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The Muslims Are Coming!: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror

Powerful critique of UK and US surveillance and repression of Muslims and prosecution of homegrown terrorism
The new front in the War on Terror is the “homegrown enemy,” domestic terrorists who have become the focus of sprawling counterterrorism structures of policing and surveillance in the United States and across Europe. Domestic surveillance has mushroomed – at least 100,000 Muslims in America have been secretly under scrutiny. British police compiled a secret suspect list of more than 8,000 al-Qaeda “sympathizers,” and in another operation included almost 300 children fifteen and under among the potential extremists investigated. MI5 doubled in size in just five years.

Based on several years of research and reportage, in locations as disperate as Texas, New York and Yorkshire, and written in engrossing, precise prose, this is the first comprehensive critique of counterradicalization strategies. The new policy and policing campaigns have been backed by an industry of freshly minted experts and liberal commentators. The Muslims Are Coming! looks at the way these debates have been transformed by the embrace of a narrowly configured and ill-conceived antiextremism.

Reviews

  • “An important and moving investigation of the costs of the ‘war on terror’ for those who have been its targets, including the thousands of innocent Muslims who have been infiltrated, entrapped, and surveilled in the search for the radicalized terrorist among us. Kundnani gives eloquent voice to the communities that have been regulated, watched, and silenced by the national security state.”
  • “Arun Kundnani is one of Britain's best political writers, neither hectoring nor drily academic but compelling and sharply intelligent. The Muslims Are Coming should be widely read, particularly by liberals who consider their own positions unassailable.”
  • “Kundnani’s argument is compelling in its dissection of governments’ disproportional responses.”
  • “Kundnani's book is a fact-rich call for vigilance and clear thinking about the erosion of civil liberties and attitudes.”
  • “A gripping exposition of how the west has made a post-communist enemy and, in some ways, ignited Islamicist terrorism.”
  • “A bold new look at the much discussed issue of surveillance, documenting how it impacts the communities most affected – American and British Muslims. With incisive reporting from across the US and the UK, combined with trenchant analysis, Arun Kundnani captures what it feels like to be a ‘suspect population.’”
  • “This timely and urgent analysis carefully examines the ideologies and law enforcement strategies that undergird the domestic War on Terror. What Kundnani finds is disturbing: sweeping, specious radicalization theory and racialized assumptions about the nature of Islam drive domestic counterterrorism practices. This has had devastating consequences for the rights and liberties of Muslims and the state of constitutional protections in the US and UK.”
  • “An incisive, scholarly, bold, and convincing critique of the never-ending ‘War on Terror,’ whose roots extend far beyond the tragedy of 9/11. An important work.”
  • “Indispensable and powerful … Essential reading for government officials engaged in designing our counterterrorism policies, as well as readers trying to make sense of them.”
  • “A must-read guide to the second decade of war waged on the home front.”
  • “Arun Kundnani, a British-born scholar who is now an adjunct professor at New York University, is a different sort of leftist. He is not Muslim, either by background or conviction, but he maintains that 'Islamophobia' is a thinly disguised form of racial prejudice, and that on both sides of the Atlantic, the war on terror has been an excuse for governments to ratchet up surveillance and harassment of people who are 'guilty' of nothing worse than critical thought about their countries' domestic or foreign policies.”
  • “Measuring his ideas against global terror experts, Kundnani offers hard alternatives to international security agencies, policing trends, and options for reasonable dissent in his thoughtful, rational plea to curb the War on Terror.”
  • “Kundnani frankly and refreshingly moves away from ideological symptoms and toward political causes in tackling extremism.”
  • “Excellent and timely… a compelling guide to the debate over the nature of British Islam.”
  • [The Muslims are Coming!] aptly reveals the West’s anti-Islam and anti-Muslim prejudice in the form of 'war on terror.' It unravels and critiques their reified anti-Muslim policies persuasively. It is a groundbreaking, balanced, simple to read, and timely contribution to the existing literature that vividly highlights the true face of the West’s perception of Muslims—as an alien race.”
  • “Based on several years of research and reportage, The Muslims are Coming! is an incisive critique of the repressive and surveillance-heavy methods of combatting homegrown terrorism utilized in both the US and UK.”

Blog

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    “Strong and stable!” is Theresa May’s slogan for the upcoming election, empty words for most considering the current Tory landscape of soaring cuts, poverty and inequality.

    Here we present our essential reading: featuring leading voices dealing with issues ranging from privatisation, inequality, capitalism, neo-liberalism, socialism, migration, and more.

    All these books are 50% off until May 15 at midnight (UTC). Click here to activate your discount.

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  • Catholic Sharia, or the state within the state

    This post first appeared on Christine Delphy's blog. Translated by David Broder.

    Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon.

    Neither Jean-Luc Mélenchon nor Emmanuel Macron know what laïcité [French state secularism] is. So Mélenchon believes that "schooling" is subject to "laïcité." No: the teachers are, because they are state employees; but not the service users, the students themselves. Which is why the 2004 law banning the headscarf does not conform to the 1905 laïcité law. Macron seems to be unaware that the State Council declared the "anti-burkini" decrees issued by certain mayors last summer to be invalid; he claims that "some of these decrees are justified" since they "target not any cultural issue, but a matter of public order." What "public order" is this? Do the women who wear a burkini disturb public order? No. Rather, the men and women who insult them are disturbing public order; it is not the victims who ought to be penalised.

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  • Post-fascism: a mutation still underway

    This interview with Enzo Traverso was first published in L'humanité. Translated by David Broder. 


    June 2015 press conference of far right 'Europe of Nations and Freedom' bloc within European Parliament. 

    In his Les Nouveaux Visages du Fascisme, historian Enzo Traverso analyses the mutations of the European far Right movements that have emerged from "the fascist matrix."1 According to Traverso, the Left has to "offer political perspectives again" in order to occupy "the immense void" that is today being filled by both jihadism and a "post-fascism" that excludes Muslims.

    Are Europe’s far-Right movements (the AfD in Germany, the Front National in France, Jobbik in Hungary…) adopting the same codes as fascism or Nazism?

    Enzo Traverso: First of all, these movements do share common traits, including their rejection of the European Union, their xenophobia and their racism, in particular in its Islamophobic dimension. Beyond these markers, we can see notable differences. There are clearly neo-fascist or neo-Nazi movements, like Golden Dawn in Greece, Jobbik in Hungary, etc., whose radicalism is often linked to the extent of the crisis, even if in Greece the rise of Syriza did put a lid on this dynamic. As for France, the Front National does have a fascist matrix, and there are certainly neo-fascists in the party, but its discourse is no longer fascist. After all, it has made a considerable effort at ideological mutation, and that is one of the keys to its success. If it still advanced neo-fascist arguments it would not get a hearing, and could certainly not hope to reach the second round of the presidential election.

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