Propagandising Prevent: The Neocon Exploitation of the Manchester Arena Bombing

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The 22nd May Manchester Arena bombing has etched a particularly traumatic experience into the people of Britain. The attack in Manchester has claimed the lives of young teenagers, including an eight-year old.  My sympathies go out to the victims of this atrocity.

I delayed writing on this topic for two reasons; the first being in respect of the lives lost; the second because so little had been established concerning the motive.  With the Westminster attack, if we recall, there was a significant internalisation of blame by the Muslim minority without establishment of key facts – a dynamic that was fully exploited by neocons.  Indeed, once the motive was established, it pointed to an uncomfortable motive, which is increasingly being marginalised in the discourses that seek to analyse the “causes” of terrorism: Western violence.

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Barelwi and “Salafi-Islamist” “Extremism” – Sara Khan, Securitisation of Minorities and the Deformation Project

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To recap, Sara Khan had a written a piece for the anti-fascist group Hope not Hate’s (HnH) report State of Hate 2017. The first piece analysing it, Sara Khan’s connections with neoconservatives and the far-right counter-Jihad movement were established, demonstrating the incoherence of HnH’s decision to incorporate her writing.  In the second piece, the PREVENT framework Khan employed was demonstrated to be rooted in a problematic neoconservative epistemology, the consequence of which has been the demonisation of the Muslim diaspora and an effort to control Muslim discourse.  This was shown to be evident in Khan’s own writing, indicating to the fact that HnH had been used as a vehicle to promote PREVENT.

In this piece, the hypocritical exploitation of differences in various groups related to Muslims, as a mechanism to further extend the counter-terrorism framework in order to stringently regulate more facets of Muslim discourse, will be explored.  Khan’s tendency to exaggerate incidents and distort cases will also be highlighted through the piece.

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RICU Revelations: The British Government’s War on the Muslim Minority

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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.

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PREVENT-Supporting Fiyaz Mughal and Political Opportunism

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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.

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Tell Mama is Nearing its Sell-by Date


Crosspost: Dilly Hussain

In light of the new recording of Islamophobia law coming into effect in April, controversial anti-Muslim hate monitoring organisation Tell Mama will inevitably be made redundant, writes Dilly Hussain.

Muslims across the UK are eagerly awaiting the publication of the much-anticipated Counter Extremism Bill.

Prolific Government statements throughout 2015 set out its intent to tackle the “extremist ideology” that apparently lurks behind “Islamist extremism”, and the justifiable counter-concerns about yet further encroachments on Muslim civil liberties, makes this as significant a political struggle as the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill at the start of 2015.

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David Cameron’s ‘counter extremism’ experts work with far-right Donald Trump sympathisers

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Crosspost: Nafeez Ahmed

Last week, leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump provoked global outrage with his call for a ‘temporary’ ban on all Muslim immigration to the United States.

His remarks also sparked enthusiastic support from neo-Nazi white supremacists, triggered a spike in campaign donations, and maintained his 35% lead in the Republican campaign race.

In Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron described Trump’s proposal as “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong.”

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Deforming Faith and History to Serve a Neocon Agenda Part III – Adam Deen

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This third and final part directly continues from the Part II:

Deforming Faith and History to Serve a Neocon Agenda Part I: Rashad Ali

Deforming Faith and History to Serve a Neocon Agenda Part II: Sara Khan

Also operating within the well-oil neocon counter-extremism machine is the Quilliam Foundation, which brings us to Adam Deen’s rather expected (see here also) announcement of joining the cold war-era style state-validator organisation. In his blog piece announcing the squandering of his faith, Deen convolutedly explains why he wants to fight “extremism” but fails to convincingly explain why he would join an organisation born in the lap of another extremism – neoconservatism – which continues to legitimise neoconservative policies.

This equivocation-ridden nucleus in his piece indicates to the pseudo-intellectualism which comes head way in the second paragraph.  Deen is, like Sara Khan, a fan of the deconstructionist, Khaled Abou El Fadl.  The fanboyism, though, is taken to a new level. He writes,

“It may not be coincidence that al-Hakim al-Jishumiyya al-Bayhaqi (a Hanafi Mu’tazili jurist from the 12th century) in his book ‘Satan’s Epistle’ asks: “if Satan were given the chance to speak on the Day of Judgment, whom would he pay tribute to?”  Al Bayhaqi concludes that Satan would end up praising and thanking every Muslim who adapted ideas that attributed to God things that were irrational, unjust or hideous.”

This is lifted from Abou El Fadl’s The Search for Beauty in Islam: A Conference of Books almost verbatim:[1]

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