Churchill said of Neville Chamberlain, “He saw foreign policy through the wrong end of a municipal drainpipe.” Indeed, Churchill understood the problem with appeasers and weakness. The very least you get is an ignoramus who’s more likely to shoot himself than the enemy and at the very most you get is a conscious fraud or saboteur. Chamberlain fell on the side of the buffoon, the witless and outmanoeuvred twit. My professor, however, an appeaser to radical Islam and fraught with apparent moral dubiousness, possesses all the hall-marks of a conscious fraud.
After years of training as an academic, David Miller Professor of Sociologist at the University of Bath, spends his life (in my opinion) dodging questions and promoting the most grotesque reading of history. In his view, terrorism is an act of reciprocity from Muslims whom the west has wrought devastation against by supporting dictators, strangling resources, and invading their lands. He believes we must talk to ISIS, that we must negotiate with terrorists, and that western racism is ultimately responsible for their hideous turn to beheadings and blood-letting. His behaviour looks like irrational empathy until you realise he is justifying their evil, not describing it. How does Miller accomplish this?
A professor in name, huckster by trade
Presented with reason and honesty, the dear professor turns his head and shakes his fist. He turns to conspiracy theories and defamation to prove his point. Many times, he has alleged that the ‘Islamophobia industry’ – a fictional group of racists who peddle falsehoods – run US foreign policy. Who is in this obscure cabal? Well, we know it includes the likes of the Quilliam Foundation and whoever else notices there is a link, no matter how tentative, between theology and terrorism. The idea is borrowed from Nathan Lean, a Georgetown academic who likewise believes the only reason Islam is brought up as a topic is so ex-Islamists have a job to fall back on post-extremism. When challenged, Miller is elusive and incoherent. I have asked him myself why it is Palestinian Christians, given the same conditions as Palestinian Muslims, do not choose to blow themselves up – a point originally made by Sam Harris. To no avail! He cannot reconcile that no amount of Glenn Greenwald, no matter how dishonest, will beat the compelling truth. The only salient point I can take from the professor is that there is also no link between Miller and reality.
Alongside his professorship Miller runs a non-profit called Spinwatch, a name that conceals a weeping irony because it is devoted to finding a way to brand the government of the day cruel and contemptuous. It’s charter, if I can call it that, holds that its “core concern is in promoting equality and protecting fundamental human and democratic rights.” I cannot tell you how closely Miller looked at the text of the Spinwatch “charter” and still decided it represents him; I can only tell you that it certainly does not. In my opinion, Miller is a fifth column propagandist for every Islamist and terrorist sympathiser you will find. He will never be one of them, though.
Saddened by the lack of his own victim card, Miller gleefully shuffles the deck of Islamists as compensation. On a lonely Friday afternoon, you might find him at a conference alongside Asim Qureshi, a man who who frequents Hizb ut Tahir meetings and proclaimed that Mohammed Emwazi a.k.a Jihadi John was a “beautiful young man” that was turned to the dark side by MI6. And it does not stop there, Qureshi, Director of CAGE, a front-group for Islamists, refuses to condemn sharia punitive measures such as stoning – “protecting fundamental human rights” indeed Dr. Miller. Not only that, CAGE has refused to publicly express their condemnation of terrorist-sympathisers and enablers such as Anjem Choudary. By their friends ye shall know them. Then again, Qureshi would likely have Miller tortured in Qureshi’s perfect world. Then again, Miller might like that.
Miller and Me
I decided to engage in a little self-torture myself. I signed up for Professor Miller’s ‘Ideas about terrorism’ course. Miller’s greatest hits scattered my Moodle page: Chomsky, Drone Strikes, all of the reasons the west is evil. Truly beautiful. And tucked away I found a resource detailing long discredited lies and spin about the Quilliam Foundation and its founder, Maajid Nawaz. Miller links to a smear piece written by Dr. Nafeez Ahmed and Max Blumenthal where the duo trace Maajid’s Islamist past and consult the Islamists left behind as if they were neutral sources. Indeed, I don’t expect Miller to understand this journalistic faux pas, but I would at least expect Blumenthal and Ahmed not to swallow the Islamist line uncritically. But as with father Sidney, so with the son, Max: the Blumenthal’s, conmen till the end.
As you might expect, the professor turned activist is a vehement opponent of the Quilliam Foundation and takes every opportunity he can to insult them. When Adam Deen, a former extremist turned Muslim reformer, spoke at my university last year, Miller’s crocodile tears on the topic of Prevent were palpable. He yelped at Adam, ‘racist!’ ‘Islamophobe!’ and when he finished whining at the Turkish Muslim – for apparently hating Islam and brown people – I realised the inexhaustible irony of the situation, as I hope you do. It is screamingly clear Adam is not the racist, but the professor. Nick Cohen puts it this way, to people like Miller “A liberal Muslim is their trussed-up version of the enemy, the alien, the ‘other’.” They are only happy when Muslims behave the way they expect. Muslims can only be one of two variants: terrorists, Islamists. Any other behaviour reflects more on their western masters than it does on them, because Muslims can’t have agency. And this is neo-orientalism. Our candidate is David Miller.
‘There you have it ladies and gentlemen, you see how far the termites have spread and look at how long and well they’ve dined’ said Christopher Hitchens as he sneered at a ‘leftist’ apologist for jihadism. But even Hitch could not have suspected they would penetrate so deeply, so quickly, and so publicly in academia… well maybe Hitch could. Miller is just one termite in a sweeping colony of self-hatred, relativism, and moral weakness that for some reason has currency to trade on matters of security. Miller, to his credit, has (paradoxically) carved out an entire career specialising in a subject he blatantly knows nothing about (in my opinion) and has escaped from debates with his credibility as a thinker scarred, but not destroyed. No more.
Mitchell is a blogger currently studying Politics and International Relations at the University of Bath