A Look at Theresa May’s Responses
The blind-spot for far-right and Zionist “extremism” extends to Theresa May’s pathetic response to critics. She responds to the argument that “Islamist extremism” is social conservatism, stating that it is invalid because if anybody else discriminated against women, and rejected the democratic process on the basis of beliefs then they would be challenged.
There are a number of points being conflated. Firstly “discrimination against women” for instance, is tolerated in other communities. The Beth Din courts have “discriminated” against women in their judgments for over a century. Yet it has never warranted the label of “extremism” let alone an independent inquiry which is called for in the context of Shari’ah courts. In fact, as per my previous blog specifically on this topic, the Home Office has effectively approved “discrimination” as a result of “Jewishist extremism”. Moreover, previous versions of the London Beth Din website have clearly stated the Halachic position that it is prohibited for Jews from take their legal matters to a “secular” civil court (rule of law anyone?).
The possible collateral of attacking Shari’ah courts only has been recognised, and conveniently ignored by May. In response to the bigoted Zionist/neocon Caroline Cox’s bill targeting Shari’ah courts, the Bishop of Manchester is recorded in Hansard as saying,
“In my capacity as the chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews, I would like to register a concern about what I again take to be the unintended side effects of some of the Bill’s proposals. I refer especially to the Beth Din, the Jewish religious courts. One such effect is that under the Bill any Jewish couple who may seek guidance from a Beth Din about their rights and obligations relating to property or children on the break-up of a marriage will have to be turned away if those adjudicating are not to break the law. For those Orthodox Jews who wish to follow ancient Jewish law and bequeath their estate to their sons while conferring substantial dowries on their daughters, if a man died intestate his children would not be able to seek an adjudication of the Beth Din as to the disposition of the estate.”
We already know, however, that active state discrimination against the Muslim minority allows for the targeting of Shari’ah courts and the exoneration of the Beth Din.
A further conflation exists between active arbitrary discrimination against an unwilling individual, and a person who wishes to have his or her matters adjudicated in accordance with religion in civil matters. To target Muslims and Shari’ah courts only is minority discrimination. Lumping Shari’ah courts alongside attacks based on sexuality as well as a “nod and wink” at terrorism – which is already adequately covered under existing legislation – with the “extremism” discourse is pure demagoguery and a continued pandering to the stereotyping far-right audience.
This is all quite contrary to the assertion that individuals are “free to live their lives as they see fit”. The above, together with the mentioning of the mainstream Islamic practice of separated seating for men and women as being an example of pervasion of “extremism”, demonstrates that an individual is free so longs as he or she abides by a warped neoconservative interpretation of secular liberalism. A person is free Henry Ford-style. And a Muslim is meant to follow the state-enforced, state-eroded version of Islam.
The irony is that according to an in-depth report by the Mi5’s Behavioural Science Unit, those tending toward terrorism, do not practise their faith regularly and “lack religious literacy”. In fact, Mi5 says,
“there is evidence that a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation”.
Despite this, “extremism” is the word and assimilation or alienation through criminalisation of Islam is the “end game”.
We’re not Picking On Muslims!
The ignorance of this response is utterly appalling. May denies that she is “picking on Islamist extremism”, while neglecting other forms of extremism. Except the “evidence”, which has been sorely lacking in May’s sweeping claims, points to the contrary.
In the very same speech, she highlights that the most “widespread form of extremism we need to confront is Islamist extremism”.
The PREVENT Strategy solely identifies “Islamist extremism”. It fails to define the varying types of far-right “extremism”, or “extremism” born from Zionism, for instance. Those thus far referred under the Channel deradicalisation programme are predominantly Muslims. Muslim charities, thanks to the application of the PREVENT definition of “extremism”, have been disproportionately targeted by the neoconservative Charity Commission. Furthermore, the PREVENT Strategy is prioritised to target mainly Muslim areas, where taxpayer money is being thrown at various initiatives to tackle “extremist ideology”. I concede, PREVENT does cover far-right “extremism”, however if PREVENT is being rolled out in Muslim areas, then what is the point of addressing far-right “extremism”?
May addresses the use of the problematically defined “British values” to counter-extremism. “We are not calling for a flag to be flown from every building”, she replies, before reiterating the same problematic, ambiguous definition of British values. She then concludes that it is a limited and inclusive definition. Except that it isn’t. It is a grossly “illiberal”, exclusivist definition, which excommunicates people as “extremists” based on private beliefs not approved by the State. And these beliefs include opposition to foreign policy and the Zionist entity as demonstrated in Peter Clarke’s disproved Trojan Hoax report, and the monitoring and harassment of campaign activists. “Extremism” is the flaccidly-defined term by which ideas can be controlled and shaped. It is unreasonable. It violates the very principles it seeks to enshrine as the values of Britain and it sets the state upon a path of neocon authoritarianism.
I have already discussed how this multi-agency public surveillance PREVENT Strategy seeks to build a national identity breeding radical nationalism, laying the grounds for authoritarianism. Necessary for this form of authoritarianism is the need to know the beliefs of individuals, and the ability to control them like the closed society of the German Democratic Republic.
Non-government-compliant views are therefore to be castigated. The justification given is because May “know[s] there is a link between non-violent extremism and violent extremism.” In addition to the overarching points made in my first article, which discusses this “link” in the context of the failed conveyor belt theory, it should also be noted that according to the Mi5’s behavioural science unit, those who use violence are not those who simply hold politically extreme views. Leading academics in the field of radicalisation point to other factors which lead to “violent extremism” – such as foreign policy which creates political contexts suited for nurturing radicalisation. Applying May’s logic is there a plan to change or at the very least “disrupt” Western foreign policy?
“Extremism” = Racism?
May invokes an argument which I have seen made by Maajid Nawaz, which is unsurprising giving his Quilliam Foundation is a consultant for the retrograde PREVENT Strategy. In short, the argument is that “extremism” is to be dealt with in the same manner as “racism”.
Maajid Nawaz iterates this line of argument in his comment piece in the Guardian.
The irony is when it comes to bashing Islam, the inverse is argued – Islam or Islamism is an idea, and therefore one can freely offend and insult it. This was Nawaz’s core argument in the Charlie Hebdo incident (I have addressed this in part one of this blog). Yet the discourse is entirely racialised when tackling “extremism”. Their own argument, if consistently applied would mean that offensive expression against any set of beliefs would be “morally” equivalent to offensive speech based on race or biology. But who cares about rationality when it comes to Islam-bashing?
It demonstrates the extent the government and associated quangos will go to push their anti-Muslim agenda, where arguments are twisted to suit their aims, and twisted again if an idea conflicts with it. The more fundamental issue is, if indeed “extremism”, i.e. ideas which conflict with democracy for instance, are treated like race-hatred, then legitimate dissent, government/intellectual critique, alongside traditional theological beliefs will be discriminatorily castigated in a hypocritical form of imposed liberal supremacism.
Philosophers like Socrates, and legists like Henry Thoreau, who conceptually argued against democracy for instance, would have been persecuted by the various cold war “disruption” methods Theresa May goes onto articulate.
Thought-Police Unit and Blacklists
In 1950, Joseph McCarthy, who’s surname would become a noun used to recall a dark era for civil liberties, at a speech held up a piece of paper and said,
“I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.”
FBI’s J Edgar Hoover would go onto produce a “loyalty review” programme, which McCarthy would have rolled out to all the State’s institutions. Any unfavourable reviews determined by the review would result in the person effectively being crippled socially and unable to get a job. Anonymous documents produced by the FBI were used as evidence to determine the loyalty of individuals in varying professions. The war on leftists also saw artists, screenwriters and directors being barred from employment on similar allegations of Communist sympathy.
Liberal intellectuals had in fact supported the aims of McCarthy, however once the turrets turned against them, the methods were heavily criticised, which in turn attracted further castigation. As Noam Chomsky noted, those who opposed McCarthy’s witch-hunt were “depressingly few”.
In the present context, following on from the propaganda unit RICU which is embedded within the Home Office and which diffuses the government version of events through major media outlets, we now have an already instituted “Extremism Analysis Unit”. This Orwellian thought-police unit is monitoring the views of individuals to determine their “extremism”. The broader aim is to prevent government and public sector engagement with a “blacklist” of individuals and organisations which the government deems “extremist”. McCarthy would be proud.
CAGE for instance, which threw a spanner in the PREVENT works, would perhaps be right at the top of the list for undermining the government narrative, despite supporting the “British values” of rule of law, which entails due process. CAGE’s in-depth reports and analyses on the effects of counter-extremism and terrorism would thoroughly be ignored because of the ascription of “extremism”. The mainstream Muslim community which may hold aspects of beliefs deemed “extreme” by the government, yet shared across the Abrahamic faiths, may no longer be able to contribute to the public sector. Discrimination based on beliefs is the order of the day. So much for “inclusive British values”.
Institutionalised public surveillance, vetting of beliefs to check government-compliance and a blacklist of organisations and individuals deemed “extremist”? Is this the response to preserve liberty? Or is this manufacturing coercive state-conformance?
Continuing the McCarthy “loyalty review” theme, the thought-police unit will inform the “counter-entryism” strategy, i.e. the prevention of “extremists” taking positions in government – normally the preserve of neocons. “Entryism”, usually associated with Trotsyists, is a word which has of late gained currency with initially Maajid Nawaz and later Andrew Gilligan, who’s articles are infused with PREVENT thinking. Over the course of reading their work, I have come to the understanding that buzzwords often used by such individuals usually means a scene is being set for a policy to be introduced based on the said buzzwords. And now we have a policy being based on this very word, scandalously and shamelessly using the Trojan Hoax lies, disproven by the Education Select Committee, as a pretext.
Of course, by this “entryism” logic, the Labour party should also be banned due to the rising tensions with the Kremlin, and the “link” with the “extremist” interpretations adopted by the “violently extremist” Khmer Rouge. The Conservative party should also be banned given the “entryism” it has afforded to far-right, white supremacist elements within Whitehall. May’s ridiculous, “inclusive” proposals conflict with UK’s international commitments. The UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 encourages states,
“To foster religious freedom and pluralism by promoting the ability of members of all religious communities to manifest their religion, and to contribute openly and on an equal footing to society.”
The impact of the measures will be Muslim disengagement from democratic processes because of their personal beliefs. We thus arrive at a paradoxical situation – if you reject the democratic process, you are branded an “extremist”, if you do enter into the democratic process, you are branded an “entryist-extremist”.
“The game is up”, Theresa May has said. Beneath the exterior of human rights, rule of law and tolerance, is an elitist, authoritarian interior hypocritical and duplicitous to the core. It brings together the best of McCarthysim, and the Orwellian nightmare to produce something truly draconian – neoconservative authoritarianism. The neoconservative epistemology of the radicalisation discourse presupposes a violent tendency on the part of Muslims, and flagrantly and stubbornly ignores academically verifiable social, economic and geopolitical factors. In doing so, it enables the government to impose its narrative of legitimate behaviour, thus “shaping” society in what neocons deem “right”. The counterculture movement however, which sees May’s despotic measures as exactly that – despotic measures – will have all the more reason to embrace resistance to the corrosive “deradicalisation” mechanisms, and the “us and them” rhetoric, thus adopting the government-deemed “extremism” label.
What accentuates the failure of Theresa May’s policies is the rampant anti-Muslim discrimination. From mentioning false pretexts which are in the Muslim context only to identifying Shari’ah courts and “unregulated mosques” as areas of concern and action, the rhetoric is befitting of a female, Eton-college-educated version of Nick Griffin. Given the facts that Jewish law courts will be exempted from investigation, and that the Board of Deputies of British Jews has influenced the draconian policies against the Muslim minority, May’s proposals are scandalous in the extreme.
No, the game is not up. The game has just begun. The moment when extra-legal measures are resorted to censure, discriminate and “disrupt” legal expression, we enter into the realm of closed-society totalitarianism. When coupled with an agenda to discriminate against a minority, the path which leads to tyranny is forged. The ball is in the government’s court to justify irrational, unacademic measures which actively discriminate against the Muslim minority, and shred to pieces the consecrated “British values”.