In the previous piece, I established an intertwining set of connections between PR companies involved in the Iraq war, the Islamophobia industry, the comical Commission for Countering Extremism and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (“Institute”).
Whilst the Institute’s report – “Narratives of Division – The Spectrum of Islamist Worldviews in the UK” – should not be taken seriously on account of it being advocated by the degenerate Blair, the issue remains that the framework outlined in the report will most likely influence the evolution of the “extremism” discourse. The report’s method is not disconnected from PREVENT. It is in fact a consistent set of ideas employed by neocons and followed by some Muslim organisations also.
It is important, therefore to critique the proposed methodology and outline its draconian trajectory.
Recent weeks have seen a sustained campaign of repressive bullying tactics against a Muslim doctor and vocal anti-racism, pro-Palestinian voice Dr Siema Iqbal by pro-Israel activist organisation North West Friends of Israel (NWFOI). The retweets by Dr Iqbal, which were contested as “anti-Semitic”, were clarified three years ago.
Despite this, NWFOI has resumed its harassment.
Recently, Dr Iqbal was invited to read a statement on racism at the Assembly of Greater Manchester Citizens UK. Seemingly unable to stomach a Muslim woman with strong pro-Palestinian views, NWFOI restarted its harassment, this time led by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), an organisation which Alastair Sloan highlights has defended Israeli leaders from the principles of universal jurisdiction and therefore accountability of potential war crimes. Declaring Dr Iqbal’s tweets/retweets anti-Semitic despite being political in nature and directed in response to the Israeli government’s aggression against Palestinians in Gaza, the JLC seems to have pressured Citizens UK into distancing itself from Dr Iqbal. These statements were then circulated in the Jewish Telegraph (complete with a statement from the NWFOI), Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish News, and shared by the far-right-linked Quilliam Foundation’s Haras Rafiq.
So what do we know about the NFWOI?
A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience some years ago provided insight into learning and in particular, learning from one’s mistakes. The study found that good learners demonstrated greater neural activity and would use feedback not only to check their past performance, but also to adjust their next performance accordingly.
From an Islamic perspective, of course, this not exactly a ground-breaking discovery. The Qur’an encourages believers to take stock of history in an admonitory fashion:
“Has the news of those before you not reached you – the nation of Nuh, Aad, and Thamud?”
Well before Foucault was exploring the concept of the “technologies of the self”, Islam had encouraged individual spiritual accountability by pondering over one’s deeds and actions. Reflection is key to forging ahead in a manner where mistakes are not repeated. It contextualises the succinct narration of the Prophet, peace be upon, found in Bukhari,
“The believer is not stung from the same hole twice”.
This brings us neatly to recent events involving the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). The MCB’s behaviour has been somewhat strangely masochistic, enjoying an impending second sting with open arms.
“for neither conscious nor shame ought to have any influence upon you… those who obtain great power do so either by force or fraud, and having got them they conceal under some honest name the foulness of their deeds”. – Irving Kristol, quoting Machiavelli
Lying and deception are traits ingrained in the post-modern political world we inhabit today. Worse still, is the continued unaccountability and societal indifference to the consequences of these traits. This remains the case despite wars initiated upon on blatant lies, ulterior motives and utter deception. The Iraq war comes to mind, however, it is frequently isolated as a case of bad planning and a blip in the normally “virtuous” causes of Western violence in the Middle East. Few recall that the massively delayed and strategically released (Jack Straw’s Brexit silver-lining) Chilcot report went through a sanitisation process with documents and correspondences blocked at the behest of the Americans. Whistle-blowers like Katharine Gun and her leaks demonstrating underhanded tactics to convince UN Security Council delegates to favour war, were ignored. It matters little that a grinding genocide has taken place over the course of the War on Terror.
Every facet of the Iraq war and the accompanying War on Terror is doused in deception.
It goes without saying that I have been experiencing some manifestation of anti-Muslim hatred on a weekly basis for some years now. I often return it with a smile, or a peace sign, or, in the rare case where I am not in a particularly good mood, a retort like “how many GCSE’s did you pass again?” By the Grace of Allah, I have yet to experience a violent version of this simmering hatred.
Recently, witnessing comments made by two ladies against two women donned in niqabs brought to sharp attention the internationalisation of the alienation of Islam and Muslims. Seeing the veiled women who were tending to their little ones, the faces of two passing ladies crumpled into a frown and the skin colour took on a bruising red as they, clutching their prams, uttered the now ubiquitous slogan heard by Muslims of all stripes: “you do not belong in this country”, before scurrying off into a tram. They had German accents.
Whilst the neocon/Blairite subversion of the Labour party leadership continues unabated with ever more contrived and adventurous ways being used by Blairites and pro-Israel activists to pressure Jeremy Corbyn to step down, the Conservative party leadership race has been overrun by neocons.
Four out of the five of the Conservative leader aspirants are linked to the anti-Muslim, hate-financed Henry Jackson Society.
It is important to understand that neoconservatism is a “persuasion” which believes in using “noble lies” to steer the “vulgar masses” towards a fascism-based closed society which serves the interests of the neocons such as obtaining and maintaining power. This entails bludgeoning “principles” like the rule of law and human rights through their “prudence” unashamedly in name of these very “principles”.
Thus, we can fully expect an increased hardening of securitised policy and therefore an assault on the civil liberties of all. We can also expect a continuation and possibly an increase in the political hostility against the Muslim minority and Islam as Britain’s identity is forcibly built against this minority as the Machiavellian enemy.
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.