Deforming Faith and History to Serve a Neocon Agenda Part I: Rashad Ali

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The War on Terror breathed life into morbid industries. Those who were the fundamental cogs in the illegal, immoral and strategically catastrophic neoconservative war machine profiteered.  Over the years it has also spurned another industry at the soft end of the War on Terror: counter extremism.  Pimping the discourse of rights, and using it as a stick to beat a minority with, the language has shifted from rights to one of security.

Having observed over the past decade or so the recycling of the calls to “reform” or rather, deform Islam through various charlatans like Ziauddin SardarEd HusainTaj Hargey et al, the need to freshen the line up to resurge the desperate call is necessary.  This is mainly because deconstructing Islam has been a somewhat difficult affair; Muslims understand the meticulous nature of their Book, belief and disbelief, and the fact that the calls to deform conveniently serve the neoconservative War on Terror agenda. Those who force a deformation of Islam using superficial and spurious argumentation do so often incredibly poorly, without any intellectual rigour and to the wine-sipping neo-colonial glee of the unctuous neoconservatives and their supporting, superficial Twitterati.

With the counter-extremism dividends increasing courtesy of the government’s counter extremism strategy, the willing accomplices in the persecution of the Muslim minority and the deformation Islam agenda have been more animated; we have the manipulation of the ostensibly “traditional” to provide the theological counter, whilst glory is afforded to deformists as they are promoted through the press and media; there are cheap comics being used to disseminate a tainted message which curiously protects Zionist interests, and “counter-extremists” imposing their ideology on the Muslim minority through deradicalisation.  Analysing the origins, statements and actions of this industry renders an undeniable reality: the counter-extremism industry serves the purposes of warmongering neocons and Zionists, entwining the worst of both neoconservatism and neoliberalism, and, like the military industrial complex, financially leeches off a minority.

A Deformist, Selective Reading of History

This could not be better exemplified than by an interesting set of recent events.  The racist Prime Minister of “one of the most racist societies in the western world” (at time of “a flood of anti-Arab racism [pouring] through the streets of Israel”), Benjamin Netanyahu, sought to lay the blame of the genocide of Jews by German Nazis at the broken down, thoroughly occupied, persecuted and oppressed door of the Palestinians. Speaking at the World Zionist Congress, Netanyahu asserted that Hitler was not actually going to kill the Jews. No, it was rather the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Hussain, who in fact visited him and influenced the Fuehrer to “burn” them.  It attracted criticism across the academic spectrum, with Jewish professors pointing to the historical fallacies: the visit was after the implementation of the Final Solution.

However, it should be noted that though critical of this fabrication, it allowed those who rejected this revisionism to associate the Mufti, and clandestinely the Palestinian freedom struggle, to fascism (see Zionist defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon’s comment here). This spin has been used by the anti-Muslim “counter-jihad movement” in the US,[1] and by Israel’s Holocaust Memorial centre Yad Vashem in a propagandist fashion. Quoting Peter Novick, the author of “The Holocaust in American Life,” Max Blumenthal writes that despite the lack of any significance to the Holocaust, in Yad Vashem’s Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust, “[t]he article on the Mufti is more than twice as long as the articles on Goebbels and Goring, longer than the articles on Himmler and Heydrich combined, longer than the article on Eichmann — of all the biographical articles, it is exceeded in length, but only slightly, by the entry for Hitler.” The Mufti is being used to perpetuate the anti-Palestinian mood.

As for the meeting itself, according to Dr. Basheer Nafi, senior research fellow at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, the Mufti was “neither a Nazi nor a fascist”, but after witnessing the British policy of repression against the Palestinians, he tried to obtain assurances from the Axis countries that they would respect the independence and territorial integrity of the Arab states. Among the countries visited were Italy and Germany. It was in this context, that the meetings – from which the assurances were not found – took place. Ironically, Dr. Nafi, citing Israeli historian Tom Segev, notes that Zionists at that time also sought to secure Nazi support against the British authorities in Palestine. The key concern for both parties was survival.

Rashad Ali and Pro-Israel Propaganda

The counter-extremism industry has seen the pro-Israel propaganda being dispersed through the likes of the neocon spin-doctor Rashad Ali. A co-founder of Quilliam Foundation, connected to the Zionist-hate funded Henry Jackson Society (HJS), and a key beneficiary of the Trojan Hoax plot of last year, Ali is currently a “senior researcher” at the Institute of Strategic Dialogue (ISD); a euphemistically named organisation which is shaping the (neocon/pro-Israel) narrative for the global counter-extremism industry. The Board of Trustees President of ISD is George Weidenfeld, a pro-Israeli who has co-signed a petition which states that, “Israeli land concessions, will never bring peace”, alongside neocon extremists like war-mongering Norman Podhoretz, Michael Ledeen, and the Zionist Nina Rosenwald, financier of the multimillion dollar Islam-hating industry. Weidenfeld, it should also be noted, was the “inspiration” for Michael Gove’s anti-Muslim neocon Bible Celsius 7/7.

Ali becomes the conduit for the Zionist narrative in a piece which prima facie looks positive, but in fact reveals a far more propagandised reality.  In calling for an “intellectual response” to challenge “extremist ideology”, he goes onto state,

“We must be able to show the historic connections between fascism and the founders of Islamist movements, such as praise for Nazi-loving Mufti Amin by the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

For a person calling for “intellectual responses” to “extremism” the above smacks of Netanyahu-style disinformation.  Typical of Ali and his pro-Israel, neoconservative counter-extremism ilk is the selective reading of ideology and history. The Muslim Brotherhood, known then as Egyptian Society of the Muslim Brothers, in its founding year, 1928, accepted a £500 donation from the British and French-owned Suaz Canal Company to finance the building of a new mosque.[2] The British also sought an alliance with the Brotherhood founder, Shaykh Hassan al-Banna, after his release from prison in October 1941 to defeat secular anti-imperialist nationalists and communists![3]  Will this “historic connection” be shown? Given this “connection”, can we now conclude the Brotherhood’s founders were influenced by Enlightenment liberalism coupled with the worst form of capitalism?  Will liberalism be held to account for its “extremism” by association with the “founder of the Muslim Brotherhood”?

The Ignored “Fascist Connection”

Whilst keen to hyper-ventilate over the “connection” between the Muslim Brotherhood and Nazi fascism, Ali overlooks neoconservatism’s own fascist roots courtesy of their Jewish founder Leo Strauss, and by extension the roots of his hate-filled neocon Zionist employers. Neoconservatism, which is leading on the ideological counter-extremism magniloquence, advocates the need for a “closed society” based upon fascist principles.

During the Nazi-era, Leo Strauss wrote a review of a paper authored by Carl Schmitt attacking liberalism and asserting the values which underpinned Nazism. Schmitt, it must be noted, joined the Nazi party in 1933. Strauss’ critique was not in defence of liberalism, but rather in support of Schmitt’s postulations, strengthening key arguments and reinforcing the need for a perpetual enemy for people to unite under a “closed” (authoritarian) – as opposed to “open” – society.[4] In a letter to his friend, Karl Löwith, Strauss wrote,

“the fact that the new right-wing Germany does not tolerate us [Jews] says nothing against the principles of the right. To the contrary: only from the principles of the right, that is from fascist, authoritarian and imperial principles, is it possible with seemliness, that is, without resort to the ludicrous and despicable appeal to the droits imprescriptibles de l’homme [inalienable rights of man] to protest against the shabby abomination [i.e. Nazism]… There is no reason to crawl to the cross, neither to the cross of liberalism…”

But what does Ali care for the “extremism” which pays for him to architect extremism to fit an extremist agenda?


References

[1] Similar statements are used by the US, anti-Muslim, far-right “counter-Jihad” movement. The UK-banned, terrorist-inspiring hate preacher Robert Spencer writes,

“…while Hitler may not have had a pope, he did have a mufti: Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, met with Hitler and made plans to work with the Germans to exterminate Jews in the Holy Land.” – Spencer R., A Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t, Regnery Publishing: Washington, 2007, p.125

[2] Mitchell R.P., The Society of the Muslim Brothers,  Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1969, p.9

[3] Ibid., p.28

[4] Leo Strauss: “the open society is morally inferior to the closed society”, quote from Strauss, L. Lecture on “German Nihilism”, delivered 26th February 1941, See copy here: http://www.dhspriory.org/kenny/PhilTexts/Strauss/GermanNihilism.pdf, See also Meier H, Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss: The Hidden Dialogue, Chicago University Press: Chicago, 1995, pp.110-120

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