Propagandising Prevent: The Neocon Exploitation of the Manchester Arena Bombing

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The 22nd May Manchester Arena bombing has etched a particularly traumatic experience into the people of Britain. The attack in Manchester has claimed the lives of young teenagers, including an eight-year old.  My sympathies go out to the victims of this atrocity.

I delayed writing on this topic for two reasons; the first being in respect of the lives lost; the second because so little had been established concerning the motive.  With the Westminster attack, if we recall, there was a significant internalisation of blame by the Muslim minority without establishment of key facts – a dynamic that was fully exploited by neocons.  Indeed, once the motive was established, it pointed to an uncomfortable motive, which is increasingly being marginalised in the discourses that seek to analyse the “causes” of terrorism: Western violence.

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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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Has Daily Mail Adopted Henry Jackson Society’s Strategy for Suppressing PREVENT Dissent?

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Note: CAGE’s comprehensive deconstruction of Daily Mail’s upcoming PREVENT propaganda piece can be found here.

The Daily Mail has set out to smear key Muslim organisations opposing the neo-Stasi state-establishing PREVENT counter-extremism strategy. In doing so, it has appeared to have adopted the strategy to suppress PREVENT drafted by the notoriously bigoted, Zionist-backed neoconservative Henry Jackson Society (HJS). I wrote about the colour-blind racist report published by HJS last August and noted that HJS rather pathetically spun criticism of PREVENT as being linked to CAGE/“Islamists” who propound “deliberate misinformation”. All contentions were magically rendered “extremist” because CAGE had raised similar concerns which happened to have been raised by other organisations such as the National Union of Students. Tenuous does not even begin to describe the pathetic arguments.

The Daily Mail, though, has seemingly taken the specious neocon spin as its premise and proceeded to make HJS-style assertions through several questions raised to CAGE.

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