MCB should ‘adopt Britney Spears as their mascot’


by Sunny
26th March, 2009 at 12:55 pm    

I was discussing the Contest 2 report with someone somewhat close to the MCB and he said of the MCB / Daud Abdullah business: “…these guys should adopt Britney Spears as their mascot…’Oops, we did it again…‘ ” — I think that’s exactly right. The MCB looks to be more obsessed with worldwide Muslim politics, and ensuring its standing amongst the Muslim Brotherhood network of organisations than actually producing strategies and ideas and engagement for Muslims in the UK. It staggers from one gaffe to another.

Anyway, here’s five thoughts on recent events.

1) I think the Hazel Blears / MCB spat is a silly sideshow that gets the right crowd excited because they think the government is taking a hardline against fanatics. But the government isn’t funding the MCB now is it? So that point of the grandstanding is moot. If Blears says she won’t even talk to the MCB because of this — well that’s a pretty stupid position because a government should talk to a wide range of opinion whether it likes that opinion or not.
From the MCB’s point of view, I suspect the controversy works in their favour because they’ve long been accused of being New Labour stooges. Everyone’s happy.

2) I think septicisle is right – at early glance the new policy looks much more temperate and intelligent than past pronouncements. The govt has quietly taken some responsibility that its own foreign policy has exacerbated terrorism, and accepts the threat of terrorism has diminished.

Which is why I think the spat with the MCB is a bit of meat thrown to people who hang out at Harry’s Place – makes the right noises without actually having any consequences. I mean, they actually have a post by some anonymous ‘Lucy Lips’ saying Daud Abdullah’s lucky “he isn’t being prosecuted for treason”. I have this overwhelming urge to address this in the manner of gangsta films I’ve been watching recently: Shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down fool, this ain’t no McCarthy’s America and your punk-ass sure as hell ain’t a powerful Senator — ’nuff said.

3) It’s worth nothing that even in the recent Policy Exchange briefing written by Shiraz Maher, the foreword by Ruth Kelly MP explicitly states: “…there needed to be a clearer conceptual distinction between policies designed to prevent extremism and those to build community cohesion − even if some of the vehicles and levers for change might overlap.” — which is exactly what I’ve argued. I hope the government’s policy remains the same because counter-terrorism and social cohesion are two different objectives and issues. The intelligence services are interested in the former while more civil society organisations tackle the latter. Any government minister that tried to mash the two would be quite naive.

4) There has been quite an unnecessarily negative reaction to the document over at the Guardian, prompted, most likely, by the MCB episode. I think the Guardian, along with the people its railing against, have fallen for Hazel Blears trap and I expect she’s delighted to see Seamus Milne annoyed. I want to see a more nuanced discussion of this report dammit.

5) Contest 2 states:

We will also continue to challenge views which fall short of supporting violence and are within the law, but which reject and undermine our shared values and jeopardise community cohesion. Some of these views can create a climate in which people may be drawn into violent activity. We have no intention of outlawing these views or criminalising those who hold them.

Here’s the problem — the government isn’t a credible actor among radical Muslims so this will have little impact. It would be more effective if the government were to covertly work with Muslim organisations and strengthen them so they can challenge extremists. That would have far more impact. This is why it’s worth separating social cohesion from counter-terrorism.


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Filed in: Current affairs,Islamists,Muslim,Organisations,Terrorism






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  1. pickles

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  1. Imran Khan — on 26th March, 2009 at 2:53 pm  

    No it isn’t a side spat as it now involves a Government Minister basically lying in the media about what was signed to justify her position.

    It is a scandal.

    Blears is lying when she claims that the Istanbul document ‘advocates attacks on Jewish communities all around the world’. This was in the letter published in today’s Guardian.

    This is an outright lie and not a side spat.

    A minister is lying to bully an independent organisation to fire an elected individual which is undemocratic and against all the principles claimed to be shared values.

    This needs to be exposed for what it is.

    I am no fan of the MCB and I think the declaration was a stupid and meaningless gesture in ever increasing gesture politics to the ills of that region.

    But Blears has gone beyond the acceptable in her lying and bullying and needs to step down herself. This is Right Wing Think Tank Politics and it is disgusting.

    Blears needs to resign for lying and misleading the public.

  2. Andrew — on 26th March, 2009 at 3:17 pm  

    “From the MCB’s point of view, I suspect the controversy works in their favour because they’ve long been accused of being New Labour stooges. Everyone’s happy.”

    It’s pleased the angry young men over at MPACUK:

    How the Government Made the MCB Heroes by labelling them as Extremists

    http://www.mpacuk.org/content/view/5461/102/

  3. platinum786 — on 26th March, 2009 at 3:46 pm  

    MPACUK… urgh…. to think as a teenager I thought they represented the future…lol

    The entire thing is bullying, why they’re doing it, I don’t know. Maybe they thought it was good timing considering the new “rules” that had come in place, maybe Blears was under influence by the more right wing in the community?

  4. fug — on 26th March, 2009 at 4:12 pm  

    “It would be more effective if the government were to covertly work with Muslim organisations and strengthen them so they can challenge #extremists#.”

    First of all you are using that very term again. This isnt about killing the ‘Islam as social polity’ tendancy at all. HT dont blow things up, neither do MB, JI, in pakistan at least, are seen as cuddly old timers in comparison to the actually harmful killers.

    Organisations lose self-respect when it is found that they are being fingered by the man. They should continue to do what they were set up to do and resist invasion of their agendas by the paranoid and opportunistic.

    The MCB haven’t become heroes because of blear’s blathering, thats far too cartoony a picture. They have just been liberated from that cup-of-tea at Downing street image and been distracted (again) by firefighting.

    The shared value of anti-colonialism should be explored by the government. Like Milne said, Home and Foreign office functions aren’t so distinct.

    The British government needs to draw a line under its colonial sins, plead forgiveness from the people it has harmed, compensate them and vow never to do it again.

    Then i think we’ll see the threat vanish and in parallel the Muslims of Britain settle down. So much of this ‘settling’ requires time, consistency and social reorganisation. Immigration was socially disintegrating, and channels of guidance were disrupted. Through social work and interaction they eventually reform. Not in terms of any stupid government national indicator, but qualitatively.

    I’ve always thought that 9/11 marked the #end# of the suicide cult trend.

  5. Rumbold — on 26th March, 2009 at 4:55 pm  

    Fug:

    So Osama Bin Laden will disband his organisation if we say sorry for British foreign policy in the 19th century. Hmm…

  6. fug — on 26th March, 2009 at 6:29 pm  

    no, you have misunderstood, perhaps because you want to. And im not calling for no police, but a broader view of the connection with The Rest of The World.

    With 9/11 the anti-islamic, irresponsible blowing people up route to raising the ummah’s dignity demonstrated its true colours. The jihadi approach to globalising every local struggle willy nilly was seen to bear unacceptable costs. Having buggered up local struggles in Bosnia and Chechnya, these internationalised people showed the entire world what a liability they were.

    OBL was co-produced by a number of factors, many of them not Muslim. He was promoted into incompetance. To put in in cricket terms, OBL can be understood as a number 11 batsman whose role is only significant when the rest of the batting order collapses and the bowlers have not whittled down the score expected to something doable.

    The colonial present is more damaging to the well-being of people that its past. Creating more enemies is never clever. Thats what the powers have done, despite clear warning they(we) have turned countries upside down. This is not a classroom, wrong turnings transform the problem. recognising your error means more than ‘changing policy’ and accepting that ‘perceptions’ of foreign murder, elitocide and chaos making might be a problem.

    Then theres another complicating factor. People with agandas, namely zionists and muslim seculars with no dignity and respect for nonsecular negotiations of political life. When you get people equating non alquaida actors with alquaida, you’ve unnecesarily expanded the whole mess, its unpractical and unethical.

    I am more threatened by attacks in the uk than you are(terrorists themselves, terrible anti-terrorists and pariahtisation), but see safety ensured by how the global political scenario unfolds over the next few years.

    Of course emerging leadership inside the UK Muslim millet would help guide people away from wrongdoing, and enhancing social self-correction instead of aloofness would help too. But I beleive they are secondary, not primary in actual fact.

    People on the borderlines of terrorist activity today, of my generation, were probably drawn there by the post 9/11 actions of the powers that still are. Not their ‘perceptions’ but new facts which confirmed in their minds who their enemies were.

  7. douglas clark — on 26th March, 2009 at 6:58 pm  

    fug,

    Could you explain this to me please:

    I’ve always thought that 9/11 marked the #end# of the suicide cult trend.

    ’cause I don’t understand.

    Seems to me that 7/7 and Madrid both post dated 9/11…

    Not to mention Mumbai.

  8. dave bones — on 26th March, 2009 at 8:32 pm  

    I pretty much agree with you lot. I am angry about the hypocrisy involving the needlessly dead which is behind all this but there is a bit of sensibility

    “…there needed to be a clearer conceptual distinction between policies designed to prevent extremism and those to build community cohesion − even if some of the vehicles and levers for change might overlap.”

    Yes there does, and building community cohesion- particularly between Muslim and Non-Muslim communities might make a difference.

    With policies designed to prevent extremism you either fund people who aren’t close enough to help you or stand accused of financing people who are but have views which you consider unaceptable.

    They’ve tried one, now try the other?

    I would imagine that most of the people likely to be on the real frontline, actually having discussions with others disuading them from exploding using verses of the Koran probably don’t want government money anyway.

    I don’t know if the MCB or Quilliam or any of these have ever been close enough to PVE as extremists as defined in this new document all seem to draw the line at taking money from an enemy. Maybe they are good at community cohesion? I have no idea. Its not my community.

  9. David Jones — on 26th March, 2009 at 10:02 pm  

    because a government should talk to a wide range of opinion whether it likes that opinion or not

    It should, should it? Well I’ll tell you what: I’d prefer in this case that my Government didn’t.

    That ok with you is it?

  10. dave bones — on 26th March, 2009 at 10:05 pm  

    Incidentally have you seen Charlie Brookers newswipe? excellent contrast between coverage of the Luton protest vs the non coverage of the republican peace demo in Northern Ireland.

    He is making a lot of points that the Day Today etc used to make but watching it made relevant today left me thinking this sort of thing makes TV feel a lot better.

    What surprised me was the clip of Anjum Choudhary on GMTV. What are they on?

    “Its always good to talk about these things”???

    I thought no one on TV was allowed to talk to Choudhary like this.

    In Finsbury park one of their posse came down with a strange and heartfelt plea to Abu Hamza to come on the show. Who is in charge? Does anyone here watch GMTV? Are they off message like this often?

  11. fug — on 27th March, 2009 at 1:39 am  

    Thats because you are looking at it through a narrow lens, a linear way and on the basis of bad political dogma. I see the desperate death throws of a dying fish.

    The dylinquent child has left the asylum and flays around. you wouldnt have cared if he was still in the asylum of course. if you did you wouldnt keep misidentifying whose hands are creating the mess. 3000 + 52 + X + Y can be more easily blood capitalised upon if they are of course from certain parts of the earth.

    By causing the deaths and cooperating in the deaths of many times more than initial losses, well you know the rest…

  12. Sunny — on 27th March, 2009 at 1:57 am  

    It should, should it? Well I’ll tell you what: I’d prefer in this case that my Government didn’t.

    That ok with you is it?

    That would matter if I cared what you thought David.

    I don’t. Sorry.

  13. qidniz — on 27th March, 2009 at 4:55 am  

    Could someone point me to the Secret Decoder Ring needed to make sense of fug’s posts?

    Thanks!

  14. David Jones — on 27th March, 2009 at 12:37 pm  

    Sunny, you cared enough about what I thought to lie about what I said.

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