“Irving Kristol came up with the solution that has become the cornerstone of neoconservative politics: use democracy to defeat liberty. Turn the people against their own liberty… if you can convince people that liberty undermines security, they will gladly renounce it.”
The principles of democracy, human rights and rule of law have been “hijacked” and torn down by neoconservatives in government.
Theresa May, an “extremist” by her own criteria of “British values”, has outlined some truly shocking measures to “counter” the notoriously nebulous “extremism”. Before delving into the McCarthy-May Measures speech, there are few overarching points to keep in my mind.
There is a fundamental flaw which runs straight through her speech. The flaw is the underpinning conveyor-belt theory of radicalisation i.e. that one begins disaffected, starts practising Islam, becomes politicised and then blows things up. The professoriate in the counter-extremism and terrorism field have slammed the theory as no longer maintaining any credibility. From sociologists to former CIA operations officer, the focus on ideology, or in this case “Islamism”, has been placed on its head, with it being characterised as incidental as opposed to pivotal.
The second point of note is moral supremacy afforded to liberalism, which has been posited as the zenith of societal values, yet it has been thoroughly shackled, gagged and torn up in pursuit of its preservation, as though it is too weak to stand up to scrutiny.
The final point to keep in mind is the issue of definition. I am not one to labour this point, as I have addressed this in several blogs in detail (see here). The issue is defining “Islamist extremism” and “extremism” itself. The bottom line is, part of rule of law, an ascribed “British value”, is that the law being applied is just, and a law cannot be just if it references vaguely defined terms, especially where the impact is such that it effectively socially cripples one’s life. What are the boundaries of critique and vocal opposition? What is the fault line which demarcates traditional religious beliefs shared across the Abrahamic faiths for instance, and “extremism”? Simply stating they are clear is political-speak with no real meaning. Indeed, the social experiment in which the Muslim minority has been the guinea pig for the PREVENT Strategy has already evidenced miscarriages of justice.