Big Sister Theresa May and the Rise of Anti-Islam in the UK
Never before in my lifetime has Britain had such an odious Home Secretary as Theresa May. In her racist policies, she surpasses even Jack Straw’s rendition to torture and his support for Tony Blair’s illegal war in Iraq. As if things were not bad enough, May has pushed the boundaries beyond what would be acceptable even to the criminal underground. Straw signed off renditions to torture and human rights’ abuses in full knowledge that incarceration in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere would follow. May has gone a stage further. In the latest of her initiatives to emerge, Muslims are separated from their loved ones and divested of their identity while they are abroad. When they try to contact their families, the coordinates of their mobile phone’s signal are passed on from United Kingdom intelligence to United States intelligence. Thus the US, and possibly UK military, locate and kill these displaced persons by drone attacks. This might sound like something from a futuristic horror story, but it is the UK Home Secretary in full flight.
Theresa May’s father was the Reverend Hugh Brasier, an Oxfordshire vicar who died in a car-crash shortly after his daughter graduated. Mrs. May claims to be an Anglican herself, and this should also make her a Christian, but her political actions and aspirations call into question the type of Christianity that might be being taught and practiced in Oxfordshire. Certainly in the broader sense of loving one’s neighbor, the Christianity she claims to espouse would be extended to countries within the European community and, more importantly, to countries outside of Europe. Laying aside a chosen few rich states like the US, Israel and former commonwealth countries, May’s actions show absolutely no love for any country or anybody unless they are rich and powerful. This includes rich and powerful Muslims.
“Blessed are the poor!” Theresa May is calling for the UK no longer to accede to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). If this notion comes to law, it would be analogous to the US not recognizing the International Criminal Court (ICC). Her policies match those of Enoch Powell, though there are big differences. Powell’s actions did not result in discrimination based on race and religious grounds but, rather, attacks on all poor non-whites. What is more, he could string sentences together in a coherent and dramatic manner, as in his so-called “rivers of blood” speech. The venom he spat out, though almost as despicable and almost as Tory as the current home secretary’s, was streaked with figurative oratory and articulated with a certain degree of parliamentary rhetoric which May lacks in abundance. Without a script or auto-cue, she would be lost. Her policies against Muslims are without parallel in their racism. Although she is careful not to target Muslims directly in her speech, those she particularly wants to deport are Muslims. Her record speaks for itself.
Theresa May at the despatch box is odium at the podium. At the Conservative Party Conference in 2011 the home secretary said “the ille – the illegal immigrant . . . who cannot be deported, because – and I am not making this up – because he had a pet cat… and that is why I am of the view the Human Rights’ Act has to go.” She was making it up, as Andrew Neil got her to confirm. Conservative head office has groomed May and other spokespeople never to mention that Islam is the target. Thus the terminology is “illegal immigrants”, “foreigners”, “foreign criminals”, “asylum-seekers” and such general terms. The anti-Islamic message is banged home, however, by accompanying images usually of Muslims. This is an attempt to create an enemy that did not exist before NATO’s illegal wars to steal natural resources from defeated countries. “Thou shalt not steal.”
Even worse was May’s extradition of five Muslims to US Supermax prisons last year. She showed no compassion for the poet Talha Ahsan, an Asberger sufferer and one of the five sent to the US in an agreement done behind the scenes with officials of the European Court of Human Rights. Before Talha Ahsan’s extradition to the US, he had already spent six years in prison in the UK without being charged with a crime. In Ahsan’s case, like that of Babar Ahmad, habeas corpus was ignored. Instead of focusing on this blatant contravention of one of the pillars of the English judicial system, the media concentrated on Muslim cleric Abu Hamza (the man with the hook), who is alleged to be a preacher of hatred.
The slur on Islam has gone on for more than a decade. It is a miracle and a great credit to Muslim communities that there have not been countless acts of retaliation against NATO aggression abroad and anti-Islamic rhetoric at home. In a further attempt to denigrate Muslims and perpetuate the war on Islam, UK police have issued a radio advertisement that is so often repeated, one cannot switch on the radio without hearing it. The advertisement warns people to be watchful against terrorism and tells them that if they “notice something suspicious … chances are, it is probably nothing…” But what if it is? It then gives a hotline number and concludes with the message: “Your call could save lives”. A similar campaign was run during the Second World War, when German infiltrators were called “the enemy within” and were supposed to be ubiquitous. Slogans like “walls have ears” and “careless words cost lives” were bandied about all over the country. Today, it is not just “probably nothing”, it is certainly nothing.
What causes most people to think of Muslims whenever this advertisement runs? At the start of the advertising campaign three men from Small Heath, Birmingham, had just been found guilty of planning terrorist activities. Mr Justice Henriques told the men “It’s clear that you were planning a terrorist outrage in Birmingham.” Tom Whitehead, Security Editor of the Telegraph, put out the headline that three Muslims had been found guilty of plotting the “worst ever terrorist attack in Britain.” This was supported by other reporting which followed the guilty verdict. Undoubtedly these men fantasized about a terror plot, but they appear to have just had big mouths, since nobody really planning an attack would be bragging about it beforehand like they did. The headline was in quotation marks. So who actually said that these men were planning “the worst ever terrorist attack”? Within the same article Whitehead claimed “Police believe had they been successful it would have been the largest terrorist atrocity on home soil.” What police? The local bobby at Whitehead’s pub? Thus, as far as it is possible to ascertain, the Telegraph’s anti-Muslim hype in quotation marks was generated by Whitehead himself and picked up by bloggers by mistake and the disreputable press. “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”
To get five Muslims, including Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad, to the United States it appears that two of the judges, Lech Garlicki and Nicolas Bratza, who sat in judgment at Strasbourg had been to a closed-door meeting in Washington at a conference on judicial process a month before judgment was passed. To extradite the “Strasbourg five” was an act of defiance that goes against the exceedingly good reputation Strasbourg had previously built up in protecting the rights of nationals when faced with dubious renditions, extraditions and incarcerations abroad. What also points to a done deal before the court even sat is the fact that the same day the verdict was announced the five Muslims, who have already faced many years in UK prisons without charge, were on planes to the US. Such things take time to arrange.
The Home Secretary’s ongoing battle to get Abu Qatada extradited to Jordan, where he may face torture, is the latest manifestation of her hatred of impoverished Muslims. Theresa May is married to a banker. What if Abu Qatada had been wealthy? Ahmed Chalabi, for example, is wanted in Jordan for robbing the poor investors of the Petra Bank he set up. A 22-year prison sentence awaits him, which was awarded in absentia. Worse still, he supplied false information to George W. Bush and Tony Blair to justify the war in Iraq. He is now an enemy to most people in the west, to hear them speak, but he spent most of his life in the US and UK, before re-establishing himself in Iraq. Now, here is a criminal of the most despicable kind. Where were the previous home secretaries when Chalabi fled Jordan and was living in Mayfair? Who was shouting for extradition then?
There has been a blatant, sinister and creeping tirade on impoverished Muslims from successive UK governments, but Theresa May’s current personal “war on Islam” has hit rock bottom. Two men were divested of their English identities by Home Secretary Theresa May while out of the country and subsequently killed by US drone strikes. One of the men phoned his wife to learn that he had just become a father. Shortly afterwards, thanks to the cowards who remotely operate drone killings, his wife became a widow and his newborn child an orphan. Theresa May’s version of Christianity in practice is not what is taught in most Anglican or other Christian churches. That message is: “thou shalt not kill.” Unfortunately some messages fall on stony ground.
Editor’s Note: Photographs from two to eight by UK Home Office.