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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Deconstructing the “PREVENT is Safeguarding” Spin

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Last year, the hate-financed Henry Jackson Society published a report on how to spin away criticism of PREVENT. One of its suggestions was to recast the public surveillance programme as “safeguarding”.  There has been an amplification of this spin by most government-paid PREVENT practitioners, promoters and careerists since then.  This claim both from a historic and conceptual point of view, is woefully inaccurate and a continued demonstration of how the PREVENT industry is deceptively manipulating narratives.

Ignoring History? PREVENT’s Discriminatory “Influence Campaign

As I have explicated in some detail, the counter-productive pre-crime approach to countering terrorism was not based on empirical evidence but the paradigmatically neoconservative military doctrine of pre-emption.  McCulloch and Wilson (2015), in their book exploring “pre-crime” intervention state,

“The declaration of the “war on terror” was the catalyst for a more pre-emptive approach to threats.

With the War on Terror aimed at Muslim countries, PREVENT’s focus from its very inception has been to control Islam and Muslims through what Ruth Kelly once called the “winning of hearts and minds” – a punch line which inherently denoted propaganda warfare and which usually accompanies hot war.  The fundamental difference to normal propaganda warfare during military campaigns and the PREVENT Strategy is that PREVENT is being waged against Britain’s own Muslim citizens.  In 2007, PREVENT funds were directed to those local authorities in England with 5 per cent or more of their population identifying as Muslim. In other words, funding was allocated based on the number of Muslims as opposed to risk.[1] This discriminatory focus on Muslims has continued through the years, with the Guardian last year reporting that PREVENT was being prioritised to target mainly Muslim areas.

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A far-right terrorist murdered Jo Cox. So when is the Cobra meeting?

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The below article is a good demonstration of the double standards applied to Muslims in contrast with non-Muslims.  I have written on this theme in detail a couple of times previously:

Michael Steven Stanford – A Terrorist? A Product of Western Culture?

Why aren’t Politicians and Mainstream Media Calling the Suspect Killer of Jo Cox a Terrorist?

Does the Orlando Attack have Something to do with Liberalism too Maajid Nawaz?


CROSSPOST: Maria Norris

On Wednesday, Thomas Mair was convicted of the murder of Jo Cox, an act which the Crown Prosecution Service has categorised as terrorism. Section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2000 states that the an act may still be considered an act of terror even if it was not designed to influence the government or the public, as long as a firearm or explosives are involved and the act was politically, ideologically, religiously, or racially motivated. Nair’s murder of Jo Cox falls neatly under this definition. So does the murder of Lee Rigby in 2013.

And yet, the difference in the reaction to these very similar murders is astounding. After Lee Rigby was killed, the media was filled with alarmist headlines about the dangers of Islamic extremism. There was no hesitation to label Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, Rigby’s murderers, as terrorists or the murder as a terrorist attack. After Lee Rigby’s murder, even before Adebolajo and Adebowale’s trial, the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, chaired an emergency Cobra meeting and the government announced a new taskforce to fight Islamic extremism. However, when it came to Mair, there was a sudden concern regarding contempt of court, and even now there is a real hesitancy to actually label him as a terrorist. Has Theresa May chaired a Cobra meeting? Has she announced a taskforce to combat far-right extremism? No.

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What did you learn at Rockwood Academy Today, Dear Little Boy of Mine?

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What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned our government must be strong.
It’s always right and never wrong.
Our leaders are the finest men.
And we elect them again and again.
That’s what I learned in school today.
That’s what I learned in school.

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
I learned that war is not so bad.
I learned of the great ones we have had.
We fought in Germany and in France.
And some day I might get my chance.
That’s what I learned in school today.
That’s what I learned in school.

~ A satirical protest song by Tom Paxton, 1963


Part 1 of the Rockwood Academy Series: Rockwood Academy is run by Trojan Horse Beneficiaries and Endorsed by “Extremists”


In this article, we will examine what is being done to the children at Rockwood Academy, Birmingham, and the implications of the initiatives pupils are being subjected to by the school.

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Analysing Azeem Ibrahim’s Excision of Western Interventions as a Radicalisation Factor

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Western foreign policy is something that western governments do not like talking about.  It comes to the fore when highlighting the “brave Muslims” who fought for “our freedoms” during World War I and conveniently omitting the slaughter of Ottoman Muslims demanded of them. Or when Western leaders, like David Cameron explicitly try to refute the notion that foreign policy has anything to do with terrorism and fail miserably.

A similar trend of avoiding Western antics in the Middle East exists when discussing ISIS. The press and political rhetoric has often focused on the religious characteristic of the enterprise, often ignoring the foundations of ISIS, which rest upon former US detained, “bitter” nationalist, secular Iraqi Ba’athists who have adopted the garb of religion to amass control.  The relevance of Western policies and escalation of violence in the Middle East is regularly demonstrated in the use of orange Guantanamo-style jumpsuits in their propaganda videos – something even Obama noted when he described Guantanamo as an “enormous recruiting tool for extremists”.  To this end, it is difficult to envisage a glorified gang with a religious twang forming without the provenance that was the neoconservative foreign policy in Iraq.  Even Tony Blair had to chokingly admit that there are “elements of truth” that the Iraq invasion helped feed the rise of ISIS.

In short, to deny anger and violence resulting from Western foreign policy in the Middle East is a delusion designed to whitewash Western militarism and its often catastrophic consequences.

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Abdullah Andalusi: Maajid Nawaz, ‘Islamism’ and the Fallacious ‘You Share the Same Ideology as ISIS’ argument

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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).

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Anti-Muslim David Cameron’s Conference Speech and the Forging of Neocon Britain


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“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.

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