Enter a caption Arend van Dam
As of yet, I have refrained from writing on the EU referendum, despite being prompted by friends to provide the neoconservative perspective.
Given the indeterminacy and misleading nature of the arguments being presented, the truth is I could not produce an advisory for either choice for reasons which will become evident through the course of this piece. One thing was for sure, that those who have been responsible for politically terraforming the closed society here in Britain and other Western countries, as well as physically destroying the Middle East courtesy of benevolent bombs and civilising war, had largely been ignored.
The neoconservative position has been a split one. It needs to be understood however, that the core aim is not being differed (militarisation, projection of power etc.), but rather the approach.
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.
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:
Crosspost: Abdullah Andalusi
I noticed that the proudly Secular Liberal Maajid Nawaz, who describes himself as ‘a reforming liberal’ [sic] who founded the ironically titled Secular-Liberal campaign group, ‘Quilliam Foundation’ has recently taken umbrage at an event that is due to happen on 13th November 2015 called ‘Quiz a Muslim’, because it has on the panel Muslim speakers Maajid presumably doesn’t approve of (i.e. Muslims who are not Secular Liberals like himself). He described the panel as ‘all-male Islamist Rogues’.
Maajid’s argument on this, is that all the panellists (of which I am one) are ‘Caliphate-advocating Islamists’. His argument is ‘they believe in every core principle ISIS believes in, and they reject ISIS merely because they made their move for a Caliphate ‘too soon & too fast’.
As usual, Maajid not only uses strawman arguments, but also absurdly fallacious ones. Muslims already know this, so the rest of this article is mostly intended for non-Muslims who may not be so clear about Islamic teachings, and may not be able to detect Maajid’s misrepresentations (although Muslims may benefit from the arguments too).
“There should be no ungoverned spaces…” – Prevent Strategy
David Cameron’s speech was textbook neoconservativism. It was characterised by the need to manufacture an enemy for the state to court a form of fear-based nationalism, which enables warring and a resultant neocon-shaped society founded upon principles of fascism and increasing authoritarianism.
A “Greater Britain”, a Neocon Britain
It is certainly interesting to note that a “Greater Britain” for Cameron “begins by making the case for strong defence”. It echoes neocon hawks William Kristol and Robert Kagan’s “remoralisation of America” which requires a hegemonic foreign policy. There was much veneration of the global militarism in Cameron’s speech directly tied to the “greatness” of Britain and national identity. For war, an enemy the “nation” can relate to and remain in fear of, is required. In other words, an identity based on the “other” through fear is the Machiavellian recipe for a Straussian “closed society” shorn of individual liberty and freedom.
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.
One of the most evident and prominent issues of self-proclaimed “reformist” deformists often guided by the malicious neoconservative discourse on Islam is that just a like a deformity, the arguments promulgated are often malformed, incongruent and inconsistent. With materialism and unfettered desires replacing a heart nurtured by spirituality, the claims of such individuals are as erratic as their egos. Be it “feminists” like Sara Khan using women as “weapons” in the fight against extremism, or “reforming liberal Muslims” who use post-modernist malarkey to give justification to their lifestyles devoid of Islam, oxymoron and desperation does not begin to describe these efforts to deconstruct Islam and the Muslim identity rooted in within the Islamic paradigm.
Maajid Nawaz is no different in avoiding these contradictions. Whether it is bemoandefing “hatchet-jobs” against him while feverishly tweeting blatant propaganda from the Daily Mail, happily receiving funding from “extremists” to counter-extremism, or attacking journalists and academics who have criticised him for their “privileged elite” backgrounds whilst simultaneously acting as a significant conduit in delivering a neoconservative, colonialist campaign of “reforming” Islam to the glee of hate preachers like Douglas Murray and Sam Harris, (and blatantly ignoring his own Western liberal privilege when lecturing Muslims about the need to reform Islam to conform to ethereal liberal ideals), there is a clear display of the hallmarks of one riddled with internal conflicts devoid of a stable moral-compass. Indeed, this moral compass, in his own words do not require “Hadith to set… morality”, the second foremost scriptural set of texts which form the basis of Islam.