London – A recent documentary on Channel 4, entitled ‘Who speaks for British Muslims?’, unwittingly exposed the role of the secretive government Extremism Analysis Unit (EAU) and its Islamophobic bias in blacklisting Muslim organisations.
In a report published by us late last year, we highlighted how the EAU takes instructions from the notoriously Islamophobic Henry Jackson Society (HJS), which lists amongst its directors Douglas Murray and formerly William Shawcross, the latter who claimed that “Europe and Islam is one of the greatest, most terrifying problems of our future”.
The documentary highlighted that the Home Office handed the state education regulator Ofsted a report produced by the EAU, which dissuaded it from meeting with the Muslim group MEND.
This raises serious questions about the sources of this secretive agency, its role in institutionalising Islamophobic assertions within the state structure and the way it criminalises perfectly legal organisations and individuals.
Moazzam Begg, Outreach director for CAGE said:
“We anticipated in our response to this documentary that the EAU would play a central role in the official ‘blacklisting’ of Muslim organisations. We strongly oppose how such designations take place when there is no accountability or any avenue to challenge being blacklisted.”
“We’ve previously revealed that designations by the EAU are provided by the Islamophobic HJS, tainting them with a neo-conservative bent and bringing it into serious disrepute. Such ‘blacklisting’ should be exposed for what it is, a targeted attempt by the state to silence voices of dissent. It’s worth noting that HJS associate director, Douglas Murray, once infamously told the Dutch Parliament that “conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board”. When the EAU, an arm of the Home Office, takes its lead from people with such disturbing and abhorrent views, they really need to come clean and be held to account. ”
“Given that the EAU has refused on occasions to give up its reports on grounds of national security, we question how it was possible for a journalist to get hold of such information. This gives rise to the further question of whether this information sharing between secretive government departments and the right-wing press is an example of state complicity in dark propaganda against its own citizens.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)