2016 Reflections: Deformation of Islam and the Neoconservative Threat to Society

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It is that time of the year: a hectic month as the British people recover from their frenzied Christmas shopping, briefly punctuated with the peace of the annual family get together, only to be followed by scrambling over various items thanks to the hype produced by corporations eager to increase the debt through boxing day “sales”. As the recovery from these activities begins and the damage to the bank accounts dawn, we take advantage of this lull for some customary reflection.

This year has been a particularly unsettling one; the sordidly racist campaign which ultimately culminated in Brexit; the far-right terrorist attack claiming the life of Jo Cox – the first killing of an MP in 26 years; the B-movie being played in the US starring Donald Trump, the West-wide rise of the far-right and unleashing of political and social xenophobia, security globalisation via totalitarian measures like the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) agenda; Britain passing one of the world’s widest and intrusive surveillance laws; the list goes on.  Sadly, it is the Muslim minority, either through scapegoating or being subjected to the fruits of this dangerous concoction of nationalism, disenfranchisement through the global neoliberal order, and neoconservative domestic and foreign policies, which has by and large, bore the brunt.

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A Review of the Louise Casey Review – 1

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I was experiencing some hesitation in writing on Louise Casey’s review into opportunity and integration, for there is no theme or narrative in the report which I have not deconstructed and then exposed as being underpinned by fascist, neoconservative ideas.  However, bar a few incisive comment pieces on the report, many articles have barely scratched the surface in terms of articulating just how repulsively dangerous the content of this Review really is. This requires documentation.

The drums of “integration” have been beating for years as minorities, and in particular the Muslim minority, have been objectified as convenient fodder for political exploitation; they are the glutton for systemic policy failures and the problems flowing from an ever widening economic (and reality) gap between the establishment and broader society. The review into integration by Louise Casey however, has a more explicitly sharper ideological slant, which can be traced to David Cameron’s reign and in turn, his circle of psychotic neocons.

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Liberalism’s Muscular Dystrophy when it comes to the Orthodox Jewish Community

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Previous blogs:

Discriminatory Michael Wilshaw’s Problem with Islam and Muslims

Treatment of Jewish Religious Schools Evidences Muslim Minority Discrimination

Why is the Extremism Label not being Applied to the Orthodox Jewish Community?

Gilligan, Jewish Schools and the Discriminatory Treatment of the Muslim Minority

Corporal Punishment in Jewish School – No Major News Spread Like Muslim Schools


The issue of “unregistered schools”, at least the political and media spheres, has focussed largely on Muslims.  More specifically, this has been peppered and spiced, particularly by Ofsted’s Michael Wilshaw with the rhetoric of pupil “vulnerability” to “extremism”. As I have previously catalogued, this accompanying rhetoric is nearly always focussed on the Muslim community and swift action is seen through various, thoroughly publicised communiques between Ofsted and the Department for Education. The issue of unregistered schools in the Haredi community, despite the religious group holding views clearly violating the PREVENT-based “British values”, is never coloured with the brush of possible terrorism. The same is also true of Christian “unregistered” set-ups.

The official state social engineering policy of muscular liberalism remains flexed when it comes to Muslims. But only for Muslims.

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“English Islam” and the “Wahaabi” Scapegoat

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The deformation of Islam has not always had its roots in what are today clearly identifiable subversive “reform Muslims” and organisations. Traditional Ulama (Islamic scholars) have been politically exploited to provide the means by which neocons can push their agenda to deconstruct Islam.  These “moderate” scholars would provide the legitimising face behind which lurked an insidious agenda to deform Islam into what Cheryl Bernard’s RAND corporation publication would call a “democratised Islam”; a postmodernist faith devoid of substance or meaning.

The push for the creation of a “British Islam” during the late 2000s was rooted in an underlying aim to create an “institutionally approved, ‘mainstream’, and ‘moderate’ expression of Islam”, which, through state-funded Muslim organisations (like Radical Middle Way and National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group), would “engineer if not exact power” in the Muslim community. Of course, scholars that had initially given backing to such organisations have now distanced themselves from the counter-extremism policies which these initial projects engendered.

The effort to abuse Sufi Islam into courting a political agenda has seen a resurgence domestically and internationally. These trends and movements are, tellingly, monitored and advocated by Israel due to the somewhat misplaced assumption that it provides for a pliant Islam which is amenable to Western military escapades in Muslim lands.

“English Islam”

Recent reports and events demonstrate an evolution of this tired trickery.

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The Muslim Question (5) The Implications of Trevor Phillips’s Documentary for Muslims

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This is the final part to a series of blogs analysing the recent Channel 4 documentary titled, “What British Muslims Really Think”

Part 1: An Orchestrated Attack on Islam

Part 2: Brief Profile of Trevor Phillips

Part 3: Trevor Phillips’ Propaganda and Normalisation of Muslim Minority Discrimination

Part 4: Trevor Phillips and the Forging of a Closed Society

Having delved into the Straussian nightmare neoconservatives are dog-whistling to implement for broader society in the previous article, here we will examine the implications of Trevor Phillips’ words for the Muslim minority by drawing parallels with particular events in history.

Evil to Outsiders

Alienating a particular minority in order to achieve neoconservative objectives necessitates an enemy.  Further, the Straussian conception of justice of the state, in the words of Shadia Drury, means doing “evil to enemies or outsiders”.[1]

By treating Muslims as the outsiders – “a nation within the nation” – the enemy is conceived and thus, evil unto them is legitimised.

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The Muslim Question (3): Trevor Phillips’ Propaganda for Neocon Policies and Normalisation of Muslim Minority Discrimination

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A series of blogs analysing the recent Channel 4 documentary titled, “What British Muslims Really Think”

Part 1: An Orchestrated Attack on Islam

Part 2: Brief Profile of Trevor Phillips

We now turn our attention to the Channel 4 documentary.

There has been much discussion on the survey from the perspective of methodological issues, with some commentators even edging on the patronising as the insinuation is made that “conservative views” are the preserve of “deprived areas” that house “Pakistani or Bangladeshi” people.

More troubling criticisms relate to the loaded question fallacies inherent in the survey, the applicability of questions to the control group, and the subsequent spin which Trevor Phillips applies. These aspects will be will be touched upon through this piece.

Accompanying the neocon propaganda documentary was a piece authored by Trevor Phillips himself in the Daily Mail. Both were a master class in spin constituted of a number of red herrings.  These will be deconstructed to reveal a concerted effort to excommunicate the Muslim minority from society, rendering them the alien upon which neoconservative policies can be predicated.

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