Juveriah Alam says that Suella Braverman and her ilk only make it to top positions because they’re willing to voice what white Islamophobes and racists are thinking but cannot necessarily say.
The end of Suella Braverman’s tenure as Home Secretary was anticipated by many who were privy to the true reasons behind her appointment.
The fact is that Braverman, like several others from diverse backgrounds within the Conservative Party, was just a token representative. And as with many such “tokens,” she used her position to voice opinions that may not have been deemed acceptable from her white counterparts.
This tendency to make controversial remarks has made such individuals an asset for certain far-right groups. The ability to push boundaries and say things that others cannot provides them with a unique advantage.
Islamophobia, often perpetuated by right-wing media outlets, takes on a different tone when it comes from the Home Secretary of the country you reside in.
Braverman’s articles in The Times have been cited as surpassing even these right-wing pundits in their racial bias. And it is no longer possible to dismiss this as simply media rhetoric. I wrote about one such article here.
But how did Braverman’s primary function as a token minority result in her humiliating disgrace? And why should any of this matter while the attention of Muslims all over the world is on Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people?
I have observed that individuals like Maajid Nawaz and Fiyaz Mughal, who parrot establishment narratives, tend to act with a degree of caution. They often gauge public sentiment before making controversial statements, although they too have been known to slip up occasionally.
However, individuals like Braverman, who may lack such discernment, often find their tenure short-lived. Braverman’s nasty, divisive rhetoric has been each time met with applause from the far-right, and, it seems she became intoxicated by the validation. So much so, that she continued in this manner shedding all her inhibitions along the way. Until finally she became a liability.
Oh Icarus, fly not so near the sun lest thy waxy wings should melt.
There’s a reason this matters right now. We must remember that the primary function of a token minority is to serve a particular narrative, and right now it is the deadly Zionist narrative that seeks out people like Braverman in its quest to dehumanise the Palestinian people and Muslims overall.
The best part is that in cheerleading for the token minority, your regular, everyday Zionists have unwittingly exposed themselves as Islamophobes with a level of hatred that should be kept to the fringes of society.
The far-right X mob are chanting “Suella was right” joined by Telegraph columnist Allison Peason who stated: “Right, that’s done it. Let’s have a Suella Conservative Party and Rishi and his dripping wet Wykehamist spreadsheet nerds can lose 250 seats at the general election on a platform of Absolutely Nothing.”
But it was another token minority that fascinated me most: self-proclaimed peaceful Muslim Luai Ahmed has been gaining much attention from Zionists since Israel’s latest killing spree began. He is possibly the best example of an out-of-control token Muslim I have come across. Some of his statements:
“Shame on Western media that has gaslit critics and made them believe that they are spiteful and hateful for opposing the Middle Easternization of Western Europe.”
“It is time for us to flush the word ”Islamophobia” down the toilet…”
“Delete Israel and the West from the world, and we would still be as ignorant as we are. We would still be stabbing each other.”
“I will NOT raise the Palestinian flag until Palestinians wish to live in peace side by side with the Jews.”
“Can it be that you storming the streets is just you venting out your hatred towards Jews? The same hatred we learned in our mosques and schools?”
“It is us, Arabs, who do not value human life.”
The fact that both extreme and liberal Zionists alike have shared Ahmed’s tweets is very telling. Rachel Riley openly endorsed Ahmed’s disparaging remarks about the Palestinian flag and kept her tweet up even when she was warned by her followers that Ahmed is famous in extreme-right circles in Sweden.
David Baddiel also shared Ahmed’s tweet before half-apologising and deleting it after being called out by Owen Jones. Baddiel stated:
I RT’d one message in which he talked of believing in the humanity of Jews. Like an online novice, ready to be called out by betters like yourself, I did not scroll through everything he ever said. I still like him affirming that humanity in that message. Sorry.
But Baddiel has also shared tweets from other problematic characters, thinking their Muslim names makes the offensive content acceptable. He recently shared a short essay by Hussain Abdul-Hussain in which included the following dehumanising statements:
“As Arabs, our message to the world cannot be restricted to eliciting global sympathy for the children of Gaza. We cannot depict ourselves as helpless children, behind whom we hide our failure to control our Hamas thugs…”
“Palestinians are either children, or Hamas thugs, or useless corrupt Mahmud Silicon-Face Abbas”.
Interestingly, anti-Zionist Jews are also often labelled as “tokens” or “self-hating Jews.” However, I have never heard anti-Zionist Jews use such racist language against their own community. Rather they are much more nuanced with their views.
They would never suggest flushing the word “antisemitism” down the toilet. That tells me that their views are genuinely theirs and they are not propagandists with an agenda.
Tokenism, as we can see has been an effective propaganda tool for the Zionist and Islamophobia industries which are heavily intertwined. Yet it has revealed the cowards amongst us who dare not express their deepest prejudices and would rather a Muslim or model minority do it for them.
These liberals may not say what they really think but they are just as quick to dehumanise Muslims, undermine the Palestinian struggle and give a free pass to war crimes. We can no longer engage seriously with these bad-faith actors and Muslims must bear this in mind when getting involved in dialogue and interfaith.