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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
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

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    Salaam

    Another update. Seems the British government is grooming the Ahmadis to be their bootlickers, and they are quite happy to oblige.

    Ahmadis take out advert in Metro claiming to respresent “true Islam”


    The “Ahmadiyya Muslim Community” have taken a full page advert out in the Metro Scotland newspaper claiming to represent the “true Islam.”

    Ahmadis are considered to be outside of the fold of Islam by mainstream Islamic scholars because they do not accept that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the final messenger.

    The Metro advert, which would have been distributed to hundreds of thousands of readers across Scotland, features a large picture of the “Ahmadi messiah” Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.

    Ahmadis self-identify as Muslims and have achieved a good degree of influence in government and the mainstream media. They say that their message is one of tolerance and love and that they stand against extremism. They also complain of persecution in countries such as Pakistan.

    In 2016 the Muslim Council of Britain, the largest Muslim umbrella organisation in the UK, issued a statement reaffirming their position on the Ahmadiyya sect as non-Muslims.

    The statement said: “The MCB fully subscribes to pluralism and peaceful coexistence and acknowledges the rights of all to believe as they choose without coercion, fear and intimidation.

    “We affirm the right of Ahmadis to their freedom of belief and reject any attacks on their property or persons. They have the right to live free from discrimination or persecution. The targeting of Ahmadis for their beliefs is totally unacceptable.

    “The Muslim Council of Britain reflects the clear theological position expressed across Islamic traditions: namely that the cornerstone of Islam is to believe in One God and in the finality of the Prophethood of the Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him. We understand that this is not a tenet subscribed to by the Ahmadi community.

    “The MCB Constitution requires our affiliates to declare that Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him is the final prophet and whoever does not subscribe to that declaration cannot be eligible for affiliation with the MCB. Given this fundamental theological difference with the Ahmadi community, the MCB is not in a position to represent or be represented by the Ahmadi community.

    “Despite our clear theological beliefs, we note that pressure is mounting to describe this community as Muslim. Muslims should not be forced to class Ahmadis as Muslims if they do not wish to do so, at the same time, we call on Muslims to be sensitive, and above all, respect all people irrespective of belief or background.”

    https://5pillarsuk.com/2018/01/21/ahmadis-take-out-advert-in-metro-claiming-to-respresent-true-islam/

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    One of the reasons why they are being coaxed by the allies of shaytan is because they are deviant and it's an opportunity to corrupt the truth of Islam.

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    Preventing Prevent

    Young Muslims are being unfairly reported as extremists


    When I was at university studying my undergraduate degree, I developed a long-running in-joke with my friends and flatmates about being the only Muslim. A huge part of this involved kidding around about our internet search histories, and how I was probably definitely on a watchlist somewhere by dint of being brown and Muslim.

    It was a way of coping with the mistrust aimed at me in everyday situations, like when I got stared at suspiciously after boarding public transport with a backpack full of books – it was a way of making light of the situation, because sometimes if you don’t laugh at the absurdity of it all, you’ll cry.

    When the Syrian refugee crisis came to a head, scores of young brainwashed women went to Syria, to join ISIS. Amid all this my curious flatmate searched flights to Syria, wondering if it was even possible to find travel options to the war-torn country. It wasn’t, obviously.

    I joked about it like we always did. “Why on earth would you search flights to Syria when you live with a Muslim woman?” I asked him. “When MI5 break down the door and drag me away because they think I’m a fundamentalist, I’m blaming you!”

    It’s not something to joke about. Because the truth is, being questioned over something like that wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary for a Muslim university student. For many of us studying after the Prevent Duty was enforced in 2015, being watched and reported has become part of our way of life. And that’s not funny.

    What is Prevent?

    Prevent is one of the four strands of CONTEST, the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy. The other three strands are named Pursue, Protect and Prepare respectively, but Prevent has been the section of the counter-terrorism strategy to hit headlines consistently.

    Prevent is often explained to the public as a UK-wide safeguarding policy, to stop vulnerable members of society being exposed to the views of terrorist groups; to identify those who might have already been exposed to extremist views, and eventually to stop instances of homegrown terrorism.

    The policy was first proposed by New Labour in 2006, and was transformed by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition in 2011: this version of Prevent drew strong criticisms, but despite this, the policy was broadened and made compulsory in public institutions in 2015.

    Every person working in specific parts of the public sector is given mandatory Prevent training: from primary school teachers to NHS staff, from those working for charities to those involved in community groups. These people have a responsibility, under the 2015 Prevent Duty, to report any individuals who seem to be at risk of being drawn into terrorist activity, or who may have been exposed to extremist views.

    Once individuals are reported, they are reviewed, and if they are confirmed to be at risk of holding extremist views, are referred to Prevent’s sister-initiative, Channel. Channel is a police-led initiative which aims to support these vulnerable individuals and deter them from committing acts of terrorism, with support from Muslim mentors.

    Young Muslims targetted

    Young Muslims are disproportionately affected by Prevent referrals. The vast majority of the 7,631 people referred under the policy were aged 20 or under, the latest government data shows. Two-thirds of all referrals were due to worries about “Islamist” extremism, and 10% (759 people) were referred due to worries about “extreme right-wing” extremism.

    Muslims are 40 times more likely than a non-Muslims to be targetted – in fact, one in every 500 Muslims in the UK are referred to Prevent.

    What is more troubling is it seems like young Muslims are being profiled, as the majority of those who are referred under Prevent are in no danger of radicalisation. Of all the people referred, only 5% are directed through the Channel initiative to receive specialist help.

    Uneven application

    Prevent allows governments to look like they’re doing something substantial to tackle home-grown terrorism, whether by supporting the policy, condemning it, or calling for an independent review.

    Conservatives stand behind the policy, having rolled out the Prevent Duty in 2015, but failed to mention it in their Manifesto, whereas Labour have promised to review it in their Manifesto, stating: “In doing so, we will address the government’s failure to take any effective new measures against a growing problem of extreme or violent radicalisation.”

    However, critics argue Prevent fails to cover an area where it is needed most. Despite the fact that Northern Ireland has a higher threat rating used by MI5, Prevent is not implemented there – when this was questioned in a Commons debate in January 2016, Gavin Robinson, the MP for Belfast East, said: “That is an important point. The Government recently published a counter-extremism strategy. When I asked why Northern Ireland, which has a fair number of extremists, was not included in the strategy, I was told, ‘Don’t push the issue too far. It is really a counter-Islamic strategy’.”

    Communities and censorship

    The most prominent criticism of the Prevent strategy is the disproportionate way it affects Muslim communities and black communities. Nothing happens in a vacuum — with right-wing media outlets in the UK pushing narratives that paint non-white and Muslim people as extremists, and white non-Muslims who perpetrate violence against others as “lone wolves”, there are popular ideas of who “counts” as a terrorist, and who doesn’t. These ideas, as well as factors like racist and Islamophobic attitudes, are very likely to contribute to the over-referral of Muslim and black (and black Muslim) people to Prevent.

    Another concern is that Prevent may be encouraging censorship at universities and schools. In a 2015 statement, the University and College Union stated: “The government’s approach is a dangerous strategy. It risks silencing those who are most vulnerable, leaving them no space in which to express their opinions or be challenged safely. Due to the Islamophobic narrative surrounding ‘extremism’, it also risks certain communities being targeted unfairly.”

    There is also a complete lack of transparency surrounding Prevent. The latest figures don’t show answer many of the important questions: who is reporting people to Prevent? How effective is the strategy? What percentage of people put through Prevent and Channel still go on to commit acts of terrorism?

    There’s also some secrecy surrounding the resources used to create and implement Prevent. Manchester-based creative Afshan D’Souza-Lodhi worked on a counter-terrorism project for the now-defunct Greater Manchester Police Authority, not realising that her contributions as a young Muslim woman were then used for Prevent.

    She tells The Overtake: “It was a ‘counter terrorism and preventing violent extremism project’. With a team of young people, I helped write a teachers’ resource pack so that teachers could take it into schools and have uncomfortable conversations with young people. Did I realise that it would give teachers the ability and ease to ‘put people on lists’? No, of course not. Does it make me a little uncomfortable now? Yes.”

    As a Muslim woman, Afshan resents not being told what her work was used for: “Knowing what I know now about Prevent and the targeting of young Muslims, it makes me a little uncomfortable that I worked on a project doing exactly that. At the time I thought it was a good way to address (what I now know to be) Islamophobia and racism. I didn’t think it would be used to target anyone, whatsoever. But then I was 16, eager to help and creatively active.”

    The Prevent Duty has been called out by NGOs on several occasions, for varying reasons. Some groups state that Prevent has a detrimental effect on people who don’t need to be referred to counter-terrorism initiatives, but to mental health services.

    Others point to various cases in which a double standard is in place, where Muslims are either reported for ridiculous reasons or treated differently from their non-Muslim counterparts in similar scenarios. For example, schools in BNP and EDL heartlands were only targeting Muslims for Prevent referrals. In another scenario, a physics teacher explained the concept of nuclear fission to their students, and a few students in the class had queries about how nuclear fission related to nuclear bombs – of these students, the only request for a Prevent referral was for a young Muslim boy.

    These differences in the way that young Muslim children are treated has had obvious consequences – the Muslim Council of Britain has heard reports from worried parents of the Islamic faith who actively discourage their children from discussing their faith at school.

    Calls for independent review


    Since 2011, Prevent has been dogged by calls for an independent review, or a scrapping of the policy altogether. The Muslim Council of Britain has consistently asked for an independent review of the Prevent strategy, stating that an effective strategy for counter-terrorism that includes Muslim communities instead of alienating them, is desperately needed.

    In 2016, an open letter backing independent review, signed by 380 people, including MPs, academics, NUS officers and prominent human rights lawyers was delivered to Parliament. Even former security officials who worked on Prevent have criticised it, referring to it as “a toxic brand”, and “counterproductive”.

    Students Not Suspects: Preventing Prevent

    The National Union of Students is openly anti-Prevent, and two years ago, launched the Students Not Suspects campaign in response to the 2015 Prevent Duty. Hareem Ghani, the NUS Women’s Officer, explained that the initial campaign focused on non-compliance and a national tour to educate students on what the Prevent Duty was, and how to pass policy against it in Student Unions.

    The NUS provides resources for countering the strategy, like a handbook and the Prevent helpline, which gives students affected by Prevent support and advice. The NUS is also set to host another UK-wide tour of universities to raise awareness.

    “The biggest concern for me is the way in which Prevent is affecting our education,” Ghani says.

    “The Education Sector, for example, accounts for 33% of all referrals. The Prevent duty is breeding an atmosphere of distrust, leading to a culture of over-reporting and most worryingly cracking down on academic debate and political dissent – see, for example, the ways in which Palestinian student societies have been targeted in the past year.”

    When asked what the current government should be doing, Ghani thinks that they “should be meeting with external stakeholders who have legitimate concerns about the policy and calling for a review (if not repealing the duty altogether).”

    “Let’s be absolutely clear about what it is that we’re saying: we are aware that radicalisation is a pressing issue, and we agree it needs to be addressed. However, the current policy as it stands is fundamentally flawed. We need a policy that is effective and engages with the Muslim community, rather than vilifying them altogether.”

    https://theovertake.com/~alpha/preventing-prevent/

    - - - Updated - - -

    Salaam

    Police are determined to intimidate those who oppose the prevent programme.


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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    Why the CCE needs to go


    To properly identify the purpose and agenda of the Commission for Countering Extremism, and to understand why it needs to be disbanded, it is necessary to look closer at its claimed functions against the backdrop of a rapidly evolving counter-extremism landscape.

    This landscape is filled with organisations that are profiting from the duplicitous task of “countering extremism”, in the process stifling ideas and expression that run contrary to the government’s own. The CCE is the latest addition to this toxic mix whose desired end result is a closed society, where only those narratives agreeable to the state are acceptable.

    Claim 1: The Commission has nothing to do with PREVENT

    The CCE fits into a web of organisations and individuals tasked with upholding the aims of the Home Office, which is to police society through programmes like Prevent, into compliance with a neo-conservative foreign and domestic state policy.
    These organisations interact with one another and come from the same neo-conservative nexus, the aim of which is to silence dissenters, whether they be charities, environmentalists or anti-war campaigners, Muslims or pro-Palestinian activists. Clear evidence of this comes in the form of the existence of Counter Terrorism Local Profiles (CTLPs) a Stasi-style system used by security services to force local councils to identify “extremist threats”, which in turn interacts with Prevent.

    Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows is the Extremism Analysis Unit (EAU), a government informant that identifies and reports so called “extremists” on campuses, under the direction of the hate-mongering Henry Jackson Society, whose definition of “extremism” fulfills a right-wing agenda but whose dubious tip-offs are used to blacklist individuals and organisations through the courts. In addition to this, there is the existence of Research and Information Communication Unit (RICU), the secretive government unit charged with analysing Muslim behaviour and belief and producing propaganda to influence them through manipulating or bribing grassroots organisations to align with its world view in a fashion reminiscent of the Cold War.

    The latest addition to this toxic mix is the CCE. Nothing embodies the crossover between the CCE and these former organisations more than the lead commissioner, Sara Khan, herself. In fact, since her appointment, no right-thinking person has any excuse not to see quite clearly what the government is doing here.

    Khan is a sock puppet of Prevent – it is common knowledge that her organisation Inspire was the recipient of considerable Prevent funding as was her book – and her sister held a senior position in RICU.

    Moreover, instead of engaging the Muslim community, Khan has taken aim at various leading Muslim figures and organisations, while continuing to advocate the failed Prevent policy. It is obvious that she will bring this same outlook to her new role, marrying the pre-crime space created by Prevent and its enforcement in schools and public bodies, with the identification and criminalisation of those she and her commission decide are “extremists”.

    The Home Office even states that the CCE “will support the public sector, communities and civil society to confront extremism wherever it exists promote fundamental, pluralistic British values”. It is perfectly twinned with Prevent.
    With a “small secretariat” to assist her in her new role, Ms Khan yields considerable power despite her low standing in the Muslim community. To compound this, she and the CCE will have a role in calling for new laws. This and her clear Prevent ties, should prompt us to call for the complete disbandment of the CCE.

    Claim 2: The Commission has a clear remit to support the government, the public sector, and civil and wider society to identify and challenge all forms of extremism.

    In plainer words, the CCE will make full use of state techniques of surveillance, belief analysis and censorship to influence all levels of society into accepting views that align with those of the Tory government, while criminalising those that don’t. All of this will be done in a climate where the definition of extremism has not been agreed upon at parliamentary level and remains wide open to subjective interpretation.

    In fact, the phrase “all forms of extremism” yields the catch net of the CCE even wider – not only have we not agreed upon what constitutes extremism, but we must now accept that there are many forms of these as yet undefined set of beliefs which can be criminalised.

    While the mandate of the CCE is startlingly broad, it is also firmly focussed on the Muslim community. This means that the commission will adopt a sweeping approach to the community, with a state-sanctioned Islam as the desired outcome.

    Claim 3: The CCE will provide the government with impartial, external advice on the tools, policies and approaches needed to tackle extremism

    It is self evident that the CCE cannot be “impartial” and “external” while at the same time having a “clear remit to support the government” and, as further defined on the official website, being an “expert committee of the Home Office”.
    Claims of independence and impartiality are the smoke and mirrors PR speak of the counter-extremism sector that can be dispelled by the vast amount of evidence that shows clearly that bodies like the CCE will never be impartial due to the environment in which they exist, where the flawed narrative of “extremism” is not only accepted but is used to drive the state agenda.

    Claim 4: Initially, the Commission will widely and openly enter a discussion about extremism and Britain’s values with individuals from all areas of society, independently selecting who it will engage with.

    This is a clear contradiction in terms – the CCE cannot “widely and openly” discuss matters, while at the same time “independently selecting” who it will talk to.
    The parameters for engagement are clearly set: the CCE will only engage with those who buy into the state’s definition of British values (itself up for debate) and its nefarious counter-extremism programmes and bodies, despite the fact that they have created a surveillance state and destroyed trust in schools and the public sector. This amounts to strong-arming local organisations to adopt the CCE agenda, while offering them a cup of tea.

    Claim 5: Because there is a strong correlation between extremism and the poor treatment of women and girls, the commission will have a specific responsibility to ensure women’s rights are upheld

    This claim is an attempt to hijack a hot agenda at the moment, which entails the abuse of the ‘women’s rights’ discourse to push a singular secular world view of what female emancipation ought to look like. An example of this is the drive to eliminate the choice for young girls to wear hijab at school, by summoning all the neo-conservative, secular groups and organisations that support it to bully such measures through.

    These self same efforts have manifested through PREVENT, and have nothing to do with women’s rights when it comes to practising their faith, but everything to do with making people who take a stand against state-led behaviour and belief policing seem unreasonable. Moreover Ms Khan’s track record of upholding women’s rights has little if any traction in the community. Recent leaked emails show Prevent officers instructing local organisations at the last minute to shepherd women to an Inspire event in order to fill the seats.

    Claim 6: It will also produce a strategic assessment of the threat extremism presents as well as the current response and in this initial phase will also advise on the Commission’s future structures and work programmes.

    This is evidence that the CCE will be a modern rendering of the McCarthyism panels which did “loyalty” tests on Americans to gauge their patriotism. It’s inherently based on a Manichean system that divides society into evil and good, an us vs them mentality that attempts to sift those who the state sees as espousing their defined “British Values”, from those who propose other philosophies and beliefs. This will be facilitated by increasing bureaucracy at the expense of the taxpayer, despite no academically sound evidence that the rapidly burgeoning counter-extremism sector is providing any real solutions to our challenges. In fact, the CCE is the latest proof that these efforts are divisive and detrimental and they must be halted and disbanded. Failing that, we advocate complete disengagement with the commission.

    We continue to call for engagement among all those who seek to genuinely diffuse the root causes of violence, cooperation among grassroots organisations truly representative of the communities under threat, and a roll back of anti-terror laws, Prevent and all strategies that criminalise those who dissent.

    https://cage.ngo/article/why-the-cce-needs-to-go/
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    The British governments intimidation campaign continues.

    Senior Ofsted official backs headteacher over hijab ban for under eights

    Amanda Spielman says religion is being used to ‘actively pervert’ education and school leaders should not fear causing offence when setting policies


    Ofsted’s chief inspector has warned of the danger posed by people who use religion to “actively pervert” education as she made an unusual intervention in a dispute between parents and the headteacher of a primary school over banning the youngest Muslim girls from wearing the hijab.

    In a speech to a Church of England schools conference on Thursday, Amanda Spielman is to publicly support the head, Neena Lall, who imposed the ban last month in the face of opposition from parents and community leaders at the predominantly Muslim state school in east London.

    Ofsted staff conducted a surprise inspection of St Stephen’s primary school in Newham on Wednesday morning, two weeks after the school’s governors overturned Lall’s decision to ban the hijab worn by pupils under the age of eight.

    “School leaders must have the right to set school uniform policies in a way that they see fit, in order to promote cohesion,” Spielman will tell the audience of Anglican clerics and educators.

    “It is a matter of deep regret that this outstanding school has been subject to a campaign of abuse by some elements within the community. I want to be absolutely clear, Ofsted will always back heads who take tough decisions in the interests of their pupils.”

    In her speech Spielman will also call on school leaders to use “muscular liberalism” to defend decisions they make, rather than fear causing offence.

    “Ofsted inspectors are increasingly brought into contact with those who want to actively pervert the purpose of education,” Spielmann will say, according to remarks reported by the Times.

    “Under the pretext of religious belief, they use education institutions, legal and illegal, to narrow young people’s horizons, to isolate and segregate, and in the worst cases to indoctrinate impressionable minds with extremist ideology.”

    In response, a spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain said: “As Ms Spielman continues to issue a disproportionate number of public statements about Muslims and apparent links to extremism, we hope she will consult before issuing further unjustifiable policies.

    “A lack of appropriate engagement will undoubtedly strengthen the negative perception among many Muslim parents about Ofsted’s interventions.”

    Lall’s decision to ban the hijab – on the grounds that Islamic teaching did not require girls to wear it until reaching puberty – provoked criticism from local councillors and parents who complained it had been done without consultation.

    The school announced that the ban had been overturned a week later, following the resignation of the chair of governors who had supported Lall’s move but later apologised for comments he had made on social media.

    Spielman’s tough line on uniform policies follows a meeting between Ofsted and representatives from faith schools in January, which discussed a new policy aimed at penalising schools found to have bowed to pressure over uniforms.

    According to the draft discussed at the meeting, schools that failed to consult adequately or allowed themselves to be swayed by a vocal minority of parents would be downgraded by Ofsted by having their leadership and management graded as inadequate.

    In her speech Spielman will tell schools they have a responsibility to “tackle those who actively undermine fundamental British values or equalities law”.

    School leaders may need to make “uncomfortable decisions” in the interests of their pupils, and not assume that the most conservative sections of a particular faith represent all its members.

    “In that regard schools must not, in their entirely correct goal of promoting tolerance, shy away from challenging fundamentalist practice where it appears in their schools or communities,” Spielman will say.

    “Similarly schools must not allow pressure from certain elements of school communities to dictate school policy, nor should we allow vocal parental minorities to pressure other parents and children to act or dress against their wishes. Giving way to the loudest voices is the opposite of tolerance.”

    In November 2017 Spielman said Ofsted inspectors would question girls in primary schools wearing the hijab, which drew letters of protest from more than 1,000 academics, teachers and faith leaders accusing Ofsted of a “kneejerk, discriminatory and institutionally racist response”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...r-under-eights

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    I am insulted at Sara Khan's appointment
    #Prevent

    Khan's overt support for the UK's Prevent policy should disqualify her from leading the Commission for Countering Extremism


    It has been only a few days since the British government appointed Sara Khan as head of the UK's new Commission for Countering Extremism and there has been a predictable reaction.

    The Henry Jackson Society, the Quilliam Society and the National Secular Society welcomed the news, alongside others such as "campaigners" Amina Lone, journalist Sunny Hundal , ex-London mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith and former terror legislation watchdog David Anderson.

    Branded as "extremists" or "Islamists" were those who opposed the selection and issued their own statements. They include the Muslim Council of Britain, the former co-chair of the Conservative party Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Mend Community, Labour MPs Naz Shah and Diane Abbott, and CAGE, the London-based advocacy group focused on Muslim detainees.

    Writer and radio host Maajid Nawaaz, as customary, deciding to use his airtime on LBC radio to attack "the usual suspects" for criticising the appointment.

    As a woman I would normally celebrate the success of another woman, regardless of faith or colour. However, this time I do not. This time I am offended.

    I am offended that a Muslim woman has been used to send the message that the government's controversial counter-terrorism policy, Prevent, will remain, because by choosing someone so in favour of it with hardly any links to the community it becomes clear where the weight of this commission will lie.

    How does this bring any independence to the role? And how can we have a commission on extremism when a full independent inquiry of Prevent is being resisted?

    Repeatedly we have seen reports by the parliamentary Home Affairs Select Committee identify alienation and disenfranchisement as causes of radicalisation, and so engagement with the Muslim community is paramount. Yet, they have chosen someone who is a strong advocate of disengagement.

    An article Khan wrote that was published in a report by Hope Not Hate in 2017, which amounts to a collection of smears directed at dissenting Muslim individuals and organisations, is just the tip of the iceberg.

    The broad-brush strokes with which she portrayed these organisations, many of which are stalwarts of the community, does not command confidence. It is true that Khan is from the Pakistani and Muslim communities, but without legitimacy and without trust, this amounts to little.

    Impact on the ground?

    What evidence is there of any impact of her work on the ground?

    In her evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, Khan was asked by Naz Shah to illustrate the impact of her work, and she gave two examples in the evidence session, one from an event in 2012 and another from 2013.

    Subsequently, supplementary evidence was submitted to demonstrate "impact" of the work done, but it gave no numbers on how many women had attended these events and instead provided extensive evidence of press comments and quotes to news sources. However, this is not impact, this is dissemination.

    Impact is to have made demonstrable change. Can Inspire, the organisation which she co-led and which in the past has received Home Office funds, demonstrate that its work actually led to meaningful results?

    There is also a perception of nepotism. Khan's sister has held a senior position in the government's Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU), the body at the heart of the Home Office's propaganda machine, while the issue of Sara Khan's own relationship with the unit when questioned by the Home Affairs Select Committee still hasn't been addressed.

    Yet, what is more extraordinary, is that the government has launched a Commission to Counter Extremism when there is no actual legal definition of the term itself. How is it possible to work on something the government has failed to define?

    Instead, why not engage more widely with Muslim community organisations and address the concerns around Prevent and the lack of transparency around the Home Office's Extremism Analysis Unit and its work?

    Numerous academics, organisations and individuals have expressed their concerns around the discriminatory aspects of the Prevent policy and its pseudo-scientific basis, yet the government still refuses to call an independent enquiry.

    The government may have found itself a Muslim woman to serve as a "mouthpiece" for the Home Office alongside others. However, she is outnumbered by those who will not.

    When the government starts to listen to the real grassroots voices in the community, we will be waiting. Until then, I, like many others, won't be distracted by the inappropriate appointment nor accept a commission that not only isn't fit for purpose, but shouldn't have been created in the first place.

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/i-am-insulted-sara-khans-appointment-1534803746

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Spielman Ashkenazi and a real lefty busy body too. The Zionists invite the Muslims in and then complain about them. I just don't get it. Is it the "keep your friends close but your enemies closer" philosophy? Are they going to start building death camps in Europe for Muslims one day? Are they pitting blacks against whites and hoping they will wipe each other out? A big Ashkenazi uber alles grand plan? They seem to be in powerful positions everywhere. Or maybe I am just a "blue eyed moron" that's what Samantha Bee (Ashkenazi) called my race on television.

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Spielman Ashkenazi and a real lefty busy body too. The Zionists invite the Muslims in and then complain about them. I just don't get it. Is it the "keep your friends close but your enemies closer" philosophy? Are they going to start building death camps in Europe for Muslims one day? Are they pitting blacks against whites and hoping they will wipe each other out? A big Ashkenazi uber alles grand plan? They seem to be in powerful positions everywhere. Or maybe I am just a "blue eyed moron" that's what Samantha Bee (Ashkenazi) called my race on television.
    No, we are just goyim to them....

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Like to share

    Last edited by Junon; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:52 AM.

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    The trial by media of Professor Tariq Ramadan erodes the presumption of innocence

    London – In all cases of serious sexual assault it is fundamental that the rights of all parties are protected. All efforts must be made to safeguard the interests of victims particularly when the perpetrator is a well know personality. However, the requirement for due process also enshrines the right to a fair hearing. These are basic universal principles that underline the work of CAGE.

    We are therefore concerned by the selective leaking of confidential evidence into the public domain which appears to be geared towards damaging the trial process. This is particularly dangerous when such leaks have coincided with prejudicial commentary by senior politicians and the media.

    The hypocrisy of such a position has been demonstrated by former Prime Minister Manuel Valls who intervened pejoratively on the Tariq Ramadan case, yet extended the presumption of innocence in defence of the current Finance Minister, who is also accused of rape.

    The law requires equal treatment of all suspects and the assumption of innocence before conviction. A trial of these serious allegations should be on the basis of concrete evidence procured in a fair manner, and not on the personality of the accused, or on the bias created by the media.

    Furthermore, it is undermining to the interests of justice to use the case of Professor Ramadan as a tool to fan the flames of Islamophobia and play into the dog whistle politics of the far right.

    In France, it is reported that the Muslim prison population stands at a shocking 70%. If Professor Ramadan’s trial by media continues on the current trajectory, it will only cement the already existing belief that Muslims are exempt from the French values of liberté, égalité, fraternité.

    Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director for CAGE, said:

    “CAGE is deeply concerned about the role of those engaged in instigating and perpetuating anti-Muslim sentiments based on the political and religious views of Professor Ramadan in France and beyond.”

    “It is important for the legal process to arrive at a fair and just conclusion for all concerned. However, recent and past history shows us that governments are capable of hijacking the very serious issue of sexual offence in order to further smear campaigns against individuals who they perceive to have influence on the public discourse, especially on matters pertaining to civil rights, political dissent, community empowerment, whistleblowing and resisting government overreach.”

    https://cage.ngo/press-release/the-trial-by-media-of-professor-tariq-ramadan-erodes-the-presumption-of-innocence/

  15. #231
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    How the UK government’s 'extremism' strategy targets Muslims

    Over the short term, the British policy will deliver political benefits; over the long term, it will open up unnecessary sectarian division

    None of us have the faintest excuse for feeling surprised at the intervention by new Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman over the hijab ban at St Stephen's primary school in Newham. Spielman's defence of "muscular liberalism" is another manifestation of the approach that produced Sara Khan as Britain’s first extremism commissioner. Ofsted’s successful High Court appeal to ban gender segregation in Birmingham's Al-Hijrah School forms part of the same pattern. How can we be so certain these three events are connected? Try reading the 2017 Conservative Party manifesto. Spielman is implementing government policy.

    Promoting 'British values'

    The manifesto states that one of Prime Minister Theresa May's core objectives is "confronting the menace of extremism". It notes: "Extremism, especially Islamist extremism, strips some British people, especially women, of the freedoms they should enjoy, undermines the cohesion of our society and can fuel violence." It pledges that an incoming Tory government would "support the public sector and civil society in identifying extremists, countering their messages and promoting pluralistic, British values."

    The leadership chaos inside the Conservatives Party, coupled with Brexit, has caused observers to lose sight of what is actually happening. But there should be no confusion: May is determined to establish a new and much tougher relationship between the central government and Muslims. Those who refuse to conform to so-called “British values” will be pilloried as “extremist”.

    Over the short term, the prime minister's war against what she calls extremism will deliver political benefits; just look at the glowing reviews Spielman is already receiving in the mainstream media.

    The Muslim communities at the receiving end of the Tory extremism policy are already unpopular. They do not vote Conservative, and provide convenient whipping boys.

    Over the long term, I am certain that this new policy will open up unnecessary sectarian divisions. This is because nobody has come up with a definition of extremism; despite the best efforts of the finest minds in Whitehall, all attempts to provide a definition have failed. Indeed, this is why May's promise to bring a counter-extremism bill to parliament has never been fulfilled.

    Extremists - from suffragettes to Gandhi

    This failure to define extremism is serious because it means that the term is open to abuse. Lacking an agreed meaning, it can be used selectively by politicians and activists as a way of insulting their enemies. According to Hansard, the parliamentary record, the term "extremist" was first used in Parliament in 1912, at the height of the suffragette agitation six years before women secured the vote.

    Hereditary peer Viscount Helmsley (who was killed four years later in the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on the western front) told the House of Lords of his "fear that the sensible women, the majority of women, would be so disgusted by the conduct of the extremists of their sex, that you would find that gradually they tended to drift more and more out of politics, and you would be left with this type of woman only, exercising the vote which you are proposing to confer up them to-day." It's easy to see what was going on here. The term extremist was being used to exclude suffragettes from mainstream discourse. Women who did not believe they should have the vote were considered "sensible" (or moderate). By contrast, those who wanted the vote were “extremist” - far beyond the range of accepted opinion. They could therefore be ostracised or ignored.

    Today, by an extraordinary historical irony, the positions have switched entirely. Anybody who campaigned for women to be denied the vote would themselves be regarded as “extremists."

    Muslims singled out


    My research, carried out with my friend and collaborator Alastair Sloan as part of a research project for a book I plan to write on British Islam, shows that once women were given the vote, politicians ceased to describe suffragettes as extremists. Instead, they used the term against those who supported Home Rule for India.

    Once again, a huge historical irony is at work. Mahatma Gandhi is today regarded as one of the greatest statesmen in world history; it is the opponents of Indian independence who are seen as the die-hard extremists.

    The term was also applied in parliament to the early Zionists who supported the existence of a state of Israel for the Jewish people. This is no longer viewed as an "extremist" position. In fact, not believing the Jewish people have a right to self-determination is, in Britain today, seen as extremist. Nowadays, our research has shown, the term "extremist" is almost exclusively applied to Muslims. Muslims will likely pass on the baton in due course, and some other group will have the misfortune to be invidiously singled out as "extremist" by the dominant media and political class of the age.

    Extremism is something that only exists in the eye of the beholder: it cannot be objectively defined, but it does have a spurious authority that makes it ideal for vulgar abuse against whatever group happens to be most unpopular at any given moment.

    Before the First World War, that unpopular group was the suffragettes. In the 1930s, it was the agitators for Indian independence and the Zionists. At present, it's applied to Muslims.

    Enforcing cultural conformity


    There is, however, a special difficulty about the use of the term today that makes it far worse and more dangerous than a century ago when it was applied to suffragettes, Zionists and supporters of Gandhi. This is the Conservative Party determination to incorporate the term into British government practice. Officially sanctioned busybodies like Spielman (who has no teaching experience and was given her job against the advice of the House of Commons education select committee) are starting to use it as part of their work. Spielman is on a mission. Ofsted used to focus on establishing high education standards in British schools. Now it's got a second objective: enforcing cultural conformity in British classrooms - but, it appears, only when it comes to Muslim children.

    Crucially, Spielman’s determination to enforce conformity to so-called British values - another undefinable phrase - appears to apply to only Muslims. So far at least, there's no evidence that she has a problem with Jewish boys wearing the kippah with clips and tzitzit, Sikh boys wearing the patka, gender-segregated public school boys wearing top hats and tail jackets and girls wearing ankle-covering floor-length skirts.

    Ofsted was firm on this point, with a spokesman noting that Spielman has "been clear that the context of this debate specifically relates to the wearing of the hijab by young girls where traditionally, the hijab is not worn until girls reach puberty, as a mark of modesty as they become young women".

    In other words, Spielman's war against extremism in British schools is being applied selectively.

    No legal definition of extremism

    To be fair to Spielman, this is inevitable once you start using a term that has no generally agreed meaning. This is spelled out very well in an excellent research note circulated on Wednesday by the advocacy group Cage, entitled "Why we must reject the Commission for Countering Extremism".

    "The CCE has no such basis in law," the note states. "It has not been debated in Parliament, there is no legal definition of extremism and its work is not underpinned by any parliamentary authority."

    It then draws attention to an alarming exchange between Democratic Unionist Party MP Gavin Robinson and Conservative MP Gerald Howarth in Parliament in January 2016. Robinson told Parliament: “The government recently published a counter-extremism strategy. When I asked why Northern Ireland, which has a fair number of extremists, was not included in the strategy, I was told, 'Don't push the issue too far. It is really a counter-Islamic strategy.'"

    Howarth replied: "Indeed. Everything is being done so that the government can pretend that they are being even-handed. We cannot be even-handed between those who do not threaten our national security and those who do. We have to be specific."

    Here, we have two well-informed MPs apparently agreeing that the term extremism is being applied only to Muslims. This selective use of "extremism" as a weapon against Muslims recalls the way UKIP mobilised the debate over Halal meat.

    'Caught in the crossfire'

    In February 2015, UKIP announced that it would ban the ritual slaughter of animals for religious reasons. But speaking to the Jewish Chronicle, responding to concerns that this would affect Jews, the party’s agricultural spokesman said: "This isn’t aimed at you - it’s aimed elsewhere - it's aimed at others. You’ve been caught in the crossfire; collateral damage. You know what I mean." In other words, UKIP was saying that this was a policy directed at Muslims only.

    Everyone interested in the manipulation of the term extremism should carefully study the research note circulated by Cage. In this context, the following passage is worth highlighting:

    “‘Extremism’ is a term that is not legally defined. Despite this, the work of the CCE will seek to incorporate a second definition. This, at a time when already the notion of Fundamental British Values has been embedded within counter-terrorism without any clarity. The terms are not and cannot be legally defined because notions of what they constitute vary between people and within communities, across society and change from time to time.

    "In the absence of clear legal definitions, we are left with subjective opinions of individuals and think-tanks of the most powerful groups in society being able to impose their views and opinions on minority groups.

    "This will simply lead to more discrimination and criminalisation against Muslim communities and further erosion of rights. Muslims who support the CCE will be effectively supporting self-criminalisation of their own community and unequal treatment."


    This demonstrates that under the new extremism strategy, Muslims in Britain are going to be singled out for unfair treatment. If there is any one British value we can all agree on, it's the importance of fairness. When it comes to extremism, it's the May government, and not Muslims, that has a problem with British values.

    Peter Oborne won best commentary/blogging in 2017 and was named freelancer of the year in 2016 at the Online Media Awards for articles he wrote for Middle East Eye. He also was British Press Awards Columnist of the Year 2013. He resigned as chief political columnist of the Daily Telegraph in 2015. His books include The Triumph of the Political Class, The Rise of Political Lying, and Why the West is Wrong about Nuclear Iran.

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns...ims-1155578885

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Muslims are all "extremists" they must become feminist Zionist snow flakes if they want to conform to modern "British values".
    And of course they must become homosexuals to really fit in.

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Muslims are all "extremists" they must become feminist Zionist snow flakes if they want to conform to modern "British values".
    And of course they must become homosexuals to really fit in.
    We dont though. As for "feminist snow flakes"... You're clearly judging all feminists.

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Muslims are all "extremists" they must become feminist Zionist snow flakes if they want to conform to modern "British values".
    And of course they must become homosexuals to really fit in.
    Id love to know where you're from as well?

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by cinnamonrolls1 View Post
    We dont though. As for "feminist snow flakes"... You're clearly judging all feminists.
    Feminism is of Marxist origin and when I talk of feminist snowflakes I mean males that are scared of females and are dominated by them. Marxism is the antithesis of Islam.

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Quote Originally Posted by cinnamonrolls1 View Post
    Id love to know where you're from as well?
    It is on my profile.

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Quote Originally Posted by Karl View Post
    Spielman Ashkenazi and a real lefty busy body too. The Zionists invite the Muslims in and then complain about them. I just don't get it. Is it the "keep your friends close but your enemies closer" philosophy? Are they going to start building death camps in Europe for Muslims one day? Are they pitting blacks against whites and hoping they will wipe each other out? A big Ashkenazi uber alles grand plan? They seem to be in powerful positions everywhere. Or maybe I am just a "blue eyed moron" that's what Samantha Bee (Ashkenazi) called my race on television.
    Now, now Karl this is clearly an unjustified anti-Semitic conspiracy theory your peddling.

    oh wait. . . . . .


  23. #238
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Another update

    Minister says schools that ban the hijab and fasting will get Government backing

    Schools that receive a backlash from parents, activists and the local community for banning the hijab and fasting will be supported by the Government, the schools minister has said. Lord Agnew of Oulton said he would assist head teachers make “sensitive” decisions if they faced opposition and would “not allow a culture of fear and intimidation to pass through the school gates”.

    Writing in The Times on Saturday, Lord Agnew said school governors and teachers were “completely within their right to make decisions on how to run their schools in the best interests of their pupils […] and we back their right to do so.”

    His statements comes after St Stephens Primary School in the London borough of Newham banned Muslim girls under the age of eight from wearing the hijab, and told parents their children should not fast during the school day in the month of Ramadan.

    The school’s head of governors, Arif Qawi, announced his resignation after a leaked email revealed his use of derogatory language when he referred to the local imam as an “unholy -------”.

    Lord Agnew gave his personal backing to Neena Lall, the head of St Stephen’s, following last month’s incident, saying she had suffered alleged “abuse” from “opponents” to the hijab and fasting ban. However, in a meeting of staff and parents on 22 January, Ms Lall criticised The Sunday Times article written by Iram Ramzan and Sian Griffiths, and said that she was misled into believing the paper was interested in reporting on St Stephen’s school’s strong academic record.

    Ms Lall has since reversed the hijab ban after widespread opposition from Muslim parents.

    “The article which came out in the Sunday Times was completely misleading. Some of the things that happened in that article were not things that have happened at this school and it just inflamed the situation,” Ms Lall told parents at the in which she also described the decision to ban the hijab as a “huge error in judgement”.

    Deputy Head Adam Bennett also delivered a damning assessment of the Sunday Times’s story, suggesting the paper had set out to create a “big debate” around the issue of the hijab.

    “They took a lot of footage, they chopped it up, they used it how they wanted, they had their agenda and they put stuff forward to create this big debate and unfortunately our school was left in the middle of this debate,” he said.

    In very strong words, Lord Agnew said the Government would “not hesitate to take action” if there were allegations of schools promoting “religious ideologies” that undermine “British values” – terms which remain very ambiguous and politicised. The head of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, recently urged schools to adopt a “muscular liberalism” and not cave into “conservative or zealous voices” in a community when setting school policy.

    https://5pillarsuk.com/2018/02/12/mi...nment-backing/

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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    The prevent programme is not a new phenomena in British history, Catholics went through a cruder version of it 400 + years ago.


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  26. #240
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    Re: Syria, Gaza and the Criminalisation of Islam

    Salaam

    Quote Originally Posted by cinnamonrolls1 View Post
    We dont though. As for "feminist snow flakes"... You're clearly judging all feminists.
    Whats wrong with that? We don't need the poison of feminism.

    Muslims are all "extremists" they must become feminist Zionist snow flakes if they want to conform to modern "British values".
    And of course they must become homosexuals to really fit in.
    Now now Karl, Being gay is so passé, you've got to keep up! We are soon going to be compelled to worship at the altar of transgenderism. They are the new PC protected class.

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