Law and Disorder Radio – Arun Kundnani on The Muslims Are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror – Joel Kovel on Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis – Hosts: Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

The Muslims Are Coming!

Since the beginning of the so-called war on terror, thousands of innocent Muslims have been entrapped, surveilled, and their communities infiltrated while law enforcement spends untold resources in search for the radicalized terrorist. In Arun Kundnani’s recent book titled The Muslims Are Coming!, he carefully looks at the ideologies and strategies of law enforcement used to create the domestic war on terror. He unveils the disturbing “radicalization” theories and racial profiling practices followed by law enforcement.

Arun Kundnani:

There wasn’t any reflection of what the political causes of 9/11 might be, or the political context that might give rise to Al-Qaeda.

That discussion was basically censored, at least in the United States.

The war on terror has failed.

  • “Radicalization” is the chief lens that security officials in Western government use to lock up Muslim populations.
  • The idea of radicalization is that there’s this kind of ideology out there that turns ordinary Muslims into terrorists.
  • The FBI and the police departments both have the same model of radicalization, which they claim tells you the process that someone goes through from being an ordinary member of the public to becoming a terrorist.
  • Within that there are various indicators such as behavior or things that people might say or believe that are supposed to be signs that someone is traveling on this path to becoming a terrorist.
  • This provides the basis for the very aggressive practice of surveillance that we’ve seen from both of those law enforcement agencies.
  • It enables them to have a frame of reference to intervene within Muslim populations within the United States, to tackle the ideology that they see is the root driver for this.
  • There are 4 stages in this model: growing a beard, wearing Islamic clothing, changing the mosque that you attend, being active in a pro-Muslim in a social or political group.
  • They often correspond to expression of political opinion.
  • The FBI as of 2008 had 15,000 paid informants on its books. That’s a huge number given that half of the FBI’s budget is given to counter-terrorism. The sting operations using informants are the key method of dealing with this.
  • The Stasi in Germany had one spy for every 66 East German citizens. It’s with that kind of ratio that you can talk about a totalitarian system of surveillance.
  • Muslims in America are probably experiencing the same level of surveillance that East Germans faced under the Stasi.
  • The liberal take on the war on terror is not the same as the neoconservative take.
  • The liberal view is that as a Muslim you’re potentially bad and you need to prove that you’re not by the kind of ideology you express. That’s characterized the Obama period in the war on terror.
  • The way that the word terrorism or the word extremism or radicalization works is that is serves to criminalize and demonize people who have radical political opinion, irrespective if they’re involved in any kind of violence.
  • The structures of surveillance that have been set up in the war on terror get recycled for all kinds of other purposes.

Guest – Arun Kundnani writes about race, Islamophobia, political violence, and surveillance. His latest book The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror was published by Verso Books in March 2014. Born in London, Kundnani moved to New York in 2010 on a fellowship with the Open Society Foundation and now lives in Harlem. He is the author of The End of Tolerance: Racism in 21st Century Britain, which was selected as a New Statesman book of the year in 2007. A former editor of the journal Race and Class, he was miseducated at Cambridge University, holds a PhD from London Metropolitan University, and teaches at New York University.

We look at Ukraine’s neo-Nazis, Stepan Bandera and the legacy of World War II. Every important ministry in the Ukraine is now held by ultra-nationalists. The Ministries of Education, Social Policy, Policing, Prosecution and National Defense are all headed up by people whose party is a direct descendant of Stepan Bandera’s right-wing movement in the Ukraine during World War II. Bandera and his movement were responsible for the genocide of more than 500,000, including Poles, Ukrainians and Jews. This fact is played down by the U.S. government, the mainstream media in the United States, the state of Israel and its defenders amongst the Jewish establishment, including Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.

Joel Kovel:

I think it’s important to recognize this as an utterly illegitimate US puppet government because it doesn’t have any standing for the Ukrainian people as a whole. It has to be defended by neo-Nazi elements which

stepan-bandera12aren’t enormously plentiful, but plentiful enough, and they will do the bidding of their masters.

It started as a quarrel in a soccer stadium, and moved to Odessa. Odessa is an extremely important town–it was one of the centers of world Jewish culture for a long time, still has 30,000 Jews in it.

The Ukrainian loyalists overwhelmed the other people and drove them into this building. They set fires within the building which led to a hideous massacre–one-on-one violence but also people jumping out of the windows, dying from smoke inhalation.

Watching it on Youtube you saw the total savagery and unspeakable brutality of these thugs. They were laughing, having the time of their lives.

There were police around, military around; they did nothing to stop this.

This has been utterly obscured and denied by the mainstream media, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times.

My parents were both born in Ukraine. In the early years of the last century, one third of the Jews in the world lived in Ukraine.

You have a bloody, contentious history marked by an enormous amount of hatred and vindictiveness. I think all nationalisms are pathological, frankly.

Ukrainian nationalism was particularly virulent. We’re dealing with another brand of ultra-nationalism with the state of Israel, and they’re not unconnected with all this.

Fascism being a right-wing alliance between large bourgeois and nationalist forces always uses some kind of mythic or racist ideology to legitimate itself.

Ukraine: there’s never been a solid national identity; there’s a tremendous complex mixture of things.

There’s a book called Organized Antisemitism in Contemporary Ukraine: Structure, Influence and Ideology.

Of course the US thinks they’re manipulating the puppets so they can control them. You go down that road, there’s going to be a lot of tragedies as the puppet turns on the master.

There are Ukrainian rabbis quoted as saying, we’re getting ready to evacuate, we have plans. We’re ready to go in half an hour. We’re afraid a genocide is going to happen again. Meanwhile, Abe Foxman is saying, don’t worry.

The New York Times had a headline about 3 or 4 weeks ago, about how this was all overblown, Ukraine’s Jews say that Putin not antisemitism is the problem.

That’s the headline in the New York Times. How could they do that?

We need a massive onslaught against the program of lies and deception that is being waged by our national media in total lockstep with the imperial interest of the United States. I’ve never in my life seen journalism sink to such an abyss as it has, and in the very least this is a front that we can occupy.

It means a lot because Americans don’t want this to be happening. This is something that our power system wants. One front is the ruthless critique of the media and the lies that our government is putting out.

Guest – Joel Kovel, a scholar and activist. He has published nine books and over a hundred articles and reviews. His books include White Racism, which was nominated for a National Book Award in 1972; A Complete Guide to Therapy; The Age of Desire (in which his work in the psychiatric-psychoanalytic system is detailed); Against the State of Nuclear Terror; In Nicaragua; The Radical Spirit; and History and Spirit. He is a member of the Committee for the Open Discussion of Zionism.