How an Imam Exposed the Anti-Muslim Normalcy and Repression via Tory Leadership Race

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You must be the right type of Muslim with the right type of mindset to be allowed into the political arena. A Sajid Javid/Maajid Nawaz-type whose practice of Islam is non-existent and politically kow-tows to the neocons and pro-Israel lobby, would be ideal.

Are you a confident Muslim who asserts mainstream Islamic and political views that do not pander to the aforementioned circles?  Forget democracy and all that British Values nonsense and prepare to have the weight of the establishment bear down on you and your livelihood targeted.

A recent orchestrated furore exemplifies this.

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NZF: A Clarification that Fails to Clarify

The responses to my piece on NZF have been spritely to put it mildly.

Luqman Ali of Khayaal Theatre engaged with me on Facebook, first stating he didn’t have time to respond, before putting an emotional response together which accused me of proffering “spurious allegations” (the Facebook comments have been deleted, the comments left on the blog are still present). Of course, when asked to point out these spurious allegations, nothing substantive was forthcoming. What seemed to escape Ali was that it was the zakat funding at stake; would I or any other Muslim concerned about how their zakat money is used, fund what he is doing?

Some seemingly stamped out comments claimed it was a “fitna” and “defamation”. Another invoked the well-worn “adab” card, though I don’t recall donors and the poor being asked whether they agreed with the direction NZF was heading in. As expected, none of the comments engaged or disputed the material that had been presented.

Then came NZF’s “Statement of Clarification” (updated on the 29th of May in response to 5PillarsUK’s coverage, I am concerned with the “The Detail” section).

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Britain should apologise for the Balfour Declaration, not ‘celebrate’ it

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Reading from the blog: Sykes-Picot: A Century of Conspiratorial, Fatal Games


CROSSPOST: Professor Kamel Hawwash

The Balfour Declaration is a letter from the then British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Walter Rothschild, for transmission to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. The critical part of this short letter said: “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

This was a prime example of colonial arrogance by which Britain, which was not then in occupation of Palestine, promised the Zionist Federation, which did not represent all Jews, without the consent of the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, the Palestinians, to facilitate the creation of a homeland for Jews in Palestine. The letter was dated 2 November 1917.

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Orientalism, Palestine and covering Islam

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CROSSPOST: Dr Hatem Bazian

Three of Edward Said’s books are as timely today as the day they were published almost 40 years ago: Orientalism (1978), The Question of Palestine (1979), and Covering Islam (1981). The three constitute Said’s trilogy that focused on literary and artistic representation in the service of empire, colonial dispossession, and the media shaping and reproducing Orientalist tropes. Said’s contributions are an invaluable source for anyone attempting to deconstruct the ebbs and flows of events and development in the Arab and Muslim worlds. At the same time, the three books offer a strong critique of Western policies and public discourse that purport to cover the “East” as a separate and mysterious place filled with irrationality.

Observing the daily events in the Arab and Muslim worlds, one is at a loss to comprehend the sheer destruction and the snuffing out of hope faced by a multitude of peoples – 1.4 billion, to be precise. Said’s writing intuitively de-constructed the racialized lens used by Western academics, press, and policymakers to justify their continued disregard of the needs and well-being of the Arab and Muslim worlds.

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Zionism is a global apparatus that seeks to shut down will of the people

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CROSSPOST: Nadia Elia

Last week, millions of Palestinians around the world commemorated the 68th anniversary of Al Nakba, the catastrophe that befell Palestine, without which the Jewish state could not have come into being.

Palestinian refugees in the Naqab desert, in Gaza, in the West Bank, and in a number of refugee camps in neighbouring Arab countries held symbolic “return marches” in a determined assertion that we are not surrendering our Right of Return. The “March of Return” in the Naqab was especially significant, as it was held in defiance of Israel’s ban on any commemoration of Al Nakba.

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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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Indifference to Blatant Muslim Profiling

Copyright: msnbc

Over the past couple of weeks, a number of stories, each exceeding the other in the ridiculousness, have surfaced. Imagine the following scenario:

News reports hit media outlets that the government has drafted a policy which was primarily being implemented in the Jewish areas of Manchester and Stamford Hill. The policy threatens to close down Synagogues and ban Jewish speakers for promoting “extremism” – a term which is often conflated with religious conservatism and unpopular/dissenting political viewpoints. Primary school Jewish children are targeted and asked “radicalisation” questions such as, whether they believe their religion to be the correct one. Jewish children as young as eleven are subject to “external agencies” which “educate” about “extremism”, radicalisation and “terrorism”. The parents of four year-olds are invited by Primary schools to workshops on how to “detect” radicalisation. Jewish students who oppose the draconian policy are banned from their college for protesting a decision to cancel an event discussing the policy. Software companies capitalise on the insanity by selling software to schools which filtered for words like “goy”, “Shoa”, “Moshe Ya’alon”, “Benjamin Netanyahu”, “Operation Protective Edge”, and “IDF”. Tens of Jewish-only teachers have been purged from the education sphere. The government funds and utilises unrepresentative and widely rejected members from the community to assist in the attack on schools in Jewish areas and also trots them out to give credence to their policy.

What would the response be to the above? Would not comparisons be drawn to the Third Reich? Would not cries of anti-Semitism and calls for the government to be castigated made? Would we accept the destruction of democratic principles and hypocritical postulations of rule of law and “equal treatment”?

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Abdullah-X or Abdul-Neocon?

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One of the recurring themes of “counter-extremism” groups – be it the latent Radical Middle Way (RMW) and ISB, or the more overt Quilliam Foundation, and the puppeteered Humza Arshad – is that it always tracks back to an agenda to undermine Islam, “reform” it, crush dissent and deflect Western foreign policy critique. This is one of the reasons why, I believe, that our “transparent” public bodies are more resilient in disclosing the organisations they are funding from the counter-extremism pot. A link to PREVENT is all that is needed to expose the soul-destroying efforts of whichever organisation is acting as a conduit for neoconservative, anti-Islam agendas.

With the counter-extremism industry growing over the years, a cross-pollination of those neoconservative-based ideas has occurred, primarily between US, UK and Europe. The ideal for the neocons is to mount an ethnocentric, culturalist attack on Islam. History shows us two ways of doing this, as exemplified by Britain’s evolution of the PREVENT Strategy. The current strategy is one of secularisation of Islam through the “British values” social engineering programme. The previous strategy, also designed by the “sophist” (or rather supremacist) minds of neocons is one where apolitical, pacifist readings, usually through the abuse of Sufi Ulama, is posited as the “ideal” Islam. This is a temporary measure only, of course, until the next phase of the neocon agenda of aggressively promoting “progressive Muslims” and “ex-Muslims” is entered, as per the current strategy.

This strategy of promoting “moderate Islam” seems to be returning into vogue, as can be seen by Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah and Imam Hamza Yusuf-endorsed ImamsOnline initiative. Another recurrent theme is the Zionist interest and involvement in influencing the counter-extremism discourse, with the likes of Mossad internationally monitoring “moderate”, pacifist Muslim movements, and domestically, organisations like the Board of deputies of Jews contributing to the counter-extremism policy.

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Jumping on the deradicalisation VW Camper Van is “Abdullah-X”, a character of a graphic novel aimed at providing the “counter-narrative”. The character in the initial episodes experiences some sort of divine unveiling, all on the topic of “extremism”. He then possesses a “mind of a scholar” and the “heart of a warrior” who proceeds to provide the counter-narrative to the “extremist” discourse. Not exactly Frank Miller’s Dark Knight then.

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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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Gaza: An Expression

With the victory of Gaza in the hands of the Palestinians, it is worth remembering the resilience, tests and trials of the Palestinians against a brutal oppressor. The emotions of Ummah have constantly juggled between shock, anger and sadness. The poem below was written by Another Concerned Muslim and perfectly encapsulates those feelings and emotions as the world looked on.

 Guest Post: Another Concerned Muslim
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