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. 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.
Pro-Israel activists have been gathering momentum in their concerted effort to conflate Zionism with Judaism/Jewish identity and therefore censor particular references and discourses.
Based on dubious and deceptive conflation, several Labour MPs have been suspended. Notable organisations fronting these efforts are “feeder” groups which often forward information onto other Israel lobby groups like the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council. These grassroots organisations are linked to other organisations which have been, for instance, directly responsible for the eventual suspension of Jackie Walker – a Jewish anti-racism activist who made the “mistake” of saying “millions more Africans were killed in the African Holocaust”. Similar conflations by these organisations have been made about NUS President Malia Bouattia (see here and here, for instance).
A brief peruse down the social media timelines shows that some of their campaigns have targeted (I would argue legitimately) those instances which genuinely constitute anti-Semitism. This, however is insidiously supplemented by a concerted campaign to confuse anti-Israel views and political activism with anti-Semitism. Bullying and intimidation tactics, like in the case of Walker, are adopted to force this conflation. In doing so, boundaries on what can and cannot be articulated about Israel are redrawn and free speech – the favoured neocon invocation for anti-Islam hate – is assaulted. The organisations also profess views which are often aired from the Zionist far-right.
For much of the Muslim minority and from the perceptions garnered from my contacts working in the third sector, the impartiality of the Charity Commission and specifically the head, William Shawcross, is, to put it mildly, a running joke. A recent find by the journalist, Ben White, (posted on Facebook) has further added fuel to the pro-Israel, anti-Muslim fire.
William Shawcross the current chair of the Charity Commission and Peter Clarke, the individual who headed the investigations into Trojan Hoax allegations at Birmingham schools at the behest of Michael Gove, have been invited to a conference held in the Zionist entity. The Commission has confirmed that Shawcross has “politely declined” the invite, however this is unsurprising given the fact that he has had to come out and publically state he is not targeting Muslim charities and now needs to respond to a legal action which alleges that his Commission has exceeded its powers. The fact that he has made the itinerary of the conference does indicate that he may have initially accepted the invitation. Regardless, the fact that the conference organisers sought him fit to speak on a provocative topic speaks volumes about Shawcross and his neocon companion Clarke.
The struggle for freedom against the despotic Syrian regime has been labelled terrorism by the neocon British government. It must be remembered that prior to 2014, there was tacit approval of contributions towards the freedom fighting made by British citizens. This policy switched after a meeting between British security services and Bashar Al-Assad’s tyrannical regime.
Though details around the discussion itself are scarce, what is evident is that there was a concerted governmental crackdown on the Muslim minority thereafter which consisted of,
- Harassment of humanitarian aid workers
- Harassment of Muslim charities
- Arrests of those who had travelled to Syria
- Comprehensive surveillance by authorities on Muslims traveling to Turkey/Syria
- Comprehensive media coverage of those who have joined groups in Syria, accompanied with a decent exposure of the “evils” of Islamism
- Pushing of PREVENT into the Muslim home through the brainwashing of mothers
- Convictions of “terrorists” on fickle, circumstantial evidence.
The neocons must be rubbing their hands in glee as the campaign against the Muslim minority has become relentless at every level.
The terrorism of the Zionist entity upon the population of Gaza has also resulted in further oppressive measures in the UK, most likely instigated by the neocons (like George Osborne). HSBC has closed several accounts belonging to prominent Muslim personalities.