John Ware’s content suggests he is an establishment journalist who makes the facts fit the government agenda. However, in order to grasp an idea of his political outlook one needs to examine some of his work.
In an article for the Jewish Chronicle (JC), Ware praises Douglas Murray as a “titan of the commentariat”, and defends his trivialisation of Islamophobia, who calls it a “crock” to the sharp criticism of another JC writer, David Aaronovitch. Douglas Murray needs no introduction. An ardent neocon, he has called Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, a “very bad man”, and Islam along with the Qur’an, “bad”. He translates this hate into calls for special negative treatment of Muslims, by making conditions for them in Europe “harder across the board”. According to Murray, even “universal” human rights are tiered, with the rights of “West’s people [overriding] those of the Islamist’s in their midst.”
His Henry Jackson Society is funded by a transnational Islamophobia-pumping industry. In the discussion between Aaronovitch and Murray, Ware sides with Murray and echoes him in “rationalising” away his exceptional treatment of Muslims, justifying his position by stating that anti-Semitism is “entirely irrational” whilst Islamophobia is “reactive”. He then attempts to give credence to his position by highlighting that Jewish integration has been a “success story”. The success of “Jewish integration” has been addressed in previous articles, and it is not entirely as it is made out to be. Muslims are demarcated, however, because they,
“cite foreign policy as the reason for terrorism here, which suggests they identify more closely with other Muslims in far-off lands than with fellow Britons.”
This pathetic argument only displays his inherent bias against Muslims. Ware’s problem is that Muslims identify with other Muslims. What he patently ignores is that British policy is pro-Israel and pro-Zionist. British policy in the Muslim context has only wrought havoc across the Middle East and Muslim world to the advantage of Western and Israeli interests. Zionist violence has manifested itself in the past when the British government has acted against Zionist interests.
As for identifying with co-religionists around the world, I do wonder what Ware’s spin would be on those British Jews who prefer to live in the Zionist entity over Britain, and who in some cases move into illegal settlements.
The fact that he sees the extremist ideologue Murray in such a positive light speaks volumes of his own outlook. However, his link to the neoconservative “persuasion” do not end here. Ware is listed as a writer for Standpoint magazine. It is owned and published by the Social Affairs Unit (SAU), which incidentally published Douglas Murray’s anti-Muslim diatribe Neoconservatism: Why We Need It. The neocon SAU has been instrumental in shaping the political agenda on Muslims in Britain. Professor Arun Kundnani notes that the editor of Standpoint Daniel Johnson,
“explicitly sees Standpoint as a 21st-century version of Encounter, except with Islamism replacing communism as the threat to western civilisation”.
On its advisory board is none other than Michael Gove and Gertrude Himmelfarb, the wife of the “godfather” of neoconservatives, Irving Kristol.
More disturbingly, Ware is also listed on Melanie Phillips’ Electric Media website, as a contributing author on the emBooks list. Andres Breivik, the right-wing, anti-Muslim terrorist cited articles written by Phillips in his terrorism manifesto. Striking a resemblance to John Ware’s propaganda documentary, she has stated that,
Believing that Islamic terrorism is motivated by an ideology which has ‘hijacked’ and distorted Islam, it will not acknowledge the extremism within mainstream Islam itself.
In other words, like Ware, she blurs the boundaries between the already arbitrarily defined “Islamism” with “mainstream Islam”.
His flirtation with the neocons is appreciated by them as his content fits their anti-Muslim narrative. Shiraz Maher has referred to John Ware in an article published by the Gatestone Institute – another organisation funded by the anti-Muslim propaganda industry –as a “robust and formidable journalist”. It is interesting to note that Maher has in the past run Standpoint magazine’s “Focus on Islamism” blog and was a senior fellow at Michael Gove’s neoconservative Policy Exchange.
His “robust” journalism seems to be only robust in propping neocon interests. Osama Saeed on Spin Watch notes that through John Ware’s questionable and biased documentary hounding a Palestinian charity, the BBC had been used as a “Mossad mouthpiece”. Another investigative journalist, Nafeez Ahmed demonstrates in detail how Ware spins the Iraq war debacle, deflecting it from the real, neoconservative-driven motives and plans, to one of “utter mismanagement”. About his journalism, Ahmed writes,
“John Ware’s narrative is mired in a set of unquestioned assumptions that systematically misrepresents the reality of the Iraq War 2003 by taking at face value the claims of various British and American officials… Ware consistently refrains from doing any serious research into his subject…”
In other words, the facts and lies are mixed to fit a broader game and to usefully deflect from the root cause of the Iraq chaos: neoconservatism.
Media analysts, Julian Petley and Robin Richardson, in their book, Pointing the Finger: Islam and Muslims in the British Media, state that Ware engages in “smear journalism, an odious form of journalism that either lacks the proof for the points it wishes to make, or the courage to say what it means and face the legal consequences, or both. This is exactly the kind of journalism one expects from the tabloid press…, but to find it in full flower on what is supposed to be the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme is surely quite unacceptable.”
Highlighting his historic use of “thesis-driven journalism” (i.e. finding facts to fit the agenda), they continue in the context of an earlier documentary attacking the Left:
“any attempt at a reasoned, detached, analytic or investigative programme had been abandoned in favour of a closed demonstration of one point of view reinforced by emotional and rhetorical flourishes”.
In other words, McCarthyite journalism aimed at perpetuating the neoconservative viewpoint.
Ware’s Neocon Government Agenda
In July 2014, Ware wrote an article in the Jewish Chronicle, parts of which are regurgitated in his recent documentary. Anti-Western views being equated to “extremism”, Western foreign policy being deflected, the “false” grievance narrative, and Islam Channel allegedly reinforcing this narrative, are all themes present in his JC piece.
Ware, wants Muslims to assimilate; to leave their faith behind if it conflicts with the modern-age religion of secular liberalism. He decries the Muslims for being “conservative” and “increasingly resistant to assimilate into the majority culture” – quite apart from the calls of “integration” being made. When will these concerns be raised against the Orthodox Jewish community of Britain, especially given the fact that the Jewish orthodoxy have an increasing influence on the political sphere on the Zionist government and by extension British politics?
His xenophobic disdain for Islam and comparison with secularism can be further seen in his following quip where Ware attacks the easy-targets within the Muslim minority:
“With ever more women covered with full-faced veils, Tower Hamlets has begun to look more like the Saudi capital, Riyadh, than Dacca, the relatively secular capital of Bangladesh.”
Concluding Remarks – the Sara Khan Connection
John Ware’s impartiality has come into serious question. His history and methods of spinning facts, presenting government narratives, (PREVENT and Counter-Terrorism) strategies and underpinning theories as unquestionable truths to the point that he defends their operatives and supporters in the most benign manner, demonstrates his lack of probity and balance. But what further reinforces the (obvious) bias is the use of one person in particular: the failed, hypocritical feminist Sara Khan who calls women “powerful weapons” in the fight against “extremism”. Ware in his propaganda documentary and later in his weak follow-up highlights that Khan runs a counter-extremism organisation called Inspire. He fails to mention a couple of revealing pieces of information.
The first is that Inspire pushes the government’s PREVENT strategy, which includes wholesale, the themes discussed in the documentary. She is currently advising Hazel Blears, who implemented the first iteration of the PREVENT strategy, alongside the Quilliam Foundation.
The second point missed is that Sabin Khan holds a senior position in the Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU) based in the Office of Security and Counter Terrorism (Home Office). RICU, “aims to coordinate government-wide communication activities to counter the appeal of violent extremism while promoting stronger grass-roots inter-community relations.” The Guardian dubs RICU the “propaganda unit”, and is known to target the BBC and other media organisations as part of its propaganda dissemination. Its past research has targeted Muslims to determine “online behaviours”, including examining information dissemination in the Muslim blogosphere, media consumption, and perceptions of Muslim communities to government messages.
Sabin and Sara Khan are sisters. Ignoring the conflict of interest between the two sisters in their respective positions and capacities, and given the fact that the documentary literally foists the PREVENT strategy as the pinnacle of truth, it would not be implausible to conclude that that the documentary is nothing more than State propaganda designed in the cold war war-room of RICU to persuade the public into accepting a Stasi-state, which disproportionately targets and scapegoats the Muslim minority, whilst positing a poor defence of a strategy which is now widely deemed by the professoriate to be failed.
Contact the BBC
BBC, just to remind ourselves, is meant to be unbiased (laughable, I know). Please do post your complaints here.
Specific details about the documentary can be found here.
And please do use the material and arguments found in this blog and my previous blogs as material to lodge your complaints: