Controlling Muslim Discourse: The Neoconservative Epistemology in Sara Khan’s Hope not Hate Piece

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 The last piece analysing Hope not Hate’s (HnH) report State of Hate 2017, engaged the question of Sara Khan’s circles of influence.  Her links to notorious members of the counter-Jihad movement would, at the very least, cast doubt on what was produced in the report. One of the structural flaws noted in my last piece was that Khan’s operating framework was the highly discredited PREVENT policy. The policy is based on neoconservative assumptions and promoted by those who intermingle with the worst of the far-right counter-Jihad movements.

This piece will take an epistemological account of Khan’s writing and elaborate the way in which destructive neoconservative assumptions permeate it, leading to the perpetuation of structural prejudice against the Muslim minority and control of Muslim discourse.

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Deception in the War on Terror and the Hypocritical “Concerns” of the Counter-Extremists

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“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.

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Douglas Murray’s PREVENT Tantrum

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There has been somewhat of media blackout around CAGE’s blistering report exposing the lack of credible, scientific foundations underpinning PREVENT, as well as the accompanying 150 academics, professors and activists supporting the findings.  At the time of writing, only the Guardian and the Independent (albeit indirectly without credit to CAGE) have actually picked up the story.  When one considers that the entirety of Britain’s counter-extremism strategy which has resulted in a trail of societal damage is based on mumbo jumbo, this news should be headlining throughout Britain.  Yet, the silence from major media outlets like the BBC, Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail et al is ear-piercingly deafening and is tantamount to keeping the public uninformed about the reality of policies which affect them greatly from a civil liberties point of view.

It has, though, triggered the ire of, and quite clearly annoyed, neocon policy architects and supporters.  The loudest defence of PREVENT in light of the damaging CAGE report comes from the premier, fascist neocon kingpin of anti-Islam hatred: Douglas Murray.

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Legal Challenge to Extremism Definition – A Muslim Defence of Accountability, Rule of Law and Due Process

The effect of fascist neoconservatives subverting and controlling the discourse on Muslims into a distinctly populist and discriminatory one is something which will be recorded in history and frequently recalled as a dark chapter in Britain’s history.  However, history will also recall that some of the key turning points in opposing policies which erode the civil liberties of all in Britain were significantly led by Muslims who were prepared to stick their head above the parapet and sought the reinstatement of shared principles like accountability, rule of law and due process – principles which neoconservatives have systematically decimated over the past decade.

When Muslim advocacy group CAGE successfully challenged Zionist neocon William Shawcross’ Charity Commission in the High Court for pressuring charities funding the organisation, the increasingly nervous third sector welcomed it as a form of relief from a bullying regulator. Third Sector’s Stephen Cook wrote at that time,

Cage is not a charity, but it has done the charity sector an important service by applying for and, earlier this month, obtaining leave for a judicial review of the actions of the Charity Commission…

A similar critical action is taking place more specifically in the context of “extremism”.

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Pressure is on to Reveal Source of No.10’s “University Extremists” Press Release Hatchet-Job

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Less than two weeks ago I exposed the disturbing similarity between a press release issued by the government about “tackling extremism in universities and colleges” and a report published the bigoted, Zionist hate-funded neoconservative Henry Jackson Society. I noted that the people identified in the unprecedented, repressive blacklist of “extremists” charged with treachery against state-ideology by the government were exactly the same as those found in HJS’s Preventing Prevent report. I had further highlighted that the names noted flimsily as evidence of an apparent connection between “extremism” on campus and political violence were also the same as those highlighted in the HJS report.

This link has also been picked up in a Times Higher Education article, which states in its opening sentence that “[s]ections of a Downing Street statement accused universities of hosting hate preachers are identical to those featured in a report by a controversial thinktank…”

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Apologists for terror or defenders of human rights? The Cage controversy in context

Crosspost: Tom Mills, Narzanin Massoumi, and David Miller

Last week, in a widely trailed speech, the Prime Minister laid out the government’s counter-terrorism strategy for the next five years. It is necessary, Cameron explained, to challenge the idea that political violence is rooted in ‘historic injustices and recent wars, or… poverty and hardship’.  Terrorism, he said, is caused by ‘extremist ideology’, which his government is determined to confront.

There was little new in Cameron’s speech, which simply affirmed in strong terms the authoritarian drift of counter-terrorism policy. Influenced by the security apparatus and its supporters in Parliament, and by neoconservative think tanks, such as the Henry Jackson Society, and (partly) state funded propaganda outfits like Quilliam, policy makers have become increasingly preoccupied with ‘non-violent extremism’ rather than political violence. Officially this is portrayed as a political campaign against ‘intolerance’. Thus Cameron claims that his government will be facing down ‘terrorism’ and ‘extremism’ by asserting ‘basic liberal values such as democracy, freedom and sexual equality’.

‘For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society’

On the face of it this seems agreeable enough. But the actual policy is another matter. As was pointed out in a recent letter to which we were signatories, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 will ‘mean that individuals working within statutory organisations must report individuals suspected of being “potential terrorists” to external bodies for “de-radicalisation”‘. In effect, the government has drawn the entire public sector into its controversial counter-extremist agenda, meaning that public servants once responsible for the welfare of citizens – including children – must now monitor their behaviour, appearance and political views, feeding into the most unaccountable and repressive elements of the state. Since 2014, 400 children, even as young as three-years-old, have been referred to the government’s ‘Channel’ programme for ‘de-radicalisation’. The true political implications of the policy, which has now passed into law, were made clear in May when Cameron told the first meeting of the National Security Council: ‘For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone”.’  So much for liberalism.

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Has the Henry Jackson Society been trying to buy influence in parliament?

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Crosspost: Middle East Monitor

The news that the right-wing Henry Jackson Society has pulled funds for parliamentary groups rather than disclose who its own donors are will be no surprise to those who are concerned about the influence of lobbyists in Britain. Nor will Muslims be shocked by this; many have been on the receiving end of vicious anti-Islam propaganda produced by the charity and those associated with it. Muslim-run charities reacted with alarm at the appointment of the society’s director, William Shawcross, as chair of the Charity Commission in 2012, “despite reservations among some MPs over his independence and experience”. A subsequent sharp rise in the number of Muslim-run charities under investigation and “review” by the commission appears to justify concerns that the supposedly neutral charity regulator is now pursuing a right-wing, neoconservative agenda targeting Muslims. The regulator denies any bias of any kind.

The withdrawal of funding for parliamentarians focusing on “homeland and international security” resulted from a disclosure request submitted by Spinwatch, an organisation which campaigns for greater transparency in public affairs. According to a report in the Guardian, the Henry Jackson Society “provided an office and staff to organise meetings for the two groups, chaired by Tory MP Bernard Jenkin and Labour MP Gisela Stuart.”

It is alarming that the provision of such support also, apparently, entitled “the society’s political director, Davis Lewin, and its events manager, Hanna Nomm” to be given House of Commons passes.

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