Theresa May

British PM Theresa May brings Islamophobia to 10 Downing

Alwaght- In an anti-climax following the election of the first Muslim mayor of London, Muslim in Britain have been shocked by the selection of an extremist Islamophobe as Prime Minister.

In early May this year, Muslims in Britain celebrated as  Muslim of Pakistani origin, Sadiq Khan, was elected the mayor of London with some terming it a sign of British Muslim have now been fully integrated in the country. Well, apparently they were misplaced celebrations since an Islamophobe, Theresa May, is now occupying the British seat of powers, 10 Downing Street.

Islamophobe of the Year 2015

In fact, last year in a poll carried out by London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, thousands of Muslims overwhelmingly voted her the Islamophobe of the Year in 2015.

This being the case, Muslims across Britain have every right to be scared  following the Wednesday anointment of Conservative Party politician as premier.

May topped the annual online poll by the Islamic Human Rights Commission in which the general public elects the most Islamophobic personalities. The former Home Secretary earned the dubious distinction for presiding over a raft of counter-terrorism policies which have demonized and isolated Muslims. She presided over the formulation of Britain’s draconian so called anti-terrorism laws. It is an offence to “glorify” terrorism.

Foremost of these was the draconian Counter Terrorism and Security Bill 2015 which IHRC viewed as the latest in a long line of legislation to target and criminalize the Muslim community.

May also used the Human Rights Convention she scorned as a means to halt the extradition of Gary McKinnon to the US – while allowing that of Talha Ahsan who is a Muslim. Both had Asperger’s Syndrome and were charged with roughly the same crime.

After  Britain’s vote to exit the European Union dubbed Brexit there has been an unprecedented  surge in racist hate crimes and xenophobia across the kingdom.

With this new political dispensation in London, the situation is likely get from bad to worse.

Legacy of Hatred toward Muslims

A major aspect of May’s legacy as Home Secretary was her key role in implementing policies aimed at extreme surveillance, criminalizing and extraditing Muslims, refugees and migrants.

From the beginning of her tenure as home secretary in 2010, May has been a principal backer of the controversial “Preventing Violent Extremism” (Prevent) program, which was launched in the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings. Under this strategy, Muslims unconnected to wrongdoing have been subject to surveillance and criminalization. The initiative is so stigmatizing and alienating that it was criticized by a committee of British lawmakers in 2010.

While the government claims that Prevent targets extremism in all forms, data shows that Muslims — who only make up 5 percent of the national population — are targeted in the vast majority of cases.

The Muslim Council of Britain, one of the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella organizations, called May’s driven policy “divisive” and accused it of fostering a climate of suspicion.

According to Arun Kundnani, author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, extremism, and the domestic War on Terror, May has “defended it, backed it and driven it to a more authoritarian place.”

“Under her influence,” Kundnani said, “the policy has gone from paying lip service to the idea that it was focused on terrorism to being focused on what May refers to as ‘extremism,’ which is actually a different concept from terrorism. She has been responsible for introducing a concept of extremism that means someone who does not share fundamental British values. This has meant a clampdown on people who can be perceived to be outsiders, as not having the right culture.”

Pro-Israeli, Anti-Iranian

May is also known for aggressive anti-immigrant policies. In 2013, she organized a campaign to post billboards, flyers and even drive a van around London featuring the message, “In the U.K. illegally? Go home or face arrest.” As recently as March 2016, she was accused of wrongfully deporting up to 50,000 international students.

May’s hardline positions extend far beyond domestic surveillance. She voted in favor of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as well as troop deployments to Afghanistan, Syria and Libya.

Last year, May was accused by the Foreign Office in London of blocking attempts to reopen the British embassy in Tehran by refusing to back down on her demands until 4,000 Iranians are deported from Britain.

To make matters worse, May has a long history of support for Israel and other Jewish causes. Indeed she visited the Israeli entity on an official trip in the summer of 2014 to learn about the Tel Aviv ‘s repressive practices in policing .

May’s selection will certainly impact negatively on 3 million British Muslims with the country increasingly moving towards dangerous polarization amid a threatening rise of white supremacists and the Far Right political movement.

By Alwaght