The latest clarion call of the thoroughly repulsive political establishment is to root out Muslim extremists in UK universities. University staff are encouraged to report suspicious “Asian looking” and Muslim students they suspect of being extremists.

The Department for Education has drawn up a series of proposals which are to be sent to universities and other centres of higher education before the end of the year. The 18-page document acknowledges that universities will be anxious about passing information to special branch, for fear it amounts to “collaborating with the ‘secret police'”. It says there will be “concerns about police targeting certain sections of the student population (eg Muslims)”.

The document, which has been obtained by the Guardian, was sent within the last month to selected official bodies for consultation and reveals the full extent of what the authorities fear is happening in universities.

It claims that Islamic societies at universities have become increasingly political in recent years and discusses monitoring their leaflets and speakers. The document warns of talent-spotting by terrorists on campuses and of students being “groomed” for extremism.

In a section on factors that can radicalise students, the document identifies Muslims from “segregated” backgrounds as more likely to hold radical views than those who have “integrated into wider society”. It also claims that students who study in their home towns could act as a link between extremism on campuses and in their local communities.

The government wants universities to crack down on extremism, and the document says campus staff should volunteer information to special branch and not wait to be contacted by detectives.

So far the document has been met with hostility by the UCU.

The University and College Union, representing academic staff, fears members “may be sucked into an anti-Muslim McCarthyism which has serious consequences for civil liberties by blurring the boundaries of what is illegal and what is possibly undesirable.”

Paul Mackney, joint general secretary, said: “There is a danger of demonising Muslims, for example by the statements of five ministers in the last couple of weeks, when actually Muslims have made enormous strides in getting more of their young people to universities and colleges.”

The universities have been accused of complacency by Professor Anthony Glees, the Director for the Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, although he puts the problem of student extremists at tens or possibly hundreds. His research has been strongly criticised by other academics and university vice-chancellors as little more than anecdotal.

In contrast Kent sociologist Professor Frank Furedi urges students and academics to debate publicly rather than try to ban or suppress extreme ideas. “Islamic radicals… appear to have something to say and at public meetings often command authority. Those who associate with organisations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir are often hightly motivated, articulate and intelligent young people”, he says. A campus clampdown would be a “disaster in the making”.

This is an attack on the UK’s civil rights and human rights veiled as an attack on our Muslim community which finds support among sections of the UK. If there is no mounted attack against this authoritarian tendency, we could find ourselves in a similar situation to Germany in the 1930s.

Nobody in 1930’s Germany would have believed that in ten years time Jews would be rounded up and carted off to concentration camps. Germans did not complain initially because they were promised that the attacks on civil liberties would be directed only at Jews. The attacks on Jews were soon expanded to cover other sections of society such as communists, trade-unionists, intellectuals, the disabled.

Similarly, nobody should be fooled that the attacks on Muslims will remain a Muslim affair. Attacks on Muslims represent attacks on all civil society.

Anybody who remains in doubt about this should pay attention. Iain Dale’s diary leaks Police Commissioner Ian Blair’s comments in a private meeting to the Reform Club Media Group

Sir Ian said the British people should ‘brace themselves for a truly appalling act of terror’. He said that following this act of barbarism ‘people would be talking quite openly about internment’, giving the impression that he would be leading the pro-internment lobby. No doubt he will find a willing supplicant in the tougher than tough Home Secretary John Reid.

My informant thought at first that it really was a throwaway remark but on reflection felt that it couldn’t have been made by accident. Well, either that or the Reform Club claret had loosened his tongue.

Ian Blair’s statements are meant to strike fear in the British public who will no doubt support further authoritarian measures undertaken to protect them. He implies that the police will be powerless to do anything to stop this attack, therefore, the conclusion is that we should strip away even more civil liberties. The hysteria surrounding Muslims which has been hyped up by the press with their uncritical reporting of nonexistent terror-plots is reaching fever pitch. Some are calling for the internment, deportation and liquidation of Muslim “extremists” already, check out the comments at Iain Dale’s blog. This is what your brain looks like on terror.

As Stephen Soldz commenting on “terror management theory” explains…

One of the most interesting psychological/psychodynamic theories for understanding contemporary political events is terror management theory (TMT). TMT postulates that most people, when the threat of death enters their peripheral awareness, become more conventional in attitudes, more punitive, and more intolerant of “outsiders.”

One of the exciting things about TMT is the huge empirical base, involving hundreds of studies, in its support. One of my favorites was conducted in Germany. People were interviewed regarding their attitudes towards immigrants in two locations: in front of a funeral parlor (enhanced death threat) and one block away. Those interviewed in front of a funeral parlor were markedly more anti-immigrant than those interviewed a block away.

A concrete example of this is to be found in a Yougov/Spectator (.pdf) survey carried out between 14th – 16th August, four days after the alleged terror-in-the-skies plot, individuals were asked whether Britain should change its foreign policy in response to the terrorist threat in August following the plots discovery on 10th August, 68% said they believed Britain should be tougher, more aggressive. When asked whether stricter airport security made them feel safer or less safe, 64% said they felt safer. Then when they were asked whether the govt should have done more to make air travel safer before the terrorist plot was uncovered on 10th August, 61% agreed. While 55% supported “passenger profiling.” Interestingly, respondents were more adverse to supporting a future US war with Iran; 67% said that Britain should not send troops to support further invasions by the US.

Would the establishment use far-right extremists like Robert Cottage and David Bolus Jackson to instigate a false flag terrorist event and fulfil Ian Blair’s predicted “truly appalling act of terror?” The two men were arrested following a police raid on their homes which netted a “record haul” of chemicals, rocket launchers and nuclear biological suit. They are accused of having “some kind of master plan.” This extraordinary event has not been covered by any of the mainstream media. The BBC’s excuse for not reporting the story is that it did not find out about the arrests until days later.

The terror plot you won’t hear about on the nightly news

CAMPAIGNERS accused the mainstream media on Sunday of “whipping up racist hysteria” against Muslims while ignoring growing evidence of a terror threat from the racist far right.

Activists expressed anger at the media silence surrounding the arrest of BNP members Robert Cottage and David Bolus.

The pair were arrested earlier this month after police uncovered bomb-making equipment, a rocket launcher and a chemical suit in Mr Cottage’s house.

The BNP insisted that the men were ex-members. However, Mr Cottage stood as a BNP candidate in the Pendle council elections in May.

Despite strong evidence to the contrary, Superintendent Neil Smith has insisted that what police has found “is not a bomb-making factory” and that it was not related to terrorism.

Campaigners argued that, if this kind of material had been found in a Muslim household, they would be charged under the Terrorism Act and would have made daily front-page news.

London Mayor Ken Livinstone said that too much emphasis was put on “a couple of hundred” potentially violent Muslims, while the media ignored “huge selections of bomb-making material with small numbers of English-origin extreme right-wing groups.”

A spokesman for the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight branded the BNP “a terrorist organisation, which aims to politically and physically terrorise the public.”

Media Workers Against the War chairman Dave Crouch accused the press of toeing the government line on the terror threat.

“The deeper the crisis of Bush and Blair’s ‘war on terror,’ the more shrill and concerted media attacks on Muslims have become,” he argued.

“The media constantly scrabbles around for another scare story involving Muslims, while ignoring the real scary stories, like police finding explosives in the hands of fascists.”

Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said that Muslim suspects were subjected to “trial by media” and accused the mainstream press and TV of “proclaiming them guilty before they have even been charged or tried.”

She added: “The reality is that the government cannot bomb and invade other Muslim countries and justify the deed without demonising and scapegoating the Muslim community in Britain.

“The government must own up to the disasters of its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and stop scapegoating British Muslims.”

Left blog Lenin’s Tomb complained in an email to the BBC about its failure to cover the story.

BBC TV News official Debby Moyse claimed in response that the broadcaster, with thousands of journalists across Britain and the world, had only found out about the story some days after it was reported locally.

She insisted that “reporting restrictions” placed on the story had prevented regional BBC journalists from investigating further.

“It appears a reporter from BBC Radio Lancashire investigated initial reports, but the police ‘played it down’,” she claimed.

“Our regional televison centre in in Manchester found out about the story only after it was reported in the Colne Times. By this time, it was several days old.”

The blog rejected Ms Moyse’s excuses, accusing the BBC of choosing not to report the story.

“In cases of ‘Islamic’ terrorism, the BBC would be very quick to hear about it from the police and the government and no amount of ‘playing down’ would be involved,” it noted.

Update:

According to the Ministry of Truth claims by the BNP that Cottage is an ex BNP member are false.

Cottage stood as a BNP candidate in the lcoal elections in Colne in May 2006, and must therefore have been a member of the BNP at that time. According to the BNP’s own website.

Membership is for the 12 months of the calendar year – January to December but those signing up from Oct 1st through to Dec 31st qualify for the following year’s card.

…in which case his membership of the BNP does not ‘lapse’ until 31 December 2006.

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