I am currently preparing an article analysing a neocon’s hate against Islam spun as security concerns off the back of the Westminster attacks. That will be out soon, however, I thought I’d share an interesting comment in an article I came across during my research.
Much commentary from the Muslim perspective has been written concerning the condition Muslims are in. The hasty condemnations and apologetic attitude surprised Muslims and even non-Muslims (though it seems some of these vigils by the Ahmadiyya whose leadership has been pivotal in pursuing the neocons agenda). This situation has been further rendered ridiculous by the fact that each new report about the attacker marks another step away from the idea that it anything to do “Islamist extremism”.
Like the plethora of articles and media appearances by neocon zealots soon after the Westminster attack, this particular article I came across is an example of the “neocon moment” – i.e. the exploitation of emotions to push a closed society agenda off the back of an enemy. The neocon Anglican Reverend Patrick Sookhdeo authored an article in 2005 for the Spectator against the backdrop of the 7/7 bombings. His unoriginal proclamation is similar to the views of the lunatic white supremacist fringe currently in power over in the US, that there is no “moderate Islam”. Islam was, according to Sookhdeo, intrinsically aggressive and violent and the only solution is to deform the faith of over a billion Muslims. Ten years later the claims of aggression were rendered hypocritical; Reverend Sookhdeo was found guilty of groping his female employee and intimidating witnesses.
Returning to my point, his proposals were startling similar to what PREVENT looks like today and what Louise Casey and her shadowy team proposed in the Casey Review.
Of pertinence, however, is what Sookhdeo wrote in the context of condemnations. He wrote,
The US-based Free Muslims Coalition, which was set up after 9/11 to promote a modern and secular version of Islam, has proposed the following:
- A re-interpretation of Islam for the 21st century, where terrorism is not justified under any circumstances.
- Separation of religion and state.
- Democracy as the best form of government.
- Secularism in all forms of political activity.
- Equality for women.
- Religion to be a personal relationship between the individual and his or her God, not to be forced on anyone.
This tempting vision of an Islam reformed along such lines is unlikely to be achieved except by a long and painful process of small steps. What might these be and how can we make a start? One step would be, as urged by the Prince of Wales, that every Muslim should ‘condemn these atrocities [the London bombings] and root out those among them who preach and practise such hatred and bitterness’.
Step one in the long-term neocon deformation project is to get Muslims to condemn terrorist atrocities. Indeed, for Sookhdeo and his neocon/pro-Israeli circle of friends, this condemnation is a subtle way of affirming that there is a problem with Islam. And once this is tacitly acknowledged, the deformation agenda becomes feasible.