See also: Lies, Spin and Distortion: Archive of Articles on Andrew Gilligan’s Anti-Muslim Journalism
One of the achievements anti-Muslim “journalist” Andrew Gilligan will be able to frame in his house will be “Greatest Proliferator of Lies”. When it comes to turning up the heat and smearing members of the Muslim minority, perhaps at the behest of neoconservatives, Gilligan is the go-to man for desperate “connections”, half-baked claims and in some cases, utter lies.
Earlier this year, I wrote a blog piece on the neoconservative campaign to undermine the fight against the draconian, widely lambasted PREVENT counter-extremism policy. Gilligan’s article was exposed for having number of number outlandish claims. One of the cases which was being circulated in the media to demonstrate the impact of PREVENT was the “eco-terrorisme” case. Gilligan claimed that the mother of child who had been referred via PREVENT, Ifhat Smith, was linked to campaign group Prevent Watch, and the Ennadha, which Gilligan explained was the Tunisian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Attacks because of one’s faith or race, or any other identifying feature is unacceptable. It is dehumanising, and very often for the victim, traumatising. The perpetrators too, can be victims; victims of their own ignorance which is exasperated by stereotypes reinforced in the media and government officials. Instead of fighting stereotypes, and challenging xenophobia, our government has institutionalised xenophobia, a necessary ingredient for hate-crimes and manufacturing consent for draconian policies.
As such I was happy to see Theresa May and other neocons mourning the increases in attacks against the Jewish community, even though the claims which prompted Theresa May’s reassurance were from a study which the Institute of Jewish Policy Research slammed as “littered with flaws”, with the conclusions being “dubious”, “irresponsible” and “incendiary”. Nevertheless, it was befuddling to see the comparative silence on the rise of attacks against the Muslim community, not just in the UK, but across Europe. Instead, the rhetoric around the Muslims continued to assign blame to the Muslim community, calling on them to “do more”, and therefore reinforcing the far-right narrative that the Muslim minority is inherently to blame for every and any attack perpetrated anywhere in the world. It abhorrently played Muslims off the Jewish community, in a similar fashion to the political opportunism displayed in David Cameron’s Chanuka speech.
Key senior figures are clearly not interested anti-Muslim hate crime. Tell MAMA, headed by the opportunistic Fiyaz Mughal, was set up as a government initiative. Once the Foreign Office had published its 2013 report on Human Rights and lionised the fact that the Muslim minority had a comforting arm of the government cuddling the Muslim minority, Tell MAMA’s funding was promptly pulled.