A series of blogs analysing the recent Channel 4 documentary titled, “What British Muslims Really Think”
Part 1: An Orchestrated Attack on Islam
In the previous article, we saw how the latest of phase of a neoconservative agenda to deconstruct Islam had resulted in a relentless assault in political and media circles on the faith.
This reach its zenith with the much discussed Channel 4 documentary hosted by Trevor Phillips.
In this article, we will focus on Phillips himself, and attempt to understand his peculiar set of statements made at the beginning of the documentary.
In the previous piece, we saw how despite an ostensible opposition furnished against PREVENT, the likes of Fiyaz Mughal has no qualms with the Muslim-demonizing policy of PREVENT aside from its “brand” being damaged. It is therefore even more of a concern that Mughal is increasingly operating Tell MAMA as vehicle to establish neocon government-compliant “norms” for Muslims. Further, there are indications which suggest that Mughal is using Tell MAMA as a screen to protect those who are advocating the securitisation of the Muslim minority through the rhetoric of Islamophobia and racism.
Blind MAMA and “House Muslims” Spin
In a piece published on its website September last year, Tell MAMA moved beyond its remit to judge what are acceptable labels used by Muslims, ironically, chastising the “moral guardians of the internet”. I say ironically because firstly, Mughal, as already highlighted, perpetuates the CVE (Countering Violent Extremi) agenda that is all about labels (Islamism, extremism etc.), and secondly, the piece was published in favour of someone who hyperventilates litanies of “extremist”, “Islamist” and “regressive-Left” at any given opportunity (see below).
A report commissioned by 5Pillarsuk.com reveals some interesting insights into the beliefs and views of Muslims in Britain. One hundred and fifty “influential” Muslim respondents across the Islamic spectrum were queried. The results demonstrate a problematic curve ball for neoconservatives and their endless efforts to target Islam and Muslims.
The questions revolved around normative Islamic beliefs, and across the board a generally high level of agreement with these beliefs was achieved. Participants rebutted dominant propaganda against Islam and Muslims. For instance, 100% agreed or strongly agreed that forced marriages are forbidden, and 100% agreed or strongly agreed that British Muslims are an “integral part of the UK”. It also established a high rate of agreement upon those beliefs and practices which are typically attacked by politicians in concert with the media, analysts and commentators:
- Segregation of men and women in closed public, or religious settings – over 80% agreed or strongly agreed
- There is no compulsion in Islam, no one can be forced to become Muslim – over 95% agreed/strongly agreed
- Hijab is an obligation in Islam – over 95% agreed or strongly agreed
- Niqab is a legitimate piece of Islamic clothing – over 90% agreed or strongly agreed (chart 16 is somewhat unclear)
- Islam is a holistic comprehensive way of life – over 97% agreed or strongly agreed
- Jihad as is mandated in the Qur’an is used to maintain or restore order, peace and security or to remove oppression and injustice – over 95% agreed or strongly agreed.
“The colonialist administration invested great sums in this combat. After it had posited that the woman constituted the pivot of Algerian society, all efforts were made to obtain control over her.”
“This woman who sees without being seen frustrates the coloniser”
~ Frantz Fanon
“When you’re in a position of power for a long time you get used to using your yardstick, and you take it for granted that because you’ve forced your yardstick on others, that everyone is still using the same yardstick. So that your definition of extremism usually applies to everyone, but nowadays times are changing, and the center of power is changing. People in the past who weren’t in a position to have a yardstick or use a yardstick of their own are using their own yardstick now. You use one and they use another. In the past when the oppressor had one stick and the oppressed used that same stick, today the oppressed are sort of shaking the shackles and getting yardsticks of their own, so when they say extremism they don’t mean what you do, and when you say extremism you don’t mean what they do. There are entirely two different meanings.”
~ Malcolm X
Unable to tolerate cultural heterogeneity, the racist David Cameron followed up his Michael Gove-inspired Macaulayism with colonialist calumnies to yet again apply the full brachial force of “muscular liberalism” upon the Muslim woman, and more specifically, the even smaller minority in which resides the veiled Muslim woman. Bravo Mr Cameron! Your machismo impresses.
Cameron announced plans to allow public institutions to ban women from wearing veils in schools, courts and other British institutions. Whilst actually presenting nothing substantially new in terms of proposals, it did release a torrent of self-righteous fulminations and liberal rectitude, as a piece of fabric was attacked from the biodegradable “liberal” left to the nuke “Eye-ran” right in the comment sections of various spreads. Which is fantastic news for a minority that is already being physically and verbally attacked on the streets of Britain.
Following Cameron’s disgraceful demagoguery was Gove’s politically incestuous ideological mate Michael Wilshaw.
Cameron in his New Year message demanded that if people “walk our streets, learn our schools, benefit from our society, you sign up to our values. Freedom. Tolerance. Responsibility. Loyalty.”
With the government regularly eroding civil liberties, consistently targeting Islamic beliefs, dogwhistling the far-right, and courting murderous dictators from around the world, the call for enlistment to the values of freedom, tolerance and responsibility evidences empty, hypocritical rhetoric; demagogic words to which the elite feel unbound by.
“Loyalty”, is the aspect however, which will be the focus of this series. I want my readers to place in the back of their mind the question, who indeed is Cameron and his neoconservative syndicate “loyal” to?
To answer this, we will begin by analysing Jeremy Corbyn’s predicament.
In all honesty, I feel for the journalists working at establishment papers who have to churn out desperate and utterly dubious rubbish to protect the state’s totalitarian tendencies. Bills need to be paid, afterall. The Telegraph, with its history of neoconservatism is one such paper. With the likes of Dean Godson, and Charles Moore, the Telegraph was, according to its former editor Martin Newland, effectively a mouthpiece for US and Zionist interests. Today, the standard of journalism – or churnalism – is Andrew Gilligan-level: dubious state-propagandist tripe of the neoconservative variety. And it seems with the stalled and now exhumed and resuscitated Telegraph piece attempting to a) delegitimise PREVENT opposition and advocacy group CAGE, and b) intimidate Muslim charities to not work with them, the neoconservative tradition of spin, deception and outright lies continues.
Crosspost: Professor Arun Kundnani
From 1 July, a broad range of public bodies – from nursery schools to optometrists – will be legally obliged to participate in the government’s Prevent policy to identify would-be extremists. Under the fast-tracked Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, schools, universities and health service providers can no longer opt out of monitoring students and patients for supposed radicalised behaviour. Never in peacetime Britain has national security surveillance been so deeply embedded in the normal functioning of public life.
Even as those measures come into effect, the government is drafting another round of counter-terrorist legislation, reviving a set of still more authoritarian proposals first floated last year.