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Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

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    Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam (OP)


    Salaam

    Event: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Recent events from the Middle East have placed the Muslim community in Britain in the public eye once more with their every word and action coming under microscopic scrutiny by the media and politicians. This is only the latest chapter in an ideological attack that has been ongoing for significantly longer.

    Whereas the attacks on Islamic concepts of war, political governance and the unity of Muslim lands are nothing new, they have now increased on an unprecedented scale in the wake of the rise of ISIS and its declaration of a Caliphate. The matter is not about supporting or opposing the version of a Caliphate as demonstrated by ISIS but rather the criminalisation of Islamic political thought and ideology. The concepts of jihad, shariah and khilafah are not the exclusive possession of ISIS but core Islamic doctrines subscribed to by almost one third's of the world's population. It is telling that the government's treatment of ISIS is similar to its treatment of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb-ut Tahrir, and the Taliban, despite the enormous differences of belief and methodology between the groups.

    The Islamophobic nature of the criminalisation of those who believe in fighting in Syria against Assad is underlined by the lack of concern for British Jews who fight in the Israeli Occupation Forces, particularly at times where they are engaged in war crimes and other atrocities, such as the recent attack on Gaza.

    On the flips side, Muslims who wish to aid their brothers and sisters through the provision of humanitarian aid via aid convoys are having their homes raided, being harassed by the security services and are effectively being accused of engaging in terrorism. Charities are having their bank accounts closed without explanation and are coming under investigation by the Charity Commission simply for being involved in crisis zones like Gaza and Syria. Witch-hunts such as the Trojan Horse hoax and the mass hysteria over issues of the niqab, halal food and conservative Muslim values demonstrate that the criminalisation is spreading beyond Middle Eastern politics. Individuals and organisations within the Muslim community who have been speaking out against these policies are now under attack. They have had their organisation, business and bank accounts arbitrarily closed. Even their children's bank accounts have been closed. They are maligned in the media as terrorist sympathisers, extremists and jihadists. Some have even been imprisoned.

    The common element across all these cases is that those targeted cared for the oppressed and for those who are suffering. They have been criminalised because they cared.

    Join CAGE at this series of events around the country to unite the Muslim communities against this criminalisation of our faith, our beliefs, our mosques and organisations, and our leaders. The following regional events will take place with the large conference taking place on 20 September at the Waterlily in London.

    Sunday 14 September - 6pm

    Pakistani Community Centre, Park Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 2PA

    Jamal Harwood
    Dr Adnan Siddiqui
    Dr Uthman Lateef
    Anas al-Tikriti
    Taji Mustafa
    Wednesday 17 September - 7pm
    East Pearl Banqueting Centre, Longsight, Manchester
    Ibrahim Hewitt
    Abdullah Andalusi
    Jahangir Mohammed

    Friday 19 September - 6.30pm

    Muslim Student House (the Daar), Moseley, Birmingham

    Dr Uthman Lateef
    Ismail Adam Patel
    Abdullah Andalusi
    Dr Abdul Wahid
    Fahad Ansari

    http://www.cageuk.org/event/it-crime-care
    4 | Likes Jewel, .muslim girl., talibilm, Sho Islam liked this post

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

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    Salaam

    After the recent atrocity in the Manchester, theres been the predictable turbo charged hysteria on what should we do. Here are some other views. Willing to say the unsayable.

    War on Terror isnt working



    And more generally


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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    More comment.

    Manchester Attacks show that PREVENT has failed!


    Upon the tragic deaths of children in Manchester, as expected, the media and politicians have once again turned their head towards the Muslim community. Whilst we may never know what caused Salman Ramadan Abedi to murder and maim so many young people at Manchester Arena on Monday night, the conclusions have already been implied by the politicians and media, that due to his connections with war-torn Libya and Syria, he was likely to have been “radicalised by an extremist ideology.” There is now a debate taking place once again about the effeciveness of the Government’s PREVENT strategy which is based upon the theory of radicalisation.

    Since the time of Tony Blair where he infamously stated that the ‘rules of the game have changed’, the British government has pinned the actions of a very few to an entire community. The strategy has been heavily criticised throughout the last few years for discriminating against Muslims and viewing them as a suspect community, but now it is being given vindication by some in light of the Manchester attacks. Ironically, what the attacks show is that the PREVENT strategy has failed to prevent such attacks.

    Preventing violent extremism has been the mantra but it has not been able to ‘prevent’ horrors in mainland Britain. Instead it has focused on law abiding Muslims in every town and city in England. It has questioned Muslim children in Schools and Colleges, leaving them psychologically damaged by the experience. It has integrated draconian legislation into statutory services, where normal Muslim families have not been able to travel without disclosing their entire family makeup and political views. Mosques have been ordered to curtail legitimate Islamic opinions and integrate their views with British values.

    An entire community has been viewed with suspicion and contempt, because of deficient narratives engineered by a government that is adamant to change Islam, not to prevent violence.

    The Muslim community in Britain has endured a torturous journey of villification from the media and the government, for actions it did not commit.

    Whilst Islamic values have been criticised and British values celebrated, Muslims have been at the receiving end of endless violation of their core Islamic ideas. This has included indisputable beliefs around world politics, segregation, caliphate, marriage and many other aspects.

    However the time has now arrived to question the government in these difficult times- what has the Prevent agenda and anti- radicalisation agenda actually achieved? It did not stop the murder of Lee Rigby. Neither did it stop the dreadful killing of children in Manchester.

    So what has it acheived, apart from marginalizing the Muslim community, instilling fear and creating discord between Muslims and non Muslims? Absolutely nothing.

    The Muslims in Britain have exhausted themselves, by making it explicitly clear that Islam does not allow the killing of innocent men, women and children. However the British government still throws out the narrative that there is a problem with Islam and that the community needs to do more to tackle ‘extremism’.

    The very few committing violent atrocities is not because of Islam. It is not because Muslims encourage these actions. It is not because of Mosques preaching hate to people. It most definitely is not because Muslim women cannot speak English, as indicated by the poorly articulated Casey Report.

    Indeed Islam does not associate itself to any of these crimes – therefore it is the apt time for the government to take a deep look at itself and ask another question – why do these violent actions take place?

    British foreign policy will be a good starting point. It’s actions in Iraq and Afghanistan will provide an insight. Propping up tyrants in the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world will give a perspective.

    An attempt to answer these questions will provide an understanding of the reason why the very few engage in physical violence. The Prevent agenda does not even attempt to answer or engage the real narrative, rather it completely misses the point and as one critic described “barking up the wrong tree.”

    Muslim will continue to challenge the perverse government narratives of extremism and question draconian policies- especially as they have achieved no outcome whatsoever.

    http://www.hizb.org.uk/current-affairs/manchester-attacks-show-that-prevent-has-failed

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    As we make and break our fasts, Let us also make the time to pray for those who are treated with injustice and cruelty by lying and treacherous greedy criminals only because they say: "our lord is the creator of the heavens and the earth" and seek to establish justice and correct guidance according to Allah's good pleasure.

    Palestine goes on world’s largest hunger strike

    By-Guest Contributor--02/05/2017

    The world’s largest collective hunger strike is taking place, yet it took an trending challenge on social media in order for it to receive any proper attention.On the 17th of April, an estimated 1,187 Palestinian detainees throughout various Israeli prisons began a mass hunger strike. This strike commenced in demand of better access to medical treatment, better accessibility to see family members and, above all, to protest Israel’s illegal practice of detaining Palestinians without trial or probable cause, amongst other pertinent issues.We are now heading into the Day 16 of the strike and the number of hunger striking detainees has now soared to well above 1,600.

    Issa Qaraqe, detainee affairs head for the Palestinian Authority (PA), threatened Israeli authorities with another Intifada upon the death of a single protestor and due to the implications of this strike, the measures of the protest finally seem to be turning a few heads, especially considering rumors emerging of Israel depriving the hunger strikers of the salt required to maintain their health.

    Israeli far Right groups, as expected, made their way and showed up, cooking barbecues next to prisons in order to taunt inmates for their demonstration against Israel’s violations of various international laws and basic human rights. It emerged that individuals from Israeli settler communities (that number roughly 600,000 in total in the West Bank, against international law and directly violating three specific UN resolutions) showed up to fan the smoke generated from the barbecues in the direction of the hunger strikers.

    With this in mind, we have also seen the development that emerged recently from the PA about its refusal to pay Israel for Gaza’s electrical supply. This will now mean an hour or two of electricity per day for the already suffering population of the strip which is now moving into its 11th year under Israel’s illegal siege. With the power out, the fuel cut, the water undrinkable, medical aid limited, all but seven hospitals non-operational and the sewage pumping plant beginning to overflow, perhaps the biggest blackout for the people of Gaza is the media blackout, meaning that not only do they suffer, nobody even knows.

    All of this going on in Palestine and what was it that really started to get the attention of the corporate media outlets? Unfortunately it was not so much the situation itself on the ground, but instead a trend that has gone viral which entails drinking a cup of water, diluted with salt (the only thing the hunger strikers intake in order to stay alive). Aarab Marwan Barghouti, son of lead hunger striker Marwan Barghouti, was able to lead the charge in making the trend go viral and now it seems the media can no longer ignore the situation since so many have posted their videos up for their friends, family and the rest of the world to see.

    However engaging the challenge on Facebook and Twitter may be, we should not get lost in all the hype, but rather ask the questions as to why this challenge was even initiated and what is happening in Palestine which has led to such a massive hunger strike.

    So how deep does Israel’s violations of detained Palestinian human rights go? Well, let us start with something that is obviously inhumane.Israel currently holds over 300 child prisoners and is the only state in the world that will prosecute a child in a military court, the courts are intimidating, many children are forced to sign admission papers in Hebrew (which they often cannot read) and can (for instance) be charged with twenty (20) years imprisonment for throwing a stone at an Israeli tank. Israel directly violates the UN convention on the ‘Rights of the Child’, a statement which can be corroborated by NGO’s such as ‘Military Court Watch’, which in its studies (2013 and 2016) found that at least 60 percent of children testify to experiencing harsh physical violence at the hands of their detainers.

    This is but one of hundreds of examples of what is being opposed by the hunger strikers. Another example of injustice regarding children is Israel’s persistent martyrdom of Palestinian children which is perpetuated to the tune of one every three days (on average) ever since the inception of the Zionist state.

    To support the protestors in a desperate call for basic human rights, a number of individuals such as Younes Arar (Palestinian activist) and Amirah Abu Rabi (Palestinian girl aged 16) have taken it upon themselves to also go on hunger strike. It is extremely important that this hunger strike does not go ignored and that activists continue to circulate information concerning it, as the action itself has no meaning outside the individual so long as Israel maintains its ongoing policies of absolute apartheid.

    Some will try and claim that apartheid is perhaps just a buzzword or headline grabber if you will, but when taking a look at the oppression of the Palestinians by the Zionists things that suggest apartheid really do present themselves quite plainly. In the West Bank illegal settlers are charged in Israeli courts of law whilst Palestinians are charged and dealt with by a military court; this along with the countless cases of administrative detention serve as a staunch example of the injustice and anyone who looks at it can easily see that it is so.

    Administrative detention for those who do not know is the practice employed by Israel of holding people in prison without any reason whatsoever, not giving a trial. Many people have been subjected to this brutal form of punishment, some spending up to 15 years in Israeli prisons for doing absolutely nothing.


    With such injustice being carried out openly, it seems that in order for the truth to sink in in today’s world, desperate measures must be taken in proportion to the desperate situation at hand, as a Facebook trend can be the difference between apartheid laws being ignored and a public uproar.

    What will be the fate of these protestors? Only time will tell. We know that Israel ignores all international condemnation, it ignores the petitions demanding their Prime Minister’s arrest and ignores the protests and seventy-eight (78) UN resolutions. So will it just ignore this? However, the bigger question now is, will this finally spark another Intifada to perhaps meet Israel with the only language it seems to speak – violence.

    https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/arti...hunger-strike/
    Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Long ago has hope perished, as have our men of honor
    M.A



    The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress

    Frederick Douglas

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    By Jonathan Cook

    Six and a half years ago, shortly after Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections and took charge of Gaza, a senior Israeli official described Israel’s planned response. “The idea,” he said, “is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

    Although Dov Weisglass was adviser to Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of the day, few observers treated his comment as more than hyperbole, a supposedly droll characterization of the blockade Israel was about to impose on the tiny enclave.

    Last week, however, the evidence finally emerged to prove that this did indeed become Israeli policy. After a three-year legal battle by an Israeli human rights group, Israel was forced to disclose its so-called “Red Lines” document. Drafted in early 2008, as the blockade was tightened still further, the defense ministry paper set forth proposals on how to treat Hamas-ruled Gaza.

    The Fine Print
    Health officials provided calculations of the minimum number of calories needed by Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants to avoid malnutrition. Those figures were then translated into truckloads of food Israel was supposed to allow in each day.

    The Israeli media have tried to present these chilling discussions, held in secret, in the best light possible. Even the liberal Haaretz newspaper euphemistically described this extreme form of calorie-counting as designed to “make sure Gaza didn’t starve.”

    But a rather different picture emerges as one reads the small print. While the health ministry determined that Gazans needed daily an average of 2,279 calories each to avoid malnutrition — requiring 170 trucks a day — military officials then found a host of pretexts to whittle down the trucks to a fraction of the original figure.

    The reality was that, in this period, an average of only 67 trucks — much less than half of the minimum requirement — entered Gaza daily. This compared to more than 400 trucks before the blockade began.

    To achieve this large reduction, officials deducted trucks based both on an over-generous assessment of how much food could be grown locally and on differences in the “culture and experience” of food consumption in Gaza, a rationale never explained.

    Chronic Malnutrition
    Gisha, the organization that fought for the document’s publication, observes that Israeli officials ignored the fact that the blockade had severely impaired Gaza’s farming industry, with a shortage of seeds and chickens that had led to a dramatic drop in food output.

    UN staff too have noted that Israel failed to factor in the large quantity of food from each day’s supply of 67 trucks that never actually reached Gaza. That was because Israeli restrictions at the crossings created long delays as food was unloaded, checked and then put on to new trucks. Many items spoiled as they lay in the sun.

    And on top of this, Israel further adjusted the formula so that the number of trucks carrying nutrient-poor sugar were doubled while the trucks carrying milk, fruit and vegetables were greatly reduced, sometimes by as much as a half.

    Robert Turner, director of operations for the UN agency for Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, has observed: “The facts on the ground in Gaza demonstrate that food imports consistently fell below the red lines.”

    It does not need an expert to conclude that the imposition of this Weisglass-style “diet” would entail widespread malnutrition, especially among children. And that is precisely what happened, as a leaked report from the International Committee of the Red Cross found at the time. “Chronic malnutrition is on a steadily rising trend and micro-nutrient deficiencies are of great concern,” it reported in early 2008.

    Collective Punishment
    Israel’s protests that the document was merely a “rough draft” and never implemented are barely credible — and, anyway, beside the point. If the politicians and generals were advised by health experts that Gaza needed at least 170 trucks a day, why did they oversee a policy that allowed in only 67?

    There can be no doubt that the diet devised for Gaza — much like Israel’s blockade in general — was intended as a form of collective punishment, one directed at every man, woman and child. The goal, according to the Israeli defense ministry, was to wage “economic warfare” that would generate a political crisis, leading to a popular uprising against Hamas.

    Earlier, when Israel carried out its 2005 disengagement, it presented the withdrawal as marking the end of Gaza’s occupation. But the “Red Lines” formula indicates quite the opposite: that, in reality, Israeli officials intensified their control, managing the lives of Gaza’s inhabitants in almost-microscopic detail.

    Experiments In Social Engineering
    Who can doubt — given the experiences of Gaza over the past few years — that there exist in the Israeli military’s archives other, still-classified documents setting out similar experiments in social engineering? Will future historians reveal that Israeli officials also pondered the fewest hours of electricity Palestinians in Gaza needed to survive, or the minimum amount of water, or the smallest living space per family, or the highest feasible levels of unemployment?

    Such formulas presumably lay behind the decision to bomb Gaza’s only power station in 2006 and subsequently to block its proper repair; the refusal to approve a desalination plant, the only way to prevent over-drilling contaminating the Strip’s underground water supply; the declaration of large swaths of farmland no-go areas, forcing the rural population into the already overcrowded cities and refugee camps; and the continuing blockade on exports, decimating Gaza’s business community and ensuring the population remains dependent on aid.

    It is precisely these policies by Israel that led the United Nations to warn in August that Gaza would be “uninhabitable” by 2020 (“Gaza in 2020 – A livable place?,” 27 August 2012).

    Doctrines For Destruction
    In fact, the rationale for the Red Lines document and these other measures can be found in a military strategy that found its apotheosis in Operation Cast Lead, the savage attack on Gaza in winter 2008-09.

    The Dahiya doctrine was Israel’s attempt to update its traditional military deterrence principle to cope with a changing Middle East, one in which the main challenge it faced was from asymmetrical warfare. The name Dahiya derives from a neighborhood of Beirut Israel leveled in its 2006 attack on Lebanon.

    This “security concept,” as the Israeli army termed it, involves the wholesale destruction of a community’s infrastructure to immerse it so deeply in the problems of survival and reconstruction that other concerns, including fighting back or resisting occupation, are no longer practicable.

    On the first day of the Gaza offensive, Yoav Galant, the commander in charge, explained the aim succinctly: it was to “send Gaza decades into the past.” Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai may have been thinking in similar terms when, months before Operation Cast Lead, he warned that Israel was preparing to inflict on Gaza a “shoah,” the Hebrew word for Holocaust.

    Seen in this context, Weisglass’ “diet” can be understood as just one more refinement of the Dahiya doctrine: a whole society refashioned to accept its subjugation through a combination of violence, poverty, malnutrition and a permanent struggle over limited resources.

    This experiment in the manufacture of Palestinian despair is, it goes with saying, both illegal and grossly immoral. But ultimately it is also certain to unravel — and possibly sooner rather than later. The visit this week of Qatar’s emir, there to bestow hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, was the first by a head of state since 1999.

    The Gulf’s wealthy oil states need influence, allies and an improved image in a new Middle East wracked by uprisings and civil war. Gaza is a prize, it seems, they may be willing to challenge Israel to possess.

    Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East (Pluto Press) and Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair (Zed Books). His new website is www.jonathan-cook.net.

    A version of this article first appeared in The National, Abu Dhabi.

    Source: Electronic Intifada

    http://www.middleeastrising.com/isra...diet-for-gaza/
    Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Long ago has hope perished, as have our men of honor
    M.A



    The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress

    Frederick Douglas

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    A lot has happend in the past couple of weeks, some updates

    Yes Prime Minister, Enough is Enough!

    Fahad Ansari responds to the Prime Minister’s speech, “Enough is Enough”, and explores the decades of failed policies that she seeks to re-hash.

    Following the horrific terrorist attacks in London on Friday, Theresa May delivered a speech in which she claimed that there has been far too much tolerance of extremism in Britain. “Enough is Enough” she boldly declared outlining a four point plan to counter the new trend in terrorism.

    Unfortunately, for all her rhetoric, the Prime Minister’s proposals are not new. They are neither innovative nor unique. It is deeply concerning that despite 17 years of fighting terrorism, the government of the day’s response to the latest attack is to simply fall back on to its default position – calling for increased powers for police and the security services, an increase in the length of custodial sentences and a focus on fostering better social cohesion. The strategy is one that has failed to make Britain any safer than it was in 2001. On the contrary, Britain is a far more dangerous place to live for all communities today than it was when the War on Terror began.

    May’s plan is fundamentally flawed as it falsely identifies the drivers of terrorism as an inherent hatred for “our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights” and a belief that they are incompatible with Islam. In parroting the mantra of both George W. Bush and Tony Blair almost two decades later, Theresa May betrays the fact that she has learned very little from the errors of her predecessors. This precarious oversimplification of a very complex issue may be useful for soundbites for the evening news but brings us dangerously short of resolving the terrorism threat.

    A solution according to the PM is a repetition of her own personal mantra from her time as Home Secretary: a need to propagate the superiority of British values. As many commentators have pointed out, linking terrorism to integration and social cohesion produces a dangerous confusion over the roots of the problem, which ultimately stigmatises and alienates some of the poorest communities in this country.

    It is telling that in her entire speech, May fails to address the stated motivations of the terrorists themselves, that increasingly apparent elephant in the room known as Foreign Policy. ISIS hailed the Manchester attack as a response to Britain’s “transgressions against the lands of the Muslims”, a victory against “the crusaders” of the west and a response to airstrikes in Iraq. Khalid Masood revealed his own motivation in a Whatsapp message sent minutes before he carried out the attack in Westminster declaring that he was taking revenge for Western military actions in Muslim countries in the Middle East. From Usama Bin Laden to the 7/7 bombers, from the killers of Lee Rigby to the recent attacks from ISIS, all have spoken of the fact that British foreign policy has been a direct motivation for their actions. To acknowledge this is not justification. To ignore it however is grossly negligent.

    If Theresa May is not comfortable in listening to the demands of terrorists, she should at least respect the expert opinions of those entrusted with our security. As far back as 2003, the Joint Intelligence Committee, representing the main British intelligence agencies, explicitly warned the Blair government that invading Iraq would “increase significantly” the threat of terrorism. That included risks of attack within the UK from al-Qaeda and other “Islamist terrorist groups and individuals”. In 2005, a few weeks before the 7/7 bombings, the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre issued another warning to the Blair government noting that events in Iraq “are continuing to act as motivation and a focus of a range of terrorist-related activity in the UK”. If this was not sufficient, in 2011 in a lecture attended by Theresa May herself, former director-general of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller unequivocally drew the connection between the Iraq war and the 7/7 attacks stating:

    “[The invasion of Iraq] increased the terrorist threat by convincing more people that Osama Bin Laden’s claim that Islam was under attack was correct. It provided an arena for the jihad for which he had called, so that many of his supporters, including British citizens, travelled to Iraq to attack Western forces. It also showed very clearly that foreign and domestic policy are intertwined. Actions overseas have an impact at home. And our involvement in Iraq spurred some young British Muslims to turn to terror.“

    So yes Prime Minister, Enough is Enough. Let us open up the discussion on foreign policy and the role it plays in driving terrorism. Whether it is the UK’s military action in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya, its betrayal of the Palestinian people, or its massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia, foreign policy does play its part in fomenting terrorism and needs to change. Today, in what has become almost synonymous with blasphemy laws in theocratic states, those who question the link between foreign policy and terrorism, are maligned and labelled as apologists and sympathisers. In April this year, former MP David Ward was sacked from the Liberal Democrats for tweeting that “all terrorist attacks in UK stem from our foreign policy”. And if it is all to do with their hating our way of life, then why are most of the victims of ISIS Muslims living in the Islamic world?

    Enough is Enough Prime Minister. Let us review the current counter-terrorism strategy but not with a view to increasing police powers but assessing whether there are already too many powers in place. With over a dozen different counter-terrorism bills passed into law since 2000 and the implementation of the Prevent strategy across public service providers, more extremism referrals are being made to the police than ever before. As the current Home Secretary has now finally admitted, Prevent is essentially an intelligence gathering exercise, used to spy on the Muslim community. It has been opposed by numerous trade unions, civil society organisations and hundreds of academics.

    Enough is Enough Prime Minister. With children as young as four years old being reported to the police and subsequently detained and questioned (without the consent or presence of the parent) over issues such as possessing a toy gun, being accused of speaking Arabic or attending a mosque, not celebrating Christmas, or drawing cucumber and university students being reported for reading books about terrorism in the campus library as part of their course material, it does beg the question as to whether the net is being cast far too wide resulting in real threats slipping under the radar. When all acts of religiosity or an interest in politics by Muslims are deemed to be worthy of reporting, one can imagine how overwhelmed the police must be in dealing with all of this ‘intelligence’. It is little wonder then why the likes of Salman Abedi managed to commit his atrocity despite having been referred by the local community on no less than five occasions. It is now also emerging that one of the suspected London Bridge attackers was reported to the counter terrorism police on two occasions with no further action taken. With finite resources at their disposal, the police and security services cannot realistically be expected to protect this country from those who actually threaten our safety when there has been such a proliferation of reporting based largely on ignorance, prejudice, and profiling.

    Enough is Enough Prime Minister. Do you not realise that equating conservative religious values and political activism with extremism is counter-productive? Do you not accept that it is because of such a policy that the security services have had to deal with 23,000 “subjects of interest” to date? 23,000 is an army corps. If that is what the security services really believe to be the threat, then we really all should be very afraid. But if these ‘subjects of interest’ are on this list because of nothing more than conservative religious beliefs, political activism and overzealous reporting under Prevent, then we are wasting our resources. The Muslim community should not be afraid of discussing the concept of jihad. For years now, this discussion has been stifled and censored by mosques, Islamic centres, schools and universities out of fear of being reported under Prevent. If these discussions can take place, perhaps young minds can be taught the distinction between legitimate jihad and acts of terrorism. It of course will raise uncomfortable questions about the legitimacy of jihad against military targets in conflict zones and how that balances with the law of the land one lives in, but closing down all forums for such discussions only perpetuates the problem. Without traditional scholars being able to address these questions, young minds are ripe for exploitation by the likes of Daesh who thrive in an environment where their ideas are not challenged within a religious framework.

    Enough is Enough Prime Minister. Why are approximately 50,000 travellers to and from the UK detained and questioned under the Terrorism Act every year when only 0.02% of those stops have led to any further action? That these stops are not intelligence led and can be done without any suspicion has resulted in hundreds of thousands of innocent people being harassed and questioned over the past 17 years, the vast majority of whom have been non-White. Is this power not only discriminatory in its effect but also disproportionate and a unwise use of limited resources, when the security services are unable to prevent actual terrorists from harming this country?

    Five years ago, it emerged that evidence was fabricated against Dr Rizwaan Sabir, then a university student, to detain him for 7 days under the Terrorism Act. Perhaps if the police were not trying to ensnare innocent people in such a manner, they could focus on finding the real terrorists in our midst.

    Enough is Enough Prime Minister. We are all tired of you playing politics with the security and safety of this country. We are fed up of the propaganda and posturing to roll out the same failed policy time and time again. We have become weary from the rhetoric of division and the imposition of collective guilt upon our community after each attack. We are frustrated with being asked to prove our humanity each time by rushing to condemn something that no sane individual can condone. Most of all, we are frightened for ourselves and our children of both being killed in an atrocity and hurt in the inevitable violent backlash that follows.

    Enough is Enough.

    https://cage.ngo/article/yes-prime-minister-enough-is-enough/

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    Why Criminalising Non-Violent Extremism Won't Prevent Terrorism


    Criminalising non-violent forms of expression undermines dialogue – a crucial component of resolving conflict in all forms

    In the wake of the terrorist attack on London Bridge, Theresa May said that recent attacks “are bound together by the single, evil ideology of Islamist extremism that preaches hatred, sows division, and promotes sectarianism.”

    In 2015, the prime minister had written that where “non-violent extremism goes unchallenged, the values that bind our society together fragment”. Going one step further, in its 2017 manifesto, May’s Conservative party called for a new approach where: “We will consider what new criminal offences might need to be created … to defeat the extremists.”

    What this push for new legislation targets is not the criminal behaviour of violence, but the ideology behind it. This is based on the problematic assumption that criminalising the motivations behind an action can prevent it from happening: but my research suggests that the opposite may well be the case.

    Under UK legislation terrorism is defined as violent acts committed to advance a political, ideological, or religious cause. This means that individuals engaging in such attacks are doing so to communicate and bring about some form of political transformation. Violent attacks are done for a political cause, to advance an ideological goal.

    The crucial question then is how can states and wider civil society create a context whereby non-violent forms of political expression are considered preferable to such violent alternatives. In other words, how can we make 21st century politics function in a way that draws people with these views in, rather than alienates and isolates them?

    The rush to criminalise

    In new research I’ve published on negotiations, I discuss how such issues are often due to the orientation of the criminal justice system. Instead of just criminalising political violence, states frequently criminalise a much broader range of non-violent forms of political expression.

    Because politicians like May link certain ideologies to acts of violence, these ideologies are regarded as being just as criminal. All corresponding non-violent expressions of these ideologies – such as certain extreme interpretations of Islam – are to be considered in like terms, as a “pernicious ideology”, as May’s predecessor David Cameron stated following the terror acts in Brussels in 2016.

    For instance, during the conflict in Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin was censored, as were many advocating their political ideology. This led to a silencing of the political debate. Those challenging the violence of the IRA, but advocating for their goals – a united Ireland – were frequently labelled as terrorist sympathisers. For instance the former leader of the moderate nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), John Hume, notably stated: “Listening to honourable members opposite one would think that it [the pursuit of Irish unity] was a crime.”

    Cutting off dialogue

    But criminalising non-violent forms of expression undermines dialogue – a crucial component of resolving conflict in all forms. If people don’t talk to one another they will have a much more limited understanding of what “the other” side actually wants. It will mean each side sees their goals in opposition to other, and any gains they make as the others’ losses.

    Terrorism itself is an expression of these goals, but it is at the end of a spectrum. Intervention much earlier on down the scale could possibly enable alternative pathways to resolving the political objectives. Academic interviews with a number of “radicals” in Canada revealed how the pathway into jihad is by no means linear nor predetermined. Engaging with, rather than criminalising, those who are moving towards political violence is essential to its prevention.

    When non-violent expressions of a political ideology are criminalised this links the very ideology with criminality, and with terrorism. Holding a belief, no matter how disagreeable you may find it, does not make a person a perpetrator. Media headlines after the recent terror attacks in the UK provide disturbing examples of just how demonising such language can be. One headline in The Daily Mail read: “Another fanatic slips through the net”, while another in The Sun called one of the attackers “The Jihadi next door”.

    Instead of focusing on the acts, such media coverage demonises the individuals, creating suspicion against all those of a particular religion or culture. As a result, this alienates the very communities which counter-terrorism forces needs to work with most.

    Linking those who hold illegal beliefs directly to terror may isolate and marginalise their voices and ensure that they are unable to openly express their political beliefs. Many of the murals and graffiti in Northern Ireland are illustrative of this very issue. As a former IRA prisoner explained to me as part of my research, “the state were in total control of all other expressions of citizenship”. As a result these individuals are likely to operate covertly rather than in the open, making it more difficult to engage and challenge their positions. Instead, they are reduced to simple characterisations, such as evil jihadists, closing down opportunities for dialogue rather than opening them up.

    Providing legitimate and credible non-violent alternatives to terrorism may seem fanciful, but the motivations for some of these individuals often begins in their social exclusion and alienation. Addressing and engaging with these issues much earlier could help prevent violent motivations ever taking root.

    This means re-orientating criminal justice so that the focus is on the illegitimacy of political violence, not the identities and individuals themselves, could help prevent these attacks, particularly as they become more difficult to detect. Dialogue, not criminalising non-violent forms of expression, will help prevent political violence.

    http://www.stopwar.org.uk/index.php/...vent-terrorism

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    I pray that Allah terrorizes the greedy satanist crusaders who have terrorized and murdered millions of Muslim, believing servants of Allah in injustice and transgression - unless and until they repent sincerely.
    Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Long ago has hope perished, as have our men of honor
    M.A



    The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress

    Frederick Douglas

  10. #188
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    https://www.facebook.com/story.php?s...%2Fsearch&_rdr

    Video (linked above) of 15 year old Palestinian Child Nouf Infiat yesterday, as she lays on the ground riddled with bullets outside Jewish settlement. We just received news that she has now succumbed to her wounds and passed away. This comes in the wake of 16 year old Nada Adbach, who was also killed this week on Tuesday after being mowed over by a car as she walked home with her friends in Occupied Haifa. This year alone, 9 children have been murdered by Israeli forces and colonial settlers in occupied territories.
    As she twitches to hold on to her life, those around her taunt her and deny her any kind of aid or assistance, leaving her to soak in her own blood. We wouldn’t tolerate this if it even happened to animals, so why are we silent when it happens to our fellow human beings?


    There has been a viral video of the incident released, within which Israeli colonists from the illegal “Meto Dovan” settlement were standing near her with automatic weapons, along with Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) occupation troops who were screaming “die sl₩t! Die!” and “drown in your own blood”. This was said among a sea of other insults as the little girl slowly passed away from her fatal injury. Also it should be noted that this girl could have survived if treated quicker but instead she died a slow and painful death; she was ninth child to be wantonly shot in the West Bank this year.

    read more here:

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article...nian-children/
    Last edited by Abz2000; 06-20-2017 at 07:49 PM.
    Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Long ago has hope perished, as have our men of honor
    M.A



    The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress

    Frederick Douglas

  11. #189
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update


    Home Office evokes Orwellian vision of anti-extremism commission

    Government decides to tweet picture of heavily armed police to accompany Queen’s speech announcement of new counter-terror body


    A Home Office decision to use a picture of heavily armoured and masked line of police pointing automatic weapons at the camera will raise questions over what image the government wants to create for its new commission to counter extremism.

    Downing Street says the commission is to be set up to “support the government in stamping out extremist ideology in all its forms”. But it will also be given the task of supporting the public sector and civil society in “promoting pluralistic British values and reducing tolerance of extremism”.

    To do this the commission “will be expected to build partnerships with all those opposed to extremism, disrupt the most dangerous extremists, and build cohesive communities,” according to briefing notes published with the Queen’s speech on Wednesday.

    It is difficult to see how images such as the one tweeted by the Home Office will help foster the cooperation of those likely to find themselves at the wrong end of this particular brand of police firepower.

    Indeed, it seems rather too close to the police state in George Orwell’s 1984: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/21/home-office-evokes-orwellian-vision-of-anti-extremism-commission

    Or to put it another way


  12. Report bad ads?
  13. #190
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update



    Director of legal rights NGO appeared at Court today to plead not guilty in password case

    London – CAGE International Director Muhammad Rabbani has pleaded not guilty today to charges that have serious implications for journalists, human rights defenders and lawyers.

    Mr Rabbani was charged on 17th May for not giving up his passwords during an interrogation by border police under Schedule 7 at Heathrow in November last year.

    He was unable to hand over the passwords to his devices as he was carrying crucial evidence taken from a torture survivor and did not have permission from the client to share the information.

    Muhammad Rabbani, International Director for CAGE, said previously:

    “I am innocent of these charges that have serious implications for journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders.”

    “I’m going into this eyes wide open and I’m not a victim, but I’m not a hero either. I do believe I am doing what any reasonable person would do under the circumstances in order to protect the privacy of a client.”

    “It was heartening to see the ordinary people that attended the hearing today to show their support, especially the many mothers who I spoke to. They told stories about worrying for their children when they travel through UK borders and they expressed their appreciation of my decision to challenge these powers.”

    Ibrahim Mohamoud, spokesperson for CAGE, said:

    “Rabbani has taken a principled stance to protect the right to privacy in an ongoing case of torture that implicates high ranking officials. Not only is this of crucial importance, but the outcome of his case has implications for all of our rights to privacy, when there is no suspicion of any crime.”

    “Rabbani’s courage and principle in these circumstances has been an inspiration to the community. We continue to support him in his efforts to protect the privacy of us all, and to end the constant harassment at airports.”

    Maryam Ahmed, a mother that attended, said:

    “We are mothers and have sons, and one day it could be my son. Muslims are vulnerable at this present time and Rabbani is taking this challenge for all of us. We should stand united with one another.”

    Soraya Mubeen, another mother that attended, said:

    “I stand with Rabbani, just like I’d stand with my own son. As a mother I constantly worry about my children when they travel, I worry they will be stopped and detained. These powers affect all of us and we stand in solidarity to uphold key values and principles.”

    https://cage.ngo/

  14. #191
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    George Galloway: 'Western countries invading and exploiting Muslim countries has led to terrorist outrages'

    George Galloway says terrorism is a result of "Western countries invading, occupying, exploiting and degrading Muslim countries".

    He continued: "And we must now defend ourselves."

    During his talkRADIO show on Friday (June 23) he said the issue is "about the endless process of Western countries invading occupying, exploiting and degrading Muslim countries which creates a sense of grievance. Or, or as I have put it - maybe ten thousand times - a swamp of bitterness and hatred, in which mutates various forms of blowback.

    "And one of those forms is the terrorist outrages we have been experiencing at an increasing rate across the Western world over the last nearly 20 years.

    "Whilst we are fighting for different foreign policies, we must defend ourselves here at home, because the people who are being murdered by terrorists are not the politicians who are carrying out the unjust foreign policies. It’s somebody's daughter and somebody's son at a concert somewhere."

    Read more at http://talkradio.co.uk/news/george-galloway-western-countries-invading-and-exploiting-muslim-countries-has-led-terrorist#YZODp3RaPvskiTFp.99
    1 | Likes Samiul123 liked this post

  15. #192
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Its worldwide

    Indonesia Sets Stage for Crackdown on Hard-Line Islamist Groups

    JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia’s central government announced a decree on Wednesday that will make it easier for the president to disband religious and civil society organizations, in an apparent effort to challenge hard-line Islamist groups who oppose President Joko Widodo’s pluralist administration.

    The presidential decree was met with concern by human rights groups, which worry it is overly broad and could easily be used to disband any religious or civil society groups, whether they are hard-line Islamist or not.

    “This threatens the legal rights of all NGOs in Indonesia,” said Usman Hamid, the Indonesia director of Amnesty International, referring to nongovernmental organizations.

    For the last two months, administration officials have talked of banning Hizbut Tahrir, a conservative transnationalist Islamic organization active in Indonesia, on the grounds that the group’s desire to create a caliphate contradicts Indonesia’s Constitution and pluralist state ideology.

    But existing law makes it difficult for the government to disband such groups, requiring the state to issue numerous warnings, followed by a lengthy court case, with no guarantee on how judges will rule.

    The presidential decree changes the existing law so that the executive branch of government can disband groups without judicial oversight, greatly speeding up the process.

    Mr. Joko’s administration has been struggling to contain Islamist groups since late last year, when several hard-line Islamist organizations, including Hizbut Tahrir, mobilized against Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a high-rising Christian politician who is a close presidential ally.

    The Islamists were extraordinarily successful, and they managed to propel their preferred candidate for governor to victory over Mr. Basuki, as well as begin a successful blasphemy case against Mr. Basuki that led to him serving two years in prison. With presidential elections in 2019, Mr. Joko appears intent on dismantling hard-line Islamist groups who are opposed to his pluralist vision for society, even if it means eroding civil liberties in the process.

    The country’s security minister, Wiranto — who, like many Indonesians, goes by only one name — did not specifically mention Hizbut Tahrir when announcing the presidential decree, and it remained unclear when exactly Hizbut Tahrir would be banned.

    What is clear is that Indonesia’s executive branch now has significantly more power to swiftly disband civil society groups, alarming rights groups.

    “First and foremost, this is not an effective way of protecting democratic values while trying to contain radicalism,” Marcus Mietzner, an associate professor of political science at the Australian National University, wrote in an email. “Out of all the options available to a democratic state, issuing an executive order that temporarily bypasses both judicial and legislative processes is probably the worst.”

    He added that the quality of Indonesia’s democracy “is now indisputably in decline.”

    The question over how to ban Hizbut Tahrir has divided Indonesian civil society, including its two largest moderate Muslim organizations.

    Nahdlatul Ulama, a deeply pluralistic organization, has taken the firmest line against Hizbut Tahrir, wholeheartedly supporting Mr. Joko’s decision to disband the organization.

    In an unusual move, Said Aqil, Nahdlatul Ulama’s chairman, held a news conference on Tuesday to announce that the president would be issuing the decree, doing so instead of the president’s office. Some analysts interpreted that as an effort by Mr. Joko’s administration to have a Muslim organization lead the charge so that Mr. Joko could not be accused of being anti-Islam.

    But efforts over the last two months by Mr. Said to persuade the leadership of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim organization, to support the steps the government is taking to ban Hizbut Tahrir have apparently been unsuccessful. While numerous leaders of smaller moderate Muslim organizations joined Mr. Said in announcing that the president had signed a new decree, no leaders of Muhammadiyah were present, according to news reports.

    Muhammad Darraz, the executive director of the Maarif Institute, a progressive think tank affiliated with Muhammadiyah, said he supported efforts to ban Hizbut Tahrir and other hard-line groups but was bothered by the government’s decision to override legal protocol.

    He said the decision smacked of politics, comparing the presidential decree to a recent effort to humiliate another cleric, Rizieq Shihab, the leader of the hard-line Islamic Defenders Front, whom the police named as a suspect in a pornography case in late May.

    Gregory Fealy, a senior fellow in Indonesian politics at the Australian National University, warned that the decree may not be smart politics for Mr. Joko after all.

    “The risk here is this causes an Islamic backlash against him, and this doesn’t look like a thing a nation of laws should be doing,” Mr. Fealy said. Over the last few months, hard-line Islamist groups have set up posters around Jakarta that say the current administration is “criminalizing” religious scholars.

    Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia’s spokesman, Muhammad Ismael Yusanto, predicted that his organization would shortly be broken up by the government.

    “Based on the authority of the presidential decree, Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia will soon be disbanded,” he wrote in an email when asked about the group’s response to the decree.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/w...st-groups.html

  16. #193
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    Moazzam Begg receives a standing ovation at the Marxism 2017 conference, where he delivers an inspirational speech, urging us all to stand together for justice for all.


  17. #194
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Id like to share.

    Q & A with James Fergusson, author of Al-Britannia, My Country: A Journey Through Muslim Britain

    5Pillars editor Roshan Muhammed Salih talks to the author James Fergusson about his important new book on British Muslims, Al-Britannia, My Country.

    Fergusson spent a year traveling around Muslim Britain, from the major population centres of London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bradford to the Scottish Highlands.

    In perhaps the best book ever written by a non-Muslim about Islam in Britain, Fergusson argues that Britain’s Muslims are remarkably misunderstood, both by the non-Muslim majority and by a government preoccupied with national security.

    Al-Britannia, My Country makes the case for a reappraisal of “fundamental British values,” and argues for a new approach towards the practitioners of a religion that is part of all our futures now.

    Roshan Muhammed Salih: Why did you write the book?

    James Fergusson: My background led me into it. I’m a foreign correspondent by trade and I spent 20 years or so running around the Middle East and North Africa, Afghanistan and Somalia so I’ve spent a lot of time on stories involving “Muslim extremists” of one stripe or another but I only knew a little bit about the Muslim community here in my own country. Also, in 2014 the community here was in the eye of a storm because of ISIS and M16 said 800 kids had gone off to join them so I thought it was a timely moment to look at Muslims in Britain. And I could see the way the story was being reported wasn’t the truth quite frankly – you could just smell the hysteria in the media and from government. So I thought it would be a good idea to see it for myself.

    RMS: You spent a year visiting Muslim Britain. What conclusions did you draw at the end of that process?

    JF: Firstly, how overwhelmingly varied British Islam is, getting a handle on 3 million people is frankly impossible. But although there isn’t one unique Muslim community the sense of community locally wherever I went was very strong and Islam definitely binds everyone together.

    Secondly, the very “Britishness” of British Muslims. There’s a narrative out there that British Muslims don’t feel British but I think it’s the opposite.

    Thirdly, Muslims are every bit as mystified and scared and worried about extremism as everybody else is

    And finally, I’d say there is a sense of fear, loathing and bewilderment at how the whole narrative has gone wrong. A lot of these segregated communities are being “monstered” as breeding grounds for extremism and are being called no-go zones, but when you actually go there (and I couldn’t find a no-go zone anywhere) they have a strong community spirit, respect for the rule of law and these are in fact characteristics that are incredibly close to traditional Tories.

    RMS: You said that you found a community “burning with resentment” and that wasn’t being listened to by politicians and the media.

    JF: Yes, that was certainly a strong strand of thought out there but equally there’s a strong strand of thought from people who just want to be left alone and want nothing to do with politics.

    My starting point was to go out and interview all those who were constantly being named by media and government like CAGE and the Muslim Brotherhood and when I met them I just kept rubbing my eyes and thought: “Are these the guys that David Cameron labeled as extremists?” They are just not extremists and it’s important to portray these guys as human beings. I don’t necessarily agree with their political views but I absolutely defend their right to say them because we have freedom of political thought in this country and as long as you don’t break the law or incite that’s fine.

    RMS: Do you think your own profession, the media, has failed to report on the Muslim community fairly?

    JF: By and large yes. I’m a newspaper man and they are in the business of selling newspapers and ISIS was a cracking good story so the narrative got set very early – young kids being hoodwinked by wicked Islamists and then those stories were often accompanied by photographs of somebody in a niqab with a gun.

    RMS: Do you think that parts of the media have an ideological agenda against Muslims?

    JF: Some of them maybe, but generally I wouldn’t go that far. Questions are always being asked about the Murdoch press but I have friends who work there and I think people have an idea of what Murdoch thinks and then they might write that, but it’s not quite the same thing as having some sinister diktat hanging over you.

    RMS: But it seems to me that the government is deliberately conflating social conservatism and political dissent with radicalisation, extremism and terrorism and the media is following that lead.

    JF: Once government policy is framed in that way the media do follow. They are in a sort of alliance even though that sounds a bit conspiratorial. I do blame the media for what has gone wrong but I think the government has more responsibility for it.

    RMS: Could Muslims do more to root out extremism and terrorism?

    JF: I’ve been hearing that argument for 20 years and I think it’s nuts. When someone decides to blow themselves up they don’t tend to go and tell their neighbours and friends about it so what are Muslims supposed to do?

    They are on the lookout for it; there are some extremely impressive counter-radicalisation Muslim grassroots organisations out there and they are doing their best. Under Cameron and Theresa May at the Home Office they’ve gone after the ideology; it’s wrong that the ideology is being twisted but that’s not the only reason why people become extremists. The country’s own intelligence services know this, there is no one single path towards terrorism. You need a far more nuanced approach to this stuff.

    RMS: As a non-Muslim what do you make of some of the social conservatism that exists in our community that may be at odds with Western values? For example, most Muslims will think that homosexuality is a sin.

    JF: I think the centre ground of British Islam is much more conservative than the government believes because they tend to only listen to reformers and liberals. That said, I think morality is a private matter and the state shouldn’t be legislating for morality as long as you obey the law.

    I was born in the 1960s when homosexuality was still illegal but public values have changed although traditional Islamic ones have not because they are taken from the Quran. Who’s to say who’s right? It is possible to have private views about homosexuality and obey the law. We live in a very diverse society and you have to make allowances for people’s private beliefs and prejudices.

    RMS: You’ve probably visited Muslim Britain to a greater extent than any of us. What was your favourite and least favourite place?

    JF: I found some places just jaw-dropping. Bradford is an extraordinary place physically – the hills, the terraces going around and the factory chimneys, the grimy Coronation Sreet feel to it; it’s incredibly Asian and I had no idea it was like that. East Birmingham was another one, the size of it just goes on and on.

    I thought the sweetest and the most moving community I saw was probably in Inverness. I was there on the summer solstice during Ramadan and the imam told me that there were about 500 Muslims in the Highlands and they come into that mosque as it’s the only one in that area. And what’s so amazing is that because it’s the only mosque sectarian differences get forgotten so you’ve got Shias and Sunnis all praying together.

    The feistiest place where I thought I was going to have trouble was Luton but I didn’t in the end. Luton has been under the microscope for so long and people are fed up of the attention so it has more of a shell around it than most places, but even there once I explained what I was doing and with the right introductions it opened up very nicely.

    RMS: You fasted the whole month of Ramadan last year. How was that?

    JF: I thought it was very tough but I really enjoyed it in the end. My family thought it was hilarious. My 8 year old daughter would say to me: “Daddy, if you cheat and eat something does God kill you?” It was very educational for them too. Fasting forces you to reassess the way you live. Westerners tend to live with very little discipline in our lives and if we want something we just go out and buy it and so I ended up thinking about consumerism in quite an existential way. It makes you think how lucky you are to be able to indulge all those desires that you have. If more of us fasted I think the world would be a better place.

    RMS: You write about Scotland in a very positive way and as a model of how Muslims can be well integrated into British society.

    JF: Muslims up in Glasgow will happily call themselves “Scottish Muslims” or “Scottish Asians” in a way that English Asians wouldn’t. A lot of Scottish Muslims have bought into the independence campaign and the SNP. There is an inclusiveness up in Scotland that we need to do elsewhere. The way the authorities have handled terrorism is also different to England; they’ve rushed to mosques and given people a hug and said “we stand with you.” And their attitude to foreign policy and the Iraq war is also different. That’s important.

    MS: After all the time you spent with Muslims were you tempted to convert to Islam?

    JF: No, there is much that I like and admire about Islam and I think a life without spirituality is a less rich life but in the end I think I’m just too much of a Westerner and I’m too jealous of my own independence. And there’s an aspect of Islam that I find a bit constraining and it is very didactic. It’s a holistic system for the whole of life and you can’t be a Muslim-lite. You either buy into it or you don’t.

    RMS: Finally, are you optimistic about the future of Muslims in Britain?

    JF: We are all part of one nation here and Britain is getting more crowded. And as it does I think our responsibility towards each other increases; there is a moral obligation to find ways of living better together.

    But I am optimistic; the things that people complain about – FMG, misogyny and honour killings – are not Islamic at all, they are cultural. As time goes by these things will fade. The government is trying to crack the whip and tell Muslims to assimilate but actually they are doing it by themselves. I think a distinctive form of British Islam is emerging. Society is incredibly multicultural and that’s not going to change. Let’s celebrate it.

    http://5pillarsuk.com/2017/06/28/q-and-a-with-james-fergusson-author-of-al-britannia-my-country-a-journey-through-muslim-britain/

  18. #195
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    Revealed: When PREVENT really put BOOTS on the ground

    Boots, the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer is peddling the Government’s highly divisive Prevent programme by instructing its employees to take ‘notice’ of their colleagues’ changes in behaviour.

    A ‘Safeguarding and Prevent’ guidance poster displayed on the walls of its branches as well as a PDF form in the Corporate Responsibility section of the Boots website make implementing Prevent a collective responsibility.

    The company instructs staff on how to spot the signs of ‘vulnerability’ which are devastatingly broad and include changes in mood, changes in eating habits and even a change in appearance. This approach in itself is unprecedented; many of these so-called signs are not even found in the highly disputed ERG 22+ factors that form the basis of Prevent.

    The misinformed policy of Boots fails to accurately identify the official aim of Prevent, “to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism”, but rather sets out their aim as ensuring staff “are not drawn towards extremism”. This sweeping company policy has also extended the duty to a corporate setting where it is “everybody’s responsibility”.

    This guidance to Boots staff will only serve to generate mistrust, suspicion and facilitate for a toxic programme and its harmful effects to be extended to the private sector and amongst employees on the high street.

    Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director for CAGE, said:

    “I was made aware of this particular application of Prevent guidance by a former university lecturer who’d been out shopping at his local branch of Boots, who said:

    ‘I was gobsmacked. It was in public view. I don’t work in there, I was just going in to get my prescription and just saw it in front of me; above a notice for prescription charges. Anyone could have seen this. I’m not sure whether they are informing on their staff or whether it is customers as well’.

    “The disturbing part about this is that Prevent has not just encroached upon the relationship of trust between teacher and pupil, doctor and patient and colleagues at work but, some customers clearly believe that it may now potentially seek to extend its reach to cashiers and paying customers. The cumulative effect of this can only sow the seeds of mistrust and discord.

    “If a highly respectable high street retailer like Boots has entered the business of policing its staff, then the public needs to know. They also need to know which other companies are following suit.”

    https://cage.ngo/press-release/revealed-when-prevent-really-put-boots-on-the-ground/

  19. #196
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Surviving Israeli Terrorism: MUST WATCH
    Last edited by Muhammad; 07-22-2017 at 08:55 PM. Reason: Video removed
    Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam


  20. #197
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    CAGE
    Surprise Surprise!
    PREVENT is leading to mass over reporting from schools...
    A natural consequence of a programme that targets innocent behaviour under the pretext of 'extremism'.


    Schools 'overzealous' in reporting radicalisation fears


    Safeguarding teams warn that this can lead to unnecessary, time-consuming assessments and create problems with families

    Schools are being “overzealous” in referring concerns to social workers as part of their duty to prevent pupils from becoming radicalised, according to claims in a report published today.

    The research report published by the Department for Education looks into how children's social care workers in local authorities were responding to radicalisation.

    Schools have a legal duty under the Prevent policy to identify children at risk of being radicalised and to take action, for example by referring their concerns to safeguarding teams.

    However, the DfE's research found that social workers were concerned about the number of referrals they were receiving from schools and other services.

    The report says: “Where universal services [including schools] were perceived to be overzealous or over-sensitive in their referrals, this was felt to be a potential stress on safeguarding and child protection resources."

    'Inappropriate' referrals


    Frontline practitioners in several authorities spoke of receiving referrals "that were ultimately found to be below safeguarding and child protection thresholds, which nevertheless resulted in time-consuming assessments and problems in relationships with families and young people," the report adds.

    One example given was a referral from a junior school after a child had told teachers they were going to Syria the next day with their family.

    A multi-agency meeting was called and police visited – only to find that the family had bought return tickets to Damascus for a legitimate family holiday and there was no case for intervention.

    The social worker in the case said the process had created a problematic relationship with the family, and questioned whether the original referral had been appropriate.

    There have been previous warnings that teachers felt they had insufficient training over how to deal with pupils whom they fear could be at risk of radicalisation.

    https://www.tes.com/news/school-news...lisation-fears
    Last edited by Junon; 08-05-2017 at 05:47 PM.

  21. #198
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another comment piece.

    I applaud British Islam’s refusal to bow to the establishment

    I’m not asked to demonstrate that I am not a radical, or prove that I am an asset to society. So why should Muslims be pressed to do so?

    Back in May, at the Roundhouse Poetry Slam, the brilliant Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan took to the stage to denounce the importance of being one of those good Muslims, as opposed to one of the bad ones. I refuse to have to prove my humanity to you by cracking a smile, and saying how “I also cry at the end of Toy Story 3”, she said, her voice shaking with intensity and focus. I won’t try to tell you about “the complex inner worlds of Sumeahs and Aishas.” “No,” she insists, “this will not be a ‘Muslims are like us’ poem. I refuse to be respectable … Because if you need me to prove my humanity, I’m not the one that’s not human.”

    I wholeheartedly applaud this refusal of respectability. I’m not asked to flaunt my moral or emotional credentials in order to be treated decently. I’m not asked to demonstrate that I am not a radical, or prove that I am an asset to society. Yet this is what immigrant communities, especially those that come with some “foreign” religion, are regularly pressed to do .

    A report out this week, chaired by the MP and QC Dominic Grieve and titled The Missing Muslims, encourages adherents of Islam to greater participation in civil society and public life. It calls for more British-born imams and greater integration of Muslims into British cultural life.

    It’s not a bad report, and its intentions are worthy. It recognises that there are problems with the Prevent agenda – which is an understatement – and it wonders out loud if an official definition of Islamophobia, along the lines of that used for antisemitism, should be explored. But, as with so many of the numerous reports about British Muslims, the focus is always on Islam as a problem to be solved and the need to distinguish between good Muslims and bad Muslims.

    This good Muslim/bad Muslim distinction has history, of course. It was precisely this distinction that the British colonial authorities used to separate the secular, wine-drinking, western-integrated, moderate Muslims who were prepared to collaborate with British rule and the suspiciously religious, uppity, bearded Muslims who refused to bend the knee to colonial power. As the Oxford professor Tariq Ramadan has rightly pointed out, the good Muslim/bad Muslim distinction is entirely unhelpful, not least because it associates being good and moderate with some diminution of a Muslim’s religiosity. The distinction effectively says: if you are brown and pray more times a day than the local vicar then you should probably expect to have your phone tapped.

    There is another problem with establishment bodies calling for Muslim participation within civil society. The British establishment has a longstanding and highly effective strategy when forced to deal with a “foreign” religion they don’t really understand – they seek to transform it into a mini version of the Church of England. This is how it works: first they encourage an organisational coherence, and crucially a hierarchy, and then they draw the newly established leadership into the establishment, with invitations to the Queen’s garden party and possibly a seat in the House of Lords. They did this with Jews in the 19th century. And they are trying to do it to Muslims in the 21st.

    Jews called it the Minhag Anglia. The very idea of the chief rabbi, for instance – not a traditionally Jewish institution – was modelled on the office of archbishop of Canterbury, and its office holders took to behaving likewise. Take Hermann Adler, appointed in 1891. Adler styled himself “Very Reverend” and started wearing gaiters. He liked dining in London clubs and was made a CVO, Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. “He gave the Chief Rabbinate a high, unique dignity, ensuring that the Jews would be accorded official representation in national life,” wrote Rabbi Raymond Apple in a 1998 essay. Others saw it differently: he was the “willing captive of the gilded gentry”, wrote one columnist of the time.

    This same strategy of drawing Muslims into the establishment has been at work for some time. But it’s a much harder sell because Islam is so much more theologically resistant to hierarchical thinking. It shuns the idea of popes or archbishops and insists that all human beings have equal access to God. This is what I most admire about British Islam. Its bolshy “Protestantism”. Its refusal to be bought off by official trinkets. Its refusal of respectability.

    http://www.hizb.org.uk/news-watch/i-applaud-british-islams-refusal-bow-establishment/

  22. #199
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    Home Office ‘outsourcing’ surveillance to Far Right Henry Jackson Society – Report Summary

    CAGE has released a new report which for the first time reveals the inner workings of the Extremism Analysis Unit (EAU) within the Home Office and its implications for wider civil society.

    The high court case of Dr Salman Butt V Home Office has exposed how the British Government outsources the designation of “extremists” for security purposes to the extreme right-wing charity the Henry Jackson Society. The judicial review has presented a number of issues of huge significance.

    At the core of Dr Butt’s legal challenge to being labelled an “extremist”, were the lawfulness of PREVENT guidance; the failure to have due regard for freedom of speech when implementing the policy; and the collection and storage of data by the Extremism Analysis Unit, which was argued amounted to warrantless surveillance and was in breach of the European Commission on Human Rights guidance.

    Encouragingly, the judge agreed that the PREVENT guidance does fail to have due regard to freedom of speech. This means universities will now have to weigh freedom of speech concerns up against the PREVENT duty and give platforms to speakers with this in mind.

    However, what the judge failed to recognise were concerns related to the collection and storage of data on “extremists” by the Home Office departments Extremism Analysis Unit (EAU), a secretive group with strong neoconservative links.

    He also failed to examine and interrogate the role of the Research Information and Communications Unit (RICU), which shapes the “hearts and minds” of British citizens and has been likened to Cold War propaganda units.

    The witness statements in the Dr Butt’s case provided by Paul Willis from the EAU and Matt Collins from RICU provide an unprecedented look into the workings of the Home Office. These units help determine who is an “extremist” in the UK, and it is necessary to reveal their scope and their links to dubious right-wing organisations.

    The scope and focus of the EAU and RICU are broad and “fluid”

    The role of the EAU is to determine and analyse “extremist” narratives, and to provide “the Office for Counter Terrorism and other customer departments” with information about “extremist” individuals and organisations, that will affect counter-extremism policy and work.

    The EAU primarily feeds information to PREVENT officers, but their “customer departments” can also be “international”. Meaning that determinations of “extremism” can be shared with foreign governments and agencies.

    The EAU operates directly under the authority of the UK Home Secretary who is accountable to Parliament. Both the EAU and RICU assist the government in its Prevent strategy, by conducting research (EAU) and coordinating propaganda (RICU).

    RICU’s extremism unit and the EAU are focussed on the threat posed by the “ideology of extremism”. They admit that their definition of extremism is “fluid” which is dangerously subjective. Furthermore, the focus of the EAU is clearly on “understanding Islamist extremism” with the majority of its resources and employees targeting Muslims.

    In their focus on “extremism”, special attention is given to how “extremism” is linked to terrorism. While Collins from RICU, in his testimony, referred to a ‘perfect storm’ of conditions that lead to terrorism, he implied that ideology is a key factor.

    Rather than recognising the role of stereotyping, surveillance and disenfranchisement in pushing individuals towards violence, these units are still in the business of honing in on ideas, and “rhetoric that is anti-Western, divisive or critical of core British values”, drawing a link between these ideas and the potential to commit violence.

    In order to counter these ideas, RICU invests heavily in counter-narratives by funding projects and organisations whose aim is to stop “extremism”. While the organisations currently funded by Prevent are not publicly declared, they are increasing; in 2015 RICU delivered 130 community-based projects which reached over 42,000 participants, almost double the number funded in 2014.

    RICU and the EAU’s focus on narratives that challenge those of the state, as well as on Muslims, means that both units reinforce a structural form of discrimination. This can be easily extended to other groups due to the “fluid” definitions of “extremism” and the lack of consensus over what constitute “core British values”.

    RICU and the EAU draw information from discredited right-wing organisations

    Not only are the EAU and RICU operating from an extremely subjective and prejudiced space, but their views on terrorism and extremism are rooted in neoconservative politics and mistrust of Muslim communities.

    RICU’s Collins quotes research conducted by the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), which is an organisation that was set up by Civitas who have promoted Baroness Caroline Cox’s vision of a civilizational struggle between the West and Islam.

    The notion that Islam is incompatible with the West is reflected in CSC’s former director, Douglas Murray. Known for his mistrust of Muslims, Murray has consistently presented Islam and Muslims as being part of an existential threat to the western world.

    In 2006, Douglas Murray told members of the Dutch Parliament: “Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board: Europe must look like a less attractive proposition. We in Europe owe – after all – no special dues to Islam. We owe them no religious holidays, special rights or privileges.”

    The Centre for Social Cohesion’s counter-extremism research was subsumed into the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), with Hannah Stuart assuming her position as a researcher, and Douglas Murray becoming associate director. It’s far-right, neoconservative funding streams come from Nina Rosenwald who has been dubbed “the sugar mama of anti-Muslim hate” by journalist Max Blumenthal.

    In the same vein, the EAU’s Willis explains that some of the EAU’s analysis is based on evidence provided to them by staff at the Henry Jackson Society through the organisation Student Rights, who “provide the information they were already sending to the Home Office in the form of a weekly digest” detailing extremism on campus.

    The alignment of Student Rights can be understood through the involvement of Raheem Kassam as director of the organisation from 2009 to early 2014. Last year, speaking of their relationship while jointly running the neoconservative blog, The Commentator, Robin Shepherd said: “Raheem Kassam is a danger to British democracy, and the rule of law. I saw at first-hand behaviour that was so appalling it was, and remains, difficult to internalise.”

    A “guidance” that has been misapplied with disastrous results

    At no point do either RICU or the EAU make clear that they engage with scholars and experts from the critical terrorism studies community in order to maintain some balance in their assessments.

    There is also no indication that those who have made assessments on them, are ever given an opportunity to challenge the final analysis. Rather, the EAU presents their determinations as objective and feeds them to public bodies to use in implementing PREVENT.

    PREVENT in the beginning was marketed as a guidance, not an obligation. Its objective was to prevent terrorism, not so-called “extremism” – but now, in an increasingly fear-based environment, the pro-PREVENT lobby has shifted the boundaries. It is now increasingly an obligation, and its targets are the many who fall under the broad definition of “extremism”.

    This has caused a misapplication of a “guidance” that was supposed to prevent political violence and which has done anything but. Not only this, it has resulted in a vicious campaign that has destroyed many lives, threatening individuals’ careers and the well-being of families.

    The links between blatantly right-wing organisations and the EAU means the hunt for “extremists” is a political one, the end goal of which is to reinforce state power over individuals, organisations and families through court processes that violate due process.

    CAGE calls for these court decisions to be reversed, and for families and individuals who have been branded as “extremists” based on these dubious assessments, to receive apologies for the damage it has done to their lives.

    https://cage.ngo/article/home-office-outsourcing-surveillance-to-far-right-henry-jackson-society-report-summary/

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  24. #200
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    All terror laws must go: Government’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism legislation recognises incompatibility of terror laws with the rule of law

    Max Hill QC stated in the Independent yesterday that terror laws should be scrapped and there should not be any prosecutions for ‘thought crimes’.

    Dr Adnan Siddiqui, CAGE Director said:


    “Max Hill is right to call for the end to all terror laws in this country. The Independent Reviewers comments come as a welcome break from a norm that has allowed this politicised corpus of law to continue to expand. The criminal justice system is adequate without entrenching Emergency laws that were intended only to be a temporary measure. A ‘state of exception’ has instead led to the normalisation of emergency powers over 17 years through 14 separate pieces of legislation.”

    “CAGE reiterates its June announcement: We call for an abolition of the extensive web of laws that have ensnared our fundamental freedoms and rights. We call upon all right minded people to join our struggle to establish once again the Rule of Law and apply it to all irrespective of their background, race or religion.”

    https://cage.ngo/press-release/all-terror-laws-must-go-governments-independent-reviewer-of-terrorism-legislation-recognises-incompatibility-of-terror-laws-with-the-rule-of-law/

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