CROSSPOST: Maz Saleem investigates the recent Islamophobic attack on a pregnant Muslim woman in Milton Keynes and raises questions over the actions of Thames Valley Police, South Central Ambulance Service, Milton Keynes Hospital and the Co-op supermarket.
A pregnant 34 year old Muslim woman and her husband were brutally attacked in the Co-op supermarket car park in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, seven weeks ago. Following the attack she lost her unborn child.
Yet the police only released the information on this horrific Islamophobic attack around 10 days ago. The woman from Somalia was wearing the hijab when the attack occurred.
The information that has come to light after my own investigation into this Islamophobic hate crime poses many questions about the actions of Thames Valley Police, Milton Keynes Hospital, South Central Ambulance Service and the Co-op.
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.
Crosspost: CJ Werleman
Those who naively and optimistically believe the “enlightened” West is incapable of repeating the genocidal horrors of the 20th century are those most susceptible to mankind’s destructive impulse.
In American society, there’s an unconscious faith in the nation state, technology, modernity and science that assures Americans that the horrors of a fascistic state could never happen here. But to believe this one must forget, as Karen Armstrong, a prodigious religious historian reminds us, that the most advanced educational institutions in the Western world were located directly next door to the gas chambers.
Notwithstanding the fact it was not that long ago hundreds of thousands Japanese American civilians were harassed, removed from their homes, and placed into military internment camps. Decades later those of Russian heritage were treated to similar discrimination.
Andrew Gilligan has attained notoriety for his focussed attack on Muslims and Islam through the prodigious use of spin, deception and lies. Over a decade ago he seemingly did the same, this time punching upwards and exposing the infamous Iraq dossier as being “sexed-up” by Alastair Campbell. In all honesty, I feel he became the victim of an establishment witch-hunt, in similar vein to the treatment of the American awarding-winning journalist Garry Webb, and more recently, the government’s thorn, the accountability-seeking CAGE.
However, over the years Gilligan, it seems, realised that if you punch down attacking a single minority, internalising the Hutton inquiry’s critique (making “unfounded” claims) in a warped case of self-fulfilling prophesy, job prospects are not only secured but improve. Serving the state as opposed to holding it to account as per the function of journalism is certainly more lucrative.
Anti-Muslim Backlash has Begun
As the world now knows, three masked men stormed Charlie Lebdo offices killing 12 employees including four cartoon artists a few days ago. As I write this, they are still at large leaving a trail of damage.
As is the norm now, Muslim organisations have come out condemning the action. Nevertheless the discourse rapidly focussed on two key areas, which are typically only discussed in the Muslim context.
Free Speech and Propaganda
Reading statements from politicians and emotionally-charged papers defending “free speech”, the fact that free speech is not absolute, is continually ignored. The right to life is an absolute non-derogable right. Thus balancing the two rights in the human rights discourse would mean giving way to one when the two are in jeopardy. This is not something new. Balancing competing rights happens every day in the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights. Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights restrictions may be imposed on freedom of expression “for the respect of the reputations and rights of others”, and protection of national security, public order, health and morals.
Crosspost: By Seumas Milnes
It takes some mastery of spin to turn the litany of intelligence failures over last year’s butchery of the off-duty soldier Lee Rigby into a campaign against Facebook. But that’s exactly how David Cameron’s government and a pliant media have disposed of the report by Westminster’s committee of intelligence trusties.
You might have expected Whitehall’s security machine to be in the frame for its spectacular incompetence in spying on the two killers: from filling out surveillance applications wrongly and losing one suspect’s house number, to closing down the surveillance of another – just as the pair were preparing the Woolwich attack.
Centre stage might have been the admission that British intelligence could have been “complicit” in Michael Adebolajo’s torture in Kenya, and tried to cover that up. There is evidence that MI5’s attempts to recruit the Muslim convert on his return to Britain played a part in triggering the killing – though the trusties thought better than to inquire too closely into the matter.