On the 8th of March, Fiyaz Mughal’s Faith Matters submitted written evidence to the Home Affairs Committee’s countering extremism inquiry. Written in an interestingly critical style, it certainly hit all the high notes from the perspective of the Muslim community.
For instance, it drew attention to the current Counter Extremism Strategy as having disproportionately focussed on the Muslim community “leading to claims that it renders Muslims a ‘suspect community’.” It highlights the problem of Home Office holding disproportionate power in defining “extremism” and that the definition should be the “product of scholarly debate”. Even the label “Islamism” comes in for criticism, noting it leads to McCarythism and alienation of partners that can “support the fight against violent extremism”.
A superficial reading certainly makes for a promising one.
But then we recall that this is a submission by Faith Matters, whose head is Fiyaz Mughal. If anything, this submission only further exposes his hypocrisy, political opportunism and the complete discrediting of his pet project Tell MAMA.
“They [the neocons] really have no use for liberalism and democracy, but they’re conquering the world in the name of liberalism and democracy.” Shadia Drury
Lying and deception as tools of war have been used for centuries. Sun Tzu in his The Art of War elaborates its utility in the context of war. The book makes the reading list for the US army. However, where a government lies and deceives its own people who put them in power, this is sabotaging democracy. The manipulation of opinion, deception and the promulgation of great lies is often used by totalitarian, fascist regimes to maintain their power and pursue their agendas against the will of the people.
The Government’s Counter Extremism strategy was published today following reports in the weekend papers about £5 million in funding being put aside to fund groups “to build a national coalition against extremism – in communities and online” and mention of the strategy including measures to ban “hate preachers from using the internet or working with children”.
The strategy published today is much the same in content as the report by the Prime Minister’s Extremism Taskforce which has laid much of the groundwork for what has since followed in policy announcements about tackling extremism. The criticisms levelled at the Taskforce report, about its lack of evidence base to validate assertions made and its overreliance on the notion of “ideology” being at the root of radicalisation are all repeated in the strategy published today.
The strategy also reiterates much of what we have already heard from the Home Secretary, Theresa May and the Prime Minister, David Cameron about the Government’s “crackdown” on extremism, with its conflation of integration policy, on “boosting opportunity and integration”, and racialised, essentialist assumptions about Muslims and “illegal cultural practices” such as forced marriage, honour killings and female genital mutilation.
The references to a review of shari’ah tribunals in the UK sits uneasily in a strategy supposedly about championing British values and celebrating the “vibrant, buoyant and diverse” British society that has been cultivated over the years.
More strange is a citation which presents evidence submitted to Baroness Caroline Cox as evidence of “extremism” – this is the same Baroness Cox who invited Geert Wilders to the UK and said of Muslims, “Islam is using the freedoms of democracy to destroy it”. There is a certain irony in making mention of individuals with extremist connections in a strategy about “counter-extremism”. Odd too that the Extremism Analysis Unit which is supposedly the holy grail in identifying “extremists” missed the likes of Baroness Cox and her association with the notoriously Islamophobic Gatestone Institute. A case of civil servants asleep on the job?
The neocon propaganda machine is at full tilt as the government reveals its ultimate legislative weapon to excise active Muslim political activists from civil society under the dissent-suppressing counter-extremism discourse. Andrew Gilligan has already taken a swipe at Muslim organisations through his trademark blend of Muslim “extremists”, spin and lies. Even Peter Oborne could not help but notice that his article contained “a number of unsubstantiated claims” and “a number of factual errors”.
Elsewhere, David Cameron apparently likes Muslims. Well *some* Muslims would be more accurate. In what must be the most sterile PR stunt ever, he has lent his approval to a head-scarf wearing Muslim contestant of the TV show, the Great British Bake Off. One can understand why:
- Is her politics reflective of a Muslim who needs to prove her “Britishness”? Check.
- Does the Muslim belong to a gender group which needs to be saved from Islam? Check.
- Does the show have the word “British” as part of its title? Check.
- Are the general public supporting her? Check.
It sure is a safe bet. Previously, in Eid messages, Cameron has spoken of the “good Muslims” who fought for “our freedoms” off the back of the brutal colonialism of the Muslim world. Later, in his Birmingham speech, he would go onto proclaim that he was going to “actively encourage the reforming and moderate Muslim voices.” These voices incidentally belong to “progressive Muslims” who also happen to be primed by key neoconservative officials and who support their key policies, from the discourse on Muslims and global democracy-spreading to Trident. Such promotion and support is key to maintaining the neoconservative assumptions around the Muslim context. The fundamental impediment is garnering legitimacy from the mainstream Muslim community.
Neoconservatism’s subversive nature is characteristic of the fascist ideology. While the neocons like Michael Gove and their associates in the far-right have pushed the myth of “Eurabia”, the Muslim Trojan Horse in the West, hell-bent on taking over Europe, the neocon Trojan Horse in Whitehall has permeated policy largely unnoticed. Indeed, the basic premise of the hyperventilating “counter-Jihad movement” which neoconservatives often provide oxygen too, is of an impending take-over by Muslims who wish to impose “Shariyah”.
Maajid Nawaz dog-whistled Michael Gove’s Trojan Horse fetishes as late as last year, explaining his then new buzzwords “tadarruj” or gradualism as “parlance for entryism & Islamisisation from within”. This has now of course translated into Quilliam’s counter-extremism proposal which mainly focusses on “counter-entryism”. The “counter-extremism experts” at Quilliam have, though, typically failed to address the greatest threat that are the neocons running the government in their discriminatory proposals.
A Look at Theresa May’s Responses
The blind-spot for far-right and Zionist “extremism” extends to Theresa May’s pathetic response to critics. She responds to the argument that “Islamist extremism” is social conservatism, stating that it is invalid because if anybody else discriminated against women, and rejected the democratic process on the basis of beliefs then they would be challenged.
There are a number of points being conflated. Firstly “discrimination against women” for instance, is tolerated in other communities. The Beth Din courts have “discriminated” against women in their judgments for over a century. Yet it has never warranted the label of “extremism” let alone an independent inquiry which is called for in the context of Shari’ah courts. In fact, as per my previous blog specifically on this topic, the Home Office has effectively approved “discrimination” as a result of “Jewishist extremism”. Moreover, previous versions of the London Beth Din website have clearly stated the Halachic position that it is prohibited for Jews from take their legal matters to a “secular” civil court (rule of law anyone?).