Prevent review to sideline ‘extremists’

There has been a vigorous campaign in the UK these past few years by assorted groups and key individuals to block the political engagement of Muslim organisations. Hence the campaign against the MCB and others (mirroring the similar campaign against CAIR in the USA).

The tragic events of 7/7 gave a boost to those who wanted to see UK Muslim organisations sidelined. They argued that even though these Muslim organisations might not actually support terrorism or violent extremism, they were still non-violent extremists, and hence, were part of a continuum or conveyor-belt that led to AQ-inspired terrorism. This argument has been made repeatedly by a number of prominent Zionists and the Quilliam Foundation who have said that these organisations provide the ‘mood music’ in which AQ-inspired extremists thrive.

And from the briefings given to the papers over the past few days, it looks like this week’s much-delayed publication of the review into Prevent – the government’s strategy for preventing violent extremism, will also adopt this position. A position that is clearly intended to politically marginalise the largest Muslim groups in the country.

David Cameron gave a strong hint of things to come in his Munich speech back in February where he compared the relationship between major Muslim organisations and al-Qa’ida with the relationship between far-right groups and fascists:

“Would you allow far-right groups a share of public funds if they promise to help you lure young white men away from fascist terrorism? Of course not.”

As Githens and Lambert stated in an article last week, the PM’s argument:

“…betrays a lazy indifference to the theological, geographic, political and contextual differences that mark a hugely diverse range of groups and movements, from the millenarian to the worldly political, the non-violent to the extremely violent. It is the equivalent to saying that any form of right leaning politics succours fascism, and not bothering to disaggregate the historical trajectories of organisations such as the Tory Party, the US Republican Party, France’s Front Nationale and Mussolini’s Black Shirts.”

If the briefings to the papers prove to be accurate, then it would appear that Nick Clegg and others in government who want to see a more sensible approach to dealing with UK Muslims have lost the argument.

That would be a real shame. Because, if all lawful paths to seeking legitimate political participation and influence are blocked what is there but the unlawful path?

If Cameron heeds the advice of pro-Israeli hawks such as Michael Gove and the Policy Exchange crew, he may end up unwittingly giving succour to al-Qa’ida. That would be the supreme irony.

Update: See Bob Lambert’s excellent blog in the New Statesman today.

Update 2: Also a very good piece by the BBC’s Mark Easton here.

Update 3: Craig Murray posts a superb response having read the now released Prevent document.

This entry was posted in Extremism, Government, Zionism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Prevent review to sideline ‘extremists’

  1. Brendan says:

    Inayat, good points as ever. I wonder what you mean about ‘blocking political engagement’ though? Do you mean the cutting of funding? In the case of the MCB their critics claim they are unrepsentative despite a long list of affiliates. Here in Bristol I know of Muslims who despite being in the UK for decades have never heard of the MCB, and I wonder what percentage of adherents among for example MCB’s long list of affiliate groups have ever heard of them either. I think their AGM only musters a couple of hundred people at most. The problem for Western secular governments is they just don’t/can’t/won’t do religious nuance. Therefore this government and the previous were desperate to find partners to work with among UK Muslims, having dumped the MCB they have turned to the Quilliam Foundation who are despised by many muslim conservatives. What the government fails to appreciate is the vastness of diversity that exists within Islam worldwide and here in the UK. A recent article in the National Geographic highlighted Muslim diversity in Indonesia featuring a province that has adopted Sharia where on Fridays the men are literally rounded up at gun point and ordered to attend prayers in the local Mosque, yet in the neighboring province pre Islamic indigenous beliefs are incorporated into fairly standard Muslim beliefs and they appear to tolerate each other. Here in Britain it’s hard to know how this vast smorgasbord of Islam can be coherently organised to oppose violent extremism without a more general awareness of this kind of plurality of thinking.

  2. LibertyPhile says:

    Why do you talk this rubbish? No one is “sidelining” the MCB, they can go on expressing their views just as you do on this blog.

    The MCB or any such Muslim organisation can play whatever part it likes in British politics. It just isn’t going to get funded by the Government. Seems reasonable enough to me.

  3. @ Brendan & LibertyPhile:

    No, I was not referring to government funding – but to actual engagement. For example, a number of prominent Zionist commentators have vociferously argued that government Ministers should refuse to attend large events such as the Global Peace and Unity conference and other events by mainstream Muslim organisations because these organisations are really run by ‘extremists’. It is a very clear ploy to try and deny mainstream Muslim organisations the ability to influence government policy and effectively challenge policies they disagree with. I will write a separate post next week when I have some more free time about this.

    • LibertyPhile says:

      I look forward to that. Perhaps you will explain what Zionism has got to do with it? Perhaps many people who think like the “Zionists” you refer to are not Zionists!

      If Government ministers attend an event it is of great financial significance to that event. It adds to its prestige and thus attracts delegates and sponsorship.

      • Amin says:

        If you are going to deny there isn’t a poweful jewish lobby about … then I suggest dose of something strong to get over the hangover.

        Govt Ministers attend allsorts and you know it. Attending that even also mean they are engaging with the community and its not just the minister who is either Muslim already or from the ethnic minority

        Do you know for exmaple how many current and past torries go to Eton or oxford – for example? And them places still need prestige?

        Looking at your website and agenda it is easy to know which side you are batting for.

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