A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about how it looked as if the government was going to adopt a hardline rejectionist position towards mainstream UK Muslim organisations with it’s Prevent strategy. And so it came to be. It wasn’t really a huge surprise. Influential voices opposed to ‘political Islam’ had long been advocating a stance that would seek to isolate not just supporters of terrorism but supporters of ‘extremism’. ‘Extremism’ is, of course, a very vague term that can be used and abused to malign and smear just about every UK Muslim organisation. How convenient.
Today, I want to take a brief look at some of these influential voices who have voiced their support for the
Provoke Prevent programme.
1. Dean Godson – Research Director (Foreign Policy and Security) at Policy Exchange. Godson wrote an enthusiastic article for Conservative Home in support of the new Prevent strategy. And who is Godson? Spinwatch have a well-researched profile of him here. Godson used to be a leader writer for Conrad Black’s Daily Telegraph. When Black was forced out by financial scandal, the Telegraph editor Martin Newland took the opportunity to also give the boot to Godson and Black’s wife, Barbara Amiel. And the reason why? In Newland’s own words:
“It’s OK to be pro-Israel, but not to be unbelievably pro-Likud Israel, it’s OK to be pro-American but not look as if you’re taking instructions from Washington. Dean Godson and Barbara Amiel were key departures.”
2. Martin Bright – political editor of the Jewish Chronicle and ‘Islamist’-hunter. Bright wrote a piece for the Spectator online in which he gave strong backing for the new Prevent strategy. Bright is notorious for having written back in 2001 a grossly offensive article for the New Statesman entitled ‘The Great Koran Con Trick’ in which he sought to persuade readers that the Qur’an we have today is not the revelation that was given to the Prophet Muhammad but a later creation. Embarassingly for Bright, his own former tutor at SOAS, Professor Gerald Hawting wrote in the very next week to debunk Bright’s article as “nonsense”.
3. Lord Carlile – the longtime ‘Independent’ overseer of the government’s counter-terrorism programme. Carlile was appointed to the counter-terror watchdog role by Blair and he became renowned for his extraordinary support for every piece of draconian legislation that the government put forward. I wrote a piece for Cif back in 2006 where I drew attention to some of Carlile’s rather curious positions. In 2010, the chair of parliamentary joint committee on human rights, Andrew Dismore, called for Carlile to step down as the terror watchdog saying that Carlile had ‘lost credibility’ after he had come out in support of the government’s hugely controversial control order programme. Interestingly enough, both Paul Goodman and the government-funded
Quisling Quilliam Foundation issued statements praising Carlile and calling upon the government to appoint him to oversee the implementation of the new Prevent strategy. As it happens, Martin Bright interviewed Carlile last year in the Jewish Chronicle where the peer said he was proud of his “100 per cent Jewish ancestry” and that he was a strong supporter of Israel. So that’s alright then.
In fact, there is no coincidence that the most vocal supporters of the government’s new Prevent strategy are ardent Zionists. As I argued in my previous blog, Zionists view any political progress made by Muslims (or ‘Islamists’ as they term them) as detrimental to their interests. Hence, the new focus and government-led criticism of the Federation of Students’ Islamic Societies.
In my meetings with Zionists, an overriding complaint of theirs has always been that Islamic societies are stirring up prejudice against Jews. If this was true, it would be abhorrent and worthy of condemnation. In practice, however, many Islamic societies seek to raise awareness of injustice in the Middle East and the UK’s longtime support for corrupt autocracies and Israel.
The only acceptable Muslims are those willing to prostrate themselves before Israel. On your knees Haras Rafiq and Quilliam!
Alhamdulillah, despite their considerable influence in the mainstream media – influence which they routinely use to smear and bully politicians and senior civil servants that regard anti-Muslim policies as wrong and detrimental in the real struggle against AQ-inspired terrorism – the Zionists seem clearly destined to lose this battle.
The declining appeal and sales of traditional (and many of them virulently Islamophobic) newspapers combined with the rise of the internet, blogs, and alternative news channels such as al-Jazeera, together with the remarkable events seen in the Arab Spring mean that the writing is surely on the wall for the racist colonial enterprise called Israel, no matter how much its supporters may gnash their teeth and wail.
The worst trap that UK Muslims could fall into is to despair about the transient victory of the Policy Exchange Israelphiles in the Prevent review. It is of little importance in the wider scheme of things, insha’ Allah.