Friday 19 September 2014

Far right extremism and the backlash

Yesterday’s Today programme prominently featured a statement about a right-wing backlash that has obviously caused a mini sensation at the BBC, the way such things always do. It’s a mirror image of the radicalisation problem with young Muslims, which the BBC is much less eager to dwell on in that worried, headless chicken kinda way they reserve for the non-Islamic form of radicalisation. 

An anonymous infiltrator, nay, a student, of far right radicalisation who must remain nameless, (because of potential attacks) has issued a warning that dangerous far right groups are radicalising young vulnerable people, and racist violence against Muslims might ensue. The objective, we’re told by Sima Kotecha,  is to change the thinking of racists. 

In the light of recent events these groups have become more angry with “Asians” in the UK.  That’s what Sima Kotecha said. I swear to Allah.

I came upon Sima Kotecha’s reports and discussions (several) with Justin Webb on iPlayer whilst searching for Hazel Blears’s  interview, which is what I intended to comment on, and which I will do in a minute. 

I have to just say that initially, listening to Sima, (but missing the intro) I honestly thought she was talking about the variety of radicalisation with which we are more familiar because she spoke of the government’s efforts to de-radicalise people in the face of enormous obstacles, like finding how best to tear vulnerable youths away from the noxious influence of their radical peers, which apparently involves whole geographical areas as well as individuals.
Vulnerable young people are surrounded and entrapped by extremists, and a Prevent scheme is to be created. Of course, as you know, she was not talking about radical Islam at all, but its opponents.  

This topic was included in (all) the news headlines and Sima Kotecha’s report was reiterated several times during the course of the three-hour Today programme, lest anyone should miss it. 

Well I never. Some have been using “the news” (ISIS and Rotherham) to drive a wedge between Britain’s Muslims and non-Muslims. That’s what Justin announced at about ten past eight.

A former member of a neo Nazi group with a heavy Brum accent tells Sima that he has become concerned about the power of the far right, then we heard from (I gather) the anonymous expert and the author of this much discussed warning.

“I met him in a car parked alongside a canal” said Sima, gravely.  

“ One far right person said he’d like to kill everyone non white,” he explained. 

“People like me?” says Sima, pointedly.      (People like me too, I thought)

Tell Mama monitors anti-Islam hatred, we’re informed, and the MCB supports the claims that Muslims have been targeted, a snippet from a video about how to combat racism was played, which was narrated by someone who sounds a bit like Jihadi John.

Do Muslims need to do more to make their peacefulness more obvious? wondered Justin. Like, for example, writing letters to the Indy protesting against the actions of I.S. and pleading for mercy for the next beheading victim. (This plea in the Indy from moderate Muslims was aired in the news headlines following each of the ‘far-right’ reports, as if to underline the difference between I.S. and the real,  peaceful Islam.)


Hazel Blears says moderate Muslims are absolutely horrified at what is being done supposedly in their name.
But here it comes. “The Jewish people.”

“It’s not only an anti-Muslim thing”, explains Hazel, meaningfully. “It’s the Nazi movement making the ‘other’ different.” 

“You made Jewish people almost inhuman and therefore it was legitimate to attack them. That’s what the right will do with the Muslim community, they’ve done it for the Jewish community for years and years and if you look at the way in which organisations like EDL actually drive extremism in the Muslim community, al-Muhajiroun, EDL, they’ve all got the same narrative here. I think that what needs to be done is what we’ve tried to do for a long time, that is to bring people together. If you bring people together it’s a lot more difficult to hate each other, if you’re sharing day to day life.

I honestly do not think that the government is doing enough in the whole prevent programme to bring people together and to support the Muslim majority who as I say are absolutely horrified at what’s been going on.”
 “When I was responsible for the Prevent programme we had a whole series of practical projects working with young Muslims about what life in Britain could be like, encouraging people to get involved in civic life, getting more school governors, getting more magistrates from the Muslim community - absolutely about living in Britain, living in a democracy with the rule of law and freedom, is a brilliant place to be, that you can be a really devout strong Muslim as well as being a really good member of the British community and it’s that kind of practical role models, making sure that women’s voices are heard, they’re very often not heard in the Muslim community, all of that practical work. It’s long-term, it’s generational, but it’s absolutely essential.

(The school governors thing worked out well)

I have to say that all through this item I was waiting for just one tiny reference to the antisemitism within the Muslim community, (moderates and all,) but it was not forthcoming. If the Tell Mamas, the Hazel Blearses, the Justin Webbs, the entire BBC and the Sima Kotechas  of this world don’t do something to address this, and for that matter much more to acknowledge it, then all the backlashes they can muster up from the far right, the moderate right and the middle of the road right left and centre will have a job to elicit my heartfelt sympathy. 


  1. Again? The broadcasting corporation that cried wolf. Agenda? What agenda?

  2. The BBC is already working hard to promote the Tiny Minority™ narrative about how the ISIS cavemen don't represent British Muslims.

    "Dozens of mosques" around the UK heard from "Muslim leaders" that the barbarians over there are wrong, un-Islamic, etc. How many mosques? "Dozens". Which could be anything from 24 to maybe 96. If it was more than that, the BBC would say, "more than a hundred," or "hundreds". There are at least 1500 official mosques in the UK. 6, 7% at most? And we aren't told the size of the mosques, so the number of them involved has no real meaning. The one featured in the video was barely mid-sized. Is the BBC perhaps fudging it and including the larger "prayer rooms", just to pad it out? It's not like they don't still fake stuff. If one of the major mosques had participated, that's what the BBC would show, because it's a better image. How many Mohammedans hearing the message? 10,000. How many Mohammedans in the UK? 2.75 million, at the very least, not counting the illegal, uncounted multitudes. A fraction of a fraction of a percent. Talk about your tiny minority. Yet the BBC promotes this as a slam dunk argument.

    They really do think everyone is stupid. BBC editorial policy on this matter must have been written by Jack Straw and David Blunkett. Instead of peddling this crap, the BBC should be working to get hundreds of thousands of Mohammedans together on this. If there really were that many who weren't down with the ultra-violence, the BBC would be shouting it from the rooftops.

  3. I think you are bit out of date on British Politics. Jack Straw and David Blunkett have been in a rest home since 2010 (I think their key's lost). The BBC is more than capable of writing its own agenda.

    I'd agree that the news items on a right wing backlash seemed a bit over the top and pointless. On the other hand I'm not pushing a pram in London wearing a hijab and encountering loudmouths. People become ultra-sensitive to criticism in these times.

    On the same lines a handful of louts draped in Union Jacks in Glasgow garnered far too much publicity last night as they did their best to tarnish the No vote victory. I suspect last night was probably quiet for Glasgow in reality but the camera crews were stalking it hoping for violence and some knuckleheads duly delivered.

    Far too much publicity is given to the far right, a tiny bunch of thugs and psychos who are generally easily rounded up and dealt with. But then why are we constantly shown videos of the UK half wits in Syria who far from fighting appear to be doing the dishes as ISIS don't trust them either!

    1. The BBC has been reading from this same script for years. We've been hearing this same agenda pushed for a very long time. Not coincidentally, ever since Labour put their multicultural scheme into action.

      I'm not sure there's anything wrong with letting a little sunlight disinfect the extreme right from time to time. My objection is that the BBC presents people like Nick Griffin as being representative of everyone who does not hold the approved thoughts. Completely the opposite of how they discuss Islamic extremism.


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