In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
The words of Malcolm X could not be truer: The powers that be use the press to give the devil an angelic image and give the image of the devil to the one who’s really angelic. In the context of CAGE, Mohammed Emwazi and the contribution toward radicalisation by the security services, the British media, as I had envisaged, completely trivialised and then steered the discussion way from the excesses of the security services. Echoing the experience of the journalist Gary Webb, the focus of the right-wing media has been to character assassinate those who have come out to share this evidence-supported narrative.
The attack on Asim Qureshi and CAGE has been insidiously appalling from the likes of the Daily Fail and other papers in cahoots with the neoconservative establishment. This reached its zenith when, in a clear attempt to undermine the lucid arguments of Asim Qureshi Andrew Neil from the British Biased Corporation decided to question his personal theological opinions.
The only card that could be used was that of demonisation through a completely unrelated topic, invoking the presumptuous “do you believing in stoning women?” question, courtesy of a report which references a far-right bigot published by the bigoted Council of Ex-Muslims, such is the level of journalistic rigour at the British Biased Corporation.
Quite a furore has been stirred by proposals which check for “extremism” in toddlers (yes, read that sentence again – it is absolutely ridiculous). According to the new PREVENT-on-steroids Strategy, teaching staff must have training which gives them knowledge and confidence to identify children as young as three, at risk of being drawn into terrorism and challenge “extremist ideas”. They must also know where and how to refer children to the Channel panel for “deradicalisation”. Though Home Office likes to placate the people with the spin that they do not expect “unnecessary intrusion into family life”, a proper examination of the reveals otherwise. As Asim Qureshi of CAGE notes,
“the CTS Bill is presented as a consent based system where those… under 18… [must obtain] consent of their parents. However, the devil is in the detail, and where the consent is not gained, then the panels established to review each individual case of risk, will be able to consider models within the health and social services. In other words, the threat of having your children taken away, should you not provide consent, will be used as a form of coercion, so the very idea of a consent based approach will be completely neutralised.”
I have already written extensively about the fundamental problems of the PREVENT strategy (see links in this blog). Over the past decade, the Muslim minority have been the test bed for the impending statutory roll-out of PREVENT. Much injustice has be done. Lives have been disrupted, families harassed, and an entire community has been made to feel targeted and circumspect. If there is any doubt that these measures are primarily aimed at the Muslim minority, then one needs to simply peruse the daily reports in neocon papers about “extremist” Muslims. Even in the those reports discussing this absurd proposal targeting toddlers, quotes of examples of children at risk of radicalisation from the Home Office are in the context of Muslims only (see the Telegraph and the Independent coverage as examples). The references to “far-right terrorism” are tokenistic at best.
Establishing a multi-agency public surveillance programme conducted by the public, the PREVENT Strategy is simply put, a refined Stasi strategy. This near replication of authoritarian and fascist regimes is not incidental.
Crosspost By: Naila Abdel-Khalek and Jules Martin
Naila Abdel-Khalek and Jules Martin of CAGE’s Legal Committee address many of the crucial questions that have to be asked in the case of Moazzam Begg. He was arrested and detained for 7 months on terrorism charges relating to his time in Syria before he was declared an innocent man just days before trial, allegedly due to “new material”, material they would have been aware of since his arrest. This is the second time he has been detained unlawfully either at the hands of the British or with their complicity.
Why was the case dropped at the final hour? Continue reading
(CC image courtesy of See Li on Flickr)
When the question amongst the scholarly milieu arose regarding the status of India under British colonialist occupation during the 19th century as to whether the land had become a place of war or not, those scholars who gave a sympathetic view to the British were supported and paraded. This, despite the fact that the British fully knew and acknowledged the correct position according to Islamic jurisprudence was that the land indeed had become a land of war. The manipulation of religion and people to meet policy ends is nothing new then.
Let us now turn to a question:
How far can you caricaturise a serious issue replacing a detailed discussion with false premises and reductionist one-liners to foster a strategy which has discriminated against the Muslim minority of Britain and set the course for the erosion of liberties and “British values”? If Humza Arshad’s video is anything to go by, very far would be an understatement.
I was planning to write on his video in detail, except that Fahad Ansari has done a better job than I ever could, lucidly enunciating the problems with giving credence or support to the controversial PREVENT strategy, hence I have re-posted it on this blog.
There are a couple of additions I would add.