A zinging quote from a legendary actor has made its way across the pond, garnering attention to yet another tiresome example of political correctness gone wild. But Americans would be well advised to dig deeper, for the British government program that sparked the verbal riposte bears all the hallmarks of an Orwellian nightmare that can most surely happen here as well.
Michael Caine turned 90 on March 14. The celebrated star was interviewed by Tanya Gold of UK magazine The Spectator. One brief exchange jumped out. “When I tell him that [Caine’s 1964 film] Zulu is listed on the [UK government] counter-terror Prevent scheme as a piece of culture that incites the far-right, he says: ‘That is the biggest load of bulls**t I have ever heard,’” Gold writes.
An eloquent response – short and to the point. Many astute cinephiles consider Zulu to be one of the most gripping war movies ever made, one which shows respect for both sides of the 1879 Battle of Rorke’s Drift fought during the British South Africa colonial era.
But the real story here is the Prevent office and how a supposed effort to reduce terror threats within the United Kingdom endangers British civilians in two profound ways. Woke sensibilities about what makes for “domestic terrorists” impinge on individual civil liberties while playing down the rise in Islamic radicalism in a nation with a growing Muslim population.
Monitors Gaming the Watch
The government appointed William Shawcross as Independent Reviewer of Prevent in January 2021. On Feb. 8, his report on the controversial program was released. “Prevent must address all extremist ideologies proportionately according to the threat each represents,” Shawcross wrote in the foreword to his report.
“However, my research shows that the present boundaries around what is termed by Prevent as extremist Islamist ideology are drawn too narrowly while the boundaries around the ideology of the Extreme Right-Wing are too broad. This does not allow Prevent to reflect accurately, and deal effectively with, the lethal risks we actually face.”
Shawcross ominously relates that Prevent is critiqued by woke activists for perceived anti-Muslim bias at the very same time that it has been woefully derelict in effectively monitoring the dire threat posed by Islamic radicalism. “One of the most constant and strident accusations is that Prevent unfairly targets Muslims living here. This is simply not the case,” he writes.
“Prevent is not doing enough to counter non-violent Islamist extremism.” But it is obsessed with alleged “far-right” activity that has nothing to do with violent extremism whatsoever. Shawcross explains:
“Prevent has a double standard when dealing with the Extreme Right-Wing and Islamism. Prevent takes an expansive approach to the Extreme Right-Wing, capturing a variety of influences that, at times, has been so broad it has included mildly controversial or provocative forms of mainstream, right-wing leaning commentary that have no meaningful connection to terrorism or radicalisation.
However, with Islamism, Prevent tends to take a much narrower approach centred around proscribed organisations, ignoring the contribution of non-violent Islamist narratives and networks to terrorism. Prevent must ensure a consistent and evidence-based approach to setting its threshold and criteria, and ensure it does not overlook key non-violent radicalising influences.”
Orwellian Reply to Being Called Orwellian: You’re In On It, Too!
How did the woke apparatchiks driving this loaded agenda react to this official criticism? Just as one would expect. Why, this Shawcross must be in thrall to the far right himself!
“That is in my view driven by a rightwing viewpoint that XRWT [extreme rightwing terrorism] is either unimportant or doesn’t really exist. The head of [British intelligence agency] MI5 says it’s 20% of the work they do, so I would listen to him,” Neil Basu, the head of UK counter-terrorism policing until 2021, stated of Shawcross’s finding, British progressive establishment newspaper The Guardian reports.
“It’s insulting to any counter-terrorism professional to suggest they’d put any particular ideology over another,” Basu continued. “It’s about how they risk-assess the initial intelligence of the potential for violence and how it is then dealt with afterwards.”
“Amnesty International dismissed the report as ‘riddled with biased thinking, errors and plain anti-Muslim prejudice,’” The Guardian noted. In other words, a culturally leftist politicization of the phrase “domestic terrorism” is riding high in England today.
That’s frightening to contemplate when one considers that the Prevent program is fueled by alarmist wording against wrongthink as it defines regular Britons as potential internal enemies in the making.
“Police have a long history of working to prevent vulnerable people being drawn into criminal behaviour. The government-led, multi-agency Prevent programme aims to stop individuals becoming terrorists and police play a key role,” the department’s website reads. Know someone thinking dangerous conservative thoughts?
Prevent needs your help. “Communities defeat terrorism,” the “What You Can Do” section of the website asserts. “Reporting won’t ruin lives but it may save them. If it doesn’t feel right, ACT.”
Anyone familiar with cancel culture, of course, fully understands that outing beliefs deemed unacceptable does indeed ruin lives. The Prevent controversy should be especially interesting to Americans given the new video evidence that seems to dispel the establishment narrative surrounding the events of Jan. 6, 2021.
A harmless Jacob Chansley was sentenced to 41 months in prison amid an overheated politically partisan climate proclaiming the unrest of that day to be a “violent insurrection.”
And then there is the other side of the coin, which deserves just as much attention. By utilizing government offices meant to counter the very real threat of terrorism in the homeland as weapons to defeat political enemies, the genuine incubators of murderous radicalism avoid scrutiny. Throw in political correctness and its strident defense of multiculturalism no matter the cost, and the future of Islamic extremism in Western nations is made more secure.
Courtesy of Liberty Nation News.
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