Part 1 (Introduction): A Review of the Casey review (1)
Part 2: A Review of the Louise Casey Review (2) – A Paper Influenced by the Transatlantic Neocon Hate-network
Part 3: A Supremacist Far-Right, Neoconservative Screed of Double Standards and Muslim Minority Stigmatisation
Part 4: The Deformation of Islam and Muslim Minority Rights
Part 5: The Conveyor-Belt Theory, PREVENT and Project Spin
In this final piece in the series reviewing the Casey Review, the elements of PREVENT, thought assimilation and nationalism will be brought together and the totalitarian implications of Casey’s statements and comments determined.
Whilst noting the variations on the definition of integration such as sharing common values, respect and allowing diverse people to attach to Britain in their own way, Casey homes in on a reconstituted, highly ideological, and profoundly neoconservative understanding of integration “based on the benefits that the United Kingdom has to offer”, echoing neocon David Goodhart’s “mental integration”. These include:
“our values of democracy, fairness, the rule of law, freedom of speech, inclusiveness, tolerance and equality between citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or sexuality.”
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.
The discussion amongst securocrats on how to move beyond PREVENT is like a dog’s tail – despite attempts to straighten it by highlighting flaws, theoretical considerations and so forth, it has a tendency to bend back towards an ideology-only solution of dealing with “extremism”.
Moazzam Begg issues an interesting set of proposals. Last month, I too outlined an approach for the likes of MCB to take if it is sincere in contributing to concrete ideas on how to tackle terrorism.
This can be read here: Countering Terrorism with the MCB
CROSSPOST: Moazzam Begg
Last month, my colleagues at CAGE published a damning report on the classified research that the UK government is using to identify potential extremists. Incredibly, as the report reveals, the government’s programme, called the Extremism Risk Guidance 22+ (ERG22+), was based on nothing more than research conducted by two psychologists working for the National Offenders Management Service (NOMS) and collated based on interviews with a handful of British Muslim convicts. From this study, 22 “risk-assessment factors” were extracted that would go on to form the template for how the UK government would now seek to define the undefinable ‘extremists’ residing in our midst.
A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience some years ago provided insight into learning and in particular, learning from one’s mistakes. The study found that good learners demonstrated greater neural activity and would use feedback not only to check their past performance, but also to adjust their next performance accordingly.
From an Islamic perspective, of course, this not exactly a ground-breaking discovery. The Qur’an encourages believers to take stock of history in an admonitory fashion:
“Has the news of those before you not reached you – the nation of Nuh, Aad, and Thamud?”
Well before Foucault was exploring the concept of the “technologies of the self”, Islam had encouraged individual spiritual accountability by pondering over one’s deeds and actions. Reflection is key to forging ahead in a manner where mistakes are not repeated. It contextualises the succinct narration of the Prophet, peace be upon, found in Bukhari,
“The believer is not stung from the same hole twice”.
This brings us neatly to recent events involving the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). The MCB’s behaviour has been somewhat strangely masochistic, enjoying an impending second sting with open arms.
There has been somewhat of media blackout around CAGE’s blistering report exposing the lack of credible, scientific foundations underpinning PREVENT, as well as the accompanying 150 academics, professors and activists supporting the findings. At the time of writing, only the Guardian and the Independent (albeit indirectly without credit to CAGE) have actually picked up the story. When one considers that the entirety of Britain’s counter-extremism strategy which has resulted in a trail of societal damage is based on mumbo jumbo, this news should be headlining throughout Britain. Yet, the silence from major media outlets like the BBC, Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail et al is ear-piercingly deafening and is tantamount to keeping the public uninformed about the reality of policies which affect them greatly from a civil liberties point of view.
It has, though, triggered the ire of, and quite clearly annoyed, neocon policy architects and supporters. The loudest defence of PREVENT in light of the damaging CAGE report comes from the premier, fascist neocon kingpin of anti-Islam hatred: Douglas Murray.
In July of this year, I posted a blog asking the question in relation to the revelation that PREVENT was underpinned by a theory (Extremist Risk Guidance – ERG22+) formulated by British psychiatrists, What would these US psychologists make of Britain’s PREVENT Strategy? The American professors bluntly stated that the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) agenda was “at best misguided, and at worst, vicious.”
The Pseudo-Science of PREVENT
CAGE’s devastating expose – The Science of Pre-Crime: The ‘Secret’ radicalisation study underpinning Prevent’– proves that Britain’s CVE – PREVENT – really is indeed, misguided, resulting in decisions which are vicious. The report exposes a 2010 study authored by two psychologists who are linked to the national security industry, Monica Lloyd and Christopher Dean, and used to formulate the pre-crime intervention model ERG22+. Shockingly the authors themselves admitted that the research was lacking. Below are key quotes taken from the study:
“The current lack of demonstrated reliability and validity remains the main limitation of the ERG at this time. It remains essentially a qualitative tool that requires a level of professional judgment and experience to be effectively used.”
““The ERG is work in progress…”
“There remain important questions to be explored, most notably around reliability and validity,”