The fostering of the Straussian neocon “closed society” continues to soldier on ahead. The main, but certainly not the only, conduit for this austere vision of society utilises the rhetoric of fear – “safeguarding”, “cohesion” and “counter-extremism”, augmented courtesy of puppets of the neoconservative malignancy within Government.
Despite being utterly baseless academically and broken as pre-crime tool, there has been effort to mainstream PREVENT into society. This normalisation of authoritarian PREVENT-thinking has led to the latest charade; anti-fascist group Hope not Hate (HnH) has been used to spread the tentacles of PREVENT further into civil society by using Sara Khan in its publication State of Hate 2017.
In doing so, HnH comprehensively debilitated its legitimacy.
The founder of HnH, Nick Lowles, has a history of confronting far-right racist individuals and groups. He has also campaigned for the banning of Pamella Geller and Robert Spencer for their anti-Muslim, hate filled rhetoric. The question is of course, how has such a campaign group been hoodwinked into co-opting PREVENT-thinking and allowed itself to be exploited by a cheerleader of discrimination?
CROSSPOST: Dr Hatem Bazian
Three of Edward Said’s books are as timely today as the day they were published almost 40 years ago: Orientalism (1978), The Question of Palestine (1979), and Covering Islam (1981). The three constitute Said’s trilogy that focused on literary and artistic representation in the service of empire, colonial dispossession, and the media shaping and reproducing Orientalist tropes. Said’s contributions are an invaluable source for anyone attempting to deconstruct the ebbs and flows of events and development in the Arab and Muslim worlds. At the same time, the three books offer a strong critique of Western policies and public discourse that purport to cover the “East” as a separate and mysterious place filled with irrationality.
Observing the daily events in the Arab and Muslim worlds, one is at a loss to comprehend the sheer destruction and the snuffing out of hope faced by a multitude of peoples – 1.4 billion, to be precise. Said’s writing intuitively de-constructed the racialized lens used by Western academics, press, and policymakers to justify their continued disregard of the needs and well-being of the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Crosspost: Mark Mondalek
Meet the organizations and mega-donors trying to suppress pro-Palestine activism.
The call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel approached its ten-year anniversary this past July, and despite humble beginnings the movement has gained significant global traction. Last June a “secret” anti-BDS summit was reportedly held in Las Vegas, while a Haaretz opinion column predicted that the “age of BDS” had officially begun.
The secretive closed-door summit was hosted by Sheldon Adelson — a billionaire casino magnate who once referred to Palestinians as “an invented people” — at his luxury hotel and casino, the Venetian. Early reports estimated the roughly two dozen mega-donors and fifty organizations in attendance raised at least $20 million.
The Vegas summit’s fundraising take is a fraction of what wealthy donors give to fight pro-Palestine organizing in the US and abroad. In an attempt to catalog such fundraising efforts, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) — a network of Jews “committed to struggles for human emancipation, of which the liberation of the Palestinian people and land is an indispensable part” — published a report last year entitled “The Business of Backlash: The Attack on the Palestinian Movement and Other Movements for Justice.”
Towards the beginning of this year, I covered the takeover of Golden Hillock School in Birmingham by ARK Schools, the Academy chain which had, in scandalous circumstances, taken over another Muslim-majority school subjected to spin and lies: Oldknow Academy. I also found ARK’s links to the “Christian influence” (undue influence?), how ARK has been a favoured chain by the notorious anti-Muslim neocon Michael Gove, whilst Ofsted’s head, Michael Wilshaw, not only headed the first ARK Academy school, but was an Education Director at ARK before becoming Chief Inspector.
Disconcertingly, the “old-boys network” of pro-Israel, hate-mongering neocons also extend their links into ARK. “Vanilla tax”-avoiding Stanley Fink, a major donor of the Tories, bigoted Henry Jackson Society’s Israeli-crime whitewashing project Just Journalism, became the chair of ARK in 2009.
Applying the presumptions about Muslims propagated by neocons (Muslims are untrustworthy due to Islam and their actions are to be seen as a form of sinister subversion) the Trojan Horse test set out for Muslims, there is one hell of plot here for Peter Clarke to investigate.
Legislative hunting season has started. Predictably the neocons are disseminating their versions of “truth” whilst the churnalistic media regurgitate what they have to say without much of challenge to the claims being made.
With the onset of the Counter-Extremism Bill, a press release was issued by the government on the 17th of September announcing, as part of the neoconservative “One-Nation” Toryism (a euphemism for war and the creation of a “closed society”), a new duty to stop extremists radicalising students on campuses. This duty came into force on the 21st of September 2015. It will ensure that “extremists” espousing “extremist views” would not go unchallenged and that staff are thoroughly brainwashed and bathed in the neoconservative counter-extremism discourse so that they may be able to protect students from “poisonous and pernicious ideas”. Offering some hot chocolate with an arm of comfort around the shoulders of the circa 280 academics, lawyers and public figures who slammed the counter-extremism strategy (PREVENT) and the assumptions which underpin them, Cameron stated that,
“It is not about oppressing free speech or stifling academic freedom, it is about making sure that radical views and ideas are not given the oxygen they need to flourish.”
This is the “guided” liberalism of Cameron as opposed to the university leaders’ “misguided liberalism” condemned in his Birmingham speech. By reconstituting human rights-violating measures into a “duty to protect”, the central objections to such measures are somehow magically meant to disappear. Even the establishment “independent reviewer” of terrorism laws David Anderson QC said,
“These issues matter because they concern the scope of UK discrimination, hate speech and public order laws, the limit that the state may place on some of our most basic freedoms, the proper limits of surveillance, and the acceptability of imposing suppressive measures without the protections of the criminal law…”
Putting it in slightly less diplomatic terms, Cameron and his neocon cabal are riding rough-shod over the principle of non-discrimination, free speech and freedom of belief on the basis of views that he and his nihilist neocons deem unacceptable.
Reflection has become a unicorn in today’s post-modern, entertainment-driven age. News reports flood our social network streams, emails, and news channels conjure up spin-infested reports providing little to absorb, analyse and reflect on the direction such reports are heading society towards. In this information-overloaded era, our minds have become acclimatised to binging on information, with our fingers manipulating pieces of glass, sending or receiving information packets restricted to 160 characters.
In the past week reports have surfaced which should be sending alarm bells ringing, forcing the wider population to sit up and ponder over the implications of the policies our government is pushing. We need to take a step back a moment.
In January, absurd proposals which implicated children as young as three being on the path toward terrorism, were revealed and understandably criticised for being unworkable, and heavy-handed. I also took the opportunity to explain how fascist neoconservatism was driving the policy, drawing chilling parallels with the authoritarian East Germany’s Stasi security apparatus, where professionals were required to monitor the thoughts of those they worked, thus creating a state in which ideas were restricted and curtailed by the state. Totalitarianism, in other words.
In this series, we will delve deeper into the views held by our new Justice Secretary, Michael Gove as articulated in his book, Celsius 7/7, with additional commentary explaining the neoconservativism underpinning the statements where appropriate, and the impact it has thus far had on the good Britons of this country.
Click here to read Part 1.
Click here to read Part 2.
Michael Gove’s views on Foreign Policy
Gove’s articulation of foreign policy issues are, in typical neocon fashion, equally belligerent and supremacist. He arrogantly writes that,
“If we believe in the superiority of our way of life, if we believe in, as the anti-apartheid movement the civil rights movement believed… then we should believe in, and want urgently to work for, the spread of democracy across the globe.”
Warring is thus arrogantly premised upon the colonialist notion of superiority. The remit of a discussion on the appropriateness of democracy for all nations is beyond our scope, however, it is a dubious claim to say the least.