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Muslim civil servants being targeted in witch-hunt

Anti-Islamophobia demonstrators protest outside the Conservative Party headquarters in London, Britain, February 29, 2024. (Photo by Reuters)

The British government's anti-Muslim witch-hunt has now extended beyond the secretary of state for leveling up using parliamentary privilege to smear Muslim organizations. Now Muslim civil servants are being targeted.

The British government assault on all things pertaining to Muslims carries on apace. No sooner had the toxic Minister for Leveling up, Michael Gove, smeared five specific Muslim groups as potentially extremist, than he widened the attack by turning on Muslims in the civil service, echoing the shift in policy from individual extremism to targeting Muslim institutions.

The Civil Service Muslim Network was in the crosshairs.

The Times reported that meetings held under the auspices of the network featured numerous anti-Semitic tropes, however, the only alleged trope The Times was able to identify was one in which an official involved in the webinars allegedly told staff that the Israel lobby had an insidious influence on British politics, widely regarded as a common anti-Semitic trope.

The Times also reported that the official had shared anecdotes from a lecture given by Lowkey, a controversial anti-Zionist rapper, claiming the Western media was covering up US and UK involvement in the war against Hamas.

 The same official claimed that the mainstream media was biased and full of lies.

None of this is anti-Semitic or even inaccurate. The only way to make this seem a real story was for The Times to fabricate a quote in its headline by claiming the term 'Jewish Lobby' had been used.

In fact, the term used in the story was the 'Israel Lobby'. The headline was later corrected.

The response was swift; the government claimed that the Civil Service Muslim Network had suspended itself.

The Public Service Union, PCS, objected that Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden suspended the Civil Service Muslim Network.

The action raises deep concerns of Islamophobia at the heart of government, they said, but this was not all.

Fiyaz Mughal, the controversial anti-Islam campaigner, was set to be unveiled as the British government's new anti-Muslim-hatred czar. After damning information about him was published online, Downing Street reportedly quashed his appointment leaving Mughal to pretend that he had withdrawn of his own volition as a result of attacks from Islamists.

He also alleged some officials in Whitehall are sympathetic to Islamists, which he said was a part of the problem.

The narrative was taken up by the extremist Jewish Chronicle citing leaks of the contents of Gove's speech in the days before he gave it, including the names of organizations that were to be assessed.

And second, the leaking of the names for the post of government czar on Islamophobia.

The Jewish Chronicle claims that the source of the leak was likely to work in the Department for Leveling Up, which is Gove's department.

Gove said he had already commissioned a leak inquiry, and thus the wave of anti-Muslim panic fanned inside Whitehall.

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