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Sunder Katwala: The Conservatives, ethnic minority voters, and the election. Next to no progress.

Sunder Katwala is the Director of British Future.

Not being white remains the number one demographic predictor of not voting Conservative. The party was once again only half as likely to secure the vote of an ethnic minority Briton as of their white British fellow citizens in this General Election. But while that ethnic vote gap was the difference between a hung parliament and a working majority in 2017, Boris Johnson’s Conservatives found another route to a majority in 2019, winning Leave-majority seats from Labour across the North, the Midlands and Wales.

Ipsos-Mori’s How Britain voted in the 2019 election overview estimates that Labour won 64 per cent of the ethnic minority vote, with the Conservatives on 20 per cent (+1) and the Liberal Democrats on 12 per cent (+6).

Labour’s share is nine per cent down on 2017, but level with the party’s performance with ethnic minority voters in 2015. The Conservative performance in 2019 and 2017 reflects a modest decline from securing almost one in four ethnic minority voters (24 per cent) in 2015 in the Ipsos-Mori series.

The Liberal Democrat share doubled in this election – rising from six per cent in 2017 and four per cent in 2015 – though the centre party had won 14 per cent of the ethnic minority vote in 2010 before entering the coalition.

These figures would translate into over two million ethnic minority votes for Labour and perhaps 750,000 for the Conservatives – though the Conservatives would have another three-quarters of a million votes if it were able to level up its performance among minority groups. Caution is advisable about these indicative numbers – there is less data about the ethnic minority vote than any other section of the electorate, with no full-scale academic study since 2010.

There are different patterns among different parts of the electorate: the Conservatives have made some modest progress with British Chinese and Indian voters, while slipping back from a low base since 2010-15 with black British, Pakistani and Bangladeshi voters.

The most diverse Cabinet in British history may have laid the ghosts of the era of Enoch Powell – but the Windrush scandal and the party’s record on anti-Muslim prejudice have created new barriers to expanding the party’s appeal. The Conservatives won 13 per cent of the British Pakistani-origin vote in 2010, but that had fallen back to five per cent by 2017 – and is unlikely to improved this time.

A governing party should certainly not be content with one in twenty voters from a significant minority vote – a share no better than the estimated six per cent of British Jewish voters who voted for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, mired in an anti-semitism crisis. The clarity and credibility of the party’s review into the handling of anti-Muslim prejudice may offer an opportunity to reset and rebuild.

The Conservatives paid particular attention to winning British Indian-origin voters – but with very patchy results. In Harrow East, where Bob Blackman is the only Conservative to represent a ‘minority-majority’ seat, he outperformed colleagues across London by winning an increased majority on a five per cent swing to the Conservatives. There was also a dramatic 15 per cent swing to the Conservatives in Leicester East – a constituency where six out of ten votes are Indian-origin – after Keith Vaz stood down in ignominy, replaced by Labour NEC member Claudia Webbe. Labour’s majority was reduced from 30,000 to 6,000, but Webbe still won over 50 per cent of the vote.

Analysis suggests these results reflected local dynamics, rather than a national pattern. Joe Twyman of DeltaPoll has shown that there was no correlation between the proportion of Indian-origin voters in a constituency and changes in either Labour or Conservative support.

That applies similarly if the exercise is repeated for Hindu voters. Any dramatic swing to the Conservatives among Indian or Hindu voters should show up in these seats. “If you want to play the politics of voting blocs, then let’s play the politics of voting blocs”, Trupti Patel of the Hindu Forum of Britain told the Times of India – but the claim to command a Hindu voting bloc finds no support in the date.

Nor do outdated gatekeeper claims of this kind become any more legitimate if pursued from the right or the left. Similarly, the Overseas Friends of the BJP generated headlines in both India and Britain, claiming it would campaign to remove anti-Indian MPs from parliament, identifying several Labour MPs with Indian heritage a key targets. This much underestimated the political pluralism of British Indian views. Labour won 18 of the 20 seats with the highest number of Indian voters – and there will be seven Conservatives, seven Labour MPs and one Liberal Democrat MP with Indian heritage among the 65 ethnic minority MPs in the Commons.

The record ethnic diversity of the new Commons reflects the growing realisation that few voters vote on the skin colour of their candidates – so that a large number of black and Asian Conservatives representing areas of low ethnic diversity. So a One Nation party should keep its distance from campaign like “Operation Dharmic Vote” in Leicester, which appeared to explicitly propose voting on the grounds of the faith or ethnicity of candidates. The argument should have been about relative merits of the candidates and parties.

In theory, Brexit was an opportunity for the Conservatives with ethnic minority voters – since the third of British Asians and quarter of black British voters who voted Leave are larger shares of the electorate than have ever voted Conservative. But it also proved a barrier among upwardly mobile graduate and young professionals voters who the party was targeting during the Cameron era. Corbyn-sceptic black and Asian voters were more likely to switch to the Liberal Democrats this time – but the Conservatives might hope to try again once the debate about Brexit moves on.

Overall, the 2019 changes in the ethnic minority vote appear to be broadly in line with those among the electorate overall. That pattern is reflected in actual votes in the 75 most ethnically diverse constituencies, where Labour won 58 per cent of the vote, a fall of seven per cent, with the Conservatives on 27 per cent, matching their 2017 share exactly, and the LibDems up by four per cent to nine per cent, according to Omar Khan’s analysis for a forthcoming Runnymede Trust briefing paper.

Those figures represent all votes cast – by white British and ethnic minority voters – in constituencies where ethnic minority voters make up over a third of the electorate, and a majority of voters in the 50 most diverse seats. Up to half of the ethnic minority population live in these 75 constituencies.

The Conservatives hold five of these seats, having lost several others since 2015, holding just Harrow East and Hendon among the 30 most diverse seats – holding off opposition challenges in Finchley and Golders Green, Cities of London and Westminster, and the Prime Minister’s constituency of Uxbridge.

London voted differently from the rest of England. Labour’s dominance in London is almost entirely attributable to the ethnic minority vote gap. A YouGov poll for the Mile End Institute showed the two major parties neck and neck among white Londoners – a Labour lead of one per cent, compared to a 52 per cent lead among ethnic minority voters, where Labour led the Conservatives by 68 per cent to 16 per cent, with the Liberal Democrats on 11per cent. It is the ethnic minority electorate which means that Labour won 49 seats to the Conservatives 21 and three for the LibDems – and London’s Conservatives will need to work out how to develop a distinct pitch to recover in the capital.

Shaun Bailey will lead the London Conservatives in next May’s Mayoral election, but all 21 London Conservative MPs are white British. Given that the first Asian Conservative MP in London was elected back in 1895, and the second from 1992-97, it is surprising that Mancherjee Bhownagree in the nineteenth century and Nirj Deva in the twentieth century still await a twenty-first century successor. There is growing ethnic diversity on the Conservative benches across Essex and Kent, Hampshire, Surrey and Yorkshire, but not in the capital city during the first two decades of this century.

The contenders for the Labour leadership need to grapple with how to broaden the party’s electoral coalition. Two million ethnic minority voters make up one-fifth of the party’s national vote. The new electoral map confirms Labour as the party of the cities, but the party now needs to construct a bridging cross-class, cross-ethnic coalition across the cities and towns if it is to govern again. That will be heard if the party’s inquest descends into an exchange of culture war caricatures – as some voices stereotype the voters that it has lost as neanderthal xenophobes while others insult those it has keep as out-of-touch metropolitans.

The Conservative Government may face choices between bridging and polarising too. It wants to ensure that this Christmas 2019 realignment was not just for Brexit. Will the government prioritise delivering for its new constituents on bridging issues – the NHS, schools and reviving the high streets – that have a broad cross-ethnic appeal, or will it seek advantage in feeding the culture war polarisations that increasingly fuel US politics in the Trump era? Do ethnic minority working-classes feature in the party’s account of rewarding contribution, or will approaches to meritocracy that can combines class and race barriers – like the pioneering race disparity audit – now get shelved?

The tone as well as the policy on post-Brexit immigration reforms will be one early indicator: a skills-based system that is nationality-blind could have broad appeal if ministers are heard to make the case for contribution and compassion alongside control.

The 2019 election shows that not yet solving the problem of how to appeal to ethnic minority voters is not yet an existential electoral issue. Yet it remains core test of any claim to govern for One Nation that the Government’s agenda should resonate and deliver for citizens of every faith and ethnicity.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Andrew Wood: Understanding why we lost in east London

Cllr Andrew Wood is the Leader of the Conservative Group on Tower Hamlets Council, and a councillor for Canary Wharf Ward.

In east London, Labour won with huge majorities. In my constituency, we came second with 16 per cent of the vote to Labour’s 63 per cent. East London is one of only four areas left with a large number of Labour MPs. So, if Labour rebuilds, it will be from places like here. Therefore, understanding why we lost so badly in east London arguably may be more important than understanding why we won elsewhere. Not because we expect, or need, to win seats here, but because the groups that support Labour here are largely drawn from the young, the professional middle-class, and Muslims. These are groups we can and should be appealing to, if we are to be One Nation Conservatives. These are also groups that are moving out of east London into seats that we do need to retain in five or ten years time. Here are some things we can do to reduce their resistance to voting Conservative.

Send some love to EU citizens

There are simple and quick measures to dispel some of the fears and propaganda that we are about to treat EU citizens like we did the Windrush generation. For a start, retain the right of EU citizens to vote in local elections. Either it is right that Council Taxpayers can vote, or it is not, it should not be a bargaining chip in negotiations. I got elected as a Conservative in an area with large numbers of EU citizens: Conservatives can win their vote. I would go further and give those with settled status the votes in national elections as we do with Commonwealth citizens. They have made a commitment to the UK, let’s return that commitment. It is also ludicrous that the price of UK citizenship is £1,206. In 2020 let’s reduce the price to zero for those with settled status as a further reassurance to them that they can settle here. It will prove that we are not the nasty people of Labour propaganda.

Islamophobia

Many of my Muslim residents are conservatives when it comes to our policies. For example, right to buy is very popular. Many are aspirational; many are small business owners. But they are highly resistant to voting Conservative, in part because Labour have done a better job of appealing to them by making them feel welcome. We need to stop providing any further evidence that we are Islamophobic as it will be shared relentlessly on social media as further proof that we cannot be trusted. I welcome the appointment of Professor Sarwan Singh. I hope he sets clear guidelines about what is acceptable or not. But we need to learn the lessons of anti-Semitism in Labour. We cannot let his report suffer the same fate as the Chakrabarti report on anti-Semitism. If we do not enforce the rules he sets, it will be pointless.

Problems at home

We are building more new homes in east London than anywhere else in the UK. The Manifesto promised to reduce the price of new homes by 30 per cent for local people. In my Ward that still means a two-bedroom apartment would cost over £500,000. As a result, many are forced to rent and won’t build up the capital to buy their own property. And if you do not own your own property will you vote Conservative? But whether you own or rent, the housing market does not work well. If you live in a tall building over 18 metres you may be unable to mortgage it now due to the Advice Note 14 the government issued last year. Housing association tenants and leaseholders are trapped in a monopoly situation, unable to effectively make choices about a range of issues affecting their home. The same applies to leaseholders who think they own their own homes – they really don’t unless they are lucky enough to own their freehold and run their management company. Right to buy is extremely popular with many Labour supporters but until housing associations are forced to sell, it will be half-hearted and will be resisted.

Don’t kill the golden goose

The three most important economic centres in the UK are in London, including Canary Wharf (which generates between £12 billion to £14 billion a year in taxes, very little of which is spent locally). Yes, we need to spend more in the north, especially on infrastructure, but it will take time for that to generate an economic return. You remain dependent in the meantime on places like my ward continuing to generate the golden eggs of employment, taxes, and foreign exchange earnings to make those investments in services and infrastructure across the UK. If you want us to continue to provide those eggs, you need to ensure that the goose is well looked after as well.

Service industries

81 per cent of the UK economy is composed of service industries. 83 per cent of jobs are in service industries. Most of my residents work in service-based industries that heavily rely on our global links, many will be working with EU-27 based colleagues in global companies whether in banking, insurance, business services, accountancy, retail, tourism, transport, health, publishing, IT, education, etc. Yet the debates over Brexit trade deals have ignored this reality. Can we focus on this a bit more to reassure workers in services industries that we also care about them and to protect the most important part of our economy?

Only the paranoid survive

In 1992, John Major won over 14.1 million votes. Still a record, but five years later, it fell to 9.6 million. Loss of our reputation for economic competence, internal division, tiredness, all had a part to play alongside the rebuilding of Labour as a credible alternative. We need to find a way of not messing up and to continue to broaden our appeal, especially to the young, as we cannot rely forever on a weak opposition.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

The Politics of And. Growing the Majority. 1) Muslims

The phrase is Tim Montgomerie’s.  He used to deploy it roughly as follows.  Yes, politics means making choices.  But they doesn’t always have to be either/or.  The Conservatives can have immigration control and international development.  Green growth and more fracking.  Same-sex marriage and transferable tax allowances.

The new majority Tory Government won’t necessarily smile on these examples.  But it will want to follow the principle.  To this end, ConservativeHome is reviving The Politics Of And.  In one series, we will examine Securing the Majority.  In another, Growing the Majority.  Boris Johnson will want to do both.

– – –

Growing The Majority 1) Muslims.

Communalism is a bad thing in politics.  Britain will be poorer in a dispensation in which the latter breaks down on ethnic and religious grounds – with white people voting Conservative; ethnic minorities voting for other parties; Jews voting Tory; Muslims voting Labour, and so on.  Whatever One Nation may mean, it isn’t this.

The religious and ethnic breakdown of the 2019 general election has yet to take place fully.  But we can be sure that Labour will have won the bulk of the votes of Muslims.  Most have usually voted Labour because they are relatively poor.  But relatively poor people are clearly voting Tory in larger numbers.

So something else is going on: generally, there is a connection with the broad integration/cohesion/extremism/terrorism debate; more narrowly, there is one with the row over Johnson, the burka and anti-Muslim hatred and prejudice; the legacy of the last London mayoral campaign, and so on.

In his pre-polling day interview with Andrew Gimson and Paul Goodman on this site, Boris Johnson suggested that the Conservative Party will hold its own post-election independent inquiry into anti-Muslim prejudice and hatred within the party.

He will now do so, having won a near landslide last week, from a position of strength.  That is to be welcomed.  We have long wanted an inquiry into this hatred and prejudice across all parties, doing so first as long ago as 2010, and later recommending that the Extremism Commissioner take it on.

We understand that Sajid Javid, who pushed for a narrower inquiry during the Tory leadership election, has won the day.  Our reservation has always been a practical rather than an ideological one: what’s required is an inquiry that can distinguish between prejudice against Islam (and Muslims) and prejudice against Islamism.

Johnson clearly wouldn’t get one were the Muslim Brotherhood or the Jamaat-e-Islami to get anywhere near it.  But that is no reason why the inquiry should not have a Muslim chair and a Muslim majority.  It should also be able to call on the advice and views of the Party’s own Muslim MPs, councillors and the Conservative Muslim Forum.

The former now include Saqib Bhatti, the new Tory MP for Meriden, and Imran Ahmad-Khan, who won Wakefield from Labour, as well as older stagers such as Javid, Nus Ghani, Nadhim Zahawi and Rehman Chishti.  A full outreach programme is needed but the inquiry will clearly be the place to start.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Sunder Katwala: Childcare, not Kashmir. Neither Narendra Modi nor Imran Khan are candidates in this election.

Sunder Katwala is the Director of British Future.

Successive Conservative party leaders have seen the party’s historically distant relationship with British ethnic minorities as an existential challenge. The party has been only half as likely to win the vote of a non-white as a white British citizen. British Future’s research showed how that ethnic vote gap made the difference between a hung parliament and winning a majority in both 2010 and 2017.

This should be a question of values as well as votes. Any party that aspires to govern our country should want to pass a simple one nation test: that no citizen should feel any tension between supporting that party and their ethnic and faith background. All parties have got work to do for that aspiration to be realised.

The Labour Party’s ruptured relationships with the Jewish community will be a significant election issue. The broad majority of British Jews have lost confidence in Labour’s response to anti-semitism, so that the party which proudly pioneered anti-discrimination legislation in Britain finds itself the subject of an EHRC investigation into evidence compiled by Jewish party members about its failure to create a process or party culture to deal with anti-semitism effectively.

The Conservatives have made some progress with Indian voters, somewhat more slowly than the Conservatives had hoped, or than the socio-economic profile of Indian voters would suggest. So the Conservatives are clearly not the party of Enoch Powell anymore, but the focus on “historic baggage” has overlooked the extent to which the party has risked creating new baggage, as the Windrush scandal exemplified.

The Conservative Party has flat-lined or slipped back from a low base with both black British voters and British Muslims. There was little public debate in the party after Zac Goldsmith’s campaign for London Mayor in 2016. and the sluggish progress after Boris Johnson’s commitment to an inquiry into anti-Muslim prejudice in the party, secured by Sajid Javid during the party leadership contest, captures a reactive and reluctant approach to grasping this nettle.

There is an increasingly divergent pattern between different minority groups, but generalising about ethnic groups also over-simplifies if it does not recognise how cleavages of class, education and geography play out within minority groups too. Black British and Asian voters were also Remainers and Leavers . Those who work in the public sector, who lean left, and private sector, who lean right, may prioritise different issues too.

Johnson has said that he is proud to have appointed the most ethnically diverse Cabinet in British history: the party plans to give  Priti Patel, Sajid Javid and rising star Rishi Sunak a prominent role in the election. The Conservative 2019 campaign will seek to narrow the ethnic voting gap, but it may have become a second-order priority in the short-term. The central focus of the party’s Brexit realignment bid in 2019 is on Leave-voting towns held by Labour, that have an older and whiter demographic, rather echoing how the 2015 majority combined some progress with British Asian voters along with heavy gains in the south-west, among England’s least ethnically diverse regions.

There are towns, including Bedford, Keighley and Peterborough where the ethnic minority vote may play a significant role this time around. The gradual geographic spread of ethnic diversity means that ethnic minority voters are not just a large share of the vote in London marginals like Battersea and Kensington, but one part of the electoral jigsaw in suburban marginal seats too.

The Conservatives may be slower to increase their share of Indian voters if they can’t reverse the broader generation gap in British politics, so that young graduates and the under-30s are leaning left across most groups, as part of the polarisation by education and age of post-Brexit politics. Beyond the 2019 campaign, any sustainable majority strategy for the party depends on working how to bridge these generational and ethnic minority gap.

British elections often see noisy, self-promoting claims about the ability to deliver ethnic minority voters en bloc to swing seats from one party or another, with a noisy row over claims to represent the Indian vote in this election.

Foreign policy issues are, doubtless, somewhat more salient to diasporas than to other voters – but to nothing like the extent that media coverage suggests.  The evidence suggests that ethnic minority voters also prioritise domestic issues – the economy, jobs and the NHS – over foreign policy ones.  For most ethnic minority voters, the central questions are who should lead the country; Brexit; jobs, crime, the economy and the NHS.

Views of foreign policy may reinforce broader feelings of trust or mistrust about Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn, but neither Narendra Modi nor Imran Khan are on the ballot paper in a British general election and British voters from Indian and Pakistani backgrounds have mixed views of both leaders.  There will also be British Indian voters for whom crime, childcare or climate change are more pressing issues than Kashmir.

Temples, mosque and gurdwaras remain popular for colourful political photo opportunities. Younger British-born ethnic minority voters will expect to hear from national party leaders or their local candidates about why they deserve their vote – rather than listening to those who claim that their faith or ethnic background should determine their vote. The idea that those in the congregation want to be instructed on how to vote is an outdated form of minority politics that younger British-born voters often want to leave behind.

Efforts to play ‘good minority’ and ‘bad minority’ on either side of the party argument would be bad for social cohesion in Britain – and deserve to fail electorally too. As all parties seek to secure support from these growing sections of the electorate, they need to do so for the right reasons if they want to pass the one nation test.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

In The Midst Of Criticism Over China Policy, Trump Administration Comes Out Swinging Over Treatment Of Uighur Muslims

Westlake Legal Group rsz_94239b55-bba9-4a94-94cb-571619514f3b-620x413 In The Midst Of Criticism Over China Policy, Trump Administration Comes Out Swinging Over Treatment Of Uighur Muslims uighur Travel Visa Ban State Department Muslims Mike Pompeo Middle East Human Rights Front Page Stories China Trade Talks China

Against the backdrop of criticism over China policy involving everything from trade to social media diplomacy, the Trump administration via The State Department announced Tuesday the imposition of travel visa bans on Chinese government and Communist officials for what State considers human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang providence.

On a call with reporters, State Department officials noted that the move was part of a broader effort by the administration to prioritize religious freedom.

“Promotion of protection of religious freedom is a major goal” of the administration, one official noted.

Officials also noted the decision was unprecedented and that the U.S. was the first to take action on it. The hope is that other nations will eventually follow suit in condemning the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China, who are prevented from making certain purchases, staying in hotels, or obtaining  passports. There are also thought to be more than a million Uighur Muslims detained in Chinese camps, and the rest are surveilled by the state.

The justification for the visa ban, which will prevent Chinese officials or their family members from traveling to the U.S.,  according to one State Department official was a direct response to the policy of mistreatment on Uighur Muslims on the basis of “preemptive counterterrorism.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has referred to treatment of the Uighur community in China as the “stain of the century,” made a statement Tuesday explaining the decision.

Pompeo is imposing the restrictions on government leaders and Communist Party officials who are found responsible for or complicit in the detention and abuse of Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other minority Muslim groups in Xinjiang, according to the State Department. Travel by those officials’ family members will also be restricted.

“The Chinese government has instituted a highly repressive campaign against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other members of Muslim minority groups,” Pompeo said in a statement Tuesday. “The United States calls on the People’s Republic of China to immediately end its campaign of repression in Xinjiang.”

The travel ban comes a day after the U.S. added 28 Chinese companies to a blacklist over treatment of Uighur Muslims, angering Chinese authorities in the process.

“There is no such thing as these so-called ‘human rights issues’ as claimed by the United States,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. “These accusations are nothing more than an excuse for the United States to deliberately interfere in China’s internal affairs.”

State Department officials said Tuesday they hope the decision will help potential allies, particularly ones located in Muslim-heavy countries in the Middle East, build a coalition to address the Uighur abuse and incentivize them to begin accepting the “scale and scope of the problem.”

 

The post In The Midst Of Criticism Over China Policy, Trump Administration Comes Out Swinging Over Treatment Of Uighur Muslims appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group mike-pompeo-presser-nk-300x170 In The Midst Of Criticism Over China Policy, Trump Administration Comes Out Swinging Over Treatment Of Uighur Muslims uighur Travel Visa Ban State Department Muslims Mike Pompeo Middle East Human Rights Front Page Stories China Trade Talks China   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Video: Hundreds of handcuffed, blindfolded prisoners in China

Westlake Legal Group China-prisoners Video: Hundreds of handcuffed, blindfolded prisoners in China Xinjiang Uighurs The Blog Muslims China

Video posted online last month shows several hundred prisoners who are handcuffed and blindfolded being taken away from a train. Of course prisoner transfers happen everywhere in the world, but in this case, the prisoners are from China’s Xinjiang province who were likely arrested because they are Muslim:

For the last two-and-a-half years, China has been detaining hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in what Beijing alternately describes as “voluntary de-radicalization camps” and “vocational training centers.” Former detainees have described them as closer to internment camps, however, and allegations of abuse are rampant, including in firsthand accounts given to CNN describing torture and forced political re-education under the threat of violence.

A western intelligence official told CNN they believed the video was authentic.

“China needs to be challenged for this behavior,” the official said. “So many countries support China on human rights without understanding that it appears to be attempting to wipe out the entire Uyghur identity.”

CNN also spoke to former prisoners who said they remember being transferred on trains exactly as shown in the video:

Amanzhan Seiit, a Muslim ethnic Kazakh, said he was detained in China in 2018, but was never told what for. After several weeks in one camp, he said he was moved to another in a fashion exactly the same as shown in the video.

“We were made to sit just like that,” he told CNN. “They put cuffs on our hands and legs and masks over our heads. Lots of police were there with guns.”

Here’s the full clip:

Last Friday, PBS ran a 15-minute story that mentioned the video. This report interviewed several former prisoners of the re-education camps who say the camps are set up like jails where prisoners are indoctrinated every day. But the indoctrination doesn’t end with the camps. China actually sends Han Chinese to live with Uyghur families in their homes as a kind of on-site minder for the state. In Xinjiang, the cultural revolution lives on complete with struggle sessions and persecution of anyone who doesn’t fall in line with the communist authorities. This is the future the people of Hong Kong are hoping to avoid.

Here’s the report and, rest assured, the NBA has nothing negative to say about any of this:

The post Video: Hundreds of handcuffed, blindfolded prisoners in China appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group China-prisoners-300x159 Video: Hundreds of handcuffed, blindfolded prisoners in China Xinjiang Uighurs The Blog Muslims China   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Will Baldét: As well as combating terrorism, we must tackle the underlying ideology of Islamisim

Will Baldét is a  Regional Prevent Coordinator and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right.

The threat from Islamist terrorism has evolved in both its complexity and application. Initially relying on spectacle to capture the attention of the world’s media, the degradation of Islamic State has led to a reliance on unsophisticated, self-starter attacks by individuals often inspired, rather than directed, by terrorist groups.

While the violent methodology is continually evolving, there is an underlying factor that remains largely unchanged: an extreme Islamist ideology redefines Islam though its own political prism. Just as the first victims of terrorism are often Muslims themselves, the predominant victims of Islamist extremism will be Muslim-majority countries and the religion of Islam.

Governments have united to push back the military threat from Islamic State, but amidst the carnage of a terrorist massacre it’s easy to forget that terrorism itself is merely a tactic, albeit one with horrific consequences.

Are we confident that enough is being done to tackle the ideology itself, or that Muslim-majority countries, without whom we cannot dispel the Islamist threat, are equally at the forefront of implementing Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategies to inoculate communities against the doctrines that underpin global terrorism? I have been involved in the UK’s CVE strategy, Prevent, for over a decade, and I have seen how vital it is to involve Muslim communities on the front line in the fight against Islamist extremism. Yet too often the approach to disengagement and de-radicalisation has been dominated by non-Muslim academics, policy-makers and practitioners.

However, last year I attended the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) in Abu Dhabi and its host, the Hedayah Centre based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is arguably the first concerted effort by the global Muslim community to face up to the deeper risks posed by Islamism and recognise its distinction from terrorism.

Tackling an evolving threat requires an equally flexible and adaptable approach, and Hedayah has developed a multi-disciplinary programme that operates across different layers of society. While Islamist extremism is a global problem, it often exploits local grievances, both real and perceived. It is increasingly clear that an effective CVE strategy must be hyper-local; that is, rooted in the very communities at risk from exploitation.

Recognising that governments are not the best actors to operate at this level, Hedayah promotes engagement with other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and communities themselves to bring young people, women, families, and local religious leaders together to include their perspectives in the application of CVE policy and equip them with the knowledge and the tools to counter Islamist narratives.

To complement this grass-roots approach to CVE, Hedayah works with governments to help them build an effective national framework, bringing together relevant sectors and ministries, within which NGOs can operate most effectively. This is crucially important for the ongoing challenge of repatriating returning foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs). Although this is not a new phenomenon, Islamic State fighters are more likely to return in a highly radicalised and indoctrinated state and require careful reintegration back into society once countries are assured they no longer pose a threat. Such efforts require close cooperation between national governments, local municipalities and local NGOs. Hedayah’s approach is to understand the original motivations of individual fighters and utilise this knowledge to develop safe integration strategies.

My own experience has shown me that it is vital to secure the support of Muslim communities in tackling Islamist extremism, and I cannot emphasise enough the existential threat now facing them. These communities are under siege not only from the industrial-scale recruitment efforts of terrorist organisations and the alacritous rise of neo-fascist groups who see Islam as a threat to their own way of life, but also the increasingly invisible and pernicious influence of non-violent Islamist groups.

While our attention must always stay focused on preventing the next terrorist attack, we must also recognise that the difference between the tactics of violent Islamist ideologues, whose aim is to establish a Caliphate and implement their own interpretation of Sharia, and their non-violent counterparts is often one of pragmatism. More initiatives like UAE’s Hedayah Centre, involving not only Muslim communities, but entire Muslim nations and cultures, is the most effective way the world can push back against Islamist extremism.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Mohammed Amin: I don’t like the term “Islamophobia”. But since we’re stuck with it, here’s my own definition.

Until his recent expulsion, Mohammed Amin MBE was Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum . He is writing in a personal capacity.

As explained previously, I consider that 22 years of poor-quality definitions of Islamophobia have made the word incapable of being rescued.

However, in Parliament during May, James Brokenshire committed the Government to coming up with its own definition. To save it work, I am supplying one.

In my view, the key goal of any new definition must be to make it clear that, like antisemitism and homophobia, Islamophobia is about how you treat other people, and not about your views regarding an abstract noun (Islam).

I have intentionally used the structure of the IHRA definition of anti-semitism, since it has become an industry standard. I have also added some emphasis, as there are certain words in the IHRA (Interntional Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition which many people regularly ignore or forget about.

The definition of Islamophobia

The definition below is intended as a complete, self-contained, replacement for all previous definitions. Accordingly, any commentaries on those earlier definitions should be ignored when construing this definition.

“Islamophobia is a negative perception of Muslims, which may in extreme cases be expressed as violence toward Muslims, and in less extreme cases as hatred of Muslims, discrimination against Muslims, and abusive language against Muslims.

Rhetorical and physical manifestations of Islamophobia may be directed toward Muslim individuals.

They may also be directed against non-Muslim individuals either because they are wrongly believed to be Muslims or because they are considered sympathetic to Muslims.

They may also be directed towards the property of such Muslim or non-Muslim individuals, or towards Muslim community institutions and religious facilities.”

Guidance on the use of the definition

The following examples may serve as illustrations.

Manifestations of Islamophobia might include extreme, and repetitive attacks upon the religion of Islam, asserting that it is a uniquely violent religion, or that Muslims have historically sought to exterminate all non-Muslims or sought to compel all non-Muslims to convert to Islam.

However, criticism of Islam similar to that levelled against any other religion, including asserting that Muhammad created the Quran from available extant sources, or other academically argued challenges to the history or theology of Islam, cannot be regarded as Islamophobic. Nor is it Islamophobic to point out that at specific times in specific places some Muslim rulers have practiced forced conversion.

Islamophobia frequently charges the generality of Muslims today with seeking to harm humanity, or with seeking to impose Islam on others. It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

Contemporary examples of Islamophobia in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
  2. Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims such as the claim that Muslims wish to take over countries into which they have immigrated by demographic expansion.
  3. Accusing Muslims as a category of religious people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Muslims.
  4. Denying the fact, scope, or intentionality of genocides where Muslims are the victims as in the case of Srebrenica or more recently in the case of the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar.
  5. Accusing Muslim citizens of being more loyal to Muslim majority countries, or to the alleged priorities of Muslims worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
  6. Applying double standards by requiring of Muslims a behaviour not expected or demanded of other religious groups.
  7. Using the symbols and images associated with terrorists who are Muslims (e.g. swords dripping blood, images of Jihad) to characterize Muslims generally.
  8. Holding Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of terrorist groups such as ISIS or Al Qaeda.
  9. Seeking to demonise the Prophet Muhammad by using abusive language such as “paedophile”. (Simply pointing out the widely believed age of Aisha at the time of her marriage is not Islamophobic, as many Muslims also believe that she was very young when she was married. It is the type of language used, and an obsession with this issue, that is an indicator of probable Islamophobic attitudes.)

Islamophobic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law. For example, Austria has a blasphemy law which has been used to convict someone of anti-Islamic blasphemy.

Criminal acts are Islamophobic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Muslim or linked to Muslims.

Islamophobic discrimination is the denial to Muslims of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.

I am not expressing a view in this article about under what circumstances, if any, Islamophobic acts or discrimination should become criminal acts: that will be for a later piece which I hope ConservativeHome will carry.

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Dalai Lama: Sure, a female successor would be okay — if she’s hot

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To cleanse the palate. Yesterday’s CW: The Dalai Lama is the world’s most enlightened man.

Today’s CW: The Dalai Lama must be deplatformed.

Or at least stripped of his Nobel Prize.

This is unexpected:

I like that he just owns it, almost cheerily, even. It’s vaguely Trumpy in its unapologetic political correctness.

In fact, upon further review, this guy sounds very Trumpy:

The 83-year-old said: ‘European countries should take these refugees and give them education and training, and the aim is – return to their own land with certain skills.’…

When asked what should happen to those who want to stay in their adopted countries, he replied: ‘A limited number is OK. But the whole of Europe [will] eventually become Muslim country – impossible. Or African country, also impossible.’…

He added: ‘They themselves, I think [are] better in their own land. Better [to] keep Europe for Europeans.’

So there’s the low-key biggest news of the week. At some point when the world wasn’t looking, the Dalai Lama got red-pilled.

Here’s a few more bits from the same interview, including some of the comments about refugees. I’m tempted to wonder if Trump will be reincarnated as his successor, but the subject of Trump is broached here and, well, it doesn’t go well.

The post Dalai Lama: Sure, a female successor would be okay — if she’s hot appeared first on Hot Air.

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Daniel Hannan: The Johnson tape, the Field incident. So much was said about both. But why the silence about the Kirklees arrests?

Daniel Hannan is an MEP for South-East England, and a journalist, author and broadcaster. His most recent book is What Next: How to Get the Best from Brexit.

We learned at the end of last week that West Yorkshire Police had arrested 44 people as part of a probe into organised sexual abuse. Not that you’ll have seen much about it on TV or in the weekend newspapers, which were instead obsessed first with the eco-protesters who had invaded the Lord Mayor’s banquet, and then with fact that Boris Johnson’s girlfriend had reportedly shouted at him.

Some columnists worked themselves into a lather about how shocking it was for an MP to manhandle a female protester. Others – and this was trickier since, in the Johnson case, the police confirmed that nothing untoward had happened – sounded off about domestic abuse in general, and how public-spirited the snooping neighbours had been. Almost no-one thought it worth talking about grooming.

It’s true, of course, that we don’t know the details of what happened in Kirklees. The presumption of innocence must apply in this as in any other case. Still, given what we know about similar cases in Yorkshire, and given the gravity of the accusations, isn’t there a pretty strong public interest in the arrests? The investigation, after all, concerns the systematic rape of underage girls. I know there is a growing list of Subjects On Which Male Columnists Are Not Allowed An Opinion, but I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that all of us, men and women, can recognise that prolonged exploitation and sexual abuse is worse than being frogmarched out of a room or having wine spilled on your sofa.

Why, then, the imbalance in column inches? Google “West Yorkshire grooming” and you’ll mainly find advertisements for dog and cat parlours. The arrests were reported in local newspapers and on regional television, but made barely a dent in the national media.

Is it, as some will allege, a liberal conspiracy to cover up crimes committed by Muslims? Hardly. Yes, there are journalists who are squeamish about cases of this kind, and hyper-sensitivity about imagined racism was an exacerbating factor in the Rotherham abominations. But that doesn’t explain why there was so little coverage in conservative, as well as Leftist, media.

Something else – and something every bit as ugly – is going on. The reason that there was such a disproportionate focus on the Field and Johnson stories is that they could be dragged into the horrible culture war which defines our politics. In both cases, people could (and did) take sides according to their existing affiliations. In both cases, people began with their conclusions and fitted the facts to their prejudices. Depending on their politics, they saw either an MP reacting instinctively to someone who had barged in and might be armed, or a nasty Tory bullying a woman. Depending on their politics, they saw either some vaguely wrong behaviour from Johnson (no one could quite put their finger on what) or a snooping Leftie neighbour fabricating a story.

The point is, in either version, there are villains. That is what makes the culture war at once so arresting and so revolting. People can enjoy fulminating against (delete as appropriate) evil Tory MPs or awful Leftist protesters and sneaks. They can revel in their righteous indignation. In the Kirklees case, by contrast, there is no alternative interpretation. No one, however uncomfortable they might feel about stories like this coming out, is seriously going to defend rapists and abusers.

Culture wars are primarily defined by what and whom we dislike. For example, I am broadly pro-immigration, but I don’t think of people who oppose immigration as morally flawed, so fellow supporters of immigration tend to see me as being ranged against them. Similarly, I was a supporter of equality for gay people long before most Cameroons. But, again, I refuse to dismiss people who disagree with me as numbskulls and homophobes. This puts me on the other side from those for whom the rights of gay people are secondary to the delight in inveighing against imagined bigots.

The tendency to misunderstand, caricature and define yourself against others is encoded deep in our DNA. Studies show that misrepresentation of political opponents is more common among educated people, and especially among the politically active. This might seem counter-intuitive: you’d think that those who followed politics would have a clearer sense of what the other party stood for.

But no, those of us who are politicos (and that includes you, reader) tend to define “our” tribe in ideological terms rather than through, say, sports teams. We are then prompted by our Palaeolithic genes to dislike and disbelieve representatives from rival tribes. It affects, not just how we would like to see the world, but how we actually see it. Conservatives genuinely saw an MP public-spiritedly dealing with a potential terrorist; Leftists genuinely saw a man bullying a woman. (Had it been, say, a female Brexit campaigner being manhandled after shouting at Chuka Umunna, the line-up would have been different.)

This tendency is not new. But it is getting worse, here as in most developed democracies. “Yeah, because of Brexit”, some readers will say, inadvertently revealing their own confirmation bias. Actually – and you might think this a confirmation bias of mine – the polarisation came after the campaign, and has deepened with every passing day as the issue of Brexit has dominated the news. Look at how many people who, before 2016, were not especially fussed one way or the other, are now prepared to go to any lengths to hurt the other side. Witness, for example, the way the Guardian, which campaigned high-mindedly for years against tabloid intrusion, thought nothing of publishing remarks recorded from inside a private house.

What changed? In a word, the division became tribal. Brexit is no longer about trade, budgets or sovereignty. It is now about whom we dislike, caricatured respectively as elderly bigots who fell for lying demagogues or as sneering snobs who despise their own country.

“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend,” said Thomas Jefferson in 1800. Neither did I. But plenty of people have withdrawn friendships since the referendum – one of many reasons that stirring it all up again with a second poll would be catastrophic.

Settling the Brexit issue – ideally by leaving the EU and becoming its closest friend and partner – will not, in itself, end this ghastly partisanship. The tribalism will transfer to something else unless we rediscover our sense of common purpose, our understanding that fellow citizens with whom we disagree are opponents rather than enemies.

“Let me now warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally,” said George Washington in his farewell address. “This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.”

Amen, General. Amen.

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