Moazzam Begg’s HARDtalk interview: Torture, Foreign Policy & Islamophobia Are All Connected
There are a series of important facts for the British public to understand from Begg’s interview. This piece will try and illustrate all of them.
Britain and Torture
Prime Minister after Prime Minister has been telling us how moral and how upright our secret services are for a very long time now. Churchill told us this when Britain were torturing Nazis and afterwards their then allies, the Russians. Harold Wilson did the same as Britain were torturing people in Cyprus and Yemen, whilst also bribing Amnesty International London Branch’s silence. Harold Macmillan also preached higher morality as they funded more subtle, undetectable forms of torture. Aswell as Edward Heath as they tortured the Northern Irish. Least we forget Jack Straw’s denial of Britain’s role in the rendition program, whilst saying that any such allegation is mere conspiracy. Moazzam Begg’s interview tells us that torture is something British authorities are pro-active on. Historians such as Ian Cobain in his book “Cruel Britannia” tell us that torture is a big part of Britain’s legacy.
It is safe to say that Britain has been actively and willfully torturing and lying about it for decades.
One of the interesting points of Begg’s testimonial, is that it had a direct link towards radicalising people into terrorism. Begg says that, “17 of the leaders of Islamic State were held in Camp Bucca, (a US Military dentention centre in Iraq during the occupation) and tortured and abused and were wearing orange suits.” Wouldn’t torture radicalise people through a deep resentful grudge after making them go through degrees of degradation and pain?
To add, the immunity of torturers to prosecution, working with despot regimes and their own network of torture cells gives a stark conclusion. Once you connect the dots, a picture of how insatiable the British government and security agencies’ appetites are for torture becomes clear. Indeed to comparable levels of despot regimes such as Saudi Arabia, al-Assad’s Syria, KGB’s Russia, Gaddafi’s Libya were. Is it any wonder that British leaders and their secret services have no qualms in working with them? Yet UK still boasts moral superiority when it is morally impotent.
The more alarming issue for us, is that the UK domestic and counter-terrorism policy is becoming equally nightmarish and counter productive as its foreign policy counterpart, the “War on Terror”.
Let’s start with returning Muslims from Syria. Whilst Begg illustrated that other EU countries, such as Sweden and Denmark, have successful rehabilitation programs, the UK is adamant in being unreasonable with “potential terrorists”. And yet surely it should be clear by previous examples, that if justice, human rights and welfare is not a strong emphasis, strong possibilities of radicalisation follows.
To add, if we were to compare Britain with other EU countries, this new raft of extra legislative powers can only be seen as foolish knee-jerking or deliberate draconian fear mongering.
“When dealing with terrorism, anything seems to be permitted by the British public it seems. Even terrorism.”
The mass suspicion of Muslims is another symptom of this Islamophobic mindset. In Pakistan and Afghanistan, anyone who is of military age in certain areas are immediately seen as a “terrorist.” Many of the numbers killed by drones that make up the “enemy combatants killed” figure are actually done so on this criteria. The exact same mindset is applied to those during the occupation of Iraq. This diabolical mindset is also applied today to Muslims of a certain age when they come back from Syria, including charity workers. The rampant paranoia of Muslims pervades the consciousness of our security and government agencies, to the point of being dismissive of any evidence-based approach and individual welfare. And it is the same paranoia that is flooding the consciousness of the British public.
Islamophobia: Thin End of a Thick Wedge
Instead of focusing on the alarming information that Moazzam Begg is giving, the questioning of Begg’s interviewer assumes the voice of the government. With that, conveniently comes the implicit dismissal of the government’s responsibility towards International Law, the constant portrayal of Muslims as “alien” in culture and values (and therefore responsible for “their barbarians”) and the nonchalant dismissal of the government’s responsibility towards increasing Islamophobic white supremacy (in which Britain is not responsible for “their barbarians”).
“Whilst the UK tries to convince that they are morally and culturally superior, they conduct their foreign policy in deliberating savagery”
The PREVENT agenda works on that basis and the new Counter Terrorism and Security bill seeks to push to politicise an ordinary British people along that agenda of finger-pointing suspicion.
However it is the media in the UK that hold is most responsibility, as they have set the scene over the last 12 years where this growing nightmare can ensue. We only have to see the double standards with Brevik other non-Muslim terrorists are covered by the media. Begg reminds us of the Europol (Europe Law Enforcement Agency) that over 99.3% of terrorism in the EU is committed by non-Muslims, but by the media coverage and by new government laws, we are led to be believe the opposite is true.
In addition, we are led to believe that non-Muslim terrorism is not ideologically motivated. A laughable assertion given that even Western illegal wars have always been ideologically motivated, nevermind the embolden Islamophobic white-supremacists.
What is this, if not Islamophobia?
This massive disparity in equality will only result in an apartheid of values that mirrors what the West have exported globally, with all the misery and suffering that comes with it. How could it not? Its rooted from the same prejudice.
What becomes increasingly clear, that until the British government and indeed the British people fully recognise that the cause of terrorism is the “War on Terror”, not only will we see the West continue to impose its Clash of Civilisation on the Muslim world, we will see it re-created here in West itself. Despite all the smokescreens, in reality, the Western “bully nations” would hold all the blame.