Cameron must get his own house in order before preaching values

Richard Sudan
Richard Sudan is a London-based writer, political activist, and performance poet. His writing has been published in many prominent publications, including the Independent, the Guardian, Huffington Post and Washington Spectator. He has been a guest speaker at events for different organizations ranging from the University of East London to the People's Assembly covering various topics. His opinion is that the mainstream media has a duty to challenge power, rather than to serve power. Richard has taught writing poetry for performance at Brunel University.
David Cameron © Toby Melville
David Cameron’s speech outlining his proposal to tackle extremism, which plans to hand the security services more power while calling for more measures to be taken by Muslim communities, was predictably divisive and inflammatory by nature.

It was a carefully crafted speech though, ambiguous where it needed to be, but essentially succeeding in doing what much of the MSM do, and that is, wittingly or unwittingly, to collate the entire British Muslim community with the un-Islamic State or Daesh (Also known as Isis, Isil etc.).

While Cameron's reasons for making the speech were undoubtedly motivated by an innate desire to make Britain safe, while promoting fairness, justice, and equality around the world, unfortunately, and indeed contrary to the spirit of transparency, he failed to mention the British state’s direct collusion with, and support of, terror groups and death squads unleashed throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
This form of state-backed extremism led directly to the fall of the sovereign nation of Libya, and is now the driving force behind efforts to destabilize Syria. But rather than acknowledge this, and to vow to sever the British government’s ties with all terrorists and terror regimes and extremism, Cameron has for political reasons, placed focus on British Muslims and avoided the bigger picture.

Surely to make the world safe, it would be more effective to focus on all of the factors which contribute to extremism and terrorism, whether committed by individuals or governments, from Takfiri or Salafi extremism to white nationalism.
To heap the entire responsibility for rooting out radical Islamism at the doorstep of the entire British Muslim community, which is what the PM’s speech has done, is like asking the white community and the catholic church to take sole responsibility for catching pedophiles and for ridding the country of institutionalized child abuse. I don’t expect to hear that speech from Cameron anytime soon, and given that politicians are up to their necks in this scandal should Cameron have to answer for all of them and for this extreme culture evidently present in politics? What measures are being proposed to root out this extreme and perverse criminality which has persisted for so long?

“Yes but radical Islamism is an ideology” people happily point out when talking about extremism, Daesh, and the threat of young people travelling to join them. Yes, an ideology clearly- but apparently one with tanks, rockets, trained mercenaries, state of the art PR strategies, and millions of dollars in oil revenue in the case of Daesh-and undoubtedly an ideology mixed up and heavily entangled with intelligence agencies in many if not all instances of individual radical Islamist terrorism. So what ideology are we talking about exactly? Is this an ideology to be viewed purely through the lens of religion, or is there more at play here? Because all of this eerily resembles the familiar ideology of war, overt and covert, rather than anything to do with religion, and looks to be about conquest, both with Daesh and their backers taking control of large swathes of land and also in the sense that their crimes are then used as the justification to bomb yet more lands-namely of late, Syria. The media’s fetish and emphasis on some terrorism rather than other terrorism is entirely politicized, reflective of the fact that a predominantly corporate-controlled media inevitably share the same interests as those states intent on seeing the Middle East go up in flames.

Lands populated by Muslims are wanted for political reasons and so we see the scenario played out in front of us, the selective and cherry picked propaganda rolled out, just like at the forefront of any other form of fascism. Of course there is a threat from terrorism, but what Cameron is claiming this new form of ‘extremism’ is, is one thing- an entirely religious and poisonous ideology-but what it is in reality is another-a phenomenon with clear characteristics, and which is state backed and supported sectarianism. And the reason as to why this is amplified in the media is quite obvious. Some terrorism is conducive to the narrative, and worth talking about, and other terrorism is the narrative. The so-called ‘war on terror’ is in actual fact a war of terror.

Daesh have become the new Al-Qaeda, and it’s interesting that the media have made much of the fact that Al-Qaeda has distanced themselves from Daesh - as if to remind us of just how crazy Daesh really are (which no one would deny of course.) David Cameron tellingly, also highlighted this point in his speech.

The British state has more to answer for and explain in its role in supporting extremism than ordinary British Muslims-unless of course we want to be consistent in Cameron’s method and hold the entire white community answerable and accountable for a tiny minority of serial predatory child abusers, often in powerful positions in political office. Or hold the entire Christian community responsible for a handful of killers. We could go on. You get the picture. It’s vital we place Cameron’s ill-judged comments on extremism into some sort of meaningful context, or we really all will become filled with hate, and turn on each other, community against community while the usual mob make off with all the loot.

Examples of the British state’s collusion and ties with extreme terror groups have been well documented and are increasingly coming to light, some of which has even ended up in the mainstream press.

But Cameron’s speech does a disservice to the truth.

In an effort to be seen to be doing something, he has called on parents to be given the power to have their childrens’ passports held by the Home Office if it is thought there is a danger of them joining extreme groups. But he has offered no plan in dealing with the wider issue of the groups in the region which young people are in danger of being recruited to. The selectiveness plays into the misleading narrative being played out in the media.

To be fair Cameron did mention Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and the problem of far-right hate groups. But this speech was aimed at Britain’s Muslim community, no doubt about it, and he conflated them with a movement, Daesh, which is a wholly political move.

Of course Daesh’s method of fighting is repulsive, and their actions a million miles away from anything resembling faith. It is Daesh’s bloodthirstiness which is emphasized by the media, the brutality, rather than the occupation of land and the quite obvious support they have from Britain’s friends in the GCC and elsewhere. Brutality and religion are highlighted. Inconvenient and embarrassing connections to established power are ignored.

All the carnage unleashed in the Middle East is equally repulsive from Daesh, to the white phosphorus dumped on Gaza by Israel.

When we think about all the freedom shrinking repressive ‘anti-terror’ laws being ramped up, it’s not hard to see why the head chopping of Daesh is focused on, while terror and extremism elsewhere is ignored. Cameron didn’t for example pledge in his speech to end the sale of arms from Britain to the extreme and repressive regime of Saudi Arabia, Britain’s number one customer, and which routinely chops people’s heads off.

Daesh needs to be starved of its life blood no doubt. But all Cameron’s speech mentioned was school children and universities and internet companies needing to monitor things better. He ignored the machine which appeals to those whom join its ranks in the first place. Daesh has butchered many Muslims and also Kurds and has no regard for any values other than death and destruction. But if Cameron was truly serious in combating extreme ideology he would sever and root out all state collusion with all extreme groups in the Middle East and further strengthen the Peshmerga.

His speech as it was seems extreme in itself, it would have been better if he had made none as his policy at home and abroad have been clear for some time.
Food banks and poverty are becoming the norm at home. The wheels of the war machine are turning abroad. The kind of extremism the PM represents is the worst kind, and worst of all he seems determined to fall in line with the rest of Europe, the political center ground shifting more and more to the right all the time. These are dangerous times and politicians know how to exploit them for political gain. This speech was mere posturing and pandering, saying very little, offering flowery pretty words while actually standing for nothing.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.