Read Part 1 here.
The brunt of the “Islamist agitators” claims were reserved for Muslim public intellectual Mohammed Hijab. In this piece, we examine these claims to demonstrate how they have been manufactured to problematise Muslims in the Leicester flare-up.
Telegraph’s flirtation with Hindutva fascism
In an article published in the Telegraph, the writers used odd framing and various, increasingly meaningless labels like antisemitic (equated to pro-Palestinian activism and anti-Israel critique) and “Islamist” (inc. orthodox Muslims), to imply that Hijab had “fuelled” clashes.
The framing is odd because the “offending” statements the writers chose to adduce as evidence were clearly aimed at the Hindutva. The worst the writers could find is Hijab using Hindu beliefs to belittle the Hindutva: it must be humiliating to be reincarnated into fascists and that people would rather have been reincarnated into an animal. What exactly is the concern here? Are the writers, and by extension the Telegraph, propagandists for Indian fascism and militancy? Would they be happy to reincarnate as fascists that go around attacking innocent people?
A detailed response by Hijab can be accessed here. But it is clear from the footage that Hijab’s firm stance on self-defence was against the Hindutva fascists and attackers, whilst he maintained calm and even assisted the police to manage the crowds. All this, of course, is not mentioned.
Telegraph “fuelling” fascist RSS fronts in the UK
These omissions are made presumably because they deconstruct the “agitator fuelling clashes” narrative and makes it difficult to mount cloaked defences of Hindutva fascism that can be used by RSS fronts in the UK.
The Telegraph article has been used by Insights UK to claim that Hijab is a “hate preacher” who “incites violence.” As we have already shown in the first part of this series, Insight UK shares lies about Muslims, defends the BJP, and promotes RSS figures that pedal anti-Islam/Muslim conspiracy theories. It is effectively a front for Hindutva fascism.
Telegraph caught misquoting Smethwick Jamia Mosque against Hijab
The Telegraph attempts to isolate Hijab by having other Muslim institutions distance themselves from him. They do this by citing a statement allegedly made by the chair of Smethwick Mosque, Birmingham:
“Mazahar Mohammad, chair of trustees of Jaia (sic) Masjid, Smethwick’s largest mosque, told The Telegraph: ‘We don’t need people like Mr Hijab coming to areas like Leicester and Smethwick from London and other places and stirring up hatred. We are a multi-faith community and we have to be careful about people creating tension and hatred where there wasn’t any before.’”
Sources in Birmingham have reached out to the chair of trustees, Mr Mazahar Mohammad, directly and confirmed that, whilst the Telegraph did speak to him about tensions due to the unfolding situation in Leicester and Birmingham, the chair categorically did not mention Hijab at all. He went further and explained that he did not even know Hijab, and therefore it would not have been appropriate to comment on a fellow Muslim.
This is a shocking tactic perpetuated by the Telegraph writers to reputationally harm Hijab. Perhaps another defamation claim for Hijab’s legal team to pick up and explore.
Douglas Murray’s intervention
The Hindutva/HJS “agitator” thematic spin can be found in Douglas Murray’s intervention on the matter. The article is typical Murray: some borderline racism and xenophobia; some twists and distortions targeting a Muslim; an unhealthy dose of hypocrisy and voila! We have Murray’s published prattle cloaked as commentary.
The piece begins with the following statement:
“As I have said many times in recent years, if you import the world’s people you import the world’s problems.”
Whilst Hindus are mentioned in the article, the target here is clearly Islam. Per Murray’s past frank expressions, his recommendations are that the West needs “less Islam,” whilst “conditions for Muslims need to be made harder across the board”, so that Europe appears “a less attractive proposition.”
The full implications of these statement within the context of his thinking, and his ideological nexus with Hindutva fascism will be highlighted in the next part. It suffices here to state that he has no problem with “issues” imported in the UK from Israel, even though foreign influence and interference with Britain’s political sphere emanates from UK-based proxies for Israel.
Truncating history, exaggerating incidents
Murray, closely tracking the Hindutva narrative, outlines that Leicester tensions began between Hindus and Muslims after a cricket match. Ignored is the young man beaten up and hospitalised by a Hindutva mob several months prior to the match. Ignored also is the pre-cricket match harassment the local Muslims have been facing too.
Murray resorts to exaggeration when he claims that “Muslim gangs” were “tearing down religious flags in Hindu areas.” There was a single incident where a person had pulled down a flag, but there were also local Imams present doing their best to stop retaliatory Muslim youth from engaging in such acts. Of course, we have yet to observe compelling evidence that shows Hindu community leaders reining in Hindutva mobs in such a fashion.
Hijab “whipping up mobs”?
Having set out his carefully selected narrative, though, Murray homes in on the main target of his hit piece: Mohammed Hijab.
In engaging in his attack though, he reveals the typical neocon doublespeak that is characteristic of his chosen political philosophy.
Murray claims that Hijab “whip[ped] up a mob on the streets of London,” referring to a pro-Palestinian event protesting the brutalities being perpetrated by the Zionist regime. There is no evidence presented, of course.
The claim could be a reference to a video made by the Israel Advocacy Movement, duly shared by an associate quack from the Henry Jackson Society during the Leicester events.
As we have detailed in the past, IAM is an apologist for child killing, belittles the importance of Masjid Al-Aqsa for Muslims (which is important given the regular desecrations and attacks against the Masjid by invading colonisers), and engages in campaigns of bullying and intimidation. Pertinently for Murray, given his regular frothing over the various threats supposedly posed to free speech, IAM considers Judaism and Zionism inseparable, which means a criticism of Zionism amounts to antisemitism. It has even promoted events hosting Richard Kemp, a Zionist Islamophobe with connections to the Islamophobia hate industry known for spewing libellous hate.
The IAM propaganda video tries to sew Hijab into disconnected events without proving Hijab to be the cause of any of the troubling claims.
“Whipping-up” white supremacist mass-murderers, street thugs, and free speech
In any case, the contention seems to be that Hijab addressed an “anti-Israel protest” in “inflammatory terms.”
This is utterly ridiculous given that such concerns are coming from the same person whose anti-Muslim conspiratorial ideas, and friendship, are shared with key ideologues referenced in a manifesto written by a far-right mass murderer. He is the pinnacle of inflaming communities to the point that white supremacists connected to far-right mass-murderers use his book in their reading lists.
Moreover, Murray has expressly supported and defended the English Defence League (EDL), a Clash of Civilisations-fascist, anti-Muslim protest movement. The EDL was formed by a coalescence of football hooligans known for being associated with football violence. Indeed, “public disorder and physical violence have continued to be a feature of EDL demonstrations.” Its former figurehead Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) has stated,
“And we are here today to tell you quite loud and clear, to every single Muslim watching this on Youtube, on 7/7 you got away with killing and maiming British citizens. You got away with it. You had better understand that we have built a network from one end of this country to the other end, and we will not tolerate it, and the Islamic community will feel the full force of the English Defence League if we see any of our citizens killed, maimed or hurt on British soil ever again.”
But for Murray, none of this is of major concern. In fact, in his eyes, the EDL is a model response to Islam:
“If you were ever going to have a grassroots response from non-Muslims to Islamism that would be how you would want it, surely.”
Notably, he has repeated his defence of the EDL and Robinson in his book, The Strange Death of Europe.
Given Murray’s new-found sensitivity to inflammatory rhetoric, we also need to pose an obvious question: what happened to the part-time free speech and freedom to offend warrior? Is Murray now against freedom, free speech, and the West by suddenly becoming “offended” by perfectly legal rhetoric and dog-whistling censorious counter-extremism measures?
Were we not Muslim, we would perhaps reverse Murray’s ideas in defence of free speech and call for competitions to insult the racist state of Israel and its lobbyists here in the UK in the most “filthy and insulting” way.
How dare this Israeli proxy tell us how to exercise our perfectly legal speech whilst exercising the democratic right to protest?!
Fabrication against Hijab
So, Murray is not exactly the best person to be raising concerns about “whipping up mobs,” and his commitments to free speech are hypocritical at best, though perfectly in tune with neoconservatism’s chameleon treatment of principles. But is there any substance to the claim that Hijab was riling up people using inflammatory rhetoric in Leicester?
Murray’s proof is set out below:
“Among other things he told them that Hindus are ridiculous people, not least because of their belief in reincarnation. Hijab claimed that the Hindus must live in fear because they have been reincarnated as such ‘pathetic, weak cowardly people’. ‘I’d rather be an animal,’ he went on.”
All of this is utterly false. An ignoble lie if you will.
As already explained earlier, Hijab’s comment is not about reincarnation per se, neither does it mock the belief, though surely a critique of the idea and even mockery would not go against Murray’s fluctuating feelings about free speech. Rather, Hijab clearly invoked the reincarnation belief to state that he’d rather be incarnated into an animal than a Hindutva fascist.
Murray’s malarkey is intentional. Dangerous Doug knows what he’s doing because he has adopted the very strategy he himself bemoaned when his philosophic influence Roger Scruton was criticised for the latter’s questionable views. At that time, Murray was struck with an epiphany: “anyone, it seems, can claim a scalp using Twitter: twist the words of your victim and let the outrage mob do the rest.”
Is Douglas Murray a coward?
Why would Murray feel the need to go after Hijab, if Hijab has, as he states in the article, “only made a slight name for himself”? I suspect there are strategic reasons at play that revolve around broadening anti-Muslim polices. This will be the subject of the final piece in this series.
But there may be another reason: indirectly responding to Hijab’s challenges.
Over the past years, Hijab has called out Murray for a debate several times (see here, here, here, and here). Having held Jordan Peterson to account for his “injudicious” comments concerning the Prophet ﷺ, Hijab has been in a prime position to tackle the kingpin of Islamophobic hate himself. Peterson even intervened at one point to tell Murray that Hijab could be “talked with.” Unlike Peterson though, Murray has yet to exhibit some of the values that neoconservatives themselves profess.
Allow us to explain.
You see, neocons want to instil war-like traits in the population. It makes people sacrificially useful for neocon policy objectives like dying in pointless wars to rejuvenate a fascist society at home. They want to restore, in the words of prominent neocon Max Boot, “barbarian’ virtues,” consisting of the “power to strive and fight and conquer,” and the belief that it is only “through strife, or the readiness for strife, that a nation must win greatness.’” It is for this reason that Irving Kristol, who Murray calls “the actual father of neoconservatism,” celebrated the popularity of the movie Rambo, as it gave the sense that people “wouldn’t mind doing it [fighting war] again.”
But we see no Rambo-like barbarian virtues in the curiously cowardly strategy of Douglas Murray. Instead, by taking desperately clumsy, anaemic pot shots from a distance whilst hiding behind the safety of the Spectator, the implied counter-extremism framework, and maybe even the HJS’s minions, Murray has demonstrated quite the opposite.
Perhaps he knows that dealing with Hijab is not the same as dealing with Majid Nawaz. Twelve years ago, Murray debated Nawaz in New York on the topic of Islam and peace. It ended in humiliation for Nawaz and accelerated his spiral into the deformation of Islam abyss.
But this time, things are a little different. The opponent is a not a superficial intellectual non-weight hungering for state funding. And we also know that Murray is insecure.
We know this from his admission that he struggles to reconcile his rejection of a religious tradition that birthed the Modern epoch he exoterically defends in public. Perhaps, deep down he knows that, not only was this same tradition impacted by the scholastic greats of Islam, but Strauss could not avoid them either. This would, conceivably, increase the vulnerability of an ego that is adamant in its exclusion of any tittle associated with Islam from Europe. When we couple this with the fact that Murray knows his anchorless worldview is lost in the world of fictions and phantoms – of self, of meaning, of purpose, of value, of ethics – that are designed to prolong the inevitable conclusion of gnawing insignificance, we begin to appreciate that the kernel beneath the layers of anti-Islam hate consists of an incredibly fragile, lost man.
There is an understandable anxiety in facing a man, a Muslim, who only knows this too well. Nonetheless, we are sure his intellectual forbears would be most unimpressed with his poltroonish behaviour.
The neocons and their allies in the right-wing press are clutching at straws to frame the Leicester flare-up as an “Islamist” provocation rather than a sign of foreign fascist influence. Not a single mention of Hindtuva, RSS, or BJP is made in Murray’s article.
And this is telling.
We believe this silence is due to the political and ideological convergence between pro-Israeli neocon and Hindutva ideologies and ideologues.
In the next piece, we will examine this convergence and show how this is manifesting in the Hinutva-neocon ideologues philosophically, within the British government, and in the Leicester incident. During the course of this analysis, we will also show that the common thread uniting and animating the pro-Israeli Hindutva-neocon axis is their hatred of Islam.
 Busher, J, The Making of Anti-Muslim Protest: Grassroots Activism in the English Defence League, p.19. p.58
 Ibid., p.135
 Murray, D., Neoconservatism: Why we need it, 2006, p.11.
 Kristol, I., Neoconservatism: An Autobiography of an Idea, 1995, p.360.
Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of Critical Content News