Daily Mail Propoganda: Smokescreen & Mirrors
The right-wing media schooled us well in propaganda and how to instigate a witch-hunt over the last seven days.
The Daily Mail’s “4 month investigation of extremism in Britain” was much to do about nothing. All in all, what comprised of the string of “exposé” articles were repeated lies, nonsense extrapolations and comments masquerading as journalism.
Their “investigation” begins by rehashing lies about CAGE’s alleged support of “Jihadi John”. CAGE has, of course, consistently made clear that their comments were made before he supposedly went to Syria and have consistently condemned his act of beheading, just as they condemn the government’s role in torture. But, it is not unlike white supremacists to distrust the word of a political Muslim. That is why they continually demand our condemnation. In this case, they simply ignored CAGE’s actual words, let alone the explanation of their stance.
The Mail continues, stating that under the guise of “extremist views” from an “extremist organisation”, Muslims are being told that “they are being treated in a similar way to Jews under Nazis”. Yet this view has an increasingly mainstream view and has been reported in various places by various people such as Alister Sloan, Dr. Craig Considine, and Chief Reporter of the Independent, Cahal Milmo. Ironically, even a senior UN official has criticised UK press engaging in Nazi-like propaganda. The Daily Mail tries to pass this view as “extreme” by isolating the view as specific to politically-active Muslims. Perhaps in some bizarre plot-twist, in their supposed moral integrity, the Daily Mail will investigate themselves.
CAGE’s next crime is opposing the Government’s anti-extremism policy, because there is nothing better to call people to arms with assault rifles and home-made bombs in zealous terror-filled fury than criticising and opposing a government’s policy with petitions, lobbying and public statements. It will be the Junior Doctors and Corbyn’s Fandom next.
The next big claim is that CAGE have unrestricted access to universities and they do so with no sobering of alarmism. By this stage, they have not illustrated what warrants CAGE as “extremists” aside from repeating the lies about Jihadi John and being opposed to PREVENT—as are swathes of academics, likely to be found in their natural habitats: universities.
Daily Mail’s Rupert Sutton was denounced by an NUS motion for his history of “witch-hunts” against British Muslim students. It seems Rupert still has an axe to grind for not only Muslims, but also the NUS now. Game of Thrones, eat your heart out.
They even had the gall to paint Moazzam Begg as some kind of next-generation-benefit-scrounger for using money he got via compensation by the Government in 2010, after proving that Britain was complicit in his original abduction by US intelligence services, to buy a house for his family.
By the 3rd exposé, I guess they thought it was all getting a bit silly and, instead, dedicated half of it to a bizarre defence of other individuals banned from speaking at universities, such as David Starkey, the Professor who allegedly made sexist comments about women scientists and how the newly anointed “extremist” Corbyn desires to scrap nuclear weapons.
Are you connecting the dots correctly? It is all a leftist, Islamist plot to destroy the “Great” in “Great Britain”.
The Daily Mail then turned its attention to another organisation: Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND). An organisation, whose focus is highlighting issues of Islamophobia and encouraging media and political engagement, was accused of being an ‘Islamist’ organisation. Since when was trying to improve the representation of Muslims in public life an “Islamist” plot to take over Britain? So thin was their continued “investigation” by way of substance they even wrongly described Azad Ali as the ‘director’ of MEND.
The Mail then publicly pats itself on the back by mentioning Lord Carlile’s commendation of itself, in a desperate attempt, one would assume, to prove their credibility. How apt it is that they gain support from someone who wrote the foreword in a HJS report in 2011 co-authored by Douglas Murray associates.
We know the Daily Mail is not one for balance, but these points are being highlighted for a reason. It shows us how propaganda works. We have extremists, notably Islamophobic extremists, reporting to the public about extremism and being supported by other Islamophobic extremists in the political sphere. For us, it seems so awfully absurd, but it is not designed for us. It is designed to bolster the numerous ranks of Islamophobic trolls on social media and the average Daily Mail reader who does not know anything about anything (because they read the Daily Mail) in order to rally support for some in the government who want to introduce laws that police chiefs have said would turn Britain into a Police State. Various activists across all backgrounds have said this would supress Free Speech and would undoubtedly institutionalise Islamophobia to an alarming degree.
But the Black Arts of manufactured racist propaganda is not limited to the tabloids. There is more.
The Telegraph, who were recently fined for being paid to support the Tories during the election, published another unsavoury article stating that Universities are under investigation from PREVENT for allowing CAGE spokespeople into events held at university. This is despite many of these universities adhering to PREVENT’s stipulated guidance and advice. There was extremely little to complain about, except that they are extremely critical about the PREVENT programme being counter-productive. The article even resorted to repeating old smears about Jihadi John.
In another recent smear article, this time against MPACUK’s Raza Nadim who was also at a CAGE event, the Telegraph made an inordinately huge case over his “lock the doors” comment—the ubiquitous joke repeated at almost every fundraising speech on earth. Raza Nadim even made it clear that it was a humorous fundraising line as some people tend to leave once the main event has ended. There is little doubt that the reporter would be very aware of what is going on and yet, from deprivation of any substantial material, they sought to make even the smallest of gestures suspect because a political Muslim was behind it.
Why the sudden witch-hunt?
What do all these institutions and individuals under fire have in common? They are heavily critical of the government’s counterproductive PREVENT and overall counter-extremism policies.
It is no secret that the government’s Counter-Extremism Bill is expecting, some would say it is long overdue, to be introduced into Parliament. The government is also acutely aware that PREVENT and previous government powers it has given itself has been heavily criticised by all parts of society.
The politics of fear and demonisation is used by democratic governments to warm up the ground for introducing powers no sane person would allow—unless terrified. But, in the constant labouring of a threat invading our society, over time, people will be willing to sacrifice their civil and human rights.
To the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, it did not matter whether their propaganda stood up to public scrutiny or rational argument. It was enough for them to repeat the same rhetoric and lies that Cameron and his Cabinet have mentioned. It was sufficient for them to create enough of a scare story for a British society that is already becoming increasingly verbally and physically intolerant of Muslims.
They are playing the oldest trick in the white supremacist’s book; white elites telling the general white public who to hate and who to support in the manifestation of that hate, whilst the same white elites make life worse for them and everyone.
How ironic then that the government is engaging in ideological, indeed Islamophobic, propagation to draft laws that persecute and prosecute those who do the same. How ironic that one of the government-advised “signs of radicalisation” is “distrust of the media” when parts of the UK press have constantly gone out of their way to enact witch-hunts on Muslims and their institutions.
All Muslim, and indeed all non-Muslim, should be urged and encouraged to campaign, create noise and lobby their MP to vote against the coming “Counter-Extremism” Bill.
Those who support the campaign against PREVENT should donate time and resources to organsations such as CAGE, MPACUK and MEND.  If they are being criticised by the likes of those who have demonised all Muslims, they are worth, and certainly need, your support.
The views expressed on Islam21c and its connected channels do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation.