Cold War on British Muslims

Spinwatch publishes report on two influential neoconservative think-tanks, the Centre for Social Cohesion and Policy Exchange.

In a report published today (download .pdf), Spinwatch examines the Centre for Social Cohesion and Policy Exchange; two key right-wing think-tanks involved in the debat e on Islam and multiculturalism which are thought to have influenced the Coalition Government’s new Prevent strategy.

The report, which was completed before the recent terrorist attacks in Norway, argues that right-wing think-tanks have understated the rise of Islamophobia on the far-right and in some cases condoned the rise of
groups such as the English Defence League because of their own links to the ‘counterjihad movement’.

The Cold War on British Muslims, shows how the Centre for Social Cohesion and Policy Exchange have rejected counter-terrorism policies based on public safety and have instead sought to revive discredited counter-subversion policies from the Cold War era – policies which targeted a generation of trade union leaders and peace activists including future Labour Ministers.  The report warns that reviving such policies is likely to stigmatise and even criminalise politically active Muslims, as well as liberals and leftists, and risk undermining the traditional freedoms enjoyed by churches, schools, universities and public libraries.

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This counter-terror plan is in ruins. Try one that works

Seumas Milne writes that “ministers want Muslims to accept shared values. Luckily they already do, including opposition to wars of aggression.”

The British government’s brand new counter-terrorism strategy is already in disarray – and ministers have only themselves to blame. The souped-up plan to fight al-Qaida, confound dirty bombers, halt suicide attacks and confront “extremism” in the country’s Muslim community was unveiled by the prime minister with much fanfare on Tuesday. But even before the 175-page “Contest 2” document had been launched, the credibility of its promise to engage with the Muslim mainstream had been thrown into question by the decision of Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, to cut all links with the Muslim Council of Britain.

Continue reading “This counter-terror plan is in ruins. Try one that works”

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