The Muslim Question (3): Trevor Phillips’ Propaganda for Neocon Policies and Normalisation of Muslim Minority Discrimination

TrevorPhillipsWhatBritishMuslimsReallyThink

A series of blogs analysing the recent Channel 4 documentary titled, “What British Muslims Really Think”

Part 1: An Orchestrated Attack on Islam

Part 2: Brief Profile of Trevor Phillips

We now turn our attention to the Channel 4 documentary.

There has been much discussion on the survey from the perspective of methodological issues, with some commentators even edging on the patronising as the insinuation is made that “conservative views” are the preserve of “deprived areas” that house “Pakistani or Bangladeshi” people.

More troubling criticisms relate to the loaded question fallacies inherent in the survey, the applicability of questions to the control group, and the subsequent spin which Trevor Phillips applies. These aspects will be will be touched upon through this piece.

Accompanying the neocon propaganda documentary was a piece authored by Trevor Phillips himself in the Daily Mail. Both were a master class in spin constituted of a number of red herrings.  These will be deconstructed to reveal a concerted effort to excommunicate the Muslim minority from society, rendering them the alien upon which neoconservative policies can be predicated.

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Boris Johnson and the Normalisation of Xenophobia

Xenophobia

Napoleon once said that there are only two factors which unite men: fear and self-interest

In an interview with the Standard and returning from his tour from Malaysia, Boris Johnson seemed to present a slightly moderate demeanour to the discourse on immigration. But as they say the devil is in the detail. Britain should have a welcoming policy towards working migrants he suggested, but it is part of human nature to be xenophobic and that those who were afraid of foreigners were “not bad people”.

Without getting into a debate as to whether xenophobia is intrinsically innate, it is well established that the usual motivators for xenophobia are among other things economic distress, increased nationalism and nativism, and of course pressures related to immigration. These are external factors, not innate ones,[1] incidentally which are in the control of the present government. Furthermore, xenophobia is a tendency which can be very easily triggered.

The attempt at normalising xenophobia (xenophobes are not “bad people”) glosses over the seriousness of the phenomenon itself. Xenophobia is “bad”. To understand the gravity of normalising xenophobia, one needs to grasp the potentially violent manifestation of it.

Xenophobia is a phenomenon which involves prejudicial treatment experienced by the “alien”.  It is an irrational fear in the context of people who are different in some way. In the present British context, the manifestation of this irrational fear towards the Muslim minority has become most acute. With reports of increased attacks on Muslims (in particular Muslim women), the discriminatory targeting through government officials and organs, coupled with research which highlights the Muslim minority as the most discriminated when it comes to job opportunities, it would be no exaggeration to say that xenophobia, epistemologically irrational and inherently, usefully deflective of “real issues” (corporate tax havens, government corruption/cover-ups, poverty), is most visible in the experiences of the Muslim minority of Britain.

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Tony Blair: The Neoconservative Threat to the World (3) – Declaring War on Islam

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This is the third piece in the series exploring the neocon “mode of thinking” based upon Tony Blair’s essay. The first piece can be accessed here. The second piece is available here.

“Spectrums”

What becomes evident is that, though other factors exist for violence, for Blair, they are trivial compared to the threat of Islamism. Be it extremism of other faiths now, or Christian barbarity of the past. “We are dealing with the present” we are told. And in the present, we have the Boko Haram and ISIS.

Blair writes that they are fanatic, and “thus it is hard to envisage compromise with such people. They have no reasonable demands upon which we can negotiate.” Therefore there is no alternative except to fight such people:

“At a certain point, once they know superior and determined force is being used against them, some of them at least may be prepared to change.”

In other words, take a leaf out of Israel’s book and bomb the people into compliance. Ironically, a month after Blair writing his neocon manual for World War III, ISIS have been negotiating with States and releasing prisoners whilst the Boko Haram have negotiated a truce.

The feed for these groups are the “spectrum”. And herein lies Blair’s blatant imperialistic design. “Islamism” he defines as a “politicisation of religion to an intense and all-encompassing degree”. It is an ideology and a theology derived from Salafist thinking, he claims. It isn’t. An analysis of contemporary Islamic political movements (most of which are reactions formed in the colonialist/Nation State paradigm) is beyond the scope of this piece however, suffice to say, an outright rejection of an Islamic political and military ascendancy denies 1300 years of Islamic history in which Islam ruled through the Caliphate. The existence and the preference for a khilafa within the Islamic paradigm is a position adopted by all four mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence.

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Deceitful Andrew Gilligan’s Attack on Islam

Andrew GilliganLiar

Gilligan has been exposed here (and here) to be one deceitful writer.  His neocon motivations have led him to lie, deceive and distort, all with an aim to depict Muslims as sinister as possible and fulfil the neocon agenda.

In his latest piece, carrying an undertone of racism, he subtely maintains the “Muslim takeover” gist by starting out with the aspects which have been removed (Victorian buildings) and the group of people who haven’t: Muslims.  His article provide cherry-pickings of his deceit, peppered with what seems like a sales-pitch for PREVENT and the Channel programme – he sets out the entire article with the typical, colonialist, “moderate” and “radical” or “extremist” dichotomy. We all know where we have heard this language before.

Gilligan wants to somehow show that “extremist” preachers at Al-Manar masjid are exerting an influence on youth there. In doing so he highlights the Muthana brothers who are now purportedly fighting with ISIS.  The irony is he admits the link between the two aspects, (the masjid and the “radicalisation” of the brothers), is tenuous at best, stating:

“That’s not to say, of course, that they were necessarily radicalised at the mosque. But if you look at the kind of people who’ve been preaching there, it doesn’t seem impossible.”

He then proceeds to base most of his diatribe off the back of this unsubstantiated link.  Typical Gilligan. *Sigh*

Gilligan Attacks Islam

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Michael Wilshaw and Discriminatory Ofsted’s Fabrications and Attacks on Islam

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The Olive Tree Muslim faith school is fighting back and not cowering under the pressure of the prejudiced, compromised and neocon-driven Ofsted’s report.  If we recall, this was the same school in which a child was potentially sexually and psychologically abused by an Ofsted inspector.  Once again, the parents are urged to take action against Ofsted for this unforgiveable blunder.

Ofsted’s Attack Islam

Unable to really criticise the schools achievements, Ofsted have resorted to attacking the religion of the teachers themselves and based on Islamic books present in the library of the school, fallen to making extremely inflammatory remarks based on inherent anti-Muslim sentiment:

“the Olive Tree primary school in Luton – fails to prepare its pupils “for life in modern Britain, as opposed to life in a Muslim state”, and that its library contains books that are “abhorrent to British society” in their depiction of punishments under sharia law.”

“Some books in the children’s library contain fundamentalist Islamic beliefs (Salafi) or are set firmly within a Saudi Arabian socio-religious context. Some of the views promoted by these books, for example about stoning women, have no place in British society,”

The “fundamentalist” teachings are a part of normative, mainstream Islamic theology.   The Ofsted is supposed to be an impartial organisation (a laughable claim I know).  Thus to make judgmental statements about the laws within a religion in a public capacity, is a wanton attack on that religion and exemplifies the extreme prejudice.  Does Ofsted’s remit now entail what is “abhorrent to British society”? And will these apply this test to other schools of differing faiths with similar views? The fact that claims of “Salafi” beliefs is drawn from the religious leanings of the teacher’s shows the extent at which the Ofsted is attempting to smear the school and Islam. The objectionable content raised by Ofsted is not exclusively “Salafi” or “fundamentalist” but is in fact part of mainstream Islamic legislative understanding.  Thus to attack this as “abhorrent” is to attack Islam and its adherents.

The Ofsted report has stated that the “pupil’s contact with people from different cultures, faiths and traditions is too limited to promote tolerance and respect for the views, lifestyles and customs of other people”.  A grand statement indeed coming from an inspectorate which calls the practices within Islam “abhorrent”.

As ever, we welcome a discussion, but there is no need to attack a religion based upon one’s highly subjective beliefs, especially as what follows, demonstrates, shockingly, that these comments are highly opportunistic. Continue reading