Propagandising Prevent: The Neocon Exploitation of the Manchester Arena Bombing

“Instead of re-starting an unending War on Terror, a holistic solution requires extracting policymakers from the tired, incredibly violent War on Terror paradigm, limiting imperialist violence abroad, re-balancing the liberty-security balance which sees the retirement of the futile pre-crime approach, and a re-emphasis on intelligence-led security operations that target individuals, not whole communities.

Over fifteen years of the War on Terror has produced more than ample evidence that unless politicians are not prepared to genuinely re-examine their approach root and branch to political violence, the risk of such attacks occurring again will remain.”



The 22nd May Manchester Arena bombing has etched a particularly traumatic experience into the people of Britain. The attacks in Manchester have claimed the lives of young teenagers, including an eight-year old.  My sympathies go out to the victims of this atrocity.

I delayed writing on this topic for two reasons; the first being in respect of the lives lost; the second because so little had been established concerning the motive.  With the Westminster attack, if we recall, there was a significant internalisation of blame by the Muslim minority without establishment of key facts – a dynamic that was fully exploited by neocons.  Indeed, once the motive was established, it pointed to an uncomfortable motive, which is increasingly being marginalised in the discourses that seek to analyse the “causes” of terrorism: Western violence.

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Alienation From The Self and the Soul and what it is to be Human

The rightly-identified cult (a malignant offshoot of Wahhabism, itself a deviation from the mainstream) twists and distorts a great Abrahamic faith by promoting the murder of innocents – which mainstream Muslims reject outright as heretical because its core tenets are at variance with natural justice and any semblance of Abrahamic teaching. This appalling situation is exacerbated by rabid western military interventionism in lands with mineral resources to exploit by illegal regime-change.
Cui bono?
The roots of ISIS lie in Mossad and the CIA and covert training camps in Jordan and Libya.
The hidden cost of bomb first, aid later is too high.
This cult has a name, Takfiri salafism.

Karen Woodall

Some will say that today we should be standing together. Some will say their thoughts and prayers are with the families of the children and adults murdered and maimed in Manchester. Some will say be strong United Kingdom and stand together. But what can be said or done in the face of the fact that last night someone decided to strap a home made device to themselves and walk into a concert arena full of children? What can possibly be said that makes any sense in a world where this can and does happen, anywhere, anytime, any place, even Manchester in the north of England which experienced last night what has been going on elsewhere in the world for years. What can be said in the face of such alienation from the self and the soul and what is means to be human?

The reality that we face is not…

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The Need to Safeguard Muslim Children from PREVENT

” The founder and chairman of KidsRights, Marc Dullaert, explicitly called for PREVENT to be “re-assessed” in light of the “increased discrimination” Muslim children face:

“…Muslim children in the UK face increased discrimination following recent anti-terrorism measures. Accordingly, the Index advises that counter-extremism measures such as the Prevent Strategy be re-assessed to ensure that they do not have a discriminatory or stigmatizing impact on any group of children.””

“In January, the Institute of Race Relations issued a report looking at the impact on children from the context of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Another report concluded that the “flawed strategy” is a “systematic breach of children’s human rights in the school setting”. These rights include,

Freedom of religion,
The right to privacy,
The right to freedom from discrimination,
The fundamental principle that actions taken in relation to children must treat the child’s best interests as a primary consideration.”


EmptyPreventCommunityEvent.png A PREVENT “Community” Event

Much to Britain’s, and in particular, the Conservatives’ shame, the UK fell in global rankings for child rights within a year, from 11th to 156th. The UK’s current position makes it sit among the ten worst countries including regions like CAR, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.  The KidsRights report notes that the UK could “do more to improve the enabling environment they have built for children’s rights” (p.5). The Independent reporting this appalling situation noted,

“Serious concerns have been raised about structural discrimination in the UK, including Muslim children facing increased discrimination following recent anti-terrorism measures, and a rise in discrimination against gypsy and refugee children in recent years.

What has happened in the last year? Apart from increased prejudice and hate unlocked by a neocon/white supremacist-orchestrated Trump and Brexit campaigns, it has been a full of year Britain – and in particular…

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legal aid: what the manifestos say

Legal Aid Handbook

The major parties have now published their manifestos for the forthcoming general election. This is what they have to say about legal aid.

Conservative party

The Conservative manifesto says:

  • Publicly-funded advocates will have specialist training in handling victims before taking on serious sexual offences cases.
  • To ensure that the pain and suffering of the Hillsborough families over the last twenty years is not repeated, we will introduce an independent public advocate, who will act for bereaved families after a public disaster and support them at public inquests
  • We will strengthen legal services regulation and restrict legal aid for unscrupulous law firms that issue vexatious legal claims against the armed forces


The Labour manifesto says:

  • Labour will immediately re-establish early advice entitlements in the Family Courts. The shameful consequences of withdrawal have included a requirement for victims of domestic abuse to pay doctors for certification of their injuries. Labour’s plans…

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Is there any public interest in naming divorcing couples? – Julie Doughty

“It is now nearly three years since the President of the Family Division suggested an improvement to court listings, so that the press could see what a case might be about, and possible public interest elements. However, the idea of just adding names fuels the perception that the media are after celebrities, not issues.”

Inforrm's Blog

In The Times last week, family courts were accused of being ‘secretive’ because they do not advertise the names of people who are getting divorced – under the headline ‘Call to end divorce case secrecy‘ [£].

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How the Courage of CAGE is forcing a Paradigmatic Shift in the “Liberty-Security” Balance

#CAGE #Schedule7 #Draconian #UK anti-terror laws
“CAGE organisationally operates in lonely waters. Every time CAGE has made a mould-breaking intervention in a hostile political landscape, it has done so on grounds of principles which the government has a track record of crippling since the War on Terror. It has done so in a climate of repression which harks back to the McCarthy era. Whether it is a discussion on torture, state harassment, or the baselessness of PREVENT, CAGE has always left its mark. With Rabbani’s deeply empowering stance, history will recall a Muslim who risked imprisonment for principles that protect us all. And for this – CAGE – must be supported.”



“O you who believe, do not enter any houses other than your own homes unless you seek permission and greet their inmates with peace. That is better for you, perhaps you may take heed.[1]

“Those who are faithfully true to their trusts and to their covenants; and those who strictly guard their prayers.  Those are the inheritors, who shall inherit Paradise.[2]

“Irving Kristol came up with the solution that has become the cornerstone of neoconservative politics: use democracy to defeat liberty. Turn the people against their own liberty… if you can convince people that liberty undermines security, they will gladly renounce it.[3]

On the day US war crimes whistle-blower Chelsea Manning was released from military prison, CAGE’s international director Muhammad Rabbani was chargedfor essentially refusing to hand over passwords to devices holding confidential information. This followed his arrest at Heathrow airport…

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The government has failed to protect the human rights of children

“Austerity measures have reduced provision of a range of services that protect and fulfil children’s rights including health and child and adolescent mental health services; education; early years; preventive and early intervention services; and youth services. “

Politics and Insights

Related image

The UK has plummeted from 11th position to 156th in global ranking for meeting its children’s rights obligations in the space of just a year. The UK now ranks among the bottom 10 global performers in the arena of improving the human rights of the child, after it achieved the lowest possible score across all six available indicators in the domain of Child Rights Environment (CRE), according to the KidsRights Index 2017.

The Index gathers data from Unicef and the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to identify global trends in the arena of children’s rights protection. It comprises a ranking for all UN member states that have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a total of 165 countries. 

The report says that a nation’s prosperity does not always guarantee children’s rights. Interestingly, economically better performing countries are not necessarily doing a better job…

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Remembering Malcolm X on his 92nd Birthday

Malcolm X (Al-Haj Malik al-Shabbaz RA) is a hugely maligned and misunderstood figure – which itself begs scrutiny – cui bono – and another useful opportunity presents itself to properly examine his life and legacy.

Rehmat's World

On May 19, 2017, tens of millions of Muslims around the world will celebrate the 92nd birthday of America’s top human rights defender Malcolm X who was assassinated at young age of 40 on February 21, 1965.

American historian William Manning Marable, PhD (died 2011) had blamed FBI and CIA for the assassination of Malcolm Xat the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem over his political views on American racism, hatred toward non-Whites and blind support for the Zionist entity.

The organized Jewry has never stopped comparing Malcolm X with civil right movement leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a Friend of Israel. The only time Malcolm X bumped into Martin Luther King was at the Capitol Hill on March 26, 1964. The meeting lasted only for a minute. Professor David Howard-Pitney (Jewish) who witness the meeting noted in his book, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the Civil…

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#CAGE #Schedule7 Activist taking on #UK’s #draconian + invasive “terror laws”

The activist taking on the UK’s invasive “terror laws” ~ , spokesperson for CAGE Africa, a branch of CAGE advocacy group in the UK, AL JAZEERA, 17 May, 2017.

CAGE’s Muhammad Rabbani is standing up for the privacy of us all by refusing to hand over his passwords to authorities.

Muhammad Rabbani was arrested after landing at London's Heathrow airport [Courtesy: CAGE]
Muhammad Rabbani was arrested after landing at London’s Heathrow airport [Courtesy: CAGE]

Those making a journey to the UK, whether for work, holiday or study purposes may be asked to hand over the passwords to all their devices by police at ports of entry, even if there is no suspicion of a crime. This is the reach of Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, which now compels individuals to hand over the keys to their digital worlds upon police request.

This development has startling implications for lawyers, doctors, teachers, human rights defenders and NGO workers, who all carry information entrusted to them by their clients.

It is also alarming to any individual who values their privacy. Our digital devices are doorways, not only to our world but to the lives of countless others as well. They hold all of our personal information, from intimate family photos to confidential work documents.

READ MORE: Cage activist faces charges for not giving up passwords

Now, a pending legal challenge involving Muhammed Rabbani, a director of CAGE, an advocacy organisation that campaigns against the abuses of the ‘War on Terror’, aims to challenge the broad reach of Schedule 7 and stand up for the right to privacy.

Government data shows that some 20,000 people were detained under Schedule 7 upon entry into the UK last year, 88.4 percent of them non-white. A massive 99.98 percent of people were not charged with any offences but still had to undergo the hassle and trauma of being detained.

Data collection on a massive scale

Detention at entry under Schedule 7 means an individual is taken into a secluded room to be interrogated and to have all their personal belongings searched. They must answer questions, hand over all their electronic devices, and divulge their passwords. There is no right to remain silent and no right to refuse.

Questions centre on you as an individual, your work, what time you finish work, which cafes you visit, and what organisations you are involved with. There are questions about your political views, for example, what you think about the Iraq War or Palestine.

What these stops amount to is data collection on a massive scale and an intrusive attempt under the banner of the “War on Terror” to monitor and record the beliefs of large numbers of people. The legislation is so broad in its scope that it allows for any political view or belief system that falls foul of the state-sanctioned one, to be incorporated into the police line of questioning.

Questions abound about what happens to this data once it is confiscated. Where is all this data being stored? With who is it being shared, what other security services? How does one remove oneself from these databases once you are “marked” at a port of entry?

Privacy advocates and civil liberties groups including Liberty and Privacy Internationalhave spoken out against the broad reach of Schedule 7 and now Rabbani, with the support of CAGE, is taking action to challenge the law.

OPINION: UK’s most extreme surveillance law

Rabbani’s case is made all the more compelling and important because when he was detained at Heathrow airport in November last year and asked to hand over his passwords, he refused because he was carrying crucial testimony, evidence of torture that implicates high-ranking officials.

He said it was a split second decision he made, something that any reasonable person in his position would have done to protect his client, especially if the client was a torture survivor. When he took this principled stance, even though he cited client confidentiality as his reason, he was arrested.

Rabbani reports to police in London on Wednesday to find out whether they will pursue terrorism charges against him. His position comes with the support of the Open Rights Group and the Courage Foundation, as well as CAGE’s many followers.

If the case moves to trial, it will be a landmark one for privacy advocates. However, we must not lose sight of another critical element of this case, namely that Rabbani was protecting crucial evidence in the course of representing his client and being forced to disclose such evidence would be a gross miscarriage of justice.

Karen Jayes is the award-winning author of the 2003 novel For the Mercy of Water (Penguin SA). She worked as a journalist for various publications in South Africa and the UK. She is the spokesperson for CAGE Africa, a branch of CAGE advocacy group in the UK. 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Also see:

Cage director Muhammad Rabbani charged over ‘Schedule 7 …

Middle East Eye1 hour ago

The director of a British human rights group has been charged following his arrest at Heathrow Airport last November. Muhammad Rabbani, the …


#NAKBA DAY 2017: #Palestine Remembered!

#NAKBA DAY 2017: #Palestine Remembered!

What is new?
A Survey of Palestine, the official source about Palestine before Nakba produced by the British Mandate; over 1200 pages.
-Satellite View & Google Earth: Over 6,000 placemarks identifying all destroyed towns, W. Bank & Gaza Strip Towns, & refugee camps.
Campgain Against Lice and its Nakba Oral History Project were featured on al-Jazeera Satellite TV.
Nakba Oral History Video Podcast: Over 600 Oral History interviews (including 3,000 hours of recording) can be viewed now online.
Gaza Jail Break
Arabic version now available – النسخة العربية للموقع الان متوفرة
-Videos: Documenting the destroyed villages in video: Tracing all that remains since Nakba.
-Videos: Responding to Zionist Propaganda
-Interview: The ethnic cleansing of Palestine: George Galloway interviews Israeli Historian Ilan Pappe.
For Palestinians, memory matters. It provides a blueprint for their future By George Bisharat.
Zionist FAQ now available in Hebrew שאלות שציונים שואלים, עכשיו בעברית
-Video: The Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer report on the influence of the Israel Lobby on U.S. Foreign Policy
The Nakba – an event that did not occur (although it had to occur) By Eitan Bronstein
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict for beginners