Normalising the American Islamophobic Fringe: Niall Ferguson and his Neocon Attack on Islam

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Neocons relish a good tragedy. In a screed published prior to the 9/11 attacks, a cabal of neocons argued that the US Armed Forces could only be made resurgent through “some catastrophic and catalyzing event – a new Pearl Harbor”. Soon after the 9/11 attack the neocon David Brooks noted how the attack was positive for cultivating “an unconsummated desire for sacrifice and service”. Unsurprisingly, soon after the Westminster attack, the Times took the opportunity to milk the event and direct all narratives towards Islam and Muslims.

Niall Ferguson, a neocon, penned a particularly vitriolic piecerelying on three reports. The opinion piece has also been published in the Boston Globe.

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PM’s Birmingham Speech, One-Nation Programme and the Fascist Neoconservative Threat to Britain

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David Cameron in his speech said that in order to defeat extremism, the extreme ideology which underpins it must be confronted head on. I will confront an ideology which is already in power in Britain, and perpetuates fascism and violence in the name of values it does not believe in.

Looking back over the past decade, we witness the damage wrought by neconservatism in the US; the War on Terror which bequeathed us endless violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, civilian causalities amounting to genocide, torture, and the steady attrition of civil liberties thanks to legislation like the unconstitutional PATRIOT Act, which paved the way for unchecked power and increased surveillance. Muslim communities became the target of counter-subversion strategies and, what Professor Arun Kundnani calls, “COUNTELPRO 2.0” tactics:

“…the extensive surveillance of Muslim-American populations; the deployment of informants; the use of agents provocateurs; the widening use of material support legislation to criminalize charitable or expressive activities; and the use of community engagement to gather intelligence and effect ideological self-policing of communities. Significantly, such practices have been encouraged, organized, and legitimized by the radicalization models that law enforcement agencies adopted in the first decade of the twenty-first century.”[1]

Over a period of time, certainly in the US, the neocons have become almost taboo for the crimes they perpetrated, and the destruction they brought to civil liberties. As one American writer notes, “Neoconservative dreams of creating a hard-edged, neo-imperial American hegemony over the world died in the rubble of Iraq and Afghanistan.” Obama’s recent diplomatic agreement with Iran has further pained the neoconservatives, who have been consistently calling for a war against Iran.[2]

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Triple Attacks: The Neocon Moment?

camerongoveNawazApproaching the weekend, news reports have focussed on the attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait. At the time of writing, the attack in Kuwait which targeted a Shia mosque killing 27 worshippers, has been claimed by ISIS.   In France, the perpetrator decapitated his boss, and caused an explosion at a gas factory. His motivation is not yet ascertained. In Tunisia, a lone-gunman rampaged a beach killing 15 British nationals. He is believed to be linked to ISIS.

Innocent people have been killed and my heart sincerely goes out to the bereaving families.

The politics, however, sadly continue. Those who committed these atrocious acts had a motive and an agenda to fulfil. Such tragic events are also exploited by those who can trace their ideological inspiration to the architects of the disastrous Iraq War, which has undoubtedly escalated the violence and instability in the Middle East. David Cameron in his address in response to the attacks, like George Bush, stated that the terrorists opposed “peace, freedom and democracy”, thus directing the attack on “British values” and therefore the nationalism that has been aggressively architected over the past year. The rhetoric, once again, draws heavily upon Michael Gove’s book, Celsius 7/7, along with its false assumptions: just as Bush was patently wrong in his characterisation of the motivations Al-Qaeda (they hate our freedom), so too is Cameron. Boris Johnson notably urged London to be “vigilant” on the Underground as Parliament prepared to pass a motion for airstrikes targeting ISIS back in September 2014. And just as there is a conspicuous absence of 7/7-style terrorist attack in Britain before the Iraq war, foreign policy, will continue to play its part in exacerbating violence.

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Michael Gove’s New Theatre of War: Justice and Human Rights

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The country is in pain, it seems. The Conservatives’ return to power has brought forth a reactions from the public and media which is one of mourning. Giles Fraser described democracy post Conservatives-election as a “religion that has failed the poor”. With the party back in power fully through courting the “nastiness” which is the hallmark of the Cons, the coming five years do not bode well. Indeed, this is the party which completely eschewed the “Muslim vote”, completely in favour of other minorities.

Neoconservative Subversion of Democracy

However, the shock should be for far more serious reasons. In yet another incisive article, investigative journalist Dr. Nafeez Ahmed notes that the number of MPs in Parliament directly correlates to the amount of funding received. The Conservatives are a particular concern, with the corporate powers in the City bankrolling the party. Indeed, Tory-donors were financing both UKIP and Tory MPs in the run up to the election, with a UKIP-Conservative voting strategy being endorsed by the Conservative think-tank Bow Group. The Group has on the board of patrons the neoconservative thinker Roger Scruton, so lovingly cited by the likes of Douglas Murray in his book Neoconservatism, Why we Need it. Scruton has been a member of a previous neoconservative think-tank which has in the past hyped the threat of Marxism and left-wing infiltration of universities and schools (now that sounds familiar!). The reports, according to Scruton were “quietly encouraged by 10 Downing Street to concoct an outside pressure group to influence policy.” Furthermore, other members of the think-tank, such as Caroline Cox have been a part of reports on left-wing “radical minorities” published via think-tanks established by British and American intelligence agencies.

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The Neoconservative Traits in David Cameron’s Economic Policies

David CameronGeorgeOsborne“There is a great deal of con in neocon ideology”

Shadia Drury

I have discussed and expounded the retroviral neoconservative thinking penetrating the heart of Whitehall in several blogs now.[1] I have also discussed elsewhere the practical interplay between Zionists, neocons, corporations and the government. The immoral, deep-rooted neoconservative impact on fiscal policies from a philosophic perspective is a discussion which has thus far eluded me.

With David Cameron continually assuring the good people of Britain that “we” need to stick to an economic plan that “works”, despite the many failures of the current strategy, not to mention scathing criticism of the “trickledown economics” from a leading think-tank, the Conservative party, beneath the shallow, exoteric rhetoric continues to unveil its higher priority: corporations. Peeling back recent happenings reveals the distinct duplicitous traits of neoconservatism, thus allowing me to touch upon the “con” in neocon tactics in the economic context.

Influencing Voting Through Deception

The political dirt of buying influence is well known: some peerages are granted to individuals who in turn scratch the back of the parties when required. Ultimately, party donors and said peers can exert influence on legislation which may ultimately benefit them, or rather, their coffers. The cash for honours scandal of 2006/7 comes to mind.

With elections nigh, Cameron’s party has been using its peerage and donor connections to the full in what seems like a corrupt attempt to “influence” voters through deception.

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Charlie Hebdo, Selective Free Speech and Muslim Minority Discrimination

Anti-Muslim Backlash has Begun

As the world now knows, three masked men stormed Charlie Lebdo offices killing 12 employees including four cartoon artists a few days ago. As I write this, they are still at large leaving a trail of damage.

As is the norm now, Muslim organisations have come out condemning the action.  Nevertheless the discourse rapidly focussed on two key areas, which are typically only discussed in the Muslim context.

Free Speech and Propaganda

Reading statements from politicians and emotionally-charged papers defending “free speech”, the fact that free speech is not absolute, is continually ignored.  The right to life is an absolute non-derogable right.  Thus balancing the two rights in the human rights discourse would mean giving way to one when the two are in jeopardy.  This is not something new. Balancing competing rights happens every day in the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights. Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights restrictions may be imposed on freedom of expression “for the respect of the reputations and rights of others”, and protection of national security, public order, health and morals.[1]

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The Henry Jackson Society and the Neoconservative “Trojan Horse”

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Imagine if a group of people with an ideology which completely tears apart principles of human rights, democracy and rule of law and which had an ideologically driven hatred of a minority were advising and influencing government policy, how would the public and hyperbolic media react? If the group were Muslims, the media and politicians would be crucifying the Muslim minority multiple times a day for several months and then building policies implementing a “fix” for those pesky Muslims. The bigoted “counter-jihad” movement would be out in their hate-filled troves talking about how the “Trojan Horse” Muslims have “taken over” Britain. In fact we saw what would happen when such allegations were made in the education sphere. Michael Gove went berserk.

Cue the Henry Jackson Society, a strongly neoconservative outfit which has been involved in two critically important areas which have maximally impacted the Muslim minority – homeland and international security. Neoconservatism is the “mode of thinking” which has resulted in the rule of law and human rights being continually eroded in Britain. It philosophically postulates one language and thinking for the people and one for themselves which they abide by. For those who think Cameron et al’s rhetoric of “British values”, democracy, human rights and rule of law is sincere, one merely has to look at the PREVENT strategy, Counter-Terror Bill and their rubric around the Human Rights Act to see the aforementioned values being shredded to pieces. Neoconservatism is about duality at every level. Hence even in the context of foreign policy, neocon Britain thoroughly enjoys lecturing Russians about adhering to their international obligations but becomes asphyxiated when it comes to critiquing the Zionist state about its observance of obligations. The love of liberalism is an emotional façade for the people which the neocons can abuse to attain power. The reality of how neocons regard liberalism is as stated by Irving Kristol, the “godfather” of neoconservatism,

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