A Response To Eric Pickles' Letter to Muslim leaders
Tenuous? Draconian? Stereotypical? I agree.
The Stasi-esque PREVENT is all these things and more, yet it is being pushed for statutory-enforcement and it's assumptions and untested, academically wanting theories underpin your entire letter.
It's time your neocon government acknowledged they are xenophobic and started building resilience against neoconservatism, the political ideology which exploits the fear of the people; creates an enemy to pursue policies; which has no scruples in tearing apart the "British values" which you preach to Muslims; and propping fascism, similar to the far-right, if the situation so deems it. Is this the reason why the far-right are being referred to as "thugs" in your letter as opposed to "extremists".
A good response on Coolness of Hind site
Mr Eric Pickles (and Tariq Ahmad),
I have read the letter written by yourself and Tariq Ahmad, which brazenly capitalises on the attacks in France, in which, despite recognising that Muslims "around the world" do not accept such actions, you have requested Muslim leaders to assist in rooting out "extremist" speakers in the pursuit of dealing with the challenges of integration and radicalisation. I have also seen David Cameron's dismissal of Muslim Council of Britain's legitimate questioning of the discriminatory undertone towards Islam and Muslims in the letter. In Cameron's neocon world, the letter is "reasonable and moderate" and he has already categorised those raising contentions against your letter as "having a problem", thus shutting down any debate on its legitimacy.
The well-timed letter seems to continue on from the equally well-time propaganda by John Ware aired on the British Biased Corporation recently. Your letter suggests placing a duty on Imams who must now explicate how Islam can be a part of British identity today. The fact is, traditional scholars have always encouraged a communitarian approach to society, obeying the law, encouraging charitable acts and supporting the needy and downtrodden. This is all part of our faith and shared values. The Imams know this. You ignore this and ask of Muslims leaders "to do more". As such your letter raises questions. Many questions.
As is always the case with the PREVENT discourse hurled towards Muslims (and primarily Muslims), the obvious question which has yet to reap a satisfactory answer is, what is meant by "extremism"? Does it entail mainstream Islamic beliefs as per the Panorama propaganda? And who deciphers and determines "extremism"? John Ware's cherry-picked, highly divisive, PREVENT-supporting Muslims? You? Or Michael Gove who's definition is "you know it when you see it"...?
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