I have been subject to countless verbal and physical abuse as I am visibly Muslim woman who chose to wear the face-veil (Niqab) out of the conviction of faith. Despite the fact that I have been a victim of hate and bigotry, I do not have the victim mentality. Therefore, I made it my mission not only to tackle Islamophobia but to lead the movement against it. Also, I have been vocal against all forms of racism; including anti-Semitism, homophobia and misogyny. Something that a lot of the far-right groups, individuals and think-tanks such the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) do not like. The last thing that the far-right want to see, is someone like me to be actively participating in public like and changing the discourse around Islamophobia and racism. Hence, the likes of HJS, have been attacking me and accusing me of false allegations in order to exclude me from public life and cause tension between communities. Indeed, this is a manifestation of professional and institutional Islamophobia that a lot of people overlook.
Henry Jackson Reports
HJS published reports against Muslim activists including myself to demonise and defame them. It should be noted that HJS reports are thin on details and have no academic credentials.
HJS attempts to paint Muslim activists as ‘extremists’ due to their stance on opposing aspects of the Governments Counter-Terrorism legislation that includes PREVENT strategy, opposition to policies pursued by the State of Israel and the promotion of so-called “conspiratorial narratives” about Islamophobia.
Quite simply HJS report equates political dissent with ‘extremism’. This is ironic given that the motto for Henry Jackson Society is “Democracy. Freedom. Human Rights.”
Am I an extremist?
If calling for equal citizenship, equality and justice for all makes me ‘extremist’, then be it
If speaking against the war, torture, white supremacy, institutional Islamophobia makes me ‘extremist’, then be it
If calling for the right of self-determination for Palestinians and speaking against the oppression of Israel make me ‘extremist’, then be it
If calling to exchange the politics of fear with the politics of hope makes me ‘extremist’, then be it
If fighting for my choice of expressing my faith equally like many others and empower women to participate in public life and take leadership roles makes me ‘extremist’, then be it
If cultivating leaders and activists and working for the common good makes me ‘extremist’, then be it
Remember once upon the time Nelson Mandela was labelled as ‘extremist’ and he was in the top most wanted and now we have a statue of him at the heart of Westminster.
Malcolm X was once accused of being an ‘extremist’ and his response was "Yes I am an extremist, the black race here in N. America is in extremely bad conditions".
If anything, HJS has motivated me to work harder in making Islamophobia history
11 facts about HJS
HJS is leading exponent of neoconservatism in the UK, influenced by Islamophobia and embrace the ‘War on Terror’
Its name and ideology are inspired by the interventionist and illiberal US Senator Henry Jackson
In 1974, Jackson said after a meeting with Saudi Arabian politician Ahmed Zaki Yamani ‘No dirty A-rab sheikh is gonna tell us what to do’
HJS tends to conflate debates about immigration, austerity, multiculturalism and women’s rights with the anti-Muslim discourses associated with the ongoing ‘War on Terror’
3 patrons of the HJS, Perle, James Woolsey and John Sheehan served on the defence policy board in 2002-03 that advocated for the war on Iraq.
One of the journalist’s signatories of the HJS is Irwin Stelzer, is one of the closest advisors of Rupert Murdoch
The associate director of HJS is Douglas Murray who said “to have less terrorism, we must have less Islam”
Student rights, a neoconservative organisation that targets British universities is directly linked to HJS. Its former director is Raheem Kassam, who then became a senior advisor to UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage
Student rights describe Palestine solidarity activism in campus and BDS movement as political extremism in order to pressure universities to impose restrictive measures on Muslim students that would in effect institutionalise Islamophobia
HJS actively promotes Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations theory, that believes Islam is incompatible with Western values and Muslims and Arabs represent a threat to the Western world
HJS doesn’t publish the sources of its funding nor detailed account of how it is spent despite it is charitable status.