In January 2016, the group called Academics for Peace issued a petition. It is an initiative run predominantly by intellectuals in Turkey concerned with the need to prevent further conflict in south-east Turkey, supporting the return to a peace process as soon as possible. This particular petition, however, dubbed ‘we will not be party to this…Continue reading What Academic Freedom in Turkey
Much of the media and political responses to the Finsbury Park attack have been lame. This is because Islamophobia has been normalised in Britain. I argue that this Islamophobia is fuelled by the media, acting as a driver of far right extremism inasmuch as far right extremism thrives on Islamist radicalisation. Arguably, Darren Osborne would…Continue reading Islamophobia as the cause of far right extremism
This is the morning after the night before. It was not quite the tsunami but a huge wave has just swept over British politics. There will be long-term impacts because of this not-so-surprising change in the political weather. Under the UK system, the Tories needed 326 seats to form a majority government. They fell short…Continue reading A victory for decent politics, but it’s the not all clear yet
It was another night in London and another terrorist attack on the UK. Last night witnessed a horrific act of brutality and violence. This time it was at the hands of three assailants, who started their deadly assault at 2208 on London Bridge by driving their van into innocent civilians. These attackers then moved to…Continue reading Responding Strongly to Terror
Reports emerging this morning reflect on instances of radicalisation among the Libyan community in Manchester. Although this not a group that has raised any interest among security services in the past, Manchester has the third highest concentration of British Muslims after London and Birmingham. As these other cities also demonstrate, these concentrations tend to be…Continue reading Can terrorism ever be defeated?
Last night the renowned Lord Professor Bhikhu Parekh spoke at the annual Ibn Rushd Lecture of the Muslim Institute, held at the Art Workers’ Guild Hall in Holborn. The blog post below is part review, part conversation and part social commentary – the full audio recording of the lecture can be found here The first…Continue reading Multiculturalism in the Age of Brexit and Trump
Waking up on a Saturday morning, there is always the experience of getting up early, sinking a strong coffee with breakfast and open-endedly reading the pages of news stories while thinking through how to best utilise the weekend. The themes of Brexit, Europe, the upcoming UK General Election and the recent local elections fill many…Continue reading What future now?
How can we ensure differing approaches to preventing and countering radicalisation include effective critical community engagement? This was the question put to me by the conference organisers of the Counter Terror Expo at the Olympia in London, 3-4 May 2017. I was asked to prepare a talk to respond to this challenge. The following is…Continue reading ‘Prevent’ and Communities: the ongoing gaps
The so-called “Trojan Horse” plot of 2014 raised numerous concerns about the Islamisation of education in a range of inner city schools in Birmingham. Ofsted investigations of 21 schools explored these concerns at the behest of the then Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove MP. At the head of this so-called plot, a certain…Continue reading The Real “Trojan Horse” Scandal in Birmingham Schools
The last major terrorist incident in the UK was the Al-Qaida-inspired 7/7 bombings in 2005. It was a sophisticated, coordinated attack that resulted in 52 killed and hundreds maimed. New Labour was faced with an unfamiliar situation. It had no clear sense of what was needed except that the ‘rules had changed’. Fast-forward to 2017,…Continue reading In the Wake of Terror, Freedoms Matter Most
It has been a few days since the tragic events in Westminster, when a lone actor terrorist mowed down three people and brutally killed an unarmed police officer who was wearing a stab proof vest. As more details emerge about the chequered history of the assailant, aspects of what exactly drove this man to violent…Continue reading The Making of a Homicidal Maniac With a Death Wish?
In thinking through the processes of radicalisation in relation to Muslim minorities, what are the key issues that should be important to us? That is, what do we need to ask ourselves at the very beginning? The problem has been that right from the outset various so-called experts have been looking at the inspirations that…Continue reading Promoting Values Does Not Solve Terrorism
A few days ago, Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, was prevented from landing in the Netherlands so that he could speak at a rally in Rotterdam. In response, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan referred to the Dutch as ‘Nazi remnants’. A poor choice of phraseology, although he spoke in Turkish and translations of his remarks are…Continue reading The Dutch-Turkish Spat: How Two Wrongs Do Not Make a Right
The spectre of violent extremism carried out by groups whose motivations are to create terror and alarm among populations as a whole continues to create serious challenges for law enforcement agencies whose aims are to fairly and justly convict and incarcerate individuals guilty of heinous crimes. Simultaneously, there are groups who wish to support their…Continue reading Engaging Communities against the Spectre of Terrorism
Full text of my talk, presented on the panel with Dr Turhan Ozen, Turkey: Important power in a troubled region, convened by Open Discussions in association with Gulf Cultural Club, Arbar House, Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, W1H 4LP, 14 February 2017 Chair, fellow panellist and guests in the audience, thank you very much…Continue reading Turkey: Important power in a troubled region
Full text of my talk on the ‘violent extremism’ panel, The Wilberforce Society Annual Conference 2017: Global Disenchantment, St John’s College, Cambridge, 4 February. The Wilberforce Society, my fellow panellists and to you the audience, many thanks indeed for the kind invitation and the opportunity to be with you here today. In the ten…Continue reading On Violent Extremism
It is going to be a very difficult time under Trump. Behind his victory is the intersection of two sets of processes. Both rich and poor white groups believe that their privileges are disappearing in the light of globalisation, immigration and diversity.(1) Trump voters feel comfortable expressing their latent racism, believing it is a legitimate…Continue reading White Out(Rage): Trump, Islam and Whiteness
In the space of a few short hours, three separate terrorist incidents shocked the world. It might be incumbent upon the thinking individual to suggest some sort of pattern here or to determine the links between these different events to put forward an overarching paradigm, but it would also be foolhardy and somewhat disingenuous. In…Continue reading Berlin, Ankara and Zurich…
The American voting public has just elected Donald Trump as the next President of the USA. Here is why it is a disaster. He is a serial business failure. He would be worth twice as much if he left his father’s inheritance alone. He is a serial groper, harasser and misogynist. He mocks the disabled.…Continue reading Enter Trump
It has been nearly four months since the Brexit vote split the country in two, with a tiny margin of leavers gaining the upper hand. It will lead the country on a path to leaving the European Union as soon as Article 50 is triggered, which is likely to be in the first quarter of…Continue reading Raving Brexiteers
The French burkini ban is a completely ridiculous statement of prejudice and intolerance towards people who are different, in this case, Muslim women who choose to wear a bathing costume that also protects their modesty. It is a perfect recruiting sergeant for Islamic State who will make great capital from the idea that the West…Continue reading Burkinis and the male gaze: a thinly veiled discussion
In late July, a German-born eighteen-year-old, a child of parents of Iranian origin who came to the country seeking refuge in the early 1990s, carried out shootings in a fast-food restaurant and in a shopping mall in the city of Munich. As news first came in, the immediate response was to suggest that this incident…Continue reading The Munich shooter: a case of fractured identities?
After endless articles and discussion pieces written on the reasons why one-third of the British population voted to Leave the EU in the recent referendum, there is still reason to explore some of the over-arching concerns implied by this eventuality. Renowned Oxford University geographer Professor Danny Dorling argues that years of austerity and inequality have…Continue reading How Brexit Unleashed the Dragon
After the 2008 global financial crash, it was clear that Britain was going bust for a generation. Bankers caused it by exploiting loopholes created by New Labour’s deregulation of the financial markets. When the immediate solution was to shore up the assets of the banks, the government should have left the banks to fall while…Continue reading A Broken Britain on the Brink
The recent tragic murder of Jo Cox MP has brought to the surface major concerns in relation to far-right extremism in Britain today. Although much within media and political discourses focuses on Islamic political extremism, there is little attention given to far-right violence. Moreover, these acts are no aberration either. Rather, various reporting necessarily suggests…Continue reading Far Right Extremism and Islamic Political Radicalism
A Princeton University professor recently published his CV of failures as a way in which to inspire his undergraduate students with the dictum, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try try again’. It has received considerable attention, with some describing it as ‘beautiful’ while others deconstruct its meaning to suggest that a CV of failures could…Continue reading Privilege = More Privilege
Former race warrior Trevor Phillips is a man who rarely shies away from outspoken commentary. In recent years, his post-equalities career has seen him back in the media, where he originally made his name at London Weekend Television in the 1980s. Phillips has presently turned his attention to British Muslims, and he asks all sorts…Continue reading What Too Many Believe About Muslims But Shouldn’t
After much expectation and hype, Zack Snyder’s Batman vs Superman has opened to mixed reviews. Many consider it an epic masterpiece, quite possibly the best superhero film ever. Others argue that it contains too many narratives, there is insufficient plot development or that the big fight between the two protagonists is not nearly fleshy enough.…Continue reading Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice Review
It is reasonably encouraging that the British Prime Minister wishes to fund the teaching of English language to British Muslim women who have been left behind by ‘progress’, as it were, but the backdrop to his statements are however deeply problematic, as well the implications they raise. In the 1950s, British ‘coloured immigrants’, as they…Continue reading Lazy Cameron Speaks the Language of Racialism
I recently returned from a semester stint as a visiting scholar at the famed New York University, a renowned institution of higher learning in the US, and recognised the world over. Afforded the distinct luxury of allocated NYU housing on West Fourth Street, the entrance to the block was at the foot of Fifth Avenue,…Continue reading My New York State of Mind