The tranche of information provided by the Guardian and CAGE regarding the black propaganda network constituted of Home Office propaganda unit RICU, PR companies and ostensibly “independent” civil society organisations has certainly gotten the ball rolling. Information now, I suspect, will begin to percolate through various mediums and quarters exposing willing and unknowing partners in a distinctly totalitarian project.
In the past I have written extensively about Shaista Gohir’s Muslim Women’s Network (MWNUK), her links to PREVENT, her timely media interventions which propped the neoconservative government narrative against the Muslim minority, her positive association with sectarian neoconservative enablers Khalid Mahmood and her involvement with the persecutory, imperial globalised CVE agenda. The funding granted to her organisation from government after her public antics only served to represent the sour icing on a distinctly rotten cake.
MWNUK and Breaththrough Media Connection
The following question has maintained a concious presence generally for years but particularly so in the last few days: are we, the British people allowing ourselves to be governed in a totalitarian fashion?
A set of reports and leaks from the Guardian (here and here) and CAGE (“We are Completely Independent”) revealed that this totalitarianism had now become all too pervasive: a substantial body of information exposes an intertwining propaganda network which implicates private PR companies, the state and knowing or inadvertent civil society groups.
The details though loosely known, were still shocking to read in black white. I have speculated that the Home Office propaganda unit, RICU (Research Information and Communications Unit), may have been involved in last year’s documentary on “extremism” pumped out by neocon propagandist John Ware. I also brought to attention the connection between Sara Khan and her sister Sabin Khan who was alleged to be working in RICU. This connection since was highlighted in the home affairs select committee as being a source of potential conflict of interest, with Sabin being confirmed as deputy chief of RICU.
The piece continues from the first part:
Deforming Faith and History to Serve a Neocon Agenda Part I: Rashad Ali
Whilst Ali is known amongst Islamic scholarly circles for twisting texts and now history to suit the views his paymasters demand of him, there are other characters who are willing accomplices in this project.
Sara Khan seems to have been on a bit of a mission to shake off the negativity surrounding her involvement as a human rights-touting feminist who confusingly promotes the human rights-violating PREVENT Strategy through the incredibly feminist “weaponisation” of Muslim women. The Guardian’s Alex Preston penned a piece late last month looking at Khan and her work. Of pertinence is the exploitation, like her human rights and feminism discourse, of Islam.
Ignoring the fact that Islam guides on all facets of life, Khan homes in on the “fascination” of “Muslim clerics and preachers” with women’s clothing. For her, removing the veil “was about removing the authority of religious clerics”. Of course, with statements like that, considering that the Prophet of Islam was a man who designated the status of the Ulama as “heirs of the Prophets”, she might as well absolve herself of the authority Allah, and His Messenger, peace be upon him.
Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, since writing the previous blog, has additionally contributed her cries to another Guardian article. The report, ridiculously biased in its tone, continues to give the anti-Muslim head teacher space to air her unsubstantiated claims, without presenting too much of stern test of verification.
A Distraction from the Contentions Against Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson
Let me make this clear: most of the article is a deflection of the legitimate contentions I have raised against Hewitt-Clarkson’s bombastic claims. Nevertheless, I will entertain this distraction because the Trojan Hoax allegations are still being used to give credence to the totalitarian “extremism” policy announced yesterday. Theresa May, an extremist by her own definition, cited it an interview with the Beeb in which she failed to provide examples of the now widely criticised “extremism” policy would be applied. The Trojan Hoax farce was a pretext for these ridiculous measures; journalists and blustering, opportunistic teachers would do well to take note.
The Guardian article summons the powers of spin to discredit not only me (in the words of the neocon Michael Gove’s lackey Peter Clarke, “Islamist blogosphere” – what?! Now I’m an Islamist?!), but the cross-party Education Select Committee inquiry into the Trojan Hoax allegations, which found no “extremism”, bar one incident. I have clarified this one incident, but hey, why would the Guardian or any other paper regurgitating Clarke’s diatribe give a damn about the nuances when it comes to smearing Muslims. The Peter Clarke being quoted knew exactly what this one incident was; that it was allegedly PREVENT material being copied at the behest of PREVENT officers, yet he still sought to only note that the existence of an “Al-Qaeda video” at the school was “disputed” by Park View Trust.
Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, Head Teacher of Anderton Park School
It seems as though my previous blog has triggered some activity around the anti-Muslim head of Anderton Park School. The Birmingham Mail published an article reporting that the police were now “supporting” Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, who, as I highlighted, claimed that parents petitioning against what they deemed objectionable teaching material, dead animals in schools and a death threat (received as a text message in one report, and on Facebook in another), were evidence of the Trojan Hoax lies resurgent.
I requested evidence for these disparate claims, specifically, that these incidents were connected directly to the Trojan Hoax allegations as paraded at the NAHT Conference and subsequently in national newspapers.
I brought attention to the Guardian article which noted that West Midlands Police had no record of a complaint about the death threat being lodged at the time the claim was made, despite NAHT/Hewitt-Clarkson’s claims to the contrary. I requested a crime reference number as evidence that a complaint had been made at the time.
The fact that the police are now “supporting” Hewitt-Clarkson still does not remove the above contentions. If anything it makes the opportunistic head’s “Trojan Horse” claims all the more vacuous.
Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, Head of Anderton Primary School
The conclusions of the Education Select Committee regarding its investigation into the Trojan Hoax were unequivocal: there was no extremism, nor any takeover plot in Birmingham schools.
There was one incident, however as I have clarified, the fingers point back at a PREVENT officer using the school’s facility to copy over counter-extremism material. Despite this, Michael Gove’s buddy Peter Clarke and his report continue to be cited (see here and here), even though the report is riddled with issues: absence of corroborated evidence, ignorance of competing statements, (This bit here doesn’t make sense: those making claims were perpetuating them same but these issues were ignored) because they were not Muslim, and the commissioner of the report possessing an ideological hatred of Islam.
One would think that those teachers who saw the opportunity and obfuscated their personal vendettas with smears stereotypically implicating the Muslim community would perhaps learn their lesson, and not drag the demagogic terms “Trojan Horse” back onto the agenda. When it comes to one particular head teacher though, beating a neoconservative dead donkey is the order of the day.
And so the assault on the gloriously arbitrary “British values” of human rights, democracy and rule of law continues with the unveiling of the new Counter Terrorism Bill by Theresa May the extremist. As a concerned Muslim I felt it necessary to write on this for the simple fact that the Muslim perspective has been ignored through much of the debate around this thus far. Much of the mainstream media have not uttered a single word on the disproportionate and shot-gun style targeting under PREVENT. Even the dismal “Guardian View” ignored the discriminatory treatment resulting from the sledge-hammer being wielded by the neocons through the presumptively flawed PREVENT strategy.
Before looking at the proposals briefly it is worth recognising that the neocons pushing these policy are driven by a “persuasion” which believes in using “noble lies” to steer the “vulgar masses” towards a policy which serves the interests of the neocons. If this means bludgeoning “principles” of rule of law and human rights through their “prudence” unashamedly in name of these very “principles”, then so be it.
Building on a Successful Strategy?
The proposals make the draconian, Nazi-esque PREVENT policy a statutory duty to “prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” with this duty being imposed on schools, colleges, prisons and local councils to help with this totalitarian surveillance programme. In the words of Arendt, totalitarian societies like Nazi Germany employed,
“a system of ubiquitous spying, where everybody may be a police agent and each individual feels himself under constant surveillance.”
I have already elucidated on the problems the PREVENT strategy has been causing. The breadth of definition of “extremism” and the ambiguity in its application will mean a continued increase of miscarriages of justice. The report on PREVENT by CAGE outlines some of the absurdities which have been witnessed. Young children being referred under the Channel deradicalisation programme for merely possessing CD’s of Sufi scholars, Muslim women being referred for merely increasing in their religiosity, donning the niqab and jilbab whilst their families have been harassed by officers, female deaf patients at hospitals being referred under Channel, with their laptop and phone confiscated for simply browsing online reports about Syria. The examples are shocking as they are despotic. On top of this, ACPO figures reveal that the Muslim minority continues to be disproportionately targeted by Channel. Between April 2012 and the end of March 2014, 56 percent of those referred for deradicalisation were Muslim. The Charity Commission, a partner agency of PREVENT, is also disproportionately targeting the Muslim minority.