The following articles comprehensively references and evidences the following;
How grassroots and Institutional Islamophobia fuel each other in a vicious cycle used as a scapegoat for domestic and foreign policy; an agenda that has peaked with the campaign for Brexit in Britain and the election of Donald Trump in America.
A key element of this agenda is a growing network of far-right, anti-Islam online media outlets that funnel information to each other and push stories out in to mainstream news and political agenda. At the heart of this network is Breitbart news, a white-supremacist, anti-Islam website run and funded by the same people who ran and funded Donald Trump’s presidential bid and early presidency.
Breitbart are the source behind several strategic media and political attacks on English-speaking pro-Iran clerics and the organisations that host or interact with them in the West.
Breitbart is “not a news website, but a political project”, with a specific political agenda and political aspirations in Britain to be at the heart of a new political venture to create a new far-right party run by former Conservative Party donors and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, in the hope to capitalise on the uncertainty and compromise that will accompany Brexit.
In the fear of haemorrhaging votes the Conservative government will once again plunge Britain in to chaos and surge its policy and legislation against Muslims, just as it did when it was losing ground to UKIP in the run up to the election that promised the Brexit Referendum.
But the government is not an unwilling hostage to the far-right. It actively wants to pursue this policy against Muslims.
As Home Secretary and Prime Minister, Theresa May has spearheaded the UK’s current “counter-terrorism regime” that has gone from targeting foreign violent terrorists after 9/11 to defining extremism as “vocal, non-violent opposition to British values”.
The government believes Muslims who express vocal opposition to “British values” are “non-violent extremists” somewhere along the line of becoming a terrorist. This is the process the government calls “radicalisation.”
Today in Britain, even “the risk” of radicalisation is legislated. Those in education, health care, local government, prisons and courts have to report any “signs” of children or adults being “at risk of radicalisation” to authorities.
This legislation is part of the government’s broader Prevent Policy that is now at the core of the country’s “counter-terrorism” strategy.
At the heart of Prevent is what the government calls a “partnership approach with Muslim communities.” This partnership is via the funding of certain Muslim individuals and organisations within the community who then report back to the Establishment through different mechanisms.
A key element of Prevent is to use these “partnerships” to “develop infrastructures of embedded surveillance in Muslim communities [which] have served to contain and direct Muslim political agency and activism” and “get us to stop talking about politics.”
Organisations that receive Prevent funding have admitted “it is gathering intelligence on people not committing terrorist offences” and the Home Secretary has admitted they get “intelligence much more from the Prevent strategy…not through the police.”
The Shia community in the UK has several key figures and organisations who receive significant funding from Prevent. These articles will discuss one of these individuals, who runs a network of organisations and campaigns linked to local and national government as well as pro-Zionist funders.
This figure and the establishment line he is funded to tow are enjoying increasing influence in the Shia community. Unprecedentedly, in recent years, under its current management, this has included at the Islamic Centre of England [ICEL].
This network received significant funding from Prevent in 2016, one month before the incidents surrounding Muharram 2016 (started by Breitbart UK) and has claimed it was involved “behind the scenes” and was key in steering ICEL’s decision making, most significantly to disconnect and cut association with the organisers and speaker who were being deemed “radical extremists” by establishment media and political apparatus. During that period, ICEL wrote letters to government bodies that made it clear they endorsed this labelling – leaving the organisation and those associated with it at risk to a hostile State apparatus.
Unfortunately, over the last two years we have seen a rise in political calculations and decision making that are in line with the policies of this Prevent Network and the British government agenda it tows. This first started behind-closed doors, deeming certain individuals or organisation as “radical” and “extremist,” but has since escalated.
At the beginning of Ramadan 2018, a public speech made at ICEL to the Ulema in the UK, claimed a main problem of the UK Shia community is ‘radicalisation’, advocated a policy of silence on religious and political issues and stated publicly that attacking “any system, any establishment and any government…is a sign of being naïve.”
This use of Prevent language puts Shia individuals and organisations at direct risk. Concerned that ICEL and the representative of Ayatollah Khamenei are using the language and the framework of Institutionally Islamophobic government policy at a critical time in British politics, I have since had almost 5 hours of conversation with ICEL and its management.
Unfortunately, there has been a clear insistence that there is “radicalisation” in our community, and that there is no problem if this labelling overlaps with government legislation or action taken by the British State against the individuals being labelled as such.
There has also been an insistence that Islamically we are not allowed to question this position, and that we must remain silent, a claim that has caused much confusion and division.
Current events on the ground are a culmination of the crossover of several interlockers; the anti-Iran neo-con agenda of Breitbart and American politics, that has an eye to expand in the UK and is starting media attacks such as Muharram 2016; a British Prevent policy against the Muslim community to gather intelligence and identify “radicals” through its funding of Muslim figures who are often also colleagues with pro-Zionists through their interfaith institutions and who want to silence pro-Palestine activism.
But most damaging in this equation, is the extent that community leadership has given way to this toxic political cocktail. Instead of being the gate-keeper that keeps this myriad of agendas at bay, it has slipped in to being aligned with those agendas.
We now have a situation that both the government and community leadership are calling political and religious activists in our community “radicalised” and advocating that, remaining silent is the smart solution for our current political climate. This has caused clear fractures within the community, with many now advocating this approach.
The following articles evidence and reference the relevant issues surrounding these matters, starting with the politics and law that need to frame the discussion and an in-depth look at Prevent policy and legislation, before looking at the specific case studies relevant to the Shia community in Britain and putting forward the expert advice on the correct way to deal with this pressing political issue in Britain.