This third and final part directly continues from the Part II:
Deforming Faith and History to Serve a Neocon Agenda Part I: Rashad Ali
Deforming Faith and History to Serve a Neocon Agenda Part II: Sara Khan
Also operating within the well-oil neocon counter-extremism machine is the Quilliam Foundation, which brings us to Adam Deen’s rather expected (see here also) announcement of joining the cold war-era style state-validator organisation. In his blog piece announcing the squandering of his faith, Deen convolutedly explains why he wants to fight “extremism” but fails to convincingly explain why he would join an organisation born in the lap of another extremism – neoconservatism – which continues to legitimise neoconservative policies.
This equivocation-ridden nucleus in his piece indicates to the pseudo-intellectualism which comes head way in the second paragraph. Deen is, like Sara Khan, a fan of the deconstructionist, Khaled Abou El Fadl. The fanboyism, though, is taken to a new level. He writes,
“It may not be coincidence that al-Hakim al-Jishumiyya al-Bayhaqi (a Hanafi Mu’tazili jurist from the 12th century) in his book ‘Satan’s Epistle’ asks: “if Satan were given the chance to speak on the Day of Judgment, whom would he pay tribute to?” Al Bayhaqi concludes that Satan would end up praising and thanking every Muslim who adapted ideas that attributed to God things that were irrational, unjust or hideous.”
This is lifted from Abou El Fadl’s The Search for Beauty in Islam: A Conference of Books almost verbatim:
Source: Twitter, @CityNews
Whilst the impassioned feelings after the attacks in Paris against civilian targets are one of sadness followed by rage, it would be safe to say that for the Muslim minorities in the West, the overall reaction is one of shock followed by continued anxiety.
This anxiety has varying sources and manifests itself in different ways. From Muslims feeling compelled to apologise for crimes they neither condone or have any part in, to being publically compelled to condemn such attacks. The anxiety is exasperated when Muslims witness the hypocrisy in such calls and take a principled stand in order to avoid political exploitation. Muslims are witnesses to similar atrocities against people of other faiths, geography and race, yet privileged elite in Parliament are not seen to issue a condemnation against such regular terrorism – as a matter of principle, why should public and vocal condemnation be forcibly extracted on certain violence as the state eye is rendered blind when the violence is born from Western policy? I am yet to see mass condemnatory statements for Palestinian babies being burned to death by Jewish settler terrorism, or Palestinian civilians shot to death “intentionally and unlawfully” by IDF terrorists (who also happen to run over two year old toddlers), from the Cameron government or the various state-authorised counter extremism organisations for that matter. And indeed, I do not see the Jewish community being asked to condemn or apologise. This suggests such calls are ideologically and politically driven rather than rooted in humanity. Only white/Westernised power-structures are worthy of solidarity.
The piece continues from the first part:
Deforming Faith and History to Serve a Neocon Agenda Part I: Rashad Ali
Whilst Ali is known amongst Islamic scholarly circles for twisting texts and now history to suit the views his paymasters demand of him, there are other characters who are willing accomplices in this project.
Sara Khan seems to have been on a bit of a mission to shake off the negativity surrounding her involvement as a human rights-touting feminist who confusingly promotes the human rights-violating PREVENT Strategy through the incredibly feminist “weaponisation” of Muslim women. The Guardian’s Alex Preston penned a piece late last month looking at Khan and her work. Of pertinence is the exploitation, like her human rights and feminism discourse, of Islam.
Ignoring the fact that Islam guides on all facets of life, Khan homes in on the “fascination” of “Muslim clerics and preachers” with women’s clothing. For her, removing the veil “was about removing the authority of religious clerics”. Of course, with statements like that, considering that the Prophet of Islam was a man who designated the status of the Ulama as “heirs of the Prophets”, she might as well absolve herself of the authority Allah, and His Messenger, peace be upon him.
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 Sardar, Ed Husain, Taj 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.
Crosspost: Abdullah Andalusi
I noticed that the proudly Secular Liberal Maajid Nawaz, who describes himself as ‘a reforming liberal’ [sic] who founded the ironically titled Secular-Liberal campaign group, ‘Quilliam Foundation’ has recently taken umbrage at an event that is due to happen on 13th November 2015 called ‘Quiz a Muslim’, because it has on the panel Muslim speakers Maajid presumably doesn’t approve of (i.e. Muslims who are not Secular Liberals like himself). He described the panel as ‘all-male Islamist Rogues’.
Maajid’s argument on this, is that all the panellists (of which I am one) are ‘Caliphate-advocating Islamists’. His argument is ‘they believe in every core principle ISIS believes in, and they reject ISIS merely because they made their move for a Caliphate ‘too soon & too fast’.
As usual, Maajid not only uses strawman arguments, but also absurdly fallacious ones. Muslims already know this, so the rest of this article is mostly intended for non-Muslims who may not be so clear about Islamic teachings, and may not be able to detect Maajid’s misrepresentations (although Muslims may benefit from the arguments too).
Over the last year and half, I have explicated in detail the views and propensities propagated by neoconservatism and its proponents (see here, here, this series, this series, here, here, and here). What has happened in the US and what has been articulated by the neoconservative thinkers has been keenly followed and articulated through narratives here in the UK. From the blueprints of the policies we are experiencing today, such as Michael Gove’s Celsius 7/7 and Douglas Murray’s Neoconservatism: Why We Need it, to the actual laws and policies which have been instituted, neoconservatism is pulsating through the underlying philosophy and assumptions which are shaping the policies affecting every person in Britain, and sadly, in the Middle East.
Neoconservatives believe that a society faced by an impending threat is the ideal society because it allows for a people to willingly hand over rights, become collectivist in their dispositions, and sets the scene for the emergence of a new “governing philosophy”. This is shaped by fascist principles and a neo-Platonic view which designates the majority of the people as “vulgar masses”, whom are required to be subjected to (philosophically Machiavellian) social engineering and a set of fixed principles which do not bind the “guiding elite”. This elite “guide” the masses, and this “guidance” is often coerced through lies and deception in the name of ideas they seldom believe in (such as liberalism, human rights, and democratic principles). Neocons and their intellectual influences know best, in other words, whilst the masses are simply incapable of comprehending the true decisions which are being made for them.
Crosspost: Jahangir Mohammed
In July of this year the Government’s Prevent policy became a legal duty upon most public authorities. It means that most sections of the public sector are required to identify and deal with “extremism”, something which remains loosely defined. Although the policies theoretically apply to all forms of extremism, in reality the greatest impact is being felt by Britain’s Muslim community. The duty means that schools, colleges, universities, health providers, local councils, youth and social workers, prison service and others have a duty to look at any Muslims who use their services, or work for them, for “signs” of “radicalisation”.
Thousands of workers up and down the country have received a few hours training on Islam and spotting signs of radicalisation. Armed with this new “expertise”, they are applying it to the Muslim community. The result is increasing evidence that Muslims are being identified as potential “extremists” for expressing everyday religious, political ideas, and beliefs and values.