Thursday, August 28 2014

The Henry Jackson Society and platforms for anti-Muslim bigotry



 Islamophobia Watch draws our attention to a story from the weekend on ‘honour’ killings in the UK and the various attempts to portray the crimes committed against women as a ‘Muslim’ issue.

As we covered previously, the story was rather shamefully misreported in the Daily Mail as ‘Alarming rise of Muslim 'honour attacks' in the UK’ but it would seem the DM is not alone in wanting to peddle anti-Muslim bigotry on the back of the release of police statistics on ‘honour killings in the UK.

From Islamophobia Watch:
 
“You might think...that nobody with half a brain or a shred of intellectual honesty would buy the Islamophobic myth that Muslim communities are inspired by their faith to commit acts of violence against young women. You should try reading a piece posted by Robin Shepherd on his website The Commentator. Entitled "BBC reveals huge scale of honour attacks in Britain, fails to mention the word 'Islam'", this poisonous article is worth quoting at length, in order to convey how deeply unpleasant it is:
 

“The families giving the orders, as well as the victims, are in all, or almost all, cases Muslim. Surprised? No, of course you're not. Honour attacks ranging in brutality from beatings to murder are commonplace in many parts of the Muslim world.
 
“Enter the BBC, which reported on the matter in a lengthy, 700-plus word article and failed to mention the words "Muslim", "Islamic" or "Islam" even once.
 
“As I write this I am flicking back to the story itself so I can double check using the Find function. Could I be mistaken?
 
“Here goes: "Islamic"? "No Matches". "Muslim"? "No Matches". "Islam"? "No Matches".
 
“This is how societies go down: when matters of the profoundest significance to their character, and potentially their very existence, have been rendered undiscussable by the people that set the terms of public debate.
 
“Clearly the people who wrote and edited that story should be dismissed.
 
“They won't be of course because the mind-numbing, multiculturalist narrative that demanded censorship of the salient evidence is effectively institutionalised as the dominant narrative across the BBC as well as the wider liberal establishment.
 
“So be it. Go ahead and have a conversation about deep-seated problems inside the fastest growing demographic group in Europe without mentioning what that group is. The quality of your discussion will be moronic. But you reap what you sow.”
 

“This is the kind of foam-flecked rant you might expect to read on some extreme "counterjihadist" blog of the sort that inspired Anders Breivik. But Shepherd is Director of International Affairs at the Henry Jackson Society, which is advertised as a sponsor of The Commentator site. Nor is Shepherd the only raving anti-Muslim bigot to hold a prominent position in the HJS. Douglas Murray ("Why is it that time and again the liberal West is crumpling before the violence, intimidation and thuggery of Islam? ... All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop.... Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board") is an Associate Director of the organisation.
 
“Yet the Henry Jackson Society serves as the secretariat for two All-Party Parliamentary Groups – on Homeland Security and Transatlantic & International Security. The former's objective is to "provide parliamentarians with up-to-date information and analysis on homeland security and national resilience issues", while the latter provides the same service in connection with "international security issues, global defence concerns, international incidents and the efforts being made to comment and react to them in Britain and abroad".
 
“Do MPs and peers really think it appropriate that an organisation like the HJS should hold the position of secretariat to officially recognised parliamentary groups which seek to influence government policy on domestic and international security issues? Andrew Gilligan, Paul Goodman and the Jewish Chronicle waged a vicious campaign to remove ENGAGE as the secretariat to the APPG on Islamophobia, falsely accusing them of political extremism and antisemitism. But Gilligan, Goodman and the JC have nothing to say about the parliamentary role of an organisation headed by real extremist bigots like Robin Shepherd and Douglas Murray.”
 

The question of whether the Henry Jackson Society is in any position to hold secretariat offices to APPGs given the anti-Muslim bigotry espoused by two of its most senior members of staff is certainly worth raising with the MPs who sit on the all party groups on Homeland Security and Transatlantic & International Security. You can find their names here and here, and details of how to contact them here.








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