Uncle Toms” of the Muslim minority, the decaffeinated Muslims, are out in full swing.  By decaffeinated, I mean possessing the outward likeness, but thoroughly stripped of its essence, much like the “British Islam” which is now being opportunistically promoted post-France attacks.  Like the wedding season is a lucrative time for the Asian wedding caterers during the summer, so too are the tragedies in the West for the counter-extremism industry, where the perpetrators are allegedly Muslims.  The parasitic decaffeinated coffee cups of Britain come out to prove their credentials to the neocon “cream” in order to justify and receive more funding.

The first piece which caught my eye was Tarek Fatah’s hilarious (business) call for people to support him and others like him to first “reclaim” their Islamic faith, and then reform Islam. Maajid Nawaz on his Twitter feed made a similar call, hence it is fitting to see him and Usama Hasan amongst the undersigned. A cursory glance at Fatah’s Twitter feed shows his obsession with portraying Muslim negatively while blaming “Islamism”.  He also has supported bans on veils, brushes with ultra-Zionist, anti-Muslims including Robert Spencer and supported the NYPD surveillance programme set-up to target Muslims.  It’s no surprise the likes of Nawaz and Hasan are supporting his garbage; their morally bankrupt conscious’ have no qualms in receiving funding from extremists, whilst trying to tackle “extremism”.

Spinorama Strikes Again

Then we have the BBC’s programme titled, The Battle for British Islam, a spin-fest by the notorious spin-doctor John Ware who seems to have a focussed, government narrative-supporting obsession propagandising Islam and Muslims. I recall in 2010, when he “exposed” Muslim schools, I comprehensively exposed his fraudulent documentary in which he even used false translations by “under-cover Arabs” to paint the most evil picture possible.  Going back even further, in 2005, Ware claimed in a documentary smearing MCB that, “there’s a virtual apartheid in parts of Britain – self-imposed by those Muslims who regard non-Muslims as Kaafir”, echoing the “terrorism expert” Steven Emerson’s outlandish “Birmingham is totally Muslim” claims. The same neocon groupies, where Michael Gove is now replaced by his lackey Peter Clarke, along with the decaffeinated, “cream”-serving Muslims, are present in his latest, well-timed work.

The Wrong Muslims

The “problem Muslims” are represented in the documentary by the sensationalist cherry-picked lines – some which are admittedly contentiously worded, but no more than for instance, particular Rabbis and neocons who class Islam and Muslims as a “swamp”, and want to make “conditions for Muslims harder in Europe”,  and other statements which have been exposed by Shaykh Haytham al-Haddad as being spun. Beneath this caricaturised veneer, they are those who follow their faith, are not very pleased with foreign intervention, and hypocrisy of Western governments figure-headed by neocons. Then we have “solution” Muslims. How tired is this divide and conquer politics.  Even the Human Rights Council condemns it.[1] Not that the “liberal” and “human rights” harpers will note this.

The wrong types of Muslims are of course depicted to be the monolithically-assumed Salafis, i.e. the “British-backed-Saudi-funded propagators”.  The only problem is that much of the theological beliefs attacked, through the “good” Muslims depiction of the “Happy Muslims” video, are in fact traditional orthodox positions in the four Islamic schools of jurisprudence.  In other words, the scapegoats are Salafis, to usefully sow the seeds of discord at the same time, but the attack has Islam firmly in its sights.  This is nothing new; Shaykh Haytham al-Haddad for instance, who has been the subject of numerous attacks, all previously responded too, is often used as a proxy to attack Islam, a point which the pseudo-Sufis representing the “good Muslims” need to understand.

Amongst the various propaganda snippets, one can see the logo of activist organisation CAGE. Why would CAGE be shown amongst the “extremists”?

CAGE, which has been the subject of a government witch-hunt, lobbies for the release of unlawfully detained prisoners, encourages government scrutiny and due process. It is highly critical of the war on terror and herein lies the issue.   A significant portion of the programme was dedicated to discrediting “the grievance narrative”, and interpreting such narratives as precursors for eventual terrorism. This discredited theory is propounded by the Quilliam Foundation and the likes of Haras Rafiq extensively, and enables grand claims by Sara Khan like “extremists take people to the door and violent extremists open the door” without academic rigour and without defining “extremism” to be made.  It sounds conveniently smooth and incredibly politically expedient, but as I will later explain, it is complete hogwash. CAGE has comprehensively deconstructed the Stasi-esque impact of the PREVENT strategy.  This is why they are extremists.

The Good

The British-government-approved Muslims are introduced in the documentary through the now notorious, agenda-serving “Happy Muslims” video.  Adam Deen is brought on the show and claims it was a bit of fun, except those who followed the Facebook page of Honesty Policy can testify that there was active provocation, with those raising legitimate concerns from the Islamic paradigm being labelled the “haram-brigade” and “Islamist extremists” by others.  Ware thereafter cuts to “extremists” (Muslim women in niqab) articulating their contentions to the video.

Deen goes onto present his divisive smoking gun: “something which started very innocent turned into part of a broader fight against what I call puritanical Islam”.  Ware, smug in the knowledge Deen has been exploited, then tells us the Happy Muslims Islam is “open and tolerant”.

His words play directly into the neoconservative strategy to promote a “progressive” or modernist Islam.   A closer look at Deen reveals a degree of hypocrisy.   He believes that there is an “intellectual mafia” who “bully and intimidate those who disagree with their sectarian views”.  Ironic, given he has done the same against those he disagrees with on a programme actively designed to undermine the Muslim minority.  His use of “puritanical”, is similar to Usama Hasan’s usage to describe similar fiqhi (jurisprudential) position at odds with his secularised Islam.

In his post about the Happy Muslims video, he takes the position of a Mufassir[2], Usuli[3] and Mufti[4] within two paragraphs, clearly without significant knowledge in any of the sciences. The irony continues as the juristic rulings he lambasts are dominant stances in all four schools of Islamic jurisprudence.  Deen also demonstrates a propensity to mock classical positions.  Diversity in opinion using the tools of ijtihad by qualified expert scholars in the Islamic sciences is one thing, tearing apart usul[5] to fit a territorial appeasement is entirely another.  It smacks of post-modernist deconstructionism evident in an ISB speaker covered in previous blogs.

Sara in the Sun

Cue the Muslim women-abusing feminist who has previously taken her place literally in the Sun.  Sara Khan, comes to support the Happy Clappy Muslims, declaring those opposing the obvious contravention with traditional theology, as “miserable”. Ware concludes that the “miserables” want separation.  A quaint but baseless conclusion which supports the “us and them” mentality highlighted towards the beginning of the documentary by another former “extremist” Muhammad Manwar Ali. Clearly, the politicisation of the video through this documentary eludes her.  This is unsurprising.  There are bills to pay. And she has certainly caught the attention of her employers. Theresa May has approved her neocon-serving capability, while the former PREVENT-pusher, Hazel Blears in a Commons discussion, cites Khan’s submissions about her work in “countering extremism”, code for abusing women to fulfil PREVENT objectives in order to justify her payroll.

Flavourless British Islam

Ever since its launch, British Muslim TV has propagated what I call, PREVENT strategy version one policy, i.e. create a “version” of Islam where government power can be exacted to control Muslims, similar to what ISB and Radical Middleway have been promoting in the past. In the documentary, demonstrating his “Britishness”, Aamer Naeem sycophantically opens a draw filled with items sporting the Union Jack. He claims there are “sections” of society who only relate through their Islamic identity and proceeds to claim he is, like Adam Deen before, that BMTV is “non-sectarian”.[6] Unsurprisingly, one of those pushing the BMTV in his social sphere is Bilal Hassam, a Producer on BMTV. He has previously assisted in delivering projects under the first iteration of PREVENT in the past, which would use and abuse Sufi scholars to grant the organisations legitimacy and promote confusion in traditional jurisprudential positions.  His modernist “sectarian” approach to Islamic views he differs with is perfectly encapsulated in a post here.

Dilwar Hussain adds to the droning chorus of a phantom battle for an “open” Islam.  As already highlighted on this blog, his version of Islam is one which is “open” season for deconstruction.  His discourses have directly fed into those used by the likes of Quilliam and the neocons in government thereafter.  If we recall also, his “flavour” of Islam choked the throats of ISB members on issuing a stance against the terrorism perpetrated by Zionists against the Palestinians in Gaza, 2014.  Yet ISB regularly co-signs condemnations with Quilliam, which fit government strategy.

Concluding Remarks: An Attempt at Resuscitating PREVENT

There is no doubt that the timing of this documentary coincides with the government’s Counter Terror Bill in order to deflect mass public opinion mounting against the draconian measures.  The decaffeinated have an ideological disdain for Salafis, which is used in the political sphere to point score in fulfilment of government objectives.  In a Commons debate last month (see here, Column 1313) Hazel Blares approvingly cited Ed Husain, who firmly blamed the Salafi creed of “Tawheed” for the creation of ISIS, attacking the concept of khilafa in the process.

The heavy promotion of the narrative that grievances, political or otherwise eventually foster terrorism, is a false notion based on the “Conveyor-belt theory”. It has previously been refuted by the Mi5, and now more comprehensively by academics and leading intellectuals.

Alongside this is the “victimhood” narrative, which the “experts” claimed exasperates the “us and them” sentiment as expressed by Muhammad Manwar Ali – the very same sentiment expressed by neocon officials discussing “their values”. We are “equal” claims Sara Khan. Except that isn’t the case.  Over the past year I have catalogued Muslim minority discrimination, and the xenophobia pervading government institutions and even the job sector.  Free speech is useful in insulting Muslim central figures, yet is curtailed if Muslims articulate different world views.  This is not a “victim mentality.” This is active victimisation.  And those Muslims who took their seats in this programme have contributed to this victimisation.  The hypocrisy of the individuals in the programme is that they are the first to play victim when critiqued of their behaviour by other Muslims. Similarly, the West pulls no punches in replaying videos of 9/11, 7/7 and the Lee Rigby murder creating the emotional atmosphere of fear in order to justify their illegal wars and draconian policies. Are they playing the “victim card” too? Perhaps some Western “introspection” is needed.

One way integration does not work.  Studies have already consistently shown that Muslims outstrip Christians and people of no religion in their affinity towards Britain and in some cases are more integrated than other groups. So why the focus on Islam? The motivating factor for “radicalisation” of the French attacker, the Lee Rigby murderer and even Osama Bin Laden is Western foreign policy.  The discourses of the “approved Muslims” eschews foreign policy completely, internalises the blame, deflecting any culpability from Western governments.

The French attacks have provided the oxygen to the “counter-extremism” industry, just as wars benefit the war-profiteers. The only difference here is that the war is being waged under the pretext of “extremism” and the scapegoating of the “Salafi” against Islam and its mainstream viewpoints by sectarian, opportunist, compromised and inferiority-complex-ridden individuals.  In Ware’s world (and the British government’s), the right Muslim is the dancing, prancing, R&B-loving, geopolitically inert Muslim.  My suggestion to those seeking to architect this version of Islam is to take note of the word of Allah,

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”

Perfection cannot be reformed. Only deformed.


[1] “The diversity that exists within religious minority groups must also be recognized. The rights of every single member of such minority groups must be respected fully.” (Beyond freedom of religion or belief: Guaranteeing the rights of religious minorities, A/HRC/FMI/2013/3, 26–27, November 2013)

[2] Qur’anic exegete

[3] Expert in the science of deductive principles

[4] References

[5] Principles of deduction

[6] Of course there are sections of the Jewish community who identify more with Israel than Britain hence the Aaliyah, but there are no concerns here and no qualms about the lack of integration in Stamford Hill for instance. See following link:

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