A response to “How to spot a terrorist living in your neighbourhood”
On the Telegraph website there is a piece by one Alan Judd entitled “How to spot a terrorist living in your neighbourhood.” Even though it came soon after comments made in the same paper attributed to former head of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington which encouraged people to “spy on their neighbours,” I decided to read it half-thinking it may be some kind of spoof given the ludicrously alarmist nature of Rimington’s comment in the first place.
I was being naïve. The piece can be added to a string of idiotic commentary made in the aftermath of the murder in Woolwich last Wednesday. This has included an assortment of various politicians, commentators, “counter-extremism experts” and self-described “ex-extremists” coming out and labelling traditional Islamic beliefs and moral values that run counter to liberalism as “Islamism” or “Islamist extremism,” and then basically suggesting that someone is more susceptible to killing civilians (or off-duty military personnel) if they held such ideas.
Obviously when you label so many people as potential terrorists, you need to be vigilant against them – as Rimington suggested. You might have thought Remington made the comments having been called in as the ex-head of MI5 to give some advice to the government, but they were actually said at a literary festival where she was promoting her new spy novel. And so now another spy novel author Alan Judd has stepped up to write a piece all about how to identify these problem characters, and what to do when you have found one. He is a former soldier and diplomat who also moonlights as a security analyst when not writing spy stories (his latest book is mentioned at the bottom of his piece). According to Judd, telltale signs include asking for a prayer room, keep fit, wearing Arab clothes, not wearing Arab clothes after wearing Arab clothes, becoming more socially conservative and being vague about where you are going on holiday. You just can’t make this stuff up.
In light of all the discussion about how to identify “extremists” who are potential “violent extremists,” it could be considered equally if not more important that we also do our bit to help identify the extremism of secular fascist bigots. This is because secular fascist bigots may be susceptible to becoming violent secular fascist bigots who appear to relish anti-Muslim violence in lands far away by supporting and/ or excusing invasions on false pretenses, drone strikes or other similar imperial policies. They may also help radicalise others into becoming local violent secular fascist bigots. So here are a few of the identifiers of their mindset that that can help in to identify them:
- They consider any Muslim that has grievances against foreign policy as suspicious.
- They consider any Muslim who voices their grievances against foreign policy as an “extremist” unless he first praises the British army and the fine job they are doing in Afghanistan.
- They consider any non-Muslim that thinks Muslims have legitimate grievances against foreign policy to be a liberal idiot and unwitting terrorist supporter.
- They expect or demand that Muslims should condemn and apologise for every crime committed by other Muslims which they had nothing to do with as a recognition of collective guilt.
- They begin labelling aspects of normative Islamic belief that have been held by Muslims for centuries such as Sharia law and the caliphate as “Islamism,” “extremism” or perhaps even “mumbo jumbo.”
- They demand Muslim community leaders do more to help them spread 1-5 above.
- A few may claim to be Muslim “ex-Islamists” who now understand Islam properly and help spread 1-6 above.
- They find long beards, hijabs, niqabs, cultural clothing and Islamic moral codes deeply offensive.
- They ask you where you have been on holiday (ok – I admit I made this last one up).
These are some of the identifiers that could indicate that the person has the extremism mindset of a secular fascist bigot. Their leaders are generally found in the neighbourhood of the mainstream media in the areas inhabited by politicians, so-called “counter-extremism experts” and “ex-Islamists” who can serve as secular fascist bigot radicalisers. Of course, someone could manifest many or even all these characteristics and more – for all manner of reasons – without becoming a violent secular fascist bigot. But its best to be safe.
UPDATE 1: If anyone radicalised by the secular fascist bigots happens to turn up at your house or near your mosque, its been proven that the best course of action is to invite them in for tea and a game of football.
UPDATE 2: Read the latest piece by Seamus Milne “Britain’s wars fuel terror. Denying it only feeds Islamophobia.”