“Indeed they are plotting a plot” ~ Al-Qur’an, (86:15)
As wrapping papers begin their recycling process, hospitals and “booze busses” struggle to cope with alcohol-related emergencies costing the taxpayer millions, and Britain enters into 2016 officially a Christian country, we take stock of this year’s key events. 2015 was a year in which neoconservatism strongly manifested, threatening Britain with a dagger of totalitarianism covered by the cloak of “freedom” and “democracy”. As such, the review will be structured from the perspective of neoconservatism.
Neoconservatism utilises pretexts, propaganda and political demagoguery to manufacture an enemy necessary to promote war abroad. War, neocons believe, is the antidote to liberalism and helps foster the ideal society: a “closed society”, founded upon “fascist” and “imperial” principles, where a small ruling elite exercise their love of “statecraft”. Neoconservatives have penetrated key governmental positions, with Peter Oborne alluding to the neocon conversion of David Cameron.
With this very brief summary of neoconservativism and its aims, let’s chart through key events which strategically benefitted neocons.
Rather boringly continuing the theme which was set with the onset of the War on Terror, the triangular apparatus of influence – the press, politicians and think-tanks – have ensured that ideology remains the focus of both a cause of war and draconian policies and legislations here in Britain. Large scale political violence, it should be noted, benefits neoconservative strategy in that it allows them to perpetuate their policies off the back of them, due to the rational complacency triggered by the emotive atmosphere. 9/11, for neocons, was certainly no exception as they almost revelled in the opportunities it opened up for them.
The Charlie Hebdo attacks in France brought into existence greater security measures in France despite the fact that security services failed in exercising existing powers. Noted at that time was the hypocrisy of neocons here in Britain has they sought to spin the entire event into a culturalist battle of ideas. Muslims had to respect British values else becoming extremists, but Charlie Hebdo was engaged in free speech and free speech, selectively, must to be defended like an absolute.
Further dehumanisation continued as the Muslim minority was uniquely required to condemn the attacks, a point further accentuated as no human rights defences were passionately argued, and no demands of apology and disassociation were made of the right-wing/white/atheist communities with the Chapel Hill and Charleston terrorist attacks. Neither were these terrorist attacks even called terrorist attacks in the white power structure-maintaining mainstream media.
With the triple attacks in Tunisia and shootings in Paris, ISIS and ideology was the face and reason to war (and with the fundamental motivating factor in radicalisation being ignored) rationality was defenestrated, and neocons were able to get what they had been pining for a long time.
In conjunction with the pretexts was the steady stream of dehumanisation and demonisation of the Muslim minority, thoroughly relying on fear as the opiate for the masses. The “enemy”, linked to ISIS through the catch-all “Islamist extremist” designation, was the default neocon patsy: the Muslim minority.
The Triangle of Influence in demonising Muslim minority
The media played its role to perfection. From the weak and meek largely uncritical lefty papers inebriated in liberal privilege, to the blatant neocon outlets of the Murdoch variety, the press was utilised to its optimum in positing Islam and Muslims as the hated, derided enemy.
CAGE back in February exemplified this to perfection. We had the smear operation of the Daily Mail in full force as the Muslim advocacy group CAGE brought to light the role of Mi5 in the radicalisation of Mohammed Emwazi. The laughable lies perpetuated by the Daily Mail over and over again, were repeated by David Cameron, and even members of the Home Affairs Select Committee looking into radicalisation. Most of the press jumped aboard the smear train ignoring uncomfortable questions which sought to hold seemingly unchecked power to account.
Among the steady stream of latent anti-Muslim bigotry from the Daily Mail, we have had the Murdoch press also vying for the mantle of being the spiritual successor to Joseph Goebbels and Nazi-era papers like Der Strumer. The Times falsely informed the people that the “Koran encourages rape”, the Sun claimed on its front page that one in five Muslim sympathise with “jihadis”, and more recently, the Times heavily spun opposition to PREVENT as Muslims being “silent on terror”, giving succour to the “Muslim Trojan Horse” far-right narrative. And speaking of Trojan Horses, last month I also exposed how the BBC targeted the Muslim minority during the 2014 Trojan Hoax affair to garner more anti-Muslim stories. The Beeb also consistently gave unchallenging platforms to neocon think-tanks and their ventriloquized Muslims whom are instrumental in pushing the far-right narrative.
The state and its various apparatus, which are required to protect minorities from such targeted, discriminatory stereotyping, actively perpetuated colonialist tactics and inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Ofsted has been continuing its anti-Islam and Muslim crusade.
Theresa May in the most blatant examples of raw discrimination announced that Shari’ah arbitrations would be investigated claiming knowledge of “problems”, whilst assurances were given to the Jewish community that the Beth Din were “safe”.
David Cameron, not to be outdone, painted certain mainstream Islamic beliefs and practices as “Islamic extremism”, and posited those who shared this “worldview” as “quietly condoning” terrorism. A month later, outlining his plans for an Orwellian Stasi-esque state, Cameron went onto connect Islam to extremism, and extremism to terrorism, whilst saving British Muslim girls from “cultural practices that can run directly counter” liberal values, and ignoring Orthodox Jewish, Sikh and Hindu girls. He also placed on policy the positing of “reforming and moderate voices” as the face of Islam. Three months later, Cameron again focussed on Islam as a threat, exclusively attacking madrassas as “incubators” of “extremism”, ignoring yeshivas and Sunday schools.
Think Tanks and Cameronian Muslims
The neoconservative “think-tank” Henry Jackson Society has been thoroughly exposed this year for its dubious connections to the pro-Israeli, anti-Muslim hate-promoting industry, and the far-right; the disgusting views of its associate director Douglas Murray; for suppressing dissent of PREVENT as “Islamist extremist”, and more disturbingly given the above, for operating as a Trojan Horse influence on Government in matters majorly impacting the Muslim minority in the context of homeland (and international) security. The influence is such that earlier this year I exposed it for being the source of a press release by Number 10 targeting prominent Muslim activists and organisations. Despite this, neocon William Shawcross’ Charity Commission has yet to launch an inquiry into the charitable status of HJS, thoroughly demonstrating his lack of impartiality.
Zombi-like think-tanks and their employees often in cahoots with the media played a financially lucrative and critical role in granting “expert” credence to neoconservative bigotry. In the beginning of the year we witnessed John Ware’s documentary on “extremism” featuring the full neocon-apologist cast including Sara Khan, Manwar Ali, and then Quilliamite-in-the-making Adam deen, all regurgitating the PREVENT agenda almost verbatim. At that time I raised the connection between Sara Khan, a PREVENT-pusher, and her sister Sabin Khan who worked in the Home Office’s propaganda unit, RICU, exposing the possibility that the documentary was merely a government project to architect a false consensus on an academically rejected PREVENT Strategy.
The government-approved ImamsOnline project found wind this year thanks to the antics of ISIS, thrusting traditional scholars amidst known deformists of the neocon/Zionist shaped counter-extremism industry. The remodelled sectarian Shaykh Tahirul Qadri joined the counter-extremism cacophony and agreed with Cameron that “some Muslim communities were silently condoning terrorism” and strongly endorsed the defunct conveyor-belt theory of radicalisation. He also discriminatorily called for compulsory deradicalisation studies for Muslims children in schools. His wayward theories were endorsed by Quilliam.
Whilst traditional Islam was being used and abused through ImamsOnline and their ilk to realise counter-extremism objectives, arch deformist of Islam, Maajid Nawaz, continued his pseudo-intellectual, “post-Islamist” attacks on Islam, often sharing “solidarity” with outright bigoted haters and shysters including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Tarek Fatah.
Then we had various PR spin being applied to the rapidly discredited group of Cameronian Muslims. This included a pitiful defence of Sara Khan and Adam Deen by the decrepit thesis-driven journalist John Ware. Khan had her moment in a long read for the Guardian and Adam Deen later sought to explain his new company (Quilliam) through obfuscation and plagiarism. Rashad Ali tried to demonstrate his “liberal balance” by ostensibly opposing the proposed Counter-Extremism Bill whilst pedalling dubious Zionist propaganda. Neocon-sympathetic Nick Cohen penned a passionate defence of the Quilliam-connected deformist Fiyaz Mughal. Most if not all of the abovementioned names and organisations (not forgetting British Muslim Youth) can trace their counter-extremism efforts/ideological opposition to the Islamic orthodoxy to the neoconservative/pro-Israeli shaped global counter-extremism industry. Many of the above too, inveigled their way into the corridors of power and formed Cameron’s charade that is the Community Engagement Forum.
Through these various cogs and clowns of the counter-extremism industry, and the steady dehumanisation of the Muslim minority, Muslim profiling went mainstream.
The Realisation of the Closed Society
Utilising the architected enemy, neocons focus on ensuring they exercise statecraft to begin shaping society towards the ideal, fascist state. Understanding this, the threat of an exaggerated enemy this year has seen,
- the realisation of the snoopers charter, where police and surveillance agencies will be able to access the “who, what, when, and where of communications” of websites suspected criminals have visited, without a warrant. UN special rapporteur on privacy, who has previously likened UK digital surveillance to Orwell’s 1984, recently stated, that the legislation is “worse than scary”
- proposed “reform” of the Freedom of Information legislation increasing the opacity of the state
- judicial review and thus holding public bodies to account, more difficult
- a change in ministerial code removing the explicit requirement to ensure compliance of ministerial duties with international law and treaty obligations
- the assault on the Human Rights Act, replacing it with legislation which makes exercising rights more difficult
- and the jewel in the neocon crown, the counter-extremism strategy: PREVENT.
PREVENT, which has its formative years mixed with GCHQ and military defence intelligence, and is currently based upon a secretive theory known as ERG-22, outlines that there ought to be “no ungoverned spaces”. This year it became enshrined into law through the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015. With public bodies now having a duty to prevent “vulnerable individuals” from being drawn into terrorism, and the enemy that is Islam and Muslims firmly set in context, the thought-policing public surveillance state has far out-stripped the spy-to-citizen ratio of East Germany’s Stasi state. As I noted in one of my earliest and detailed pieces this year, “British values” are now being used to enforce the creation of form of radical nationalism which legally coerces compliance, belief and promotion of the civic religion of aggressive secular liberalism.
PREVENT has proven to be the preeminent tool for discrimination. Orthodox Jewish practices and actions contravening British values have yet to be designated “extremist” by officials. This year, police have used Islamic beliefs and political dissent as indicators of extremism, children have been subjected to PREVENT-based child abuse for practising their faith or airing pro-Palestinian views, and local Councils have resorted to lying in order to cover their discriminatory, Muslim-profiling activities.
Back in September, in a spectacular display of authoritarianism, Number 10, through the modern day rendering of the “Ministry of Truth” – the Extremism Analysis Unit – and the PREVENT definition of extremism, designated Muslims as “extremist” based on plagiarism rather than due process.
Similarly, in the aftermath of the “British values” pretext that was the Trojan Hoax plot, and despite the Education Select Committee disproving the “Trojan Horse” allegations, Muslim teachers have been banned by the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan on spurious grounds, and their cases have been heard by National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), unprecedentedly circumventing the school’s internal disciplinary process.
PREVENT is now being pushing to regulate those (private) areas normally considered outside the remit of the state. Looming in the background also is the Counter Extremism Bill, which will use “extremism” to close down mosques and ban speakers. It is for this reason that it is imperative to understand that the counter-extremism measures are intrinsically linked to the call for scrapping the Human Rights Act – the Bill, as with other closed society measures, will almost invariably conflict with the Act.
As I stated near the start, war is a fundamental aim of neocons as it helps foster the creation of a closed society and “attain national goals”. In July, it was revealed that Cameron, who has been guided by Tony Blair, had already authorised British fighter pilots “embedded” in coalition forces to conduct airstrikes in Syria despite Parliament voting against military action in Syria in 2013. No significant concern was shown by the public as the “will of the people” was thoroughly undermined by neocons. The neocon predilection to operate without principles manifested again when British citizens in Syria were extra-judicially assassinated on questionable legal basis. When the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn is designated a national security threat by Cameron, the possibilities such dangerous precedents create include frighteningly fatal ones.
But then we are a people who have acceded to war in Syria based on emotions, and without much of a strategy, nor any considerable consternation over the still-unpublished Chilcot Inquiry for that matter.
The intent of the above elucidation of the grand neoconservative orchestration is not to create a bleak picture; rather it is to demonstrate the threat neoconservatism is posing to the socio-political landscape of Britain. This is not only about Muslims, but the broader society. Muslims – the “other” – are merely the instruments of diversion, the scapegoat, the battering ram for achieving the aims of a small elite.
As we walk into 2016, we must ensure that resistance must not stop at PREVENT, but rather, it continues beyond this totalitarian Stasi policy to its roots, directed against the architects of the perpetual War on Terror who are now terraforming Britain into a hidden, Straussian-fascist state.
“But I am Planning a Plan” (Al-Qur’an, 86:16)