CAGE has published the PREVENT training DVD for public consumption, thus ensuring government transparency and therefore accountability. The dismal “training” video will turn teachers, for instance, into surveillance specialists fit to discern the “signs of radicalisation” “vulnerable individuals. Note that PREVENT has been heavily influenced and penetrated by GCHQ, which has encouraged “intelligence analysis” as part of the Strategy. Muslims have been discriminatorily bearing the brunt of this policy for many years.
Decades from now, when books are written about Britain’s, dark Stasi-esque era, I envisage a chapter on PREVENT and the accompanying miscarriages of justice. Who knows, perhaps it will be called the “MayCarthy” era after Theresa May the extremist.
A point to note is that some in the DVD may not hold the same views, having being exposed to the PREVENT policy. Jahan Mahmood, for instance, who features in the DVD, has now become a noted critic of the policy and has frequently raised the issue of neocons in power, and their duplicitous policies, both foreign and domestic in public interviews.
(London, UK) A source has leaked crucial elements of the PREVENT training module WRAP to CAGE and now for the first time, and in the interest of greater public debate and scrutiny, CAGE is publishing the material.
The DVD clips can be downloaded from these links (here, here, here, here, here, here and here.)
The training DVD makes several simplistic assumptions that are empirically untested, ineffective and raises more questions than it seeks to answer. This may increase the likelihood that ‘extremism’ will be over-reported contributing to growing islamophobia.
The neocon government wants the Muslim to be resilient from “extremism”. Over the years, despite the Muslim apologia, pronouncements of condemnations, Stasi-esque policies, government associations with anti-Islam organisations, rampant anti-Muslim hatred from the media to the intellectually challenged supremacist thug on the street, and judicial rulings relegating Muslims to second-class citizenry, Muslims have certainly developed a resilience. A resilience to neoconservatives and their blustering anti-Muslim doublespeak and a firm resilience to the designs of neoconservative extremism.
The script for the neocons is like clockwork. Governmentally pressure Muslims throughout the year, consorting with the media to demonise Muslims treating them as suspect communities. Use arms of the state to effectuate this goal by using ambiguous words like “extremist” which are only ever to be applied to Muslims and not Christians and Jews. Feed the Eurabia myth pedalled by the far-right and neocons that Muslims are “taking over Europe”, with unfounded Trojan Hoax plots and (discriminatory) Shari’ah courts fear mongering (and let’s not forget the dreaded halal meat!). Announce draconian security measures which discriminatorily target and profile the Muslim minority. If these measures face opposition, then await an atrocity to heavily spin and exploit. Make announcements that the Muslim community needs to “do more” to tackle radicalisation, ignore belligerent foreign policy and police-state actions and push through more measures, all the while profiling Muslims and eroding civil liberties for all.
This cyclical minority battering is really getting old.
Crosspost: Seumas Milne
The anti-Muslim drumbeat has become deafening across the western world. As images of atrocities by the jihadi terror group Isis multiply online, and a steady trickle of young Europeans and North Americans head to Syria and Iraq to join them, Muslim communities are under siege. Last week David Cameron accused British Muslims of “quietly condoning” the ideology that drives Isis sectarian brutality, normalising hatred of “British values”, and blaming the authorities for the “radicalisation” of those who go to fight for it.
It was too much for Sayeeda Warsi, the former Conservative party chair, who condemned the prime minister’s “misguided emphasis” on “Muslim community complicity”. He risked “further alienating” the large majority of Muslims fighting the influence of such groups, she warned. Even Charles Farr, the hawkish counter-terrorism mandarin at the Home Office, balked. Perhaps fewer than 100 Britons were currently fighting with Isis, he said, and “we risk labelling Muslim communities as somehow intrinsically extremist”.
Click on image to enlarge
In an earlier piece on the impact of PREVENT and the implication of “terrorist toddlers”, I drew attention to the fascist neoconservative impulse permeating the policy and the pervasiveness of the securitisation of public services. Under PREVENT and the Channel deradicalisation programme, public service employees would spy on people for signs of radicalisation and refer them to a PREVENT officer, effectively creating a modern police-state primarily for Muslims.
I likened this to the authoritarian East Germany of the 80s and 90s which popularly became known as the Stasi state. I noted that there were multiple levels of surveillance: those who were “officially” employed and those who spied in an unofficial capacity. At that time I had focussed on the “unofficial” spies: those who were employees of schools, hospitals and most public services tasked to monitor ideological leanings of people.
There was more than a tinge of déjà vu with the Prime Minister’s speech in Slovakia. Cameron’s infamous Munich speech was notable in that, at a time when the EDL were spewing their alcohol-slurred and cognitively impaired hatred of all things Muslim in the city of Luton, Cameron spoke of “core British values”, and the threat of “Islamist extremism”. If anything, Cameron’s words were taken as credence by the EDL.
Cameron’s latest comments, which now swaps “Islamist” for “Islamic”, come against the backdrop of a terrorist attack committed against black Church-goers by a young white supremacist in the US who wanted to start a civil war. The timing of the two incidents could not have been more coincidental. I will refer back to this later on in my piece.
Over the past couple of weeks, a number of stories, each exceeding the other in the ridiculousness, have surfaced. Imagine the following scenario:
News reports hit media outlets that the government has drafted a policy which was primarily being implemented in the Jewish areas of Manchester and Stamford Hill. The policy threatens to close down Synagogues and ban Jewish speakers for promoting “extremism” – a term which is often conflated with religious conservatism and unpopular/dissenting political viewpoints. Primary school Jewish children are targeted and asked “radicalisation” questions such as, whether they believe their religion to be the correct one. Jewish children as young as eleven are subject to “external agencies” which “educate” about “extremism”, radicalisation and “terrorism”. The parents of four year-olds are invited by Primary schools to workshops on how to “detect” radicalisation. Jewish students who oppose the draconian policy are banned from their college for protesting a decision to cancel an event discussing the policy. Software companies capitalise on the insanity by selling software to schools which filtered for words like “goy”, “Shoa”, “Moshe Ya’alon”, “Benjamin Netanyahu”, “Operation Protective Edge”, and “IDF”. Tens of Jewish-only teachers have been purged from the education sphere. The government funds and utilises unrepresentative and widely rejected members from the community to assist in the attack on schools in Jewish areas and also trots them out to give credence to their policy.
What would the response be to the above? Would not comparisons be drawn to the Third Reich? Would not cries of anti-Semitism and calls for the government to be castigated made? Would we accept the destruction of democratic principles and hypocritical postulations of rule of law and “equal treatment”?
The release of a report which points to democracy being undermined by a society linked to a shadowy network of hate-financing, anti-Muslim, pro-Zionists should have at least twiddled the whiskers of some of the media. In fact, the symposium held at the University of Bath on Islamophobia should have made some headlines: this was perhaps the first time an academic and intellectual response to the dominant narratives surrounding the Muslim minority were collated and deployed on a single platform. The major media response? Nowt.