A couple of years ago, I noted that the substantive content in the campaign of attacks against Shaykh Haytham al-Haddad designed to smear him as “extremist” were in fact normative Islamic beliefs which cut across the theological spectrum. Shaykh al-Haddad was the proxy for the attack on Islam.
Since then, David Cameron himself has interfered with religion, attacking Islamic beliefs and practices, promoting deformists as the face of Islam, all the while employing doublespeak and urging the Muslim minority to shun the “conspiracy theories” that Islam is under attack. Looking from the colonialist, Eurocentric lens, all manner of denigration has been hurled at Islam, as “mutual tolerance” and “respect” is simultaneously preached to the Muslim community.
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.