Welcome to the Secular Liberal Inquisition

NeoconInquisition

The inquisition is often referred to as a dark part of history; one which echoes an excessively pietistic persecution of those determined “heretic” by the state and theological council. Moriscos, or those Muslims who were forcibly converted to “New Christians”, were viewed with suspicion and were subjected to discrimination and persecution. Among the policies the Inquisition adopted in Spain was the edict of faith. Explaining this edict, Michael C. Thomsett writes that it was, “a series of instructions on how to spot heretics.” He further elaborates,

“Anyone coming forward to denounce a neighbour as a heretic was able to do so anonymously and the accused was never informed of the source of accusations, allowed to cross-examine witnesses, or even given the chance to offer a defense”.[1]

Today, in Britain, Christianity has been rooted to some extent, and now replaced by neoconservatives with extreme secular liberalism as the domineering state religion. The edict of faith has been replaced by the PREVENT duty and its accompanying governmental apparatus.  The inquisitors, mimicking the nexus between the Inquisition tribunals and the monarchy, are think-tanks and the public body professionals who have become an arm of the state. The inquisitorial traits are an intrinsic part of the PREVENT Strategy also.  PREVENT posits an interpretation of secular liberalism as the criteria (British values) by which normalcy is established and opposition to which makes one an “extremist”. It has fostered an environment where mainly Muslims are viewed with suspicion, and this suspicion is followed up by interrogation.  If this interrogation surfaces answers which indicate towards a vulnerability to radicalisation, one is penalised as a potential “extremist”, deradicalised, or excised and intimidated away from civil society as a “taboo”, if believed to be an “extremist”.

The Secular “Heretic” Muslim Child

In the education sphere, the views of children are being monitored, whilst children themselves are being left in a state thanks to PREVENT which can only be described as child abuse by once trusted teachers. Teachers have been encouraged to “set-up” children to determine their views, whilst Nazi-esque psychometric tests for screening “radicalisation” in a Muslim-majority school has demonstrated the dizzying heights of insanity PREVENT is reaching. Recently, yet another child abuse case surfaced in Birmingham. A 10 year-old at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham (in a Muslim majority area), “raised concerns” when he asked for a prayer room on a residential trip, encouraged girls to wear a hijab, and expressed an “alternate view” on the Charlie Hebdo attack. For the inquisitor head teacher Hazel Pulley, clearly this was heresy against the “edict of faith” that is PREVENT: the 10 year-old was referred to the modern day Inquisition.

During the controversial Ofsted inspection of schools in mainly Muslim areas last year, Inspectors asked engineered questions making the students uncomfortable during the process. Inspectors at a Luton school were forced to apologise for causing psychological distress to a child through their intimidating questioning. A similar style of questioning has occurred at another Muslim faith school, which will be the subject of an upcoming blog. “Advisors” from the Quilliam Foundation (including one of its founders, Rashad Zaman Ali) have also been advising Ofsted inspections, whilst assisting in the development of software for schools to refine the surveillance apparatus against children and foster a distrustful surveillance culture in future generations.

The neoconservative Inquisition continues with the judiciary. The outrageousness has peaked sharply with “chilling” guidance issued by the president of the Family Division, James Munby. In what amounts to disturbing consequences for the rights of children and the rule of law, children may now be taken away by social services in radicalisation cases based upon secret, publicly untestable allegations made by the Mi5.

The Suprema for Secular Inquiry

During the 15th/16th Century Inquisitions, the Suprema advised the activities of the local inquisitors under a politically controlled system.[2] The “theologians” of the court decided whether an act was “heresy”.

Our government has similarly formed a “council” of “extremism analysts”. The Extremism Analysis Unit, combs through the views of Muslims (mainly) in order to verify their secular liberal heterodoxy.  A recent manifestation of this can be seen in the government’s authoritarian hatchet-job press statement seemingly drafted by the neoconservative Henry Jackson Society. It discriminatorily identified Muslims and Muslim organisations by name as “extremists”, intimidating university institutions through semantic equivocations to effectively disallow the named individuals and organisations a speaking platform.

Then there are also the handful of journalists who are using the PREVENT discourse to “prove” the “extremism” of Muslims using (like the Inquisitions) anonymous sources. Andrew Gilligan’s writing is often distinctly set up to prove “extremism” of Muslims through unnamed sources and spurious, heavily spun statements (see the many dissections of his propaganda pieces here). Gilligan has gone as far as to use the government’s widely discredited counter-extremism model to suppress the reality of anti-Muslim hate.

Ironically, given Gilligan’s esteemed status as an inquisitor playing a critical role in the State-sanctioned Inquisition to root out heretic Muslim citizens, when Peter Oborne reasonably questioned Gilligan’s usual wild claims, Gilligan asked Oborne, “Is this an inquisition?”

Perhaps one of the most prominent examples of a concerted effort to characterise Muslims as heretics/extremists was John Ware’s horrendous interview with Muslim journalist Dilly Hussain back in June. Knowing the type of journalism Ware is infamous for (visual depictions of Gilligan’s propaganda), Hussain had fully recorded the interview to prevent the usual treatment afforded to Muslims in Ware’s work: a concoction of cherry-picked quotes read out against a backdrop of ominous music and sinister visuals that would make any A-Level media studies student cringe. Ware proceeded from the off to determine “where [Hussain] stands on a number of matters” and then asked a series of theological questions which would potentially tease answers violating the state’s definition of extremism, often viewing his answers with suspicion. Views which are normative according to the “jamhoor” (majority) in Islamic scholarship (not a pew survey of people’s views or a single scholar from an Islamic Institution which was compromised as political tool by the British during the colonial period and now has been employed to promote “moderate Islam” and which happens to concord with Zionist aims and a dictator invited by Britain), are adjudged by Ware to be “extreme views” which “diverge significantly from a majority view”. Thus we have a non-Muslim telling a Muslim which of his theological views are acceptable and which are “extreme”. Later, Ware, taking the position of the califacadores[3] on behalf of the government, imputes Hussain’s articulation of the right to self-defence of a human being to mean supporting “the killing of the coalition of forces including British forces when the coalition invaded Iraq” (this would contravene the PREVENT definition of “extremism”). He ignores Hussain’s explanations asserting “I think that is your position”.

Concluding Remarks

There are of course those who are supporting this Inquisition of the Muslim minority who happen to be ostensibly from the same community. Excommunication of Muslims from the state religion of an extreme interpretation of secular liberalism has also often been determined by shot-gun labelling of Muslims by state-approved liberal Muslims and their organisations, echoing the “takfiri” trait of the Kharijites. Ironically, these labels and traits (Kharijite/takfiri) are often used by such individuals against Muslims who challenge their tenuous support for the neocon narrative (see here, and here). Thus, in addition to secular liberal Inquisitors, we have secular liberal khawarij too. “Islamist” and “extremism” are labels for views which are categorised as blasphemous against the State’s “edict of faith” by the various civil society counter-extremism organisations now popping up. Indeed, for serving the State in this oppression, they are made to feel privileged and rewarded by being invited to sit at the table of the head of state, who promulgates doublespeaking speeches which give the BNP a run for their money and who is now proclaiming his desire to build “a national coalition to challenge and speak out against extremism”.

The state has co-opted teachers, doctors, and other civil servants into a nation-wide securitised surveillance operation implementing the state’s Inquisition, and ensuring compliance with the official, warped secular liberal religion. With this twisted securitised discourse, those involved forget, or perhaps being influenced by PREVENT, mentally suppress the question of human rights and the rights of children. It makes for a damning indictment of the institutions which are meant to exude public confidence and trust.

Welcome to the secular liberal Inquisition.


References/Notes:

[1] Thomsett, M. C., The Inquisition – A History, MacFarland & Company: North Carolina, 2010, p.156

[2] Ibid. p.154

[3] Court theologians who determined heresy during the Inquisition.

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