The below article is a good demonstration of the double standards applied to Muslims in contrast with non-Muslims. I have written on this theme in detail a couple of times previously:
Michael Steven Stanford – A Terrorist? A Product of Western Culture?
Why aren’t Politicians and Mainstream Media Calling the Suspect Killer of Jo Cox a Terrorist?
Does the Orlando Attack have Something to do with Liberalism too Maajid Nawaz?
CROSSPOST: Maria Norris
On Wednesday, Thomas Mair was convicted of the murder of Jo Cox, an act which the Crown Prosecution Service has categorised as terrorism. Section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2000 states that the an act may still be considered an act of terror even if it was not designed to influence the government or the public, as long as a firearm or explosives are involved and the act was politically, ideologically, religiously, or racially motivated. Nair’s murder of Jo Cox falls neatly under this definition. So does the murder of Lee Rigby in 2013.
And yet, the difference in the reaction to these very similar murders is astounding. After Lee Rigby was killed, the media was filled with alarmist headlines about the dangers of Islamic extremism. There was no hesitation to label Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, Rigby’s murderers, as terrorists or the murder as a terrorist attack. After Lee Rigby’s murder, even before Adebolajo and Adebowale’s trial, the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, chaired an emergency Cobra meeting and the government announced a new taskforce to fight Islamic extremism. However, when it came to Mair, there was a sudden concern regarding contempt of court, and even now there is a real hesitancy to actually label him as a terrorist. Has Theresa May chaired a Cobra meeting? Has she announced a taskforce to combat far-right extremism? No.
“We could favour the birth of a new Islam, more inclined towards compromise and tolerance of Europe; to encourage the young generation of ulama who are working in that direction…” ~ French Colonialist, Edmond Douttee,  1901
“It is the modernists whose vision matches our own. Of all the groups, this one is the most congenial to the values and the spirit of modern democratic society.” ~ (Former) wife of US neocon Zalmay Khalilzad, Cheryl Bernard, 2003
“We’re now going to actively encourage the reforming and moderate Muslim voices.” ~ British PM David Cameron, Speech on Extremism, 2015
Slogans based within particular parlance and values often provide the veil for an agenda of a different kind. During the 1970s, the human rights industry was used as official US imperial policy. Prior to this, the enlightened liberalism of the west was driving colonisation of the world to bring it out of “darkness” – a psychological projection of its own “dark” past. Today, neoconservatives have taken much of the above, tweaked the rhetoric and driven a strategic policy which has now begun to gain international traction. Today, the “cure” for “backward” and “violent” Muslims remains one grounded in the European, supremacist experience. However, this prescription is administered through the now pressing lens of security and specifically the counter-extremism agenda. In other words, neocons have successfully managed to securitise human rights, allowing them to foster closed societies domestically whilst pursing their doctrine of pre-emption objectives on a global scale through war – both physical and ideological. The vehicle which provides the language set and values for this culturalist war is the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) agenda.
In a previous article, I noted how the underlying neoconservative “clash of civilisations” assumptions about Islam have premised the counter-extremism discourse. In the British context, we now a have state-coerced effort to deconstruct Islam piece by piece in order to assimilate, as opposed to integrate, Muslims. When we understand that Britain through its neocon “think-tanks” and pseudo-liberal “reformers” are at the centre of defining the counter-extremism ideology transnationally, we can appreciate, or rather, be perturbed by the extent of the influence of this dangerous thinking.
For all the talk about the need to “integrate” Muslims through the British values social engineering programme, linguistic imperialism, and the white knights rescuing Muslim women in the name of equality and freedom, the hypocrisy stemming from the upper echelons of government has been brazen. Whilst on this blog I have brought to attention the discriminatory nature of PREVENT, counter-terrorism, and the judiciary, the latent anti-Islam and anti-Muslim attitudes have become increasingly apparent and overt. An assimilationist, extreme interpretation of secular liberalism, whilst being forced upon Muslims and their beliefs, has been notable only by its absence at the state level. In an increasingly, rare, brilliant piece in the Guardian, Jospeh Harker summed it up aptly in his tactful play on the neocon economic policy of choice, “trickle-down hate”:
“Muslims seem a particular target of his divisive and alienating language… Cameron’s dog-whistles matter. They may appear to be mere words – jokes or slips of the tongue; but they set the parameters and the tone of the debate. We could call this trickle-down hate. So if he makes a bold statement about the niqab, or some other aspect of multicultural Britain, it will go to the top of the news agenda, even if it’s in actual fact insignificant or completely wrong – as in the so-called Trojan Horse scandal in Birmingham schools, which a parliamentary committee inquiry ruled to be groundless… Cameron speaks; his entourage pushes further; the media responds; and on the streets, the abuse and attacks kick off. Sadly, Cameron and the Tories seem to believe that the answer to a broken nation is to break it some more.”
Crosspost: CJ Werleman
Those who naively and optimistically believe the “enlightened” West is incapable of repeating the genocidal horrors of the 20th century are those most susceptible to mankind’s destructive impulse.
In American society, there’s an unconscious faith in the nation state, technology, modernity and science that assures Americans that the horrors of a fascistic state could never happen here. But to believe this one must forget, as Karen Armstrong, a prodigious religious historian reminds us, that the most advanced educational institutions in the Western world were located directly next door to the gas chambers.
Notwithstanding the fact it was not that long ago hundreds of thousands Japanese American civilians were harassed, removed from their homes, and placed into military internment camps. Decades later those of Russian heritage were treated to similar discrimination.
The neocon government wants the Muslim to be resilient from “extremism”. Over the years, despite the Muslim apologia, pronouncements of condemnations, Stasi-esque policies, government associations with anti-Islam organisations, rampant anti-Muslim hatred from the media to the intellectually challenged supremacist thug on the street, and judicial rulings relegating Muslims to second-class citizenry, Muslims have certainly developed a resilience. A resilience to neoconservatives and their blustering anti-Muslim doublespeak and a firm resilience to the designs of neoconservative extremism.
The script for the neocons is like clockwork. Governmentally pressure Muslims throughout the year, consorting with the media to demonise Muslims treating them as suspect communities. Use arms of the state to effectuate this goal by using ambiguous words like “extremist” which are only ever to be applied to Muslims and not Christians and Jews. Feed the Eurabia myth pedalled by the far-right and neocons that Muslims are “taking over Europe”, with unfounded Trojan Hoax plots and (discriminatory) Shari’ah courts fear mongering (and let’s not forget the dreaded halal meat!). Announce draconian security measures which discriminatorily target and profile the Muslim minority. If these measures face opposition, then await an atrocity to heavily spin and exploit. Make announcements that the Muslim community needs to “do more” to tackle radicalisation, ignore belligerent foreign policy and police-state actions and push through more measures, all the while profiling Muslims and eroding civil liberties for all.
This cyclical minority battering is really getting old.
There was more than a tinge of déjà vu with the Prime Minister’s speech in Slovakia. Cameron’s infamous Munich speech was notable in that, at a time when the EDL were spewing their alcohol-slurred and cognitively impaired hatred of all things Muslim in the city of Luton, Cameron spoke of “core British values”, and the threat of “Islamist extremism”. If anything, Cameron’s words were taken as credence by the EDL.
Cameron’s latest comments, which now swaps “Islamist” for “Islamic”, come against the backdrop of a terrorist attack committed against black Church-goers by a young white supremacist in the US who wanted to start a civil war. The timing of the two incidents could not have been more coincidental. I will refer back to this later on in my piece.
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.