After Noam Chomsky endorsing Asim Qureshi’s analysis of the radicalisation of Mohammed Emwazi, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman called Qureshi onto their show to further explore the topic.
The video can be seen at the link here.
Crosspost: Democracy Now!
We look at the strange case of the man nicknamed Jihadi John, the Islamic State militant seen in the beheading videos of James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Last week, press accounts identified him as a Londoner named Mohammed Emwazi who was originally from Kuwait. Emwazi moved to Britain as a child and studied computer science at the University of Westminster. The story has touched off a debate in Britain over policing and monitoring of potential threats. How did Emwazi go from being a university student in Britain to being the face of the Islamic State? Did British security services play a role in his radicalization? We are joined by Asim Qureshi of the British prisoner group CAGE, who knew Emwazi until he left Britain for good in 2012.
Boris Johnson is upset. From Facebook fulminations to Torygraph tirades, he clearly has been incensed by the release of information by CAGE about Mohammed Emwazi and the resultant impact on the normally plane-sailing, “blame ideology” narrative. In doing so, he repeats much of the same confused, irrational and emotionally charged rhetoric which clearly misrepresents what CAGE have been stating. I have addressed some of these misrepresentations in previous blogs (here and here).
Asim Qureshi yesterday called into an LBC interview with Johnson to clarify his position. Johnson, with a degree more calm, proceeded to repeat the same as the above: more irrationality and more irrelevant dictations. It must be emphasised that the interview was ridiculously biased, with Qureshi repeatedly muted, making way for Johnson to make his point.
I was planning on doing a point by point analysis of the discussion, however, many of the accusations made against Qureshi have been brilliantly batted back by himself in a BBC interview. It must be heard. See this link here. (Note that this is not the full interview, other accusations are dealt with in the full interview, here.) No doubt had Qureshi been given an equal opportunity to respond, he would have shown Johnson’s superficial cries to be unsubstantiated.
There were a couple of points I wanted to elaborate on regarding Johnson’s statements.
(CC image courtesy of Truthout.org on Flickr)
(London, UK) The CIA report into rendition and torture has confirmed what CAGE has been saying for many years: that the United States of America and her allies have spun, in the name of fighting terrorism, a web of abuse and deceit that has ensnared and in some cases killed thousands of innocent men, women and children, and that these policies have created more terror than they have stamped out.
Moazzam Begg of CAGE, a former detainee at both Bagram and Guantanamo Bay, said:
‘Though the US have admitted to wrongdoing in this report, we are not any closer toward accountability. Lives of victims and their families, including mine, have been turned upside down, yet there has been no apology, no sense of contrition by the perpetrators or prosecutions of those responsible for what has taken place.
‘In fact there has only been more hate and suspicion directed at former detainees who are probably the most interrogated people on the face of the earth. I reached out to my forrmer Guantanamo guards and torturers, invited them to meet my family and toured the UK speaking at a number of venues with them, yet I was refused entry to Canada where I had gone to meet survivors of US administered rendition and torture, because I was deemed to be a security threat to the United States despite my innocence.
Sara Khan’s credentials have taken a battering with her latest attempts at “tackling extremism”. Her links with Quilliam illuminaries and her endorsement of all things reformationist, have completely ruined her credibility amongst the mainstream Islamic community. Much can be written about Sara Khan and her organisation, Inspire. And I mean a lot. Her reformationist outlook which spills into marginalising (and here) the mainstream within the Muslim minority who uphold an alternate view to her, the endless “news” on ISIS and “extremism” in the news section, but complete silence on the issue of Gaza (and the comparative inactivity and inaction against the Zionist state of Israel – a possible factor in “radicalisation”), support from devolved reformationists like Usama Hasan and of course, how can we forget the Trojan Hoax plot – her diatribe recycles the lies and twists and even positively cites discredited anti-Muslim Andrew Gilligan. And that’s just a superficial anlaysis of her “work”.
Her latest charade involves her “Making a Stand” against ISIS, with the full support of David Cameron and Theresa May, both “extremists” using the PREVENT defintion and both of whom want to scrap the Human Rights Act to the rebuke of more reputable human rights organisations. No campaigns against them Sara? Continue reading
See also: The Ideology Threatening Britain is Neoconservatism Mr Cameron
(London, UK) On 29 August 2014, UK Prime Minister David Cameron publicly declared that the threat level to the UK had been raised due to fear of British nationals returning from the Middle East.
CAGE has been documenting abuses of due process in the War on Terror for over a decade and expresses grave concerns about the planned measures. CAGE’s Research Director, Asim Qureshi, commented:
“This is a wild overreaction by UK government that will lead to further curtailment of civil liberties and abuse of the rule of law. Passport removal powers have always existed and have already been used against several individuals. Today’s developments can only be seen as another opportunistic grab for power by the security state after an escalation in the climate of fear.”
“Such a policy raises questions and serious concerns around how such decisions will be made and on whom it will be applied: will aid workers and journalists have their passports confiscated? Will this apply to only those Britons that are of Muslim background even if they are medics, aid workers or journalists? What scrutiny will exist for such decisions and how can an individual challenge such decisions?”
“The answer is not to further criminalise the Muslim community by removing their rights without due process and by extending anti-terror laws. This will only fuel disenfranchisement and anger amongst Muslims in Britain. In its report, PREVENT: A Cradle to Grave Police State, CAGE has documented how the PREVENT programme has treated Muslims as a suspect community. It has alienated the Muslim community to such an extent that it is now a cause of radicalisation. Any further extensions will turn the Muslim community into a criminal community subject to McCarthyist style witch-hunts.”
“Since the start of the Arab spring on 18 December 2010, hundreds of British nationals travelled to the Middle East, including to countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Iraq. During that period of time there has not been a single incident of British nationals returning to the UK having been involved in plots to commit acts of political violence. Based on current experience, the ‘threat level’ seems to be widely exaggerated.”
“CAGE has reported on the risk posed by those who travel to Syria, and particularly on the way in which ‘threat levels’ to the UK are increased – being very much based on both a hawkish foreign and domestic policy. Since 24 September 2010, the threat level has remained at a constant ‘substantial’ throughout and it has only now been increased to ‘severe’ following UK government involvement in Iraq.”
“Figures related to British volunteer fighters in Syria and Iraq have been widely exaggerated and remain unsubstantiated, feeding into the climate of fear that is designed to provoke knee jerk reactions. There are even claims that 500 have joined the Islamic State organisation which are completely false.”
“British military involvement in the Muslim world is the root cause of radicalisation and the cause of the counter threat from the Islamic State. IS has not declared the UK to be a target of its operations, although this may now change since UK involvement in bombings.”
“Those individuals who are absolutely determined to take up a military role in the struggles in Iraq and Syria and lose their life in the process are not likely to be deterred by the thought of a loss of British passport.”