Archive for the Islamophobia Category

Human Rights Watch report documents attack on democratic rights in US and Europe [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Africa, Anti-Islam hysteria, Egypt, EU, European Union, Fascism, France, Greece, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Islamophobia, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, Police, Police brutality, Police State, Roma people, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, US imperialism, USA, Yemen on February 4, 2016 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Tom Hall
1 February 2016

Last week, US-based watchdog group Human Rights Watch warned of mounting attacks on democratic rights throughout Europe and North America, which governments have justified as a response to the migrant crisis.

The group’s annual report warned that the arrival of refugees fleeing war and repression in the Middle East is “driving many Western governments to roll back human rights protections,” adding, “these backward steps threaten the rights of all” sections of the population, not just refugees.

In the report’s lead essay, Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth notes, “In Europe and the United States, a polarizing us-versus-them rhetoric has moved from the political fringe to the mainstream. Blatant Islamophobia and shameless demonizing of refugees have become the currency of an increasingly assertive politics of intolerance.”

“Public discourse,” Roth continues, “has been filled with voices of hatred and fear of Muslims, for whom the refugees [arriving in Europe] are surrogates.” This climate contributes to “the persistent discrimination, hopelessness, and despair that pervade neighborhoods on the outskirts of some European cities.”

2015 saw a dramatic rollback of democratic rights throughout Europe and America. In France, the Hollande government pushed through sweeping expansions of government surveillance and curtailing freedom of speech, seizing upon the attacks in Paris this November and the Charlie Hebdo attacks at the beginning of the year. In the United States, the military was deployed to Baltimore to crack down on peaceful protests against police brutality at the beginning of the year, while mass government spying continued unimpeded.

The report contains comprehensive summaries for more than 90 countries for the year of 2015. By far the largest single section, with 24 pages, is on the European Union, more than Saudi Arabia, whose absolute monarchy beheaded record numbers of people last year, including many political prisoners, and countries currently embroiled in civil wars such as Syria and Libya. The United States came in second place, with 17 pages…

…Previous agreements by European governments to resettle asylum seekers throughout the continent remain a dead letter as countries throughout Europe close off their borders to refugees. Only 159 asylum seekers have been relocated from Italy and Greece in spite of an agreement last year to resettle 160,000 asylum seekers from these countries.

Attacks on Muslims rose sharply last year, as far-right and neo-Nazi groups are emboldened by the discriminatory policies of European governments. Such attacks have grown by 46.7 percent in London in the first half of 2015. However, racist attacks are by no means limited solely to Muslims; reports of anti-Semitic attacks are also on the rise, and discriminatory evictions of Roma by governments throughout the EU continue. Widespread discrimination also exists in the Baltic countries against native Russian speakers.

As Roth notes, Europe is joined in its persecution of refugees by the United States. Last year 30 US governors tried to prevent Syrian refugees from entering their states, while current Republican front-runner Donald Trump floated the idea of banning Muslims from entering the country altogether. The United States, the report declares, also “continued the dramatic expansion of detention of migrant mothers and their children from Central America,” many fleeing violence in their home countries, over the course of last year. While not mentioned in the report, the Obama administration rang in the new year last month with a new round of targeted deportations of Central American children.

The report also notes with concern the continued drive to expand state repression and surveillance in the United States and Europe, justified in the main by the supposed threat of terrorism…

…In the United States, spy agency leaders seized upon the Paris attacks last year to renew their calls for a “back door” to online encryption, despite the fact that the Paris attackers did not encrypt their communications. Meanwhile, Guantanamo Bay’s detention center remains open despite years of empty promises by Obama to close it. And last year’s National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by Obama, “tightened existing restrictions on the transfer of detainees out of Guantanamo,” making the release or transfer of detainees even more difficult.

Many of the worst human rights violations elsewhere in the report were committed by allies of the United States or the European imperialist powers. In discussing the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen, for example, in which civilian infrastructure has been deliberately targeted, the report argues that by virtue of providing “intelligence, logistical support and personnel” to the Saudis the United States would be “potentially jointly responsible for laws-of-war violations by coalition forces.” The report also cites continuing US aid to Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as well as the Obama administration’s waiving of provisions of the Child Soldier Prevention Act to continue supporting the militaries of several African countries.

World imperialism has justified countless criminal wars over the past quarter century under the fraudulent pretext of “humanitarian interventionism.” Now, a leading human rights group is compelled to admit that these same powers are responsible for major human rights violations within their own borders. This not only exposes imperialism’s professed concern for “human rights” as a fraud, it is also an indication of the growth of police-state forms of rule within these countries…

Excerpted; full article link:


“France Under the Influence” – Outrages of Charlie Hebdo and French imperialism [Counterpunch]

Posted in Anti-Arab / Antisemitism, Egypt, Ethnic purges, France, Gaza, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Islamophobia, Israel, Libya, NATO, Palestine, Syria, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA on February 24, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I’m including this a bit late in the game since it included commentary on something weird I’d noticed, Charlie Hebdo’s favored method of taking already blasphemous depictions of Mohammed’s face and turning them into graphic penis jokes… e.g. why is his turban, unlike real turbans, distinctly bifurcated in their cartoons? – Zuo Shou

Jan. 20, 2015
by Diana Johnstone

The Charlie Hebdo terrorist assassinations struck France at a moment when it has an unpopular government and a weak President, when factories are closing and jobs are being lost, when French economic policy is determined by Germany via the European Union and its foreign policy is determined by the United States via NATO. Except for the therapeutic moment of togetherness on January 11, the country feels buffeted by winds of conflict it cannot resist.

There is a certain terrible symmetry playing out in France. Israel is deliberately and consistently doing all it can to excite fears among French Jews, in order to lure this desirable population into moving to Israel…

..At the same time, the so-called “Islamic State”, as well as “al Qaeda in Yemen” and associated fanatic Islamic groups are working hard to recruit fighters out of the Muslim communities in France and other European countries. Some 1,400 jihadists have traveled to Syria from France to join the Holy War. They are lured by the heroic prospect of helping to “build the Caliphate”, a sort of Israel for Muslims, a holy land restored.

Netanyahu’s recruitment drive enjoys the support of Western media such as Fox News that spread wild tales suggesting that Jews are not safe in France. This in turn threatens France with boycott by American Jews, a potential economic and public relations disaster which no doubt creates panic in French government circles. French leaders are not only closely attached personally to the Jewish community, they also fear the opprobrium of seeing their country slandered as “anti-Semitic”…

…Outside pressures are now pushing France into a war in the Middle East that it can neither afford nor win.

…France is obliged to take measures to stem the round trip traffic between Holy War in Syria and France. There is much talk of restoring authority and “republican values” to the schoolroom. But French leaders need to take a hard look at their own totally incoherent foreign policy, and there is no sign as yet of that happening. By taking the symbolic lead in the regime change war in Libya, France turned that country into a black hole of Islamic extremists. France collaborated in the murder of Gaddafi, whose “Green Book” philosophy was…an attempt to provide a modernizing and moderate version of Muslim principles to combat the Islamic fanaticism that had always been his main domestic enemy and which profited from his demise. The NATO destruction of Gaddafi’s Libya brought France into war in Mali, in pursuit of an elusive enemy that Gaddafi had managed to control.

France like the United States designates Islamic terrorism as its great enemy, while doing everything possible to favor its growth and extension. Constant support for Israel, even during murderous bombings of helpless Gaza, even when Mossad assassinates scientists in Iraq or Iran, or even when Israeli warplanes deliberately sink a U.S. Navy ship, the USS Liberty, makes the United States appear to be manipulated by Israel, while France appears to be manipulated by both Israel and the United States.

For over half a century, the West has systematically opposed the secular nationalist states in the Middle East, starting with Nasser’s Egypt…Israel was always most afraid of Arab nationalism, as it would potentially embrace Palestine. Religious fanaticism has seemed safer. Arab nationalism was the positive political hope of the region, and once that hope is destroyed, Islamic extremism rushes into the vacuum. This struggle continues in Syria, with France taking the lead in opposing Bachar al Assad, which means, in effect, supporting the Islamists just as it prepares to go to war against them.

The evident madness of this situation is the reflection of a French government which no longer seems able to devise a policy in its own national interest, and is floundering in the crosscurrents of “globalization”.

~Blasphemy and Pornography~

France is ringing with proclamations that we must continue to publish Charlie Hebdo-style cartoons attacking Muslims, or otherwise we shall have surrendered to Islamic demands. To assert our freedom we must prove that we are not afraid to commit blasphemy.

…The notion that it is very daring to commit “blasphemy” against a god in whom you do not believe makes no sense to me. Especially when this is not a god officially worshiped in the society where you live, but is rather the god of a somewhat unpopular minority. Certainly, in the milieu of Charlie Hebdo, insulting Islamic beliefs was the surest way to amuse one’s friends. It was supposed to help sell papers.

On the other hand, drawing cartoons that will infuriate masses of people to the point of murder amounts to taking a dare, rather than “blasphemy”. You are always free to take a dare. But common sense tells you to ask yourself if it is worth it.

Suppose you dislike aspects of a particular religion, and would like to combat such beliefs. Is drawing cartoons that will unite millions in indignation an effective way to combat those beliefs? If not, this is intellectually no more significant than bungee jumping. Whee, look how daring I am. So what?

There are much more effective ways to argue about religion. Take as a model the enlightenment philosophers of the 18th century. Repeated insults are more likely to unite people in defense of their faith. That is just a practical consideration, regardless of “freedom”.

Or on the other hand, the insult could be a provocation intended precisely to make the believers come out in the open, so that they can be attacked. This may be a secret motive for promoting such caricatures. Provoke Muslims into defending their religion, in a way that strikes the majority of our population as totally absurd, so that you can ridicule them still more and perhaps take measures against them – war in the Middle East (alongside Israel), or even expulsion from our countries (an idea now being raised…).

In the specific case of Charlie Hebdo, the vast majority of supposedly “blasphemic” drawings…were more or less pornographic, featuring sketches of male sex organs. The presence of the phallus was “the joke”…

…This was apparently true of the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo, published in seven million copies with a subsidy of a million euros from the French government. To this vast public, the cover drawing by the surviving artist Luz (Renald Luzier) was an image of peaceful reconciliation, showing the head of a man wearing a turban, explicitly intended to represent Mohammed, shedding a tear and holding a “Je suis Charlie” sign under the statement, “All is forgiven”…But Luz also wanted to make his colleagues laugh at his cover, and they reportedly laughed. Why? According to internet comments, the drawing was an inside joke, because it included two hidden outlines of penises – Charlie’s trademark. This was all good dirty fun for the Charlie kids. “We are like children”, said Luz.

…Muslims saw the latest Charlie cartoon as a repetition of obscene insults aimed against their Prophet – not only blasphemy, but a pornographic “in your face”…

…The Charlie Hebdo humorists were a bit like irresponsible children playing with matches who burned the house down. Or perhaps several houses.

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link:
For explication of Charlie Hebdo’s penchant for drawing penises, hidden or otherwise, see:
Other related articles:

“Racist provocation and the ‘war on terror'” [World Socialist Website] –

“Charlie Hebdo and War for Civilisation” [Media Lens] –

Commentary: Bigotry, arrogance behind freedom of expression by ‘headstrong’ weekly “Charlie Hebdo” [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-Arab / Antisemitism, Anti-Islam hysteria, Islamophobia, Western nations' human rights distortions on January 25, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) — Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine brutally attacked…by [alleged] Islamic extremists, once again published Wednesday its latest edition with a caricature of the Muslim prophet on its cover — a blasphemous move in the eyes of the Islamic world — which has triggered outcry and protests in many countries.

Although the international community has strongly condemned the perpetrators and shown universal sympathy to Charlie Hebdo as it lost a number of best-known cartoonists and other staff members in the terrorist attack, the sympathy does not mean a global recognition of the journal’s depiction of Prophet Mohammed in its cartoon.

As a matter of fact, it is a common belief of many that the magazine has blasphemed others’ religious belief and stepped over the boundaries of freedom of expression.

By resuming publication of satirical cartoons, Charlie Hebdo seems to indicate to others its insistence on the standards of freedom of expression it has upheld.

It has also appeared that the magazine has drawn strength from its unswerving faith supported by at least the European society if not the entire international community.

It it is true that Charlie Hebdo has gained sympathy from the international community after the terrorist attack, its move to publish a caricature of the Muslim prophet on its cover once again in a confrontational manner on Wednesday is probably in [sic] overdrawing of such sympathy and support.

This time, a weeping Mohammed appeared on the cover, holding up a sign reading “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”), under the headline “All is forgiven.”

This is another defiant move by the satirical magazine, and also another reflection of bigotry and arrogance of on the part of the Western culture.

The Western society should be fully aware that the so-called “freedom of expression” and “legal standards” of it are applicable only to its own countries, and are not necessary appropriate to other nations or regions.

In other words, isn’t it an infringement on others’ freedom if some people view their own standards as universal standards and even compel others to accept them?

Undeniably, the West’s confrontational and bigoted mindset that has resulted in their arbitrary political and military interference with others has connection with the rampant emergence and spread of terrorism across the world today.

If terrorism is a powder keg, the interventionism and cultural exclusivism practiced by the West, to some extent, is one of the detonators.

In face of the terror attacks in Paris, one of the views that prevails in Western media is that the freedom of expression should be defended at all cost. Yet,…the West uphold standards for civilization that are recognized by themselves only in the style of religious zealots. Isn’t this another form of “extremist thinking”?

A civilized society should show inclusiveness, respect differences in culture and ideologies and knows how to mediate societal gaps. And any civilization that tries to deal with cultural differences with defiance and confrontation can not find peace and security it seeks [sic] in the first place.

The Western world should reflect on its own ideologies and approaches instead of persisting in executing its confrontational and exclusive approaches when communicating with other civilizations in a world that faces growing danger and threat from growing rampancy of terrorism.

[It should be noted the article fails to confront Western governments’ historic implementation of terrorist policies, both directly and by proxy. – Zuo Shou]

Edited by Zuo Shou

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Canada, at war for 13 Years, shocked that ‘a terrorist’ attacked its soldiers [The Intercept]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-Arab / Antisemitism, Anti-Islam hysteria, Canada, Iraq, Islamophobia, Pentagon, Torture, U.K., US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA on November 4, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Glenn Greenwald


TORONTO – In Quebec on Monday, two Canadian soldiers were hit by a car driven by Martin Couture-Rouleau, a 25-year-old Canadian who, as The Globe and Mail reported, “converted to Islam recently and called himself Ahmad Rouleau…”

Excerpted; full article link:

A Media Microscope on Islam-Linked Violence [FAIR]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Anti-Islam hysteria, Iraq, Islamophobia, Obama, U.K., US drone strikes, US imperialism, USA, USSR on August 5, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

– Selective reporting misrepresents Muslims as prone to killing –

August 1, 2013

By Steve Rendall and Sara McCloskey

The murder of British soldier Sgt. Lee Rigby on a London street in May received massive U.S. media attention. The brazenness of the attackers—who allegedly struck Rigby with a car in broad daylight before hacking him to death with bladed weapons—guaranteed coverage. That the crime was captured on videotape from multiple sources didn’t hurt either. All told, Lee Rigby’s London murder has been mentioned in nearly 500 U.S. newspaper and wire stories, according to a search of the Nexis news database.

But the story also fit a comfortable media narrative: The attackers were Muslims who declared religious motivations. One of the assailants called the crime revenge for the killing of Muslims by Western military forces (Reuters, 5/22/13).

For many pundits, the Rigby killing provided dramatic “proof” of the violent and dangerous nature of Islam. Fox News liberal Bob Beckel (Five, 5/23/13) told viewers that Muslims are trying to impose a worldwide caliphate, and that Rigby’s killing was “a product of the British allowing Muslims to come into their country.”

Bill O’Reilly (O’Reilly Factor, 6/5/13) invited Tommy Robinson, the leader of British hate group the English Defence League, onto his Fox News show. Robinson faced little challenge as he smeared Muslims, saying politicians are “constantly pandering to Islam and they’re constantly worried about what the Islamic community would do and how they will react to anything.”

The association of Islam with violence is not restricted to right-wing media. “For a self-described ‘religion of peace,’ Islam does claim a lot of lives,” wrote liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof (9/22/12) in a piece attempting to explain Muslim violence. On CNN (5/5/10), Anderson Cooper telegraphed a similar message when he asked HBO star Bill Maher: “Why is Islam the one religion that so many in America and in the West censor themselves when talking about or making fun of? Is it just fear?” This was a softball for Maher, a commentator known for anti-Muslim bigotry (FAIR Blog, 3/9/12), who responded that Muslims are “violent” and “threaten us.”

FAIR’s 2008 report, Smearcasting: How Islamophobes Spread Fear, Bigotry and Misinformation (10/1/08), found violent and dangerous portrayals of Muslims alive and well in centrist and liberal media habitats: The 2006 National Book Critics Circle nominated for an award the flagrantly Islamophobic While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West From Within, while the New York Times gifted new subscribers with the anti-Muslim DVD, Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West in 2006.

The best-known focus of the whirlwind of smears by the corporate media would be the Park51 Islamic community center, inaccurately but pervasively described as the “Ground Zero Mosque.” Media portrayed the center as a slap in the face to families of 9/11 victims—and as proof that the Obama administration was failing to protect citizens from Muslim extremists (Extra!, 10/10).

But is Islam, as Kristof, Maher and O’Reilly suggest, really particularly violent? It’s a curious argument to make from the vantage point of the United States, which has in recent years launched wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and lesser military strikes in at least a half-a-dozen other nations—violence that has cost at least hundreds of thousands of lives over the past decade (Iraq Body Count, 3/19/13; FAIR Blog, 6/7/13).

And looking over the last century, the bloodiest in human history, it’s an equally strange argument to make from a Western, Christian-majority nation. As University of Michigan Islam scholar Juan Cole (Informed Comment, 4/23/13) points out, of the more than 100 million war deaths in the 20th century, something less than 2 percent came at the hands of Muslim-majority nations. Most of those dead came in wars where non-Muslim nations played a significant role — such as the Iran/Iraq War, where the United States aided the aggressor Iraq, and the Afghan Civil War, where the Soviet Union was a major military force [not to forget the US proxy Muhajadeen – Zuo Shou].

Cole also explains that “murder rates in most of the Muslim world are very low compared to the United States,” which is especially violent for a wealthy nation.

According to a Gallup poll (8/2/11; FAIR Blog, 5/3/13), Muslim Americans disapprove of violence against civilians at an exceptionally high rate. When asked if it “is justified for an individual or a small group of people to target and kill civilians,” 89 percent of Muslims said that it is never justified, which was the highest disapproval rate of the six religious and nonreligious groups polled. Muslim Americans also rejected military killing of civilians by a wide margin, while a majority of Protestants, Catholics, Jews and Mormons approved of such killings.

Glenn Greenwald (5/23/13) makes a strong case that the killing of Rigby, a sergeant in the British Army, though political violence, was not terrorism, which is generally defined as political violence targeting civilians. But U.S. coverage of even strictly defined terrorism gives a distorted impression that most of it is linked to Muslims.

In “More Terror, Less Coverage,” Extra! (5/11) showed how a story about an amateurish bomb that fizzled in Times Square in May 2010, planted by a Muslim American, got far more coverage than a much more lethal bomb planted by a white racist in Spokane, Washington, disarmed just hours before its planned detonation during a 2011 Martin Luther King Day parade.

This is par for a media that has an especially hard time reporting domestic terrorism with context or proportionality. Charles Kurzman (Think Progress, 9/10/11), author of The Missing Martyrs: Why There Are So Few Muslim Terrorists, noted in 2011 that since 9/11, Muslim American terrorists “have killed 33 individuals in the United States.” The University of North Carolina terrorism expert put that number in the larger context of U.S. violence: “Over that same period of time, there have been more than 150,000 murders in the United States.” That’s 0.02 percent of homicides since 2001 attributable to Muslim American terrorism.

A 2010 RAND study found that of the “83 terrorist attacks in the United States between 9/11 and the end of 2009, only three…were clearly connected with the jihadist cause” (Extra!, 5/11). Out of the 3 million Muslims living in the United States, around 100 joined jihadist groups during the study period, which according to RAND suggests that American Muslims overwhelmingly do not agree with radical ideology and the violent actions associated with it.

Cole found similar data on Europe. While the European Union’s population is 4.5 percent Muslim (Pew Research Center, 1/11)—“less than 1 percent of terrorist acts in the continent were committed by people from that community” from 2007 to 2009 (Informed Comment, 4/23/13).

To successfully equate Islam with terrorism requires downplaying terrorism perpetrated by non-Muslims. As conservative Fox News commentator Brian Kilmeade (Fox & Friends, 10/15/10) put it, “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.” Kilmeade was defending Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who’d been criticized for stating on ABC’s View (10/14/10) that “Muslims killed us on 9/11!” Kilmeade later retracted the comment (Fox & Friends, 10/18/10; Media Matters, 10/18/10), but Michael Goodwin, a columnist for Fox’s sibling publication, the Murdoch-owned New York Post (4/28/13), used the exact same phrase in a recent column on the Boston Marathon bombing.

But more influential than the overt bigotry of the Kilmeades and O’Reillys is the drumbeat of media attention to Muslim-linked violence compared to violence and terrorism linked to other groups.

In June, two men in upstate New York were arrested and charged with conspiracy to support terrorism after building a weapon that would shoot radiation into “enemies of Israel.” Possible target locations included an Albany Mosque and a Schenectady Islamic center (AP, 6/19/13; CAIR, 6/24/13). According to Nexis, only 24 newspapers and newswires covered the story in the U.S.

Three weeks before the gruesome murder of Lee Rigby in London, Mohammed Saleem, a 75 year-old Muslim man, was stabbed to death while returning from a mosque in Birmingham, 100 miles north of London. The murder is being considered a hate crime by police (Birmingham Mail, 5/25/13). The entire U.S. media coverage of Mohammed Saleem’s murder, according to Nexis, was a single 136-word dispatch (5/1/13) from the UPI wire service.

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“Sam Harris, the New Atheists, and anti-Muslim animus” by Glenn Greenwald [Guardian / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archives]

Posted in Anti-Arab / Antisemitism, Anti-Islam hysteria, Islamophobia, Sweet and Sour Socialism Essential Archives on August 5, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

I recently chatted with a British fellow who had assimilated Harris’ Islamophobe atheist bigotry word-for-word. – Zuo Shou

“…[T]he people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists.” – Sam Harris

3 April 2013

– A long overdue debate breaks out about whether rational atheism is being used as a cover for Islamophobia and US militarism –

Two columns have been published…harshly criticizing the so-called “New Atheists” such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens…[t]he crux of those columns is that these advocates have increasingly embraced a toxic form of anti-Muslim bigotry masquerading as rational atheism…

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(c) Guardian News & Media Ltd

Blood on the Streets of London: Who will Protect us from the Real Extremists? []

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-Islam hysteria, Fascism, Iraq, Islamophobia, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Torture, War crimes on May 25, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

The Woolrich, London incident has become a platform for hysterical mainstream media wartime propaganda and finds the sinking ruling class executives again playing the ‘terrorism’ card hypocritically and idiotically. Given the (media-suppressed) mass state violence inflicted by US-NATO forces with sociopathic regularity, both domestically and abroad, this kind of event should be happening more often. – Zuo Shou

May 24, 2013

by Colin Todhunter

Two men armed with knives and gun(s) apparently hack to death an off-duty soldier outside an army barracks in Woolwich, London. As the soldier lies dead or dying in the road, one of the alleged attackers approaches a man filming the scene on his mobile phone and makes a political speech about the British state’s role in killing Muslims in foreign countries.

According to the attacker, what he and his associate have just done basically represented pay back for the lives taken by British soldiers on behalf of the British government. The two alleged assailants do not flee the scene, but, with weapons still in hands, talk to passers by. T he police arrive and both men are shot and wounded as they quickly approach a police car. Later on in the area, English Defence League (EDL) supporters hold a protest and express their usual anti-Islam sentiments. The EDL has had some success in garnering support in recent years by tapping into working class frustrations by using Islam as a proxy for the economic and financial woes impacting Britain.

On just another day in an ordinary district, a heady mix of class, empire and retribution left their marks on a London street. But what made this particular attack so stark was the brutal nature of the incident and that the alleged perpetrators made no attempt to escape. They took advantage of the situation to tell the world why the incident took place.

Over the last couple of days since the attack, there has been much debate over what happened and why it happened. A dominant narrative via the mainstream media has been that of two crazed men (at least one spoke with a London accent), possibly acting on their own, who had been indoctrinated or radicalised by strands of Islam.

Questions are being asked about what can be done to stop this type of thing happening again. The media, politicians and commentators have been quick to talk about preventing the radicalisation of Muslims living in Britain. All well and good.

When certain acts of terror have taken place in Britain in the past, however, senior politicians have denied any link to British foreign policy. This time, one of the alleged perpetrators in Woolwich is on video explicitly stating his reasons for his actions and linking them directly to foreign policy. It doesn’t justify the attack, but it certainly helps to explain the motives.

Most politicians and commentators have tended to avoid the foreign policy issue by focusing on the horrific nature of the attack and ‘crazed, indoctrinated people’ who carry out such deeds. It has at times all been understandably quite emotive. The fact that the dead soldier was said to be wearing a ‘hope for heroes’ t-shirt at the time has further fuelled the outpouring of national grief and anger. Hope for Heroes is a charity offering support to soldiers returning from conflict zones.

Politicians and the media have been quick to shape the debate over the incident by referring to it as an act of terrorism and by asking what could be done to stop such an act ever taking place again. Perhaps they should turn to Noam Chomsky for an answer. When once asked how to prevent terrorism, he replied “stop committing it.”

Chomsky’s views on The US and NATO’s role in committing acts of terror in and on other countries are well documented. Either overtly or covertly, the British government has been involved in the ‘war on terror’ or ‘humanitarian militarism’ across the Muslim world, from Libya, Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan. At the same time it has been a staunch supporter of brutal, undemocratic puppet dictators throughout West Asia.

The notion that terrorism is simply a predictable consequence of an interventionist foreign policy, the propping up of dictators and the embrace of empire is downplayed by the mainstream media. The dominiant political and media message is that British military involvement in West and Central Asia is necessary to prevent terrorism reaching its shores. Without a hint of hypocrisy on their part, politicians and commentators use incidents like Woolwich to say to the public – look, this is what happens if we do not keep vigilant and do not go into these countries to root out such people.

The media likes to compartmentalise issues. Focus on the Woolwich attack, not civilian deaths in Afghanistan. Focus on one of our lads who was butchered by a couple of maniacs, not on drone attacks that terrorise whole communities. Focus on protecting ‘freedom and democracy’, not Guauntanamo [sic], Palestine or actions or support for regimes that have nothing to do with either. Do not connect any of the dots for a comprehensive analysis, but focus on specific incidents and emotive platitudes.

And anyone who criticises British foreign policy and linking it to Woolwich, while even condemning the attack there, is regarded with a degree of suspicion, is regarded as ‘unpatriotic’, as not supporting the troops – the brave heroes ‘out there’ thousands of miles away protecting our freedoms..

Of course, you will never hear any TV news channel or political debate in parliament bring up the Project for a New Americam Century (, a plan devised by US neo-cons and which sets out the underlying reasons for the West’s ongoing wars, destabilisations, covert operations, killings, murders, death squads and torture that have nothing to do with humanitarianism or ‘fighting terror’ and everything to do with securing world domination. No mention of it or Britain’s role in supporting it. Such things are not to be discussed.

Such things are beyond the scope of ‘rational political discourse’. We must keep to the ‘facts’ – the facts as designated by those who wish to bury the real facts at every available opportunity.

In the meantime, we must stick to the story about the proper way of preventing terror at home is by stopping the indoctrination or brain washing of young Muslims. Do not focus too much (if at all) on the Western-fueled barbarity and hacked to death bodies on blood stained streets in far away lands. Out of sight, out of mind, thanks largely to the media. Just who is being indoctrinated here? And who is to protect us from the real extremism?

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