Thursday, May 28, 2015

UK Counter-Extremism Tests For Muslim Children


In recent days, images of a ‘counter extremism’ test set specifically for Muslim school children by UK schools have been shared widely across social media. The case highlights a deepening prejudice towards the Muslim community across the Western world which echoes the hysteria of McCarthy era America.

In the time of the ‘Islamist Threat’, every Muslim is a latent terrorist, prone to ‘radicalization’ at any moment. And if you think I’m laying it on a bit thick, just look at the comments by Britain’s most senior Muslim police commander Mak Chishty.
In a recent interview with the Guardian, Chishty said there was now a need for “a move into the private space” of Muslims to spot views that could show the beginning of radicalisation from the age of five-years-old. Asked to define what sort of behavior would be worthy of suspicion, Chishty responded with a list of activities which included:

  • Not drinking alcohol
  • Dressing in non-western clothes
  • Not shopping in Marks and Spencers
  • Voicing criticism of politics or foreign policy
 Chishty would no doubt fall into the ‘House Negro’ category expertly outlined by Malcolm X in his 1963 speech at Michigan State University.

Certainly, Chishty is enforcing the will of his political masters, and this goes right to the top.
Speaking to the National Security Council earlier this month about the introduction of his new Counter Extremism Bill, British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke perhaps the most anti-democratic words uttered by a British Prime Minister in history, saying:
“For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.”
“This government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach.”
Within this mindset, the core principles of democracy are forgotten. Worse, actively twisted into authoritarianism. Dissent becomes treason. Protest becomes extremism. And at the centre, every Muslim becomes suspect – right down to school children. In this paranoid context, the interrogation of children with this ‘counter extremism test’ is accepted as prudent and appropriate. People don’t ask questions about the racism, the invasion of privacy, or indeed the long term impacts.

It is simply unacceptable for anyone who claims a shred of fidelity to the principles of democracy to back these measures. How many times must we go through this process before we become immune to the efforts of political and media propagandists bent on dividing us into opposing camps? One need only pick up a history book to find several examples from living memory – Japanese Americans during World War II, the Red Scare, the Nazi holocaust, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.  All done in the name of protecting and expanding freedom and democracy, all of which merely trashed the principles of both.

There is a certain irony at play here, because Democracy is absolutely at threat today. But the threat does not come from Islamic Extremists with Kalashnikovs and Korans. It comes from politicians with censorship and propaganda.

 taken from here

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