We are Completely Independent report

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CAGE’s report “We are Completely Independent” reveals:

  • How the Home Office has misled the British public, pushing state-sponsored propaganda at or about Muslims using seemingly independent groups and projects which include:◦ Anti-Tribalism Movement: Somalia: time to go home and Return to Somalia
    ◦ Armed Forces Muslim Association: Faith on the Frontline
    ◦ Don’t go to Syria, only give to registered charities: Syria Needs Your Help and Change the Picture
    ◦ Families Against Stress and Trauma: Families Matter
    ◦ Upstanding Neighbourhoods: KIKIT Pathwayz and Open Your Eyes: ISIS Lies
    ◦ Quilliam Foundation: #NotAnotherBrother
    ◦ Federation of Muslim Organisations: Ummah Sonic
    ◦ Faith Associates: Imams Online
  • The government’s use of the Official Secrets Act to protect a PR company, Breakthrough Media, and conceal its role in producing state-sponsored propaganda

The report also explores in-depth:

  • Breakthrough Media, the PR company at the heart of the government’s PREVENT propaganda programme directed at Muslim communities
  • The role of the secretive propaganda unit, Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU), within the Home Office in directing the conversation within the Muslim community while it claims otherwise.
  • Clear evidence of specific instances where Muslim organisations including charities have been controlled and manipulated by the Home Office to convey a state-scripted narrative on ‘extremism’ and ‘radicalisation’.

Description

Over the past five years, the Home Office and a secretive government department called RICU, the Research, Information and Communications Unit, has been cultivating a network of ‘grass roots’ Muslim voices to promote ‘counter-narratives’ to combat the appeal of ‘extremist narratives’ among Britain’s young people. All of this is taking place with no public debate or oversight.

Working with top PR agencies and new media companies to target young people who fit the profile of ‘vulnerable young Muslim’, RICU’s interventions represent the first concerted foray into cyberspace by the British state with the aim of covertly engineering the thoughts of its citizens. In practice this means the chosen ‘grass roots’ organisations and ‘counter-narratives’ receive financial and technical support from the government for the production of their multimedia campaigns (videos, websites, podcasts, blogs etc.).
These state-sponsored ‘counter narratives’ have in turn been promoted to specific groups of internet users, chosen on the basis of their demographics, the websites they visit, the social media accounts they ‘follow’, and the search terms they use.

 

(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.)