Prevent-ing Muslim Engagement

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.

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

20 Responses to Prevent-ing Muslim Engagement

  1. LibertyPhile says:

    “‘Extremism’ is, of course, a [..] term that can be used [..] to describe [..] just about every UK Muslim organisation that …. “

    (1) Has a former leader who believes “death was too good” for Salman Rushdie

    (2) that Britain in regard to Muslims is like Nazi Germany in the 30s (this is Britain today when we have Muslim MPs, Muslim members of the House of Lords, and a Muslim Cabinet minister, a future monarch who wants to be defender of the Faiths, and a Primate of all England who is happy with Sharia).

    (3) Who thinks the British can just lump it they don’t like veiled faces. See: http://nottheappg.wordpress.com/research/european-muslim-research-centre/#note7

    (4) Whose website explained that NOT covering the face was a “shortcoming”

    (5) Has a senior official who supports attacks on British Forces

    (6) Who admires Yusuf Al-Qaradawi who believes in FGM, suicide bombing, light wife-beating is permissible, called upon homosexuals to be killed, and said that Islam is not compatible with a secular society

    (7) Whose former spokesperson is personally not in favour of stoning (i.e., torturing) to death for adultery(!), but believes it is OK, here in the 21st century, if a country chooses to have that as the law.

    (8) Whose associates believe in a fascist style religious state.

    (9) Etc., etc.

    I am not Jewish. Really!

  2. Yakoub Islam says:

    (1) Has unambiguously renounced that position;
    (2) As do some non-Muslims: http://newmatilda.com/2009/09/16/new-fascism-hates-muslims
    (3) A position which would be supported by many social liberals of all faiths and none;
    (4) That’s an extremist position, is it?
    (5) Guilt by association;
    (6) The usual smears, half-truths, and misrepresentations (yawn);
    (7) See 5;
    (8) See 5 and 6;
    (9) Repeating him/herself, resorts to general finger waving.

    I’m Muslim and named after a Jewish Prophet.

    • LibertyPhile says:

      (1) Has a former leader who believed “death was too good” for Salman Rushdie

      (2) And, they would be wrong

      (3) I think the great majority of British people have a different opinion. See the results of the British Social Attitudes survey, for example.

      (4) Yes, that is an extremist position.

      (5) This happened. Was he disowned, criticised, reprimanded, by the organisation in question?

      (6) “Misrepresentation” (mega yawn). Qaradawi either says things or he doesn’t. Please let me know what is incorrect about this Qaradawi quote from the Saudi Gazette. See here: http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2010061175024

      • Yakoub Islam says:

        As anyone familiar with Monty Python’s Argument Sketch will know, contradiction does not constitute an argument, even if an argument necessitates taking a contrary position. And you haven’t really challenged the argument – that extremism is a vague notion, and that holding ‘extremist views’ is somehow a ’cause’ of terrorism. Academics maintain that extremism is a nebulous term, and the conveyor-belt theory of terrorism is not supported by the evidence. On the former, your views are a case in point. You want to define people as extremist who hold views you consider illiberal, or unpopular, whatever the context in which such views are expressed. It amounts to little more than numbered mud slinging. Ask yourself why, for example, some Muslims called for Salman Rushdie to be killed. The answer is more complex than them being “extremist” – you might as well say it’s because “they’re evil!” And in making sense of why, we can begin an intelligent debate. Unless you think Muslims are too backward or unreasonable to debate with. In which case, see Inayat’s request below.

  3. @LibertyPhile: Are the Board of Deputies of British Jews not ‘extremists’ for having organised a rally in support of Israel at the height of the criminal Israeli bombardment of Gaza in January 2009?

    http://www.boardofdeputies.org.uk/page.php/17,000%20TURN%20OUT%20TO%20SUPPORT%20ISRAEL/258/117/3/103

    Have you seen many calls from our newspapers demanding that our government cut off relations with the BoD for their disgusting support of Israel at a time when it was committing war crimes?

    Now please, fuck off.

    • Is it? says:

      I thought that Goldstone had changed his mind about that.

    • LibertyPhile says:

      I think you are very confused. The BoD, Zionism, the Palestinian conflict, have nothing to do with the British public’s (and thus the Government’s) opposition to Islamic extremism as per the examples I give above.

      I wonder what would you say to someone who was wholly in sympathy with your views on the Palestinian conflict but who wholeheartedly agreed with the new Prevent policy.

  4. @ Is it?

    Yes, Judge Goldstone did subsequently try and criticise aspects of the UN report – and it is understandable, I suppose, given the huge pressure he was facing from the Israel lobby. However, the other three authors of the UN report did not cave in to the pressure.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/14/un-gaza-report-authors-goldstone?INTCMP=SRCH

    • Brendan says:

      Inayat, always interested to see your blog. I note you write : ‘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.

      With respect you may be in danger of falling into the same trap yourself with the casual use of ‘Islamophopia’ surely a vague and nebulous term itself which I’m afraid rather than challenging genuine prejudice tends to just wind a lot of people up. I’m familiar with the Runnymede trusts work in this respect but even that leaves little room for nuance, how many boxes does one have to tick to be defined as an Islamophobe? I think it was a big mistake for the MCB etc to go down the road of victimhood believing if they had their own ‘phobia’ it could win them some distinct status. I think I mentioned on your blog before my own observations about Muslim diversity which to my mind is vast and complex, not just here in he UK but all around the world so it doesn’t help when UK Muslim leaders speak about ‘the community’ as if, (to quote Runnymede) it were a ‘mono lithic bloc’ who all think the same about everything!
      As for Prevent 1 & 2 probably pretty clumsy but the acute difficulty for the security services is the journey from the bedroom computer to the suicide belt appears to be a very short one. Imagine the impact on good decent UK Muslims if we had just two or three more serious incidents akin to 7/7?

  5. LibertyPhile says:

    @Yakoub Islam

    “You want to define people as extremist who hold views you consider illiberal, or unpopular, whatever the context in which such views are expressed.”

    That’s right, I consider people who hold illiberal views (which I think, along with most of my countryman, would damage society) as extremist. I am quite happy to use words other than extremist, evil perhaps, wrong definitely.

    May I ask, in what “context” (giga yawn) would stoning to death for adultery be OK? Punishing homosexuals? Murdering someone for blasphemy? Lightly beating your wife?

    Of course being an extremist does not automatically or even necessarily tend to lead to terrorism. It just happens terrorists have extreme views, certainly concerning human life.

  6. @ LibertyPhile

    Would you consider those who are taught to believe in these words as extremists:

    “Blessed are You for not making me a Gentile. Blessed are You for not making me a woman. Blessed are You for not making me a slave.”

    I mean, if the government should be cutting off all relations with people who hold extremist views, should they be cutting off all ties with Orthodox Jewish organisations whose members are taught to recite this prayer three times a day?

    I see your sharp tongue got tied with my earlier question about the Board of Deputies supporting the pro-Israel rally at a time when the Israeli army was committing war crimes in Gaza. Perhaps you might answer this one, eh. And then, please, please, fuck off. There, I said it nicely.

  7. LibertyPhile says:

    @inayatscorner

    (1) Yes, I would consider such a prayer most unpleasant, extreme if you will.

    (2) I looked at the link you gave. The BoD event (of 2.5 years ago) seemed to me to be a reasonable protest against the violence of Hamas, but unlike extreme Islamists I do not put the entire blame for the Palestinian conflict on one side.

    (3) There may be many people in this country who believe that policies of the Israeli government are abhorrent but they are not going to align themselves with Islamists and their visceral hatred of Israel and desire to destroy it, in part both fostered by their religious beliefs, and which they use as a rallying call on totally unrelated issues.

    (4) (a) It would be wrong for the government to cut off relations with any law abiding organisation. They should at least answer the phone or reply to correspondence perhaps even have private meetings. The government could put its view. (b) The government is wrong to give financial or indirect support (e.g., provide ministers for events, appoint to official bodies, promote in any way) to extremist organisations.

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  9. MindTheCrap says:

    I see your sharp tongue got tied with my earlier question about the Board of Deputies supporting the pro-Israel rally at a time when the Israeli army was committing war crimes in Gaza.

    I hope your tongue doesn’t get tied if I ask you who participated in Pro-Palestinian rallies at a time when Hamas was committing war crimes in Sderot, murdering civilians using suicide bombers, etc.

  10. Roisin says:

    Looks like it has been tied. No answer….

  11. eslaporte says:

    I am aware of how the various forms of “radicalization” are defined in Dutch counter-terrorism practices inside of the Netherlands as encountered in reports – and these uses of “radicalization” includes non-violent practice of “orthodox” Islam. Also included in Dutch definition of “radicalized” is a Muslim that becomes politically active and Muslim youth that become frustrated by discrimination and social hostility.
    Beware of how “radicalized” and “extremism” and other terms are defined and operationalized….
    The impression one gets about counter-terrorism in the Netherlands is that it’s about social control of Muslims.

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