The sinking tanker that is the PREVENT Strategy seems to be sinking faster with a further series of setbacks. And as the conveyor-belt theory crew from Quilliam and the Henry Jackson Society, propagandists from establishment media and smearists à la Harry’s Place go into overdrive to wrest the inevitable, the tanker keeps on losing its ballast.
It was meant to be plain sailing, it seems. The “Jihadi John” unveiling would have provided a convenient pretext to introduce further exclusionary and discriminatory measures: a Londoner radicalised presumably by hate-preachers who went onto become the most hated-man on earth. The measures have been introduced as conveniently “leaked” to the anti-Muslim government mouthpiece Andrew Gilligan, with the details being published in the Telegraph. The PREVENT surveillance programme has now been extended to job centres, there is a call for an “independent review” of Sharia courts, as Jewish Beth Din courts remain untouched, a ban on “radicals” working unsupervised with children for fear of brainwashing, and a raft of other measures to “get tough” in enforcing radical nationalism that is the neoconservative antidote to liberal laxity: “British values”.
Of course, Jihadi John would have been the perfect narrative for the above set of Stasi measures, but for a CAGE-shaped rock shearing the underside of the PREVENT tanker. Since then, it hasn’t been a stable ride. CAGE’s position has practically demonstrated the inefficacy of the PREVENT Strategy and in doing so, it has proven the academic deconstruction of PREVENT.
The calumniations against CAGE have continued unabated to delegitimise their government-shaking statements and concerns through the right-wing, neoconservative and Zionist media outlets. Most of these articles, if not all have tried to construct a strawman portraying CAGE as the “supporters of terrorism”, but have been unable to provide legitimate academic refutation of core arguments posited by the organisation. The “experts” which have come forth to protect their failed theories are primarily the politicians, as well as cheap hacks climbing up their professions through the well-beaten, Muslim-bashing career tracks, and opportunist human rights “activists”.
One of these “experts” brought out against CAGE is fundamentalist, secularist, feminist, extremist, anti-Muslimist, (why not eh?) Gita Saghal, (formerly of Amnesty International), who’s claim to fame is slandering Moazzam Begg, Asim Qureshi and CAGE in 2010. By bandying her name, the media has been seeking to undermine the credentials of CAGE (see, inter alia, here, and more recently the “expert” in the Jewish Chronicle, here), whilst failing to address the claims against the security services. Shamefully capitulating to media pressure, Amnesty have stated that they are “reconsidering their relationship with CAGE”, and that campaigning with CAGE will be “highly unlikely in the current circumstances of seeing the kind of public statements that are being made [by Cage].” Incidentally these “kinds of public statements” have been supported by leading intellectual, Noam Chomsky.
For an organisation which seeks to work with facts rather than smears, it really is a testimony to the pervasiveness of the anti-Muslim hysteria, where allegations, circulated en mass, can be treated as the truth if the subject of those allegations is Muslim.
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.
A Masjid in Bolton
After a year of writing articles refuting and exposing the lies, spin and hypocrisy of right-wing/neoconservative politicians and media outlets, the latent bigotry of secular liberal proponents who propound “equality” at (primarily) the expense of the Muslim minority, one may conclude that xenophobic hypocrisy is a firm part of British policymaking. Muslim minority discrimination has become all but a norm in Western societies, which pride themselves on the notions of due process and human rights. A change in condition is required in line with the international legal status of a minority. Let this not be spun into what secularist extremists like to call, “special treatment”. No. The Muslim minority needs to be freed from political point-scoring, smearing and scapegoating, and free to practice the Islamic faith like other Orthodox communities. It must be freed from government intervention into religion architecting the “right” beliefs which suit government foreign policy objectives, and free from labels of “extremism” being applied to our manifestations to signify “wrong” beliefs. Yes we agree with the secular liberals. We don’t want this special treatment.
As other media outlets like to review the previous year highlighting what has passed, I will take a different approach. There has been a grand orchestration by the government to push for power at the expense of principles which safeguard the man from state abuses. This I have consistently argued has philosophically stemmed from the neoconservative persuasion adopted by key officials as a matter of policy. Let us briefly go through the key events which I think have been crucial in perpetuating Muslim minority discrimination in 2014.
“One of the most atrocious violations against human dignity is the act of torture, the result of which destroy the dignity and impairs the capability of victims to continue their lives and their activities.”
The spin which has been pumped regarding the true nature of US activities is based on a precedent of architecting lies and selling it to Western audiences by their “statesmen”. As I will allude to later in greater depth, it is the neoconservative thinking which has forged a path of deception which masks the truth from the public purely on the basis that the public cannot handle the truth (because they are incapable of doing so) and therefore they need to be sold “noble lies” to pursue objectives.
In 2007 Bush declared, “our government doesn’t do torture”, despite the fact that according to the Torture Report Bush had acknowledged the existence of the program on the 6th of September 2006. In other words, he lied. Leading up to the release of the report, Bush focussed on the “heroes” who were doing their “duty” thus repackaging his lies in the form of distorted and delusional patriotism. This “duty” has now had ramifications in Iraq and Syria.
Whilst our neocon statesmen were happily using the ISIS beheading videos as fodder to pursue military aggression abroad and enacting legislation banning dissent and policing thought at home, a small but significant aspect of the videos was conveniently ignored: the victims were garbed in Guantanamo Bay jumpsuits. Indeed a number ISIS operatives have been tortured by Western agencies at one point in time or another. The rules of war were “changed” escalating brutality. As highlighted by activist Asim Qureshi,
“The Islamic State exists, and it has not only secondary experience, but lived experience of the abuses carried out in the name of the War on Terror. The danger of that lived experience is not in just its disenfranchisement of those affected, it is that it will be given further oxygen to the idea the other new forms of abuse will somehow bring this conflict to an end.”
Neocon outlets like FOX began “shaping” the perception of the public which started buying into the utility of torture despite its ubiquitous status as completely unjustifiable and unworkable. Torture simply does not work. And this has been reinforced by the Torture Report which found such methods did not yield actionable intelligence which foiled plots. Instead it led the CIA to dead ends, and the US government to bad decisions. As Moazzam Begg noted, the torture of Ibn al Sheikh Al Libi resulted in a false testimony which linked Saddam to Al-Qaeda, forming the primary basis for the neocons in Washington and Britain to architect a war which has led to the appalling situation in Iraq and Syria.
I have outlined in previous blog how the government has in essence stripped the people before the State and shrouded itself against scrutiny. Earlier in the year the case of David Miranda became a significant milestone in the treatment of journalists. He was detained under the anti-terror legislation at an airport because he possessed encrypted intelligence documents. More recently news surfaced that Metropolitan police had been recording journalistic activities on a secret database designed to monitor “domestic extremists”. Journalists are being “assaulted monitored and stopped and searched by police during their work, which often includes documenting police misconduct”.
The question remains, for a government which promotes democratic principles to the point that it happily enforces its respect in the guise of “British values”, why are journalists whom are supposed to be the practical manifestation of the principle of government transparency being harangued and monitored like this? To reverse the question to the State: what have you got to hide?
Inextricably linked is the treatment of whistle-blowers. Miranda’s detention is but one example. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden have helped disclose the excesses of western governments which would have otherwise gone unnoticed without accountability. Yet these individuals are pursued to the point that they have to hide in embassies and seek asylum.