2016 Reflections: Deformation of Islam and the Neoconservative Threat to Society

reflectiontree

It is that time of the year: a hectic month as the British people recover from their frenzied Christmas shopping, briefly punctuated with the peace of the annual family get together, only to be followed by scrambling over various items thanks to the hype produced by corporations eager to increase the debt through boxing day “sales”. As the recovery from these activities begins and the damage to the bank accounts dawn, we take advantage of this lull for some customary reflection.

This year has been a particularly unsettling one; the sordidly racist campaign which ultimately culminated in Brexit; the far-right terrorist attack claiming the life of Jo Cox – the first killing of an MP in 26 years; the B-movie being played in the US starring Donald Trump, the West-wide rise of the far-right and unleashing of political and social xenophobia, security globalisation via totalitarian measures like the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) agenda; Britain passing one of the world’s widest and intrusive surveillance laws; the list goes on.  Sadly, it is the Muslim minority, either through scapegoating or being subjected to the fruits of this dangerous concoction of nationalism, disenfranchisement through the global neoliberal order, and neoconservative domestic and foreign policies, which has by and large, bore the brunt.

Continue reading

A Review of the Casey Review (6) – PREVENT and the Blueprint for a Neocon Closed Society

 

caseyreviewtitle_closedsociety

Part 1 (Introduction): A Review of the Casey review (1)

Part 2: A Review of the Louise Casey Review (2) – A Paper Influenced by the Transatlantic Neocon Hate-network

Part 3: A Supremacist Far-Right, Neoconservative Screed of Double Standards and Muslim Minority Stigmatisation

Part 4: The Deformation of Islam and Muslim Minority Rights

Part 5: The Conveyor-Belt Theory, PREVENT and Project Spin


In this final piece in the series reviewing the Casey Review, the elements of PREVENT, thought assimilation and nationalism will be brought together and the totalitarian implications of Casey’s statements and comments determined.

Reconstituting “Integration”

Whilst noting the variations on the definition of integration such as sharing common values, respect and allowing diverse people to attach to Britain in their own way, Casey homes in on a reconstituted, highly ideological, and profoundly neoconservative understanding of integration “based on the benefits that the United Kingdom has to offer”, echoing neocon David Goodhart’s “mental integration”.  These include:[1]

“our values of democracy, fairness, the rule of law, freedom of speech, inclusiveness, tolerance and equality between citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or sexuality.

Continue reading

A Review of the Louise Casey Review (3) – A Supremacist Far-Right, Neoconservative Screed of Double Standards and Muslim Minority Stigmatisation

caseyreviewtitledmurrayrspencergwildersabreivik

Part 1 (Introduction): A Review of the Casey review (1)

Part 2: A Review of the Louise Casey Review (2) – A Paper Influenced by the Transatlantic Neocon Hate-network

Having established the influence of the transatlantic neocon hate network in the Casey Review, and in order to better appreciate the content of the report, it is worth better understanding the neoconservative narrative which underpins the Casey Review.

The Far-Right/Neocon Eurabia Conspiracy Theory

The reduction of the “white population”, Muslim population growth, and Muslims living together in areas, are sinisterised constituents of a particular narrative which states there is an existential Muslim “takeover” threat to Europe aided by a secretive deal between Arabs and Europeans. This narrative was first promulgated by conspiracy theorist Gisèle Littman, better known by her pen-name Bat Ye’or.  The myth has been heavily criticised as a conspiracy theory and debunked by prominent scholars including Professor Arun Kundnani, who has likened its evidentiary credentials to the Protocols of Elders of Zion.

The conspiracy theory, however, has been adopted by neoconservatives and the far-right, including prominent actors of the Islamophobia industry Robert Spencer, Daniel Pipes and Pamela Geller.  It has been advocated by supremacist neoconservatives, fanned by the far-right “counter-jihad” movement, and adopted by paranoid, mass-murdering neo-Nazi terrorists. For full details of this myth and its promoters see here.

Continue reading

A Review of the Louise Casey Review (2): A Paper Influenced by the Transatlantic Neocon Hate-Network

caseyreviewtitleneocons

Part 1: A Review of the Casey review (1)


As the introductory part of this series showed, a timeline of events and the PM’s proclamations had pretty much predetermined the outcomes of the Casey Review. The government now needed a person who could see this agenda through to its toxically racist end. Casey, based on her history, was the right person to get this done.

Louise Casey – Violently Averse to Evidence-Based Policy

Casey is referred to as a “Tsar”. A 2009 Commons Select Committee noted that a “Tsar” differs from a civil servant in two respects; “first the direct appointment by the minister or Prime Minister and second a degree of public personal identification with a particular policy or piece of work which would not normally be expected from a civil servant or special adviser.” In effect, the process shuns Parliamentary parties, and therefore potential opposition in the formulation of a policy in favour of individuals that operate as cronies.  In written evidence submitted to the Committee, Professor Martin Smith of Sheffield University highlighted that Tzars like Casey “are not morally neutral; they have an explicit function to achieve particular government objectives”.

Continue reading

Deconstructing the “PREVENT is Safeguarding” Spin

preventdutysafeguardingneocons

Last year, the hate-financed Henry Jackson Society published a report on how to spin away criticism of PREVENT. One of its suggestions was to recast the public surveillance programme as “safeguarding”.  There has been an amplification of this spin by most government-paid PREVENT practitioners, promoters and careerists since then.  This claim both from a historic and conceptual point of view, is woefully inaccurate and a continued demonstration of how the PREVENT industry is deceptively manipulating narratives.

Ignoring History? PREVENT’s Discriminatory “Influence Campaign

As I have explicated in some detail, the counter-productive pre-crime approach to countering terrorism was not based on empirical evidence but the paradigmatically neoconservative military doctrine of pre-emption.  McCulloch and Wilson (2015), in their book exploring “pre-crime” intervention state,

“The declaration of the “war on terror” was the catalyst for a more pre-emptive approach to threats.

With the War on Terror aimed at Muslim countries, PREVENT’s focus from its very inception has been to control Islam and Muslims through what Ruth Kelly once called the “winning of hearts and minds” – a punch line which inherently denoted propaganda warfare and which usually accompanies hot war.  The fundamental difference to normal propaganda warfare during military campaigns and the PREVENT Strategy is that PREVENT is being waged against Britain’s own Muslim citizens.  In 2007, PREVENT funds were directed to those local authorities in England with 5 per cent or more of their population identifying as Muslim. In other words, funding was allocated based on the number of Muslims as opposed to risk.[1] This discriminatory focus on Muslims has continued through the years, with the Guardian last year reporting that PREVENT was being prioritised to target mainly Muslim areas.

Continue reading

A Case of Intra-PREVENT Discrimination by an Anti-Muslim Sun Journalist

TheSunBenLazarus.png

The Sun is not exactly a paper reputed for its unbiased reporting.  Rather, it has been a vehicle for the propagation of neocon policy.  Take, for instance, the odd counter-extremism campaigns by Sara Khan and Inspire, that did more to damage the credibility of the counter-extremism industry given the paper’s stature as the bastion of anti-Muslim hate and hyperbole.

A recent report, however, evidenced some peculiar PREVENT politics.

Continue reading

Justin Welby’s Neocon Proclamations and the Civilizational Clash with Islam

JustinWelby.png

The former oil executive and Etonian Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, recently stated that there was a need to move away from the notion that ISIS has “nothing to with Islam”:

“If we treat religiously-motivated violence solely as a security issue, or a political issue, then it will be incredibly difficult – probably impossible – to overcome it… A theological voice needs to be part of the response, and we should not be bashful in offering that… This requires a move away from the argument that has become increasingly popular, which is to say that Isis is ‘nothing to do with Islam’, or that Christian militia in the Central African Republic are nothing to do with Christianity, or Hindu nationalist persecution of Christians in South India is nothing to do with Hinduism.. Until religious leaders stand up and take responsibility for the actions of those who do things in the name of their religion, we will see no resolution.

The argument seems ostensibly balanced. After all, the theological element is mentioned as a factor (albeit a defining one) and Welby highlights the Christian militia in CAR, as well as the Hindu nationalist persecution, though, limiting it to Christian persecution whilst ignoring the rape and killing of Kashmiri Muslims by an army overseen by the fascist PM of India, Narendra Modi. However, the reporting, language and timing of his statements, upon closer inspection, reveal a smokescreen for a continued agenda to target Islam.

Continue reading