The activist, Moazzam Begg, as expected, has had all his terror charges dropped. And whilst the activist community which understands the games of the government, and the Muslim minority have shown their happiness, his release has accentuated the crisis in which the criminal justice system, and the government, is in.
A man has been detained for several months, and exonerated through the charges being dropped. A man who was formerly in the abomination of the West that is Guantanamo Bay as a sub-human, was incarcerated in Belmarsh. Moazzam, as evidenced in his writings, interviews and public lectures is undeterred, unshaken and iron-willed in his determination to support the very values which the neocons have been punishing the Muslim minority with whilst excusing themselves from their application: democracy, rule of law, human rights.
Some for instance, like Islamic Human Rights Commission have argued that his release proved that his political arrest was to silence activists against draconian anti-terror legislation. To some extent this is true, however the benefit the neocon government has achieved through Moazzam’s incarcerations is deeper and longer term. I believe Moazzam’s incarceration was do with two inter-related issues:
- The release of information indicating towards UK’s complicity to torture in Syria.
- This article: it articulates a forceful narrative which undoes that which followed after his arrest.
Soon after his arrest, key events occurred for which Moazzam would have proven problematic for the neocon government agenda.
The Trojan Hoax Fiasco and Extremism
The Trojan Hoax fiasco had its seeds sown in 2013 with certain counter terrorism “experts” embedded in the Birmingham Muslim community (in fact it had its seeds sown with the 2011 PREVENT Strategy Review document, fully supported and encouraged by Quilliam and co). The anti-Muslim neocon juggernaut which launched towards Birmingham was only initiated after Moazzam’s arrest. After this, a barrage of news report essentially regurgitating the same lies, distortions and exaggerations was nationally deployed from all papers, left or right, on a frequent basis. A rapid inquiry ensued by the Birmingham City Council (by Ian Kershaw) as did the Department for Education (Peter Clarke). Both reports relied upon unsworn, uncorroborated statements, which failed to take into account defence statement submitted by those who were eventually accused, tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion. The actions were judged ultra vires using the PREVENT strategy definition of “extremism” and “British values”, which have not been publicly debated and which have not been enshrined in law through a legislative process. Despite this, and with the British public thoroughly brainwashed with what “British values” (non-Muslims) and “extremism” (Muslims) are, the documents provided the basis for the reinforcement by Theresa May et al to push through the extremism agenda into their next Conservative manifesto.