If ever there was a meeting of predictability and rank cowardice, Theresa May’s decision to reject the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims definition of Islamophobia was it. As Zelo Street warned yesterday, our free and fearless press were set against adoption, as they had the most to lose from being associated with upfront racism, rather than just a little nod-and-wink smearing. And they had the final say.
As the BBC has reported, “The government has rejected a definition of Islamophobia created by a cross-party group of MPs … The All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims wanted to define it to tackle what it called a ‘social evil’ … But a government spokesman said the wording needed ‘further careful consideration’ and had ‘not been broadly accepted’”. This is disingenuous drivel of the worst kind.
The APPG definition of Islamophobia - “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness” - “has the support of a number of political parties - including Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Conservatives - and several Muslim groups”. It is broadly accepted.
Moreover, although the Beeb’s report notes “Martin Hewitt, who chairs the National Police Chiefs' Council, said it could cause confusion among officers and hamper the fight against terrorism”, Sayeeda Warsi “told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that ‘a non-legally binding working definition’ would not affect the work of the police and urged the government to back it”. But we know why the PM has caved.
The press establishment, with the Murdoch mafiosi in the vanguard, had decided that it needs to keep on demonising Muslims in order to interest its target audience enough to keep buying its product. The APPG definition would, for example, have made short work of Trevor Kavanagh’s infamous “What shall we do about The Muslim Problem” smear, reminiscent of 1930s Nazi propaganda. Except it target Muslims, rather than Jews.
And the press establishment is a significant part of what keeps Theresa May in power. It does this because it has the whip hand over her, something that became crystal clear when then Culture Secretary Matt Hancock pulled the plug on Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry, as he did so lying about Sir Brian Leveson’s advice on the move.
The Tories promised that in order to ensure the press was onboard for their 2017 General Election campaign. The press is now telling the Government not to curtail its freedom - not freedom of speech, but freedom to spread hatred and bigotry.
This has been confirmed by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who have told readers “Public Figures Urge Government Not To Adopt Sayeeda’s Definition of ‘Islamophobia’”. Those public figures include Brendan O’Neill of Spiked and Maajid Nawaz, the slippery smear merchant from Quilliam.
The Great Guido is effectively a wholly owned subsidiary of the press establishment. And the APPG definition was not written by Sayeeda Warsi. That is just another anti-Muslim smear. But good of them to confirm that the press is driving opposition to the move.
Theresa May has done what the press establishment has told her to do. Shame on her.
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