Andrew Gilligan’s PREVENT-Infused Anti-Muslim “Journalism”

Attacks because of one’s faith or race, or any other identifying feature is unacceptable. It is dehumanising, and very often for the victim, traumatising. The perpetrators too, can be victims; victims of their own ignorance which is exasperated by stereotypes reinforced in the media and government officials.  Instead of fighting stereotypes, and challenging xenophobia, our government has institutionalised xenophobia, a necessary ingredient for hate-crimes and manufacturing consent for draconian policies.

As such I was happy to see Theresa May and other neocons mourning the increases in attacks against the Jewish community, even though the claims which prompted Theresa May’s reassurance were from a study which the Institute of Jewish Policy Research slammed as “littered with flaws”, with the conclusions being “dubious”, “irresponsible” and “incendiary”. Nevertheless, it was befuddling to see the comparative silence on the rise of attacks against the Muslim community, not just in the UK, but across Europe.  Instead, the rhetoric around the Muslims continued to assign blame to the Muslim community, calling on them to “do more”, and therefore reinforcing the far-right narrative that the Muslim minority is inherently to blame for every and any attack perpetrated anywhere in the world. It abhorrently played Muslims off the Jewish community, in a similar fashion to the political opportunism displayed in David Cameron’s Chanuka speech.

Key senior figures are clearly not interested anti-Muslim hate crime.  Tell MAMA, headed by the opportunistic Fiyaz Mughal, was set up as a government initiative.  Once the Foreign Office had published its 2013 report on Human Rights and lionised the fact that the Muslim minority had a comforting arm of the government cuddling the Muslim minority, Tell MAMA’s funding was promptly pulled.

The attitude of the government is distilled in a recent report capturing Sayeeda Warsi’s experience.  Mid-last year, we had Michael Gove’s ideologically-driven attack on Muslim majority schools in Birmingham. A revealing passage in the Guardian reveals the dynamics within government:

“Warsi also condemns the lack of ministerial engagement with a cross-government working group combating anti-Muslim hatred, in which she was involved. Chief whip Michael Gove is singled out for particular criticism for his behaviour during the Birmingham schools Trojan horse affair, when Warsi claims he flatly rejected formal requests from the working group to become involved.

Propagandist Gilligan Returns

Andrew Gilligan, who fanned the flames of hate against the Muslim community through the usual concoction of lies, spin and exaggeration during the Trojan Hoax incursion, has recently continued the establishment (and neoconservative) trend of down-playing anti-Muslim attacks, to the positive reporting of the Jewish community. He writes, for instance, that there are four times more hate crimes against Jews than Muslims.  Of course, this ignores the fact that the anti-Semitism monitoring body, Community Security Trust, has been around for several years.  There is also an issue of under-reporting of anti-Muslim attacks, as encapsulated in the following quote about a woman and anti-Muslim incidents:

“She says out of 30 different hate crime incidents, she has only ever reported two, and admits wearing a hijab has made her a target.”

In his disturbing article, which can be interpreted as propaganda to start a race war, he impliedly pits Muslims against Jews, with Muslims being insinuated through spin and unsubstantiated conclusions, as the cause of attack against the Jews.  The mechanism, like John Ware’s documentary, is neocon textbook: smear by association and draw grand conclusions.

The anti-Semitic statements which have been cited – besides a few, which should be condemned – have been blatantly twisted, or have been responded too (see here and here for instance). Such clarifications however, are only noticeable by their absence in Gilligan’s “journalism”.

This is not surprising; lying and exaggerating are staple trademarks of Gilligan. Take, for instance, his reports during the Trojan Hoax fiasco. In the incident related to Al-Hijrah School, he made a number of claims, which when investigated personally, were found to be false or exaggerated.  “Burly guards” who threw Birmingham City Council off the site, turned out to be a single security guard of Yemeni background barely over five foot who made no physical contact with the officials at any point in time.

Propaganda to Increase Social Tensions

In his architecting of the perfect piece to precipitate animosity between two groups, he has tried to paint a picture intimating that the public purse is paying for anti-Semitism.  He then proudly proclaims, again downplaying violence against Muslims, whilst positively projecting the Jewish community,

“There have in fact been almost no attacks on Muslims by supporters of Israel, let alone a ‘corresponding rise’.”

Of course looking at “attacks” in a vacuum may lead to such a conclusion.  To suggest sections of Zionist Jews have been somehow passive ignores the scores of British Jews who travelled to join the IDF which, in 2014, went onto bomb indiscriminately a civilian population to the tacit approval of the British government.  This is a place where “hate crime” in Palestine is of another kind, on another scale and of entirely fatal nature. It is a place where top Rabbis and Zionist lawmakers advocate genocide against Palestinians in all but name.  Granted, though, we need to keep our focus on the UK. Whilst there may not have been any recorded attacks against Muslims, there has been an attack against a pro-Palestine supporter.  Gilligan neatly fails to mention the horrific attack against George Galloway who was left hospitalised. He, of course, followed the lead of his neoconservative friends in government. There was a deafening, hypocritical silence from the neocon officials after the attack.

Still, this is but one, albeit condemnable, attack.

“Public Purse”

The public purse has been paying for the Henry Jackson Society’s (HJS) responsibility for two All-Party Parliamentary Groups related to international and homeland security, the two areas which have manifestly impacted the Muslim minority through various Counter-Terrorism measures. HJS is funded in part by Nina Rosenwald (a Jewish Zionist) responsible for funding some of the biggest anti-Muslim bigots in the Muslim-hating industry.  The associate director of HJS, Douglas Murray, has “attacked” Muslims, not just of the UK, but of the whole of Europe by suggesting conditions should be made difficult for them, that their Holy Book and Prophet is “very bad”. Murray has praised Robert Spencer, who has influenced terrorists, as a “brilliant scholar”.  Spencer has been banned from the UK because of his extreme views. Another HJS member, Robin Shephard, shared links to articles on Twitter, which read like a copy and paste job from Robert Spencer’s writings and are written by authors connected to the David Horowitz Freedom Centre – the umbrella organisation running Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch website.

The HJS, though no longer representing the APPGs, is still, according to sources, advising Hazel Blears on the counter-terrorism strategy.  In other words, bigotry is being paid for at the government level.

Gove, who Gilligan propped in the Trojan Hoax affair, has called the Muslim minority a “swamp”, which either needs to be “drained” or, whose “crocodiles” need to be “batted back”. Imagine calling the Jewish community of Britain a “swamp” which needs to be “drained” of Zionists. Such a statement, as evident from the precedent of Liberal Democrat David Ward who was removed from his position for remarks perfectly within the great British value of “free speech” (and which Gilligan seems to indicate as some for anti-Semitism), would have ended Gove’s career.  Yet, Gove continued to pedal his anti-Islam agenda in a public ministerial position. Anti-Muslim prejudice is state-level.

This, however, is of no concern. But this is Gilligan we are talking about. And Muslim minority discrimination, as we shall now see, is part of his repertoire.

The Double Standards of Gilligan Proves his anti-Muslim, pro-Zionist bias

Before analysing the report we need to take a look at Gilligan’s history. He has, in the past, trivialised and played-down the rise of anti-Muslim attacks, critiquing the Tell MAMA project’s figures. He reduced the attacks to two incidents, when even a cursory online search would have demonstrated many more attacks. Not only this, multiple graffiti attacks and online anti-Muslim abuse attacks were dismissed and belittled by Gilligan, despite certain abusive comments calling for violence against Muslims. All of this is documented and referenced in a brilliant piece at Islamophobia Watch.  It is a must read to understand the extent Gilligan will go to lessen anti-Muslim hate attacks.

We now know he does not think much of graffiti/online hate.  How does Gilligan frame such attacks in the context of anti-Semitic attacks? Gilligan tells us at the end of his latest propaganda:

“Almost none of the incidents reported to the police involves violence. But for British Jews, the pricks of insecurity need not involve guns and bullets; they can come in small ways”.

Andrew Gilligan does not believe in equality, clearly. Non-violent abuse in the Muslim context is to be dismissed as not “harmful”.  For Jews however, they provide for “pricks of insecurity” and warrant an entire article bemoaning the rise of anti-Semitism, whilst pinning the trend on Muslims as if the Holocaust did not even happen.

Unfortunately, the report which Gilligan cites was not at hand when writing this article as it had not yet been published.  As such, the exact nature of the attacks and the number perpetrated by Muslims, which would warrant Gilligan’s attack on Muslims, could be ascertained. However, the figures for the first six months of 2014 can be used to place the attacks into perspective, caveating the sharp rise after the Gaza massacre by the Zionist entity in 2014.

According to the CST report (p.5), 62% of attacks where the offender’s ethnic appearance was recorded, were perpetrated by whites (north and south European).  Of those incidents recorded with a political motivation, 75% demonstrated evidence of far-right convictions.

The fact that not a single mention of the main perpetrators of anti-Semitism in the first six months of 2014 – the white, far-right, Gilligan-looking “extremists” – is made, further exemplifies his discriminatory and disproportionate focus on Muslims.

Concluding Remarks

Gilligan has produced another propaganda piece, which is written as though the white Christian/nationalist butchering and torturing of Jews throughout the ages, and the granting of sanctuary and protection by Muslims, never happened. To somehow reinvent anti-Semitism as a new phenomenon, portraying Muslims as the major perpetrators is outrageous and completely distorting of the reality. The omission of far-right crimes, and his aggrandising of the very acts against Jews which were trivialised when perpetrated against Muslims clearly demonstrates Gilligan’s blatant anti-Muslim discrimination. He also ignores the bigotry pulsating in the corridors of power fuelled by the taxpayer’s money, which establishes a key difference between the hate experienced between Muslims and Jews: one is institutional, the other is not.

Given the shoddy, prejudice-laden work by Gilligan, the question is why go to such lengths to demonise one group and play down the violence against Muslims? A clue can be seen in Gilligan’s co-conspirator in the field of “journalism”, John Ware.  There is a concerted effort to attack the “victimhood” narrative, which I have already discussed at length in a previous piece.  In short, according to the PREVENT strategy, the victimhood mentality is a signifier for radicalisation and eventual terrorism.  In Gilligan’s last attempt at suppressing anti-Muslim hate, he asked the head of Tell MAMA, whether reporting anti-Muslim incidents “played into an Islamist victim mentality”, thus assuming the false conveyor-belt theory as truth. Gilligan’s latest work seeks to suppress actual victimisation of Muslims on the basis of tenuous possibility of “playing into the Islamist victim mentality”.

In other words, he has implemented PREVENT in his journalism to the discrimination of the Muslim minority.

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