Theresa May’s Neoconservative Cold War Against Islam and Muslims (1)

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“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.”[1]

 

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.

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PREVENT Reality: Police Chief Warns of “Police State”

Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

It seems the problems with regards to the definition of “extremism”, and its abuse by neocons is finally starting to be discussed, although it may be too late given that the new counter terror bill has already been through its second reading in Parliament. Given the toxic implications of the Bill which I have briefly discussed here and here, one wonders why there is no outrage against what is an assault against the “democratic values” often propagated through military means around the world.

Peter Fahy in a frank and welcome warning highlighted that the battle against “extremism” could lead to a “drift towards a police state” in which officers are turned into “thought police”. Below are some of the excerpts which deserve being reproduced in full from the Guardian: Continue reading

The Conveyor Belt to Neocon-Inspired Far-Right/Christianist Terrorism

Conveyor belt to Christianist Neocon extremism1

Click on the image to enlarge

With the rise of the far-right/Christianist extremists in the UK which is spreading throughout Europe, and the rhetoric of groups the EDL and Britain First becoming ever-more violent, it is important to understand the sources of such extremism and the pathway to neocon-inspired terrorism. Importing American neoconservative to Britain, neoconservative writers like Douglas Murray, Michael Gove, William Shawcross, Melanie Phillips and Andrew Gilligan, through their ideologically-driven narratives, have supported and shared their insidious and bigoted narratives with the likes of Robert Spencer and Pamella Geller.

Extremists like Spencer and Geller have gone onto inspire terrorists like Anders Breivik.

The above infogram gives a summary of the conveyor belt to right-wing/Christianist Terrorism, supported and inspired by neoconservatism. Perhaps the government can use it to create a dedicated “PREVENT” programme to counter explicitly far-right “Christianist” extremism and formulate a “Channel” deradicalisation programme for individuals who support a neocon-inspired narrative. A women’s network to target white mothers of potential radical far-right extremists can be established to spot “signs of radicalisation”, whilst school teachers can be trained to identify conservative Christian values which may not sit with “British values”. A list of neocons/far-right Christianist extremists who espouse illiberal, bigoted views can be placed on an “extremist list” and a taskforce set up to identify hate-preachers like Douglas Murray, Michael Gove, William Shawcross and Britain First’s Paul Golding. They can be subjected to a Terror and Extremist Behaviour Order, allowing civil authorities to take action against people seeking to spread their neocon/far-right/Christianist message of hate, in a similar way to existing Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.

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