You must be the right type of Muslim with the right type of mindset to be allowed into the political arena. A Sajid Javid/Maajid Nawaz-type whose practice of Islam is non-existent and politically kow-tows to the neocons and pro-Israel lobby, would be ideal.
Are you a confident Muslim who asserts mainstream Islamic and political views that do not pander to the aforementioned circles? Forget democracy and all that British Values nonsense and prepare to have the weight of the establishment bear down on you and your livelihood targeted.
A recent orchestrated furore exemplifies this.
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.
This is the second part of a response to Maajid Nawaz’s opinion piece on Hamas, Gaza and Israel.
The first part can be read here.
Your Definition of Terrorism
The perception of linguistic gymnastics regarding “terrorism” and its ascription to Hamas plays into the continued demonisation and dehumanisation of Palestinian resistance movements. You define it is as,
“Terrorism aims to deliberately target civilians, and benefits specifically from their death or injury as a matter of policy. Hamas has this policy.”
Ignoring the point whether Hamas actually has such a policy, this invented definition has no solidifed legal basis in international law, the framework which you use to reference the “recklessness” of the Zionist entity’s murders. In fact, as we shall see, it is deeply uninformed. From an international legal perspective, there is no consensus on the definition of terrorism, precisely because of the teething issue of violence resulting from self-determination, a context which is most certainly applicable to Gaza and Hamas. Terrorism as a label is often also used for political expedience of taking sides, something which your article does, inadvertently or otherwise. The cliché “one man’s terrorist is another man freedom fighter”, could not be more apt.
Take for example, the following definition of international terrorism, proposed by the General Assembly in 1973 (28 UN GAOR Supp),
(1) Acts of violence and other repressive acts by colonial, racist and alien regimes against people struggling for their liberation…
… (3) Acts of violence committed by individuals or groups of individuals which endanger or take innocent human lives… This should not affect the inalienable right to self-determination and independence of all peoples under colonial and racist regimes and other forms of alien domination…