by Stephen Lendman
January 11, 2011
Western vilification of Islam is longstanding, cruel, and unjustifiable. In his 1978 book "Orientalism," Edward Said explained a pattern of Western misinterpretation of the East, especially the Middle East. In "Culture and Imperialism" (1993), he broadened Orientalism’s core argument to show the complex relationships between East and West by referring to colonizers and the colonized, "the familiar (Europe, West, us) and the strange (the Orient, East, them)."
He explained Western high-minded/moral superiority notions compared to culturally inferior Muslims. They’re now portrayed as dangerous bomb-throwing terrorists, making them easy prey to wrongfully victimize.
Ramsey Clark is a former US Attorney General and International Action Center (IAC) founder. He’s also a committed activist for social, economic, political, and racial justice. In his new year’s message, he expressed worry and hope looking ahead, saying:
"During the past year, there has been a dangerous upsurge, largely manufactured by the media, in anti-Islamic bigotry. Simultaneously, supposedly, in the name of 'peace,’ " American and Western allies have attacked and occupied non-threatening Muslim countries preemptively and lawlessly.
Notably post-911, they’ve viciously targeted Muslims for political advantage. Throughout America, continental Europe and Britain it rages, harming innocent men and women. With no regard for democratic values and justice, they’re bogusly charged and imprisoned for crimes they neither planned or committed. Yet supportive media reports convict by accusation, the public unaware that supposed threats were lies, yet it repeats endlessly.
No wonder former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi once told a Kuala Lumpur audience that Muslim vilification was "insensitive and irresponsible," adding that false accusations and hate are "widespread within mainstream Western society. The West should treat Islam the way it wants Islam to treat the West and vice versa. They should accept one another as equals."
Islamophobia in Britain’s Media
A January 2007 Islamic Human Rights Commission report titled, "The British Media and Muslim Representation: The Ideology of Demonisation" corroborated various studies showing UK Muslims believe British media inaccurately portray them and their religion falsely and unjustly.
In 2008, a Channel 4 Television "Dispatches" documentary, based on a Peter Oborne and James Jones "Muslims under Siege" document, revealed how UK media and political figures propagate widespread Islamophobic views, similar to America where Muslims are vilified as terrorists.
Since 2000, UK findings showed most media reports portrayed Muslims as dangerous, backward, irrational, extreme, incompatible with British values, and prone to commit terrorism. Both tabloid and major broadsheets stand guilty, including London Guardian writer Polly Tonybee once saying "I am an Islamophobe and proud of it." The Independent’s Bruce Anderson wrote:
There are widespread fears that Muslim immigrants, reinforced by political pressure and, ultimately, by terrorism, will succeed where Islamic armies failed and change irrevocably the character of European civilisation.
Author Martin Amis in the Times wrote "There is a definite urge – don’t you have it? The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order." The "Muslims under Siege" document explained that:
Islamophobia is a tremendous force for unification in British public culture. It does not merely bring liberal progressives like Polly Toynbee together with curmudgeonly Tory commentators like Bruce Anderson. It also enlists militant atheists with Christian believers.
Moreover, it’s punctuated by political opportunists wrongfully charging Muslims with terrorism, taking advantage of public sentiment against a Muslim presence in Britain. More on that below.
In "Muslims under Siege," Oborne and Jones noted how mainstream society for centuries singled out an alien presence for hatred and opprobrium because they were perceived to threaten British identity. Earlier targets included Catholics, Jews, French, Germans and gays. Today it’s Muslims, public enemy number one as in America.
Wrongfully vilified for their faith, they’re considered fair game by hostile journalists and political opportunists, especially those on the far right. They’ve turned away from maligning Jews and Blacks to now focus on Muslims, but they’re not alone. Mainstream politicians also made Islamaphobia Britain’s remaining socially respectable form of bigotry.
They believe, like British National Party (BNP) chairman Nick Griffin, that:
To even hint of making common cause with Islam is political insanity. We should be positioning ourselves to take advantage for our own political ends of the growing wave of public hostility to Islam currently being whipped up by the mass media.
He and others cited Bat Ye’or’s book titled, "Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis," saying Europe is becoming Eurabia where Christians and Jews will be second class citizens to a new Muslim majority. Griffin sees all Europe being Islamified, threatening traditional mainstream culture. It’s a short leap to inciting hysteria about terror attacks to justify Britain’s war on Islam, replicating the same tactics in America and throughout Europe.
Hyping Fear, Citing Terror, Naming Names, and Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Reports regularly appear like a London Independent March 28, 2009 article headlined, "Police identify 200 children as potential terrorists," saying:
Two hundred school children in Britain, some as young as 13, have been identified as potential terrorists by a police scheme that aims to spot youngsters who are 'vulnerable’ to Islamic radicalisation.
Norman Bettison, Britain’s most senior terror prevention official, said the Association of Chief Police Officers asks teachers, parents and other community figures to spot signs of extreme views, suggesting youngsters are being "groomed" by radicalizers.
What will often manifest itself is what might be regarded as racism and the adoption of bad attitudes towards the West," he explained, adding "We are targeting criminals and would-be terrorists who happen to be cloaking themselves in Islamic rhetoric.
A Home Office spokesman said: "We are committed to stopping people becoming or supporting terrorists or violent extremists," even though Britain, like America, faces no terror threat.
Claiming it is entirely bogus to hype fear for political advantage. As a result, Muslims are wrongfully scapegoated. UK media reports like US ones wrongfully convict them by accusation, the public never the wiser.
An earlier article discussed a bogus London terror plot.
It explained that in America and Britain, government cooperators are paid to lawlessly entrap and testify against targeted Muslims. A so-called London Fertilizer Case used Juniad Babar, a dubious character UK media nicknamed "Supergrass."
In 2004, he agreed to cooperate with FBI agents after being indicted in June. He then pled guilty to four counts of conspiring to and providing and attempting to provide material support or resources to terrorists. A fifth count involved providing funds, goods, or services to benefit Al-Qaeda. In return for a reduced sentence, he copped a plea, requiring him to provide "substantial assistance," including entrapping and testifying against targeted Muslims, ones authorities want to frame and convict.
He was also used in London’s Fertilizer Case. It involved a half-ton of ammonium nitrate, allegedly to blow up a London shopping center, nightclub and other targets. Though charges were entirely bogus, alleged "bombers" were convicted and imprisoned, despite no plot and no crime.
On December 28, New York Times writer, Sheryl Stolberg, headlined, "Obama’s Traveling Team Stays Focused on Terror," saying:
While on vacation, he has "reliable secure voice capability" to maintain contact with his advisors on any breaking news. "In recent weeks, concerns about terrorism in Europe have spiked, with intelligence officials reporting increased chatter about threats."
No matter how bogus, hyping fear in America, across Europe and Britain has become the national sport. Alarms and/or arrests recently were made in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and UK.
On December 29, based on suspicions only, several Muslim men (several entering from Sweden) were arrested for allegedly planning to attack the Jyllands-Posten newspaper offices, the same broadsheet that published 2005 satirical cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. One was later released. No incriminating evidence links them to a plot. Yet they’ll likely face "preliminary" terrorism related charges, Denmark’s PET security police head, Jakob Scharf, saying:
"It is our assessment that this is a militant Islamic group; and they have links to international terrorist networks," even though he has no evidence proving it. Once again, guilty by accusation.
Swedish SAPO security police head, Anders Thornberg, said suspects were surveilled before entering Denmark based on suspicions they were planning a terror attack. Again, suspicions, no evidence.
White House spokesman, Nick Shapiro, approved, saying:
We comment the work done by the Danish and Swedish authorities to disrupt this plot, and will continue to coordinate closely with them and our other European partners on all counterterrorism matters of common concern.
Even through the holiday season, likely innocent Muslims are targeted and charged. No evidence needed, just "suspicions."
On December 27, New York Times writer, Alan Cowell, headlined, "British Police Charge 9 Men, Arrested in Raids, With Preparing for Terrorist Acts," saying:
After a week of coordinated raids in three cities, UK police said they "charged nine of the 12 men they arrested in a case that seemed to be a sign that Europe’s concerns over potential terrorist attacks were spreading."
All arrested were Muslims. Three were uncharged and released. The others appeared in London court accused of "engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism." At issue is an alleged plot to bomb unspecified targets. According to John Yates, Britain’s ranking counterterrorism official:
"The operation (was) in its early stages, so we are unable to go into detail at this time about the suspected offenses," because perhaps none are planned. "However, I believe it was necessary at this time to take action in order to ensure public safety," even though saying so may be a lie, especially after admitting there’s no imminent terrorist attack.
European officials, in fact, said, no specific threats were timed to coincide with the holiday season, despite alleged claims of an Al Qaeda plot at the time. Nonetheless, inflammatory news reports, including from BBC, said the men were planning attacks on the US Embassy and London Stock Exchange "to coincide with the Christmas holidays (and prepared by) reconnoitering the targets." Also that they were using parcel bomb designs from an Al Qaeda newsletter, though no bombs or clear evidence was found.
It’s another case of guilt by accusation based only "on suspicion (no evidence) of the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism," but media reports suggest otherwise.
…special squads us(ed) sniffer dogs to raid four homes and an Internet cafe. They smashed windows and ceilings in the cafe and, according to witnesses, seized a dozen computers. The antiterrorism team also searched two motel rooms near a military base, where four of the detainees had registered, but the police provided no further information.
AP reported that Sue Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service Counterterrorism Division said:
I have today advised the police that nine men should be charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and with engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism with the intention of either committing acts of terrorism or assisting another to commit such acts.
BBC reported that "Police search(ed) many properties, (but) no explosives have yet been found." When no evidence exists, conspiracy is charged. Also, "conduct in preparation" is meaningless without specifics. If they existed, they’d be stated and reported. Authorities instead said an alleged plot was in "relatively early stages," giving no credibility whatever to the charge. Nonetheless, on December 30, Reuters said a Danish court charged the three men in custody with attempting an act of terrorism.
A Final Comment
On July 7, 2005, BBC reported that three blasts struck the London Underground. Another struck a city double-decker bus (called 7/7). All occurred during the morning rush hour for maximum disruption and casualties. Prime Minister Tony Blair called them terrorist attacks. Four men were later charged. Three were Muslims, the other Jamaican-born. At precisely the same time, an anti-terror drill occurred, simulating the real attacks. It was no coincidence, raising legitimate questions about a false flag.
AP reported that the London Israeli embassy warned Scotland Yard about 7/7 in advance, and Israeli Army Radio said "Scotland Yard had intelligence warning of the attacks a short time before they occurred," but didn’t act or issue alerts. Moreover, Israel’s finance minister at the time, Benjamin Netanyahu, was told to skip a London economic conference where he was scheduled to speak. Other officials were also warned, but not the public. It’s no stretch calling 7/7 a false flag operation to heighten fear and keep Britain and America embroiled in war.
The March 2004 Madrid train bombings occurred three days before Spain’s general elections. With no supportive evidence, they were blamed on Al Qaeda. Another false flag was likely to stoke fear in Spain and throughout the West. Nearly always, Muslims are blamed. This time, Basque separatists were also named, again with no corroborating evidence.
The pattern repeats often. On June 30, 2007, a Jeep Cherokee with propane canisters crashed into Glasgow International Airport’s glass doors. BBC reported that it "was in the middle of the doorway burning, (but) the car didn’t actually explode. There were a few pops and bangs which presumably (was) the petrol."
The usual suspects were named, Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorists. Prime Minister Gordon Brown then said:
We are dealing, in general term, with people who are associated with Al Qaeda."
The UK Telegraph reported:
An "unknown Al Qaeda terrorist cell (was) thought to be preparing to launch a series of Baghdad-style car bombings."
Other UK and US reports also stoked fear, ABC News saying:
All of this comes just three weeks after what was described as an Al Qaeda graduation ceremony for suicide bombers at a training camp in Pakistan.
Neither Brown or media reports cited evidence, just fear mongering charges. Another false flag was likely to maintain public support for the war on terror that’s also a war on Islam in America, continental Europe and Britain. The latest London arrests look just as bogus, especially with no hard evidence to corroborate charges.