Eric Pickles is taking the biscuit

Eric Pickles

Eric Pickles is starting to take the biscuit, writes Abdullah Noorrudeen. 

It was a matter of time really.  As the cold war on the Muslim minority of Britain hardens, the various cavalries of the neocons are invoked to make conditions harder for Muslims in Europe.  Through the slippery slope, from al-Muhajiroun, through to Hizb ut-Tahrir, Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis, and more recently Sufis, the entire spectrum of Islamic groups and beliefs and those who hold it are being criminalised and castigated.

The entire Muslim minority – barring various strands of “reformationists” and those who prop the neoconservative strategy of policy actualisation through fear-mongering  of an exaggerated or architected subversive “enemy” in the counter-extremism, civil liberties-eroding cabal – is under a concerted attack which is only set to worsen with the enactment of the new Counter-Terror Bill (CT Bill).

British Muslims are targeted under the government's anti-terror PREVENT strategy.
British Muslims are targeted under the government’s anti-terror PREVENT strategy.

Hot on the heels of his blatantly anti-Muslim attack against Tower Hamlets, and probably after some extra tea and biscuits paid by taxpayers, Eric Pickles’ (Faith Minorities in Action Project) PREVENT-funding cut has targeted two respected charities demonstrating the slippery-slope nature of the discourse of PREVENT.

Islamic Help, a charity which was founded in Birmingham within the bricks of Sultan Bahu Trust, has now been tainted with the yellow Star of David of contemporary times: “extremism”. The Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) have had their funding cut, which is probably a good thing, as I wouldn’t want any charity to be part and parcel of a Muslim social re-engineering project.

The dirty deeds of neocon-serving hate-preacher Samuel Westrop seemed to have paid dividends, as Pickles mentions in his written update on “integration” that: “Following a formal review of the project, which included examination of allegations made in the press, and of the organisation’s continued poor performance in delivering against agreed objectives, I have taken the decision to terminate its funding. The Muslim Charities Forum has failed to reassure us that they have robust measures in place to investigate and challenge their members.”

William Shawcross
William Shawcross

The rule-book was thrown to satiate the neocons.  Or perhaps the MCF was highlighting genuine issues and concerns on behalf of Muslim charities, which feel under siege (a point backed by empirical evidence) enforced by the Charity Commission which is headed by the anti-Muslim Zionist William Shawcross.  Abdurahman Sharif, the Executive Director of the MCF wrote a penetrating article questioning the establishment’s silence on Islamophobia. I imagine the following revealing quote must have been a bit difficult to swallow for the neocons in the government:

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“There is an increasingly growing online community whose sole purpose is to propagate ‘Anti-Muslim Hatred’ and portray Muslims and anyone associated with them as ‘extremists’ and ‘supporters of extremism’ regardless of their beliefs or political opinions… What is even more alarming is that this type of ‘prejudiced’ open source information is then stored by software used by banks and other interested parties to monitor charities and assess risks involved with running accounts for them. It is also taken into consideration by governments, foundations and private donors when carrying out due diligence on entities they intend to fund.” 

More recently, Dr Hany El-Banna, also of MCF highlighted how the CT Bill was negatively affecting humanitarian aid relief. You can imagine the reaction: how dare those Moslems use our principles against us and challenge OUR objectives! Now the Charity has been “punished” for not adequately toeing the neocon line.

Islamic Help has been handled in the usual, familiar mode:  ascribe an “extremism” link and hey presto, Babar’s your extremist.

More perversely however, the DCLG has refused to disclose who the “extremist” speaker was which resulted in the sanction.  We arrive at a situation where organisations are being penalised due to Nazi-era-like “secret evidence”.  Why has the DCLG refused this critical piece of information? Is it because it does not want possible judicial scrutiny (no wonder they want to “reform” judicial review) of its own procedures and (discriminatory) practices? More fundamentally, which definition of “extremism” is being applied?

It is a brazen assault on any legitimate concept of justice.

Charities, from all backgrounds must start asking these questions and challenge this frankly absurd assault on the Muslim minority through the ambiguous, flawed and exclusionary discourse of “extremism”.

Erick Pickles’ Neocon “Links” 

Perhaps Pickles’ “links” should be analysed. In his younger years he had a keen interest in the works of Leon Trotsky and Karl Marx. The nexus between neoconservatism and socialism is closer than some think. Irving Kristol, the founding father of neoconservatism for instance writes that the socialist ideal is not only admirable but a “necessary ideal”.[1] Clearly, Pickles’ early reading makes him a good fit for the neocons in government. Link one made.

young-britons-foundation-logo-h120The Young Briton’s Foundation is the neocon feeder into Conservative politics in Britain. The Guardian called it a “Conservative madrassa”. It promotes“A version of free-market liberalism in line with the US neoconservative movement and some of its residential camps for young party activists involving visits to shooting ranges to fire sub-machine guns and assault rifles.”

In 2010, Pickles spoke at the annual YBF Parliamentary Rally at the House of Commons. Another (neocon) way of putting it is, Eric Pickles spoke at an outfit with deep connections to US neocons which combines a dangerous ideology of neoconservatism with weapons training with youngsters (aren’t those the necessary ingredients for terrorism?). Link two made.

Due to his ideological affinity with neocon extremism and attending a militant organisation associated with neocons, his spurious links are undeniable. Pretty much like the Charities which have been smeared. This man must be sacked. No seriously. It’ll save the taxpayer £76,000 a year and shed load of biscuits.


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