Monday, October 16, 2006
More news from the clampdown. posted by Richard SeymourWhile this morning's newspapers are covered with Islam this, extremism that, veil the other (all the same thing, innit?), The Guardian reports on the latest McCarthyite turn:
Lecturers and university staff across Britain are to be asked to spy on "Asian-looking" and Muslim students they suspect of involvement in Islamic extremism and supporting terrorist violence, the Guardian has learned.
They will be told to inform on students to special branch because the government believes campuses have become "fertile recruiting grounds" for extremists.
The Department for Education has drawn up a series of proposals which are to be sent to universities and other centres of higher education before the end of the year. The 18-page document acknowledges that universities will be anxious about passing information to special branch, for fear it amounts to "collaborating with the 'secret police'". It says there will be "concerns about police targeting certain sections of the student population (eg Muslims)".
Gemma Tumelty, president of the National Union of Students, said: "They are going to treat everyone Muslim with suspicion on the basis of their faith. It's bearing on the side of McCarthyism."
Indeed. Suspicion is already the default position of public discourse, now they want to ensure that suspicion coupled with mental note-taking and grassing-up is the default position among lecturers. Knowing lecturers, I don't think most would go for it - but some would. Anyway, I'm sure we can look forward to Muslim students being stopped in the corridors and asked by red-faced statisticians "er, ahem, excuse me Miss, is that garment strictly, er, practical?" Followed by a worried phone call to the filth.