Nazism Gains a Foothold in Britain

Widespread demonization of Muslim’s in the British mainstream has opened the door to the far right.

By Liam Bailey

The demonisation of Muslims from the top of government down first Muslim peer Lord Ahmed spoke of is beginning to affect every aspect of British life. Not only is it leaving young Muslim’s open to fundamental and extremist propaganda but, as the verdict in last week’s trial of a far-right politician showed, it is slowly seeping through our whole society and beginning to affect our judicial and political systems.

Given the British National Party’s (BNP’s) main policy of removing all ethnic minorities from Britain, the trial of their leader Nick Griffin and his colleague Mark Collett for using words or behaviour intended to incite racial hatred didn’t surprise too many people.

The court watched Nick Griffin, who was filmed by an undercover reporter telling BNP supporters that Islam was a “wicked, vicious faith” and that Muslim’s were turning Britain into a “multi-racial hell hole” Collett was also filmed calling asylum seekers “cockroaches” and saying “lets show these ethnics the door in 2004”as well as slurring murder victim Stephen Lawrence as a drug dealer, in a pub in Keighley West Yorkshire. With such compelling and damming video evidence, and neither showing any remorse their acquittal came as a shock to many.

When compared to the previous day’s trial of 23 year old Muslim Mizanur Rahman, who was tried for much the same crime at the Old Bailey, for his attending a protest in response to the Danish cartoons carrying placards saying “annihilate those who insult Islam” and “behead those who insult Islam”. As well as calling for more Sep. 11th style attacks and soldiers to be brought home from Iraq in body bags. Despite his apology: “I didn’t think about what I was saying.” and his lawyer comparing his remarks to those made from soapboxes at Speaker’s Corner, Rahman was found guilty of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to stir racial hatred.

Given the similar crimes and the lack of remorse shown by the BNP defendants who were also faced with stronger evidence than the young Muslim defendant, the contrasting verdicts were an indication that Islamaphobia, caused largely by the government’s demonization of Muslim’s is affecting justice in Great Britain.

Islamaphobia first became a problem after 9/11, but it really started increasing after the terror attacks on the London underground July. 2005. Just how much of a problem it was becoming was first evident in the local elections in May this year, when the BNP gained 11 council seats. Given the party’s reputation of racism and using violence to achieve its main policy of removing all ethnic minorities from Britain; these gains were the first indicator that Labour’s tough stance on race issues and immigration was legitimising far-right views.

The Jack Straw induced veil debate, and the other prominent ministers drawn in supporting his view, Nov. 13, perhaps more than anything else accelerated the rate at which the demonization of Muslim’s and Islamaphobia was not only becoming acceptable behaviour but the norm in Britain. The debate, still making the news and drawing in yet more prominent people, like the Archbishop condemning the wearing of the veil in public, has the potential to do even more damage to race relations in Britain.

The not guilty verdict for two prominent BNP members was hailed by Jon Cruddas, a contender for the deputy leadership of Labour as a “wake up call” for his party. This has led to their considering tightening race laws even further. Calling the BNP leaders’ statements offensive, Chancellor Gordon Brown almost immediately pledged to raise the chances of convictions in similar cases by brining in tougher powers. As the trial of Mizanur Rahman showed the law is tough enough, further tightening legislation in the current climate of Islamaphobic double standards would only increase the persecution of Muslim’s for such crimes.

I believe it may already be too late but what the government should focus on is reversing its anti-Muslim rhetoric and putting a stop to the government’s treating of Muslim’s differently to other ethnic groups, by trying to impose restrictions on their religion and behaviour. Contrary to the governments belief that this would reduce terrorism and increase integration it is in fact having the opposite affect…

My last article dealt with the detrimental affect the government’s rhetoric demonizing our Muslim communities is having on our efforts in fighting “home–grown” terrorism. These latest developments show that since the 7/7 attacks, the governments actions and rhetoric, like that of Jack Straw’s veil views, in demonizing Muslims, have steadily created a substantial rift between “us” –non Muslims- and “them” –Muslims- which is causing increasing separatism in Muslims and Islamaphobia in non Muslim’s. This Islamaphobia is growing in Britain and slowly but surely threatening every aspect of British life.

Islamic Terror Rife in UK

The government’s actions have turned moderates into extremists.

By Liam Bailey

Head of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller shocked Britain Nov. 10 2006 when she announced that MI5 were tracking around 30 “priority one” terror plots in the UK involving 200 groups comprising of some 1600 dangerous extremists, mostly British born and linked to Al Qaeda. She also said that she believed in the not too distant future the threat could be from chemical or nuclear attacks. Adding that “martyrdom” videos showed that extremists were clearly motivated by their interpretation of U.K foreign policy as Anti-Muslim, “in particular the U.K’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan”.A video of one of the 7/7 bombers, released shortly after the attacks stated only the Iraq war as a reason for the attacks, this is because even Muslim’s can see the reasoning behind the Afghanistan invasion, given the carnage of 9/11 and the strong links between the perpetrators and terrorism central Afghanistan.

The media made a mockery of the justification for the Iraq war, illuminating the “sexed up dossier” and 45 minute strike lie, leaving Muslim’s to wonder at the true reason for obliterating Muslim land.

So when the U.K under Blair went ahead with its part in the Iraq war, despite the millions of people, including many Muslim’s protesting before the event, this caused many British Muslim’s, mainly the young to rebel against our way of life; creating an element of separatism within our Muslim communities.  

Blair and Bush’s actions before the Iraq war, like Gauntanamo bay displaying severe discrimination against Muslim’s, guilty (and tortured to admit it) until proven innocent under the watch of two supposedly democratic governments. Gauntanamo Bay was also responsible for showing Muslim’s and non-Muslim’s that the U.S and U.K governments clearly felt it was okay to treat Muslim’s as second class citizens, not entitled to the same basic rights as non-Muslim’s, such as innocent until proven guilty and the right to legal counsel, or the Geneva convention preventing torture.  This laid the foundations for the separatism the Iraq war created.

As a dispatches survey in July/Aug 2006 found that the separatism is young Muslims, alienated and disillusioned by British foreign policy, focusing on their religion and becoming devout Muslim’s, in that they stop enjoying western comforts and past-times. I believe their drifting away from their British roots and British friends makes them ripe for radicalization as Eliza Manningham-Buller said “by friends, families or organised training events in Britain and abroad.”

The 7/7 bombings, an unintended consequence therefore of the UK’s support Gauntanamo bay, and involvement in the Iraq war brought the War on Terror to UK shores, leading to heightened security in the capital and increased pressure on the intelligence services.
Religious discrimination against Muslims increased after the July 7 attacks, which also showed, long before the MI5 chief’s announcement, that the increasing separatism within our Muslim communities, particularly among the young, can easily turn into extremism and “home-grown” terrorism. This increased the demonization, discrimination and persecution of Muslims, which in turn increased Muslim separatism, and the vicious cycle began.

The MI5 chief also said that the number of plots had increased by 80% since January, this can’t be directly put down to Afghanistan, Gauntanamo or Iraq, but their triggering 7/7 and the heightened pressure on the government and intelligence services led to intelligence mistakes, homeland security policy and foreign policy that can account for such a staggering increase. The first, an intelligence and police mistake was the Forest Gate raid.

The Forest Gate raid angered Muslim’s, initially because of the shooting, the unnecessary level of force/officers (250) and the almost immediate suspicions in the media that the raid was launched on flimsy intelligence. Subsequent stories unfolded in the coming days, revealing the raid was launched on the flimsiest of uncorroborated intelligence, from –according to his own barrister- an “utter incompetent”. Serving a sentence under the terrorism act 2000, Abu Bakr Mansha reportedly gave the information in return for a transfer to a more lenient prison.  Blair’s support for Gauntanamo and the Forest Gate raid also showed Muslim and non-Muslim Britain that (Blair) the UK government felt that the current massive problem of terrorism being carried out by Muslims, gave them the right to openly discriminate against and persecute Muslim’s, this further demonized the Muslim community and fuelled the vicious cycle of discrimination and separatism. 

The 7/7 bombings also enabled the government to pass new terror legislation: The Terrorism Act 2006.

The changing or expansion of the definition of terrorism, and the inclusion of “glorification of terrorism” as a charge in the Terrorism Act 2006 worried civil liberties campaigners, who feared anyone campaigning against the government could be accused of glorifying terrorism and therefore arrested.   The new laws and police powers, especially longer detention of terror suspects; extended to 28 days without charge and extended stop and search and interception powers –surveillance, phone taps and room bugs- have and are causing anger within the British Muslim community.  Even the governments information commissioner fears that Britain has become a surveillance society.

Muslim’s, especially the young have been complaining about increased persecution by the police since before the 7/7 attacks, especially the stop and search powers of the Terrorism Act 2000 being used excessively and disproportionately against them. As I have said the 7/7 attacks increased pressure on the police, so the extension of stop and search powers in the new bill -mid 2006- meant even more young Muslim’s were being stopped and searched, devout Muslim’s with the stereotypical Islamist look –like Osama Bin Laden- were increasingly targeted by police. This isn’t entirely the police’s fault, potential terrorists are likely to be Muslim, but under the new laws, stopping and searching the same individuals or groups is doing more harm than good.

The police’s best chance in the fight against terrorism comes from regular, reliable intelligence from within the Muslim community, continuing to demonize, create the impression of discrimination, and Blair’s comments after Forest Gate that more similar raids were likely; practically saying that stopping another attack is more important than the obvious mistreatment and shooting of a subsequently innocent –second class citizen-Muslim, decreases the chances of obtaining said intelligence and therefore of successfully fighting terror.

The Israel/Lebanon conflict was another possible turning point between growing levels of Muslim separation and the current heightened threat from extremism/terrorism or as Eliza Mannigham-Buller put it between “passive sympathy” and “active terrorism.” 

Blair’s handling of the Israel/Lebanon conflict again showed double standards and discrimination against Muslim’s, in that he and Bush condemned Hezbollah killing civilians in rocket attacks but allowed Israel to continue indiscriminately killing Lebanese Muslim’s. Even as most other world leaders were calling for an immediate ceasefire. Some Muslim’s must have thought the only way to stop Israeli bombardment was for Hezbollah to defeat Israel, leading to many Muslim’s in the Middle East taking up arms in Jihad and going to Lebanon to fight.

I’m sure many of Britain’s young Muslim’s were also angered by the heavy civilian death toll and with vivid images in every news report like the 34 children killed in Qana may quite possibly have radicalized some young Muslim’s in Britain and around the world, saving the terror networks and radical clerics a job. Undoubtedly, Blair’s support for such carnage increased the separatism among British Muslim communities, leaving yet more young Muslim’s ripe for radicalization and more worryingly with so many Jihad video’s just one Google away, possibly some actively seeking out terror networks to join.

Jack Straw’s –publicity stunt- comments that Muslim women wearing the veil was a barrier to communication and would hinder the integration of Muslim communities. Also adding that he felt all Muslim women should voluntarily remove their veils. The debate they provoked brought support for his remarks from several other prominent government ministers. Shadow Home Secretary David Davis feared the veil was creating a voluntary apartheid. As I wrote in a previous article, Jack Straw’s comments and those supporting them could eventually lead to government sanctioned apartheid, by denying Muslim women the same rights as everyone else, to wear what they want in a “free” country. As the first Muslim peer Lord Ahmed said this added to the demonization of and discrimination against U.K Muslims coming from the top of government down, this again increased the separatism making terror networks and radical cleric’s job of recruitment far easier.

So, in attempting to stop another 7/7, the UK government, police and intelligence services’ actions have demonized Muslim’s and gave the impression that, given this new threat, persecution of Muslim’s is okay. Every action that did this increased the feeling of separatism within young U.K Muslims. As 7/7 and The MI5 chief’s announcement showed, this separatism has been increasingly turned into extremism by the radical clerics and terror groups. Therefore, because of the government’s ill-thought out actions, especially those since January the U.K now faces an incredible threat from “home-grown” Islamic terrorism.

This article was published by OhmyNews 3 days ago. I predicted the terror threat MI5 warned of just after the Airline bomb plot in August this year.

Lifting the Veil on the Debate!

Lifting the Veil on the Debate!

The UK veil controversy is perhaps the biggest step backwards so far in the long fight against extremism.

By Liam Bailey

When senior British politician Jack Straw commented that he would prefer Muslim women not to wear veils which cover the face, he sent a rock rolling down a hill, which over the last week and a half has turned into a religiously discriminate avalanche separating the U.K.

The cabinet minister also said that in closed “surgeries” where he meets his constituents, he asks Muslim women if they would mind removing their veils. He added that although he didn’t want to be “prescriptive” he believed covering people’s faces could make community relations more difficult.

His comments sparked outrage from some in the Muslim community but others apparently agreed in some way with the former Foreign Secretary. The debate has been raging on almost every British media site and television talk show ever since.

Jack Straw has vehemently denied that his comments and the ensuing debate were an intentional outburst to raise his profile, which it has undeniably done, ahead of the Labour party’s deputy leadership election.

In the light of the Danish cartoon controversy and the mass protests sparked by the Pope’s innocent comments, I find it hard to believe that a former Foreign Secretary was surprised at the debate his comments had provoked, as he told reporters at a Blackburn press conference on Oct. 13.

I don’t deny that a good debate on this issue could be very beneficial for this country’s recent problems of increasing separatism within Britain’s young Muslim community.

Comments like this from a prominent figure, stating his opinion before any debate, in many people’s eyes has accelerated the rate at which the demonisation and persecution of Muslims has become seen as acceptable behavior. Behavior which became more common after 9/11 and even more so after the July 7 terror attacks on London.

The many conflicting views on this issue, including within the Muslim community, have formed a very interesting debate, one which might have led to many Muslim women volunteering to remove the full veil, perhaps in public, perhaps when speaking to someone, or wearing only the Hijab headscarf in public, who knows.

However, the repercussions of Jack Straw’s remarks and the ensuing debate have the potential to reverse the little progress we have made in the war against extremism.

A classroom assistant who in the past would almost certainly have been free to carry out her job while wearing the full veil, was suspended last week for refusing to remove her Niqab in the classroom at Headfield Church of England junior school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. Although she had said she would remove it when adult males were not present.

The school’s children are mainly of Pakistani and Indian heritage, although a few are white British. Aishah Azmi worked as a bilingual support worker for the children, many of whom only spoke English as a second language. If Mrs Azmi was the only person who fully understood the children at all times it is incredibly likely that the children had become attached to her. To see and hear about her being suspended for wearing headgear that they quite possibly see regularly in their family lives must seem very unfair. Therefore this is displaying discrimination against Muslims to the next generation of Muslims. This will not help community relations in the long term.

A local government minister responsible for community cohesion, Phil Woolas told the Mirror that Miss Azmi: “Should be sacked. She has put herself in a position where she can’t do her job.”

The Muslim Council of Great Britain was quick to condemn the minister’s comments as an “outrageous” and “reckless” foray into a “matter that should be decided by the school — and if necessary by the courts.” I’m sure many Muslims agreed and saw the minister’s involvement as persecution and discrimination, in that if this was an assistant suspended for refusing to remove a nose piercing or such like the minister wouldn’t have called for her dismissal.

I feel Phil Woolas should have been attacking the school administration for suspending her for wearing the veil, when no rules prohibit its wearing. I suggest he may have if a Sikh man had been suspended for refusing to remove a turban.

Either way, discrimination and persecution are surely two words which should never be associated with anyone who is responsible for community cohesion. Phil Woolas is therefore as much a candidate for dismissal as anyone.

Phil Woolas wasn’t the only person to take on Jack Straw’s stance, or unfortunately to get it badly wrong.

The Shadow Home Secretary David Davis, has said: “What Jack touched on was the fundamental issue of whether, in Britain, we are developing a divided society.”

As this varied debate has shown with many Muslims speaking out in support of Jack Straw and others, all Muslim women do not wear the veil so there is no divided society as in “them” and “us,” only the division between women that choose to wear the veil and women that don’t. David Davis also warned that Muslim women wearing the veil may create a “voluntary apartheid,” when in reality the opposite is true.

Muslims being allowed to wear the veil freely is nothing more than the same freedom granted to everyone else in the U.K., the right to wear a turban or skull cap or even a habit, in other words the same freedom to wear exactly what we want enjoyed by all in the U.K., no apartheid.

In comparison Jack Straw’s comments, including his call for the complete dropping of the veil by Muslim women and comments by others in support, are basically saying everyone can wear what they want, except Muslims. That is apartheid and that is why the words discrimination and demonisation appear many times throughout this article.

A prominent person is worried about this rising trend of discrimination and demonisation coming from the very top levels of government down. Labour’s Lord Ahmed, the first Muslim peer, dropped a bomb on the debate during an interview on the BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme: “Let’s be honest, there are people in our community who call themselves Muslims who have been threatening our national security. It is very unfortunate. But the problem is that the politicians and some people in the media have used this for demonisation of entire communities, which has become a very fashionable thing today.”

This trend is already becoming a real problem in Britain, as shown by this ugly incident in Liverpool when a man forcibly tore the veil from a woman waiting at a bus stop.

Religious discrimination against Muslims increased after the July 7 attacks, which also showed that the increasing separatism within our Muslim communities, particularly among the young, can easily turn into extremism and “home-grown” terrorism. This increased the demonisation, discrimination and persecution of Muslims, which in turn increased Muslim separatism, and the vicious cycle continues.

This debate, provoked I’m sure, at least partly to further Jack Straw’s career, has fed the vicious cycle and indirectly influenced the next generation. It will likely result in more “home grown” terrorism in the
U.K. and possibly around the world.

The above article was first published by Oh My News International 17/10/2006