Andrew Gilligan’s rubbish about the East London Mosque (again)


by Sunny
27th June, 2011 at 4:37 pm    

Man, its a full-time job just fact-checking Andrew Gilligan and his smears.

He says today that East London Mosque has already broken its commitment to banning homophobic speakers from ELM.

This time, however, it has only taken just over a week for the mosque’s bad faith to emerge. The day after tomorrow, 29 June, it welcomes to its premises an organisation called Sex and Relationship Education Islamic (SRE Islamic), one of whose main purposes is to campaign for “the unacceptability of homosexuality which is often portrayed as a lifestyle choice.” That’s a quote from the first sentence of SRE Islamic’s statement of values.

SRE Islamic is run by members of Hizb ut Tahrir, a racist and extremist group which believes that Muslims should not mix with non-Muslims.

I have no love lost for HuT – but perhaps Gilligan should spend more time reading his own mates. The two people mentioned by Gilligan left HuT ages ago.

Second, while its true that SRE Islamic aren’t exactly fans of homosexuality – such is the position of Christian groups too. There is a difference between inviting a preacher who calls for the death of gays, and some intolerant people who say that most Islamic preachers say homosexuality is not acceptable within Islam (which is a fact).

The SRE Islamic event at ELM is jointly with the ‘Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child’ – a Christian group. I wonder why Andrew Gilligan did not include that fact? If Gilligan is going to be fair and balanced on this, I’d like him to campaign for Christian organisations who disapprove of homosexuality to be banned from Churches too.

And to be clear: I’m not a fan of SRE Islamic at all. Neither am I of religious bigotry. But here is an example of Gilligan selectively targeting Muslims while saying nothing of Christian groups on the matter. I oppose religiously inspired bigotry – but a belief in civil liberties and free speech requires accepting that sometimes people will say things you don’t like.


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Andrew Gilligan's rubbish about the East London Mosque (again) http://bit.ly/mc5Yie


  2. Ali B

    Blogged: : Andrew Gilligan's rubbish about the East London Mosque (again) http://bit.ly/mc5Yie




  1. kevin — on 27th June, 2011 at 5:38 pm  

    The facts seem to be that ELM promised to not invite any more homophobic speakers, but a week later, it does just that.

    No issue with what you are saying about Gilligan or SPUC but a shed-load of whataboutery on your part doesn’t change the fact that ELM have gone back on their word yet again, does it?

  2. BenSix — on 27th June, 2011 at 5:57 pm  

    Lesson 1. Always take what Andrew Gilligan says with a pinch of salt…

    I’ve visited Yusuf Patel’s blog. It links to the Hizbis and Khalifah.com and claims that “our energies must…be focussed on supporting the global calls for unification, the work for the restoration of the rule of Allah…and the appointment of ‘the shade of Allah on earth’“. He may not be a member but if he disagrees with them he’s been rather quiet about it.

    I don’t think disapproval of homosexuality can be equated with homophobia, no, but SRE Islamic are clearly fundamentalists. I mean, take this from their “report”…

    Upon studying the rules of Islam we find that the Allah permitted men and women to interact in exceptional circumstances in which the need arises. Therefore it permitted men and women to meet for the purposes of trade, medical treatment etc.

    Separation in the private life must be complete except in the cases allowed by Allah…

    Or this (perhaps more relevant) extract…

    In the government’s own guidelines it is stressed that homosexuality should not to be taught or promoted as part of SRE. Yet many liberal minded teachers feel obliged to teach it. We must ensure that in any policy an explicit clause exists that prevents teachers from discussing the subject.

    Prevented from discussing the subject? If such words had emanated from the mouth of, say, Ann Widdecombe or Nadine Dorries would you have thought, “Hey, they’re just no big fans of homosexuality…”

    I accept the point that this is no different from stuff you might hear in a church. But, then, I wouldn’t want those churches held up as paragons of a liberal society either, and that’s what Wind-Cowie chose to do.

    (Cross-posted.)

  3. BenSix — on 27th June, 2011 at 6:23 pm  

    By the way – from the SRE-I’s website…

    It is still vital that children are brought up with the Islamic values of family through marriage, hayaa (modest conduct), the need to refrain from pre-marital/extra-marital relations and all the subsidiary values and rules which spring from obedience to Allah. This is why we are still planning to develop an SRE programme for Islamic schools, madaaris (qur’an classes in the masjid), and for parents in order to inculcate these values within the Muslim community.

    Another argument against faith schools.

  4. Calum F — on 27th June, 2011 at 6:24 pm  

    Pure whataboutery. As Kev points out, ELM promised to ban homophobic speakers. It has already broken that ban. Does Sunny admit and address this? No. Sunny makes excuses. Sunny’s concern is for Muslims first, gay people second or possibly third. Pointing out that others are homophobes too doesn’t alter that ELM was lying – as many predicted it was – about a change of policy.

  5. Auberon — on 27th June, 2011 at 8:01 pm  

    That SRE Islamic blog hasn’t been updated for almost two years and, as Sunny points out, the two people mentioned since left HuT.

    Clearly to class religious objection to homosexuality as homophobic is meaningless, and you know full well that this is not what ELM must have meant by banning homophobic speakers, no more than any other mosque, whether they’re considered Islamist or not. What they must not do is give a platform to speakers who pour out hate against gays, or anyone else for that matter.

    Gilligan’s almost unchallenged run of lies and smears is a source of shame. He is so devoid of journalistic integrity (yes, there is such a thing) it should cause even the Telegraph to blush. Yet he is still quoted by well-meaning liberal activists, lies and all. Perhaps Sunny could find someone to fund that full-time job of fact-checking Gilligan, so all his many untruths could be collected in one readily-accessible place?

  6. Shamit — on 27th June, 2011 at 8:14 pm  

    Easr London mosques being dodgy? Why am I not surprised?

    Also there are far worse things going on in Tower Hamlets and we should be worried about that than what Gilligan is writing. But he is still a hack!!

  7. kevin — on 27th June, 2011 at 9:30 pm  

    What they must not do is give a platform to speakers who pour out hate against gays, or anyone else for that matter.

    It’s a little bit late in Britain 2011 to be arguing for the tolerance of the intolerant, isn’t it?

    Personally, I think ELM have the right to host whatever speakers they like, homophobic or not. It’s nobody’s business but their own who they choose to listen to in their place of worship. That’s called free speech. It was stupid of them to agree to such a restriction in the first place, but understandable given the pressure they faced. Sunny is not doing them any favours by trying to get them off on a technicality.

  8. Boyo — on 27th June, 2011 at 10:14 pm  

    “That’s called free speech. It was stupid of them to agree to such a restriction in the first place, but understandable given the pressure they faced.”

    Er… there’s no free speech in the UK.

  9. angrybirds — on 27th June, 2011 at 11:22 pm  

    oh here we go again andrew gillian running out of stories again what a pathetic individual. He can’t even get his facts right so uses the old racist and extremist line for spicy headlines if they racist who are they racist against???

  10. Swifter than thou — on 28th June, 2011 at 6:48 am  

    Sunny’s a fucking racist, he will support brown fascist over Queers every day of the week because the Queers are in Britain, as is the native population, white skinned. Explains why he hates the bnp so much.

    An illustration of we hate in others what we hate in ourselves, obviously the racism of the bnp has some echo in sunny the douche bag.

  11. Sunny Hundal — on 28th June, 2011 at 8:44 am  

    Bensix – you’re ignoring the points raised above.

  12. Imran — on 28th June, 2011 at 10:10 am  

    Without going over what I have said on Trial by Jeory it might be worth people having a look at that.

  13. Imran — on 28th June, 2011 at 10:15 am  

    Auberon. The blog you refer to as not having been updated for two years was current when I looked at it yesterday and is advertising the meeting.

    I rather think that the presence of SPUC is a bit like the American Nazi Party and the Klan sharing a stage with the Nation of Islam, which has happened.

    All the parties can’t stand each other but they hate others even more.

  14. BenSix — on 28th June, 2011 at 12:02 pm  

    Yes, Gilligan’s piece was factually inaccurate. But if you leave a group without recanting your position it’s not unfair to presume you still cleave to its views. (In other words, if Patel’s left the Hizb that’s no reason to think he’s less “extreme”.) You make a fair point that disapproving of homosexuality needn’t render one a homophobe, but insisting that teachers be prevented from even mentioning the subject — well that’s a fairly overt aversion, no?

    Of course, I don’t expect Mosques not to invite homophobes as the likelihood of being homophobic and religious – let alone Islamic – is high. But that’s why we shouldn’t trumpet their “banning” as if it’s awfully meaningful.

  15. damon — on 28th June, 2011 at 12:19 pm  

    Gilligan’s dislike for the East London Mosque seems pretty all-consuming and reminds me of the way that some anti racists can go completely overboard and become a bit unhealthily obsessed with the EDL and the BNP. The ELM seems to be a pretty backward place, but so too is Ian Paisley’s church in Belfast.
    A big differnce is that Paisley’s congregation is only about 50 very elderly people, while the ELM is the centre of the Bangladeshi community in Tower Hamlets.

    Their meeting is billed as being called ”as an urgent response to parents concerned about explicit sex education in primary schools”.
    Which makes them sound completely mad.

  16. Lamia — on 28th June, 2011 at 12:25 pm  

    “A big differnce is that Paisley’s congregation is only about 50 very elderly people, while the ELM is the centre of the Bangladeshi community in Tower Hamlets.”

    Two other big differences are:

    1. Paisley’s church doesn’t regularly get praised by the liberal left for being progressive and contributing to a tolerant, inclusive local community, and

    2. Paisley’s church isn’t funded with millions of pounds of public money.

    So really, bringing up Paisley’s church for comparison at all is disingenuous.

  17. imran — on 28th June, 2011 at 12:28 pm  

    Bensix,

    Could you specify where Gilligan’s article is inaccurate?

    Damon,

    Gilligan is a journalist who makes a living from exposing things that many people would prefer weren’t. Your position is like saying that Einstein was obsessed by maths.

  18. BenSix — on 28th June, 2011 at 12:47 pm  

    Inaccurate inasmuch as he’s not a member of the Hizb (if Sunny’s correct) and disapproving of homosexuality needn’t make one a homophobe. On the other hand, I don’t either is that relevant.

  19. BenSix — on 28th June, 2011 at 12:47 pm  

    * don’t think

  20. imran — on 28th June, 2011 at 1:07 pm  

    Bensix,

    Militant used to deny the organisation existed and that they were just ordinary Labour Party members. You are splitting hairs, deal with the totality of the article and the even more serious allegations emerging against Lutfur Rahman.

  21. BenSix — on 28th June, 2011 at 1:45 pm  

    Imran -

    I don’t see what your problem is. I’ve already said that those mistakes – if, indeed, they’re mistakes – aren’t all that relevant. Read comments 2 and 3.

  22. AntiSPUC — on 28th June, 2011 at 2:51 pm  

    SPUC is a group which is at the very extreme end of the Catholic spectrum. If you read around, you’ll see that they are opposed to liberal Catholic groups, particularly those who oppose homophobia.

    Unlike the East London Mosque, they don’t receive any public money. The ELM and London Muslim Centre have received about £2.5 million over the last five years.

    Yusuf Patel, one of SRCIslamic’s campaigners, has left Hizb ut Tahrir. I don’t know if all of them have. Patel has identified himself as a supporter of a number of homophobic preachers on Facebook.

  23. AntiSPUC — on 28th June, 2011 at 2:52 pm  

    (I would agree, by the way, that SPUC is a disgusting organisation)

  24. Imran — on 28th June, 2011 at 6:36 pm  

    Bensix,

    No you haven’t, at least not here! Please give references to said statements.

  25. BenSix — on 28th June, 2011 at 6:46 pm  

    Inaccurate inasmuch as he’s not a member of the Hizb (if Sunny’s correct) and disapproving of homosexuality needn’t make one a homophobe. On the other hand, I don’t either is that relevant.

  26. damon — on 28th June, 2011 at 7:34 pm  

    Stephen Yaxley-Lennon’s former BNP membership is always brought up, and being a former member of HuT is a pretty damning thing to have on your record.
    Unless you do a volte-face and make it clear that you were wrong about being a part of that islamist movement.
    I wonder if Guramit Singh can rehabilitate himself now he’s left the EDL. I’m guessing that Jai wouldn’t give him a clean bill of health too quickly.

  27. Imran — on 28th June, 2011 at 8:04 pm  

    Bensix,

    In English, please?

  28. Shamit — on 28th June, 2011 at 9:10 pm  

    “SRE Islamic is run by members of Hizb ut Tahrir, a racist and extremist group which believes that Muslims should not mix with non-Muslims.”

    I think the discussion about supposed omissions on part of Gilligan should stop there. There is a bigger issue.

    Hari at the Independent pointed out few months ago how some extremist idiots were beating up people for the crime of being gay? In addition, you should also read what Jessica Asato experienced while campaigning in Tower Hamlets – her blog says it all.

    A minority of idiots have succeeded in establishing a fear culture and which has manifested itself in violence – and sadly more than once. Once is not acceptable twice is far too many.

    So if Gilligan omits certain points but the overall narrative is true and not tabloidy rable rousing (which I don’t think it is) then we probably should let it pass.

    Whether the hack would be willing to do the same against Christian groups who oppose homosexuality?

    That question only arises if the Christian group is willing to perpetrate violence to achieve its objectives – so yes if its EDL – of course those idiots and violent thugs should be exposed at every opportunity.

    But otherwise, groups that run churches or centres do not preach a violent ideology under most circumstances – so we could be trying to equate apples and oranges.

    That said, Andrew Gilligan is a hack – but omission of detailed facts and blurring the line between fact & fiction is a part of the hallowed tradition of British journalism in the past few decades. Just read the Telegraph and/or the Guardian.

    I read both – same incidents can be presented very differently and the above mentioned papers excel at it.

    So if those great papers can do it – what’s wrong with Gilligan doing it?

  29. BenSix — on 28th June, 2011 at 9:14 pm  

    Imran -

    I’ve no idea what you’re asking me to say. Unless it’s “yay for Hitler”, “of course I’ll marry you” or “I really enjoyed Coldplay at Glastonbury” consider it said.

  30. Sunny — on 28th June, 2011 at 9:19 pm  

    You make a fair point that disapproving of homosexuality needn’t render one a homophobe

    I didn’t even say that was my point.

    My point was that ELM inviting people to rail against gays or say gays should be hanged etc is entirely different to people saying SRE should not be taught because Islam does not condone homosexuality.

    I think both views are batshit but one is illegal. Furthermore, at one point Andrew Gilligan is going to set up a fulltime blog pointing out that every person going into ELM is a homophone given in the past they may have talked about Islam’s view on homosexuality.

    The point is, Catholic view on homosexuality is pretty batshit too. So unless Gilligan is going to campaign for every Catholic and evangelical church in the country to also not invite speakers – this is a one-sided witchhunt.

  31. Auberon — on 28th June, 2011 at 9:44 pm  

    Imran, you are so keen to support Gilligan (here and elsewhere) that unwittingly or otherwise you are blind to his deception. You failed to distinguish (as Gilligan probably intended) between the current SREislamic website, and the now defunct blog from which he also quotes – the two are not the same.

    The current website, which advertises the event, doesn’t appear to raise any objection to SRE content regarding the teaching of homosexuality, though I expect they don’t agree with it. Rather, the open letter makes clear their concerns, which relate to the optional teaching of SRE in local primary schools: they don’t like the choice of video used to teach SRE (with examples such as encouraging children of primary age to experiment with masturbation), they are very concerned (rightly, in my view) that SRE content is being delivered wrongly through the primary science curriculum, and they are concerned that schools have further ignored parents legal rights by failing to consult them over the content of SRE.

    All of this Gilligan, whose lies have already led to the withdrawal of whole blog pieces, turns into a so-called platform for homophobia. Gilligan is a disgrace, and it’s somewhat shameful that some people are so ready to support his lies.

  32. damon — on 28th June, 2011 at 9:49 pm  

    The point is, Catholic view on homosexuality is pretty batshit too.

    But who is really taking much notice of the Catholic church these days? Church attendence is at an all time low, and you could say that only excentrics are attracted to christianity these days.
    The Tower Hamlets mayoral election showed that identity politics are a problem in East London. And the people at ELM are at the heart of things there in a way that christian churches just aren’t.
    So they do have a very unhealthy influence on a big percentage of muslims.

  33. jamal — on 28th June, 2011 at 10:32 pm  

    auberon

    thanks for the info, am i surprised gillian has been twisting the truth NO.

    what is the council playing at by ignoring the wishes of parents in regards to their kids that is the real scandal.

  34. Lamia — on 28th June, 2011 at 10:55 pm  

    @ Sunny,

    “The point is, Catholic view on homosexuality is pretty batshit too. So unless Gilligan is going to campaign for every Catholic and evangelical church in the country to also not invite speakers – this is a one-sided witchhunt.”

    The point is, the Catholic church explicitly opposes imprisoning or killing homosexuals, unlike numerous ELM preacher shwo have supported that. You trivialise the matter of those who do so, by implying that there is no difference in seriousness between (1) disapproving of homsexuality and (2) advocating banning or killing homsexuals.

  35. kevin — on 28th June, 2011 at 11:32 pm  

    You failed to distinguish (as Gilligan probably intended) between the current SREislamic website, and the now defunct blog from which he also quotes – the two are not the same.

    Surely, if that blog was at odds with SREI’s current thinking, they would take it down?

  36. Allison — on 29th June, 2011 at 1:59 am  

    I think Sunny supports the mosque because he’s a racist, these people are advocating violence against Gays, their religious law calls for homosexuals to be executed,trying to draw equivalences to various Christian outfits is disingenuous. No christain wants Gay people killed as a matter of doctrine. At this point ignorance of islamic law’s doctrinal punishments can only be a matter of stupidity, or willful dissimulation. In Sunny’s case because if offenders are brown defend them if white denounce them. He’s a racist puke, plain and simple.

  37. Javed — on 29th June, 2011 at 2:16 am  

    Of course, we see doughnuts like Sunny expose themselves in cases like this. Can you imagine the condemnation if this were a white church, with their record of lying, Sunny and those like him would be lining up to attack them. He’s a racist piece of shit, and probably thinks he isn’t, which makes him a fuckwit as well.

  38. Uriah — on 29th June, 2011 at 8:14 am  

    The true story, which shows how much Andrew Gilligan has distorted it for his own prejudiced agenda, has been published this morning by the respected local paper, the East London Advertiser:

    http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/news/fury_over_sex_education_for_8_year_olds_in_tower_hamlets_schools_1_947019

    This is not the first time Gilligan has taken a story and twisted it beyond truth to stigmatise the East London Mosque:

    http://www.islamophobia-watch.com/islamophobia-watch/2011/6/1/torygraph-apologises-to-east-london-mosque.html

    It seems that child abuse cases and sex education of primary school children are considered fair game for Gilligan’s rabid witch-hunt!

  39. allenby — on 29th June, 2011 at 11:19 am  

    And gay people, Bengali secularists, non-Sunni, non-Muslims and anyone else despised and actively worked against by ELM can now be expected to be left alone and not form part of ELM’s continuing agenda of bigotry and spite?

  40. David Watts — on 29th June, 2011 at 12:19 pm  

    “The point is, Catholic view on homosexuality is pretty batshit too.”

    Was the Pope not greeted by a very large demonstration recently when he visited the UK organised in part by gay campaigners protesting Vatican homophobia?

    Claiming that Catholic homophobia is ignored while Muslims are singled out is, well, to put it bluntly, a lie.

  41. Adrian — on 30th June, 2011 at 9:38 pm  

    Dave Hill, the respected journalist at The Guardian politely highlights the dishonest and batshit journalism of Andrew Gilligan by posting the following tweet:

    DaveHill East London Mosque responds comprehensively to recent media attacks from predictable irresponsible source: tiny.cc/hz95y #lbth
    about 5 hours ago

  42. Adrian — on 30th June, 2011 at 9:41 pm  

    This is the direct link to the press statement issued:

    http://www.mcb.org.uk/features/features.php?ann_id=2165

  43. Auberon — on 30th June, 2011 at 10:33 pm  

    Uriah, the Advertiser is a sober contrast to Gilligan’s obvious lies. It really does show how low he’s prepared to sink. I’m glad the SRE issue is at last getting the correct coverage.

    Adrian, thanks, I’d just seen that on the mosque’s own website: http://www.eastlondonmosque.org.uk/news/328

    Dave Hill has exposed Gilligan’s deceit in the past, so he’ll welcome further clear evidence.

  44. Rachel — on 30th June, 2011 at 10:54 pm  

    The thing is, Sunny, if the left doesn’t take up the comprehensive critique of fundamentalism then that leaves only the right to do it.

    The really interesting story to me is that the ELM is hosting a meeting with SPUC and a conservative Islamic group who are urging a campaign basically against teachers. I find this ironic when many local lefties in Tower Hamlets, some of whom are in teahing unions, are still clinging on to the notion that the ELM is somehow an ally in progressive campaigns, against much evidence to the contrary.

    SPUC? Their presence in the borough is a big story to this Tower Hamlets feminist, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    I’m also tired of Gilligan, but I’m more tired of the right’s near monopoly on exposing fundamentalism and defending secularism. Couldn’t you ignore him and do your own better job of it?

  45. Auberon — on 1st July, 2011 at 6:49 am  

    Rachel, the campaign is not against teachers, who don’t decide SRE in schools. It’s against the governing bodies in a small minority of primary schools who are denying parents their rights.

  46. Sarah AB — on 1st July, 2011 at 7:18 am  

    I shall emerge from my sulk with PP to say that I agree that there is a danger in letting (fair) concerns about homophobia lead to such scrutiny that mosques get picked on for offering teachings similar to those of some churches. BUT – very much agree with Lamia (#16).

  47. Uriah — on 1st July, 2011 at 9:59 am  

    Lamia’s track record of prejudice on this issue includes introducing Gilligan’s lies about alleged sex abuse at the mosque into a thread at Harry’s Place. So quick to accept whatever rubbish is presented, yet shamefully silent when Gilligan’s whole blog piece was withdrawn and the Telegraph admitted it was all untrue. Indeed, Lamia’s reaction to even a conference on Islamophobia was to wish all the participants a slow, painful death, which of course passed without criticism at HP.

    Sarah it’s more than merely being “picked on”; it’s a sustained campaign of lies, smears and deceit, and far too many are afraid to challenge it for fear of being labelled ‘pro-islamist’. It’s shameful what Gilligan has been allowed to get away with, even HP has been quoting him when in the past the knew his true colours.

  48. Rachel — on 1st July, 2011 at 10:51 am  

    Auberon, it’s an anti-science moral crusade that I am very familiar with from the US where the evangelical right has been doing the same thing for years.

    I think you’ll find that teachers in state education will not support it, thank goodness. As a parent I will certainly oppose such a campaign if it is raised in my kids school.

    Happily for me the involvement of SPUC will make it easier for me to oppose it without being accused of Islamophobia, which is what has happened before when I’ve tried to stand up to the religious right in my local area. Bring on the alliance between the Christian and Islamic right – it might finally do what I’ve utterly failed to do for the last few years: convince my leftist buddies that they do not need to suck up to rightwingers because they happen to be Muslim.

  49. jamal — on 1st July, 2011 at 11:27 am  

    rachel

    so now muslims are right wingers you are hilarious.

    parents have the rights on what their kids view especially primary age kids. For you to label them and put them into a box called right wing is stupidity.

  50. Lamia — on 1st July, 2011 at 12:12 pm  

    Uriah is lying, which is hardly surprising coming from a defender of ELM mosque.

    “Lamia’s track record of prejudice on this issue includes introducing Gilligan’s lies about alleged sex abuse at the mosque into a thread at Harry’s Place.”

    That is a lie. I first read about that on a Harry’s Place thread, and did not introduce it any time on another thread. It was not a story I took a great interest in.

    “Lamia’s reaction to even a conference on Islamophobia was to wish all the participants a slow, painful death”

    It was a conference featuring a number of well-known homophobes who advocated killing homosexuals. If you stand with such people you are scum. So yes, I did wish them a slow and painful death. If you can’t take the hatred, don’t dish it out in the first place. And don’t hide behind the excuse that you are ‘opposing Islamophobia’. Why should that paper-thin excuse mean anything to me when those speakers call for me to be killed? Do you really expect me to place a higher priority on opposing ‘Islamophobia’ than opposing those who advocate killing people me? Your arrogance is laughable.

    Scores of appalling bigots and supporters of terrorism have passed through ELM in recent, and this has been well-documented by a number of sources; it is not the creation of Andrew Gilligan. ELM’s self-pity, so ably exemplified by yourself here, is the self-pity of a bully who can’t adjust to the fact that he doesn’t have a right to keep villifying, denigrating and adovocating violence against Jews, homosexuals and others, and that others will call him out on it.

    And they’ll keep doing it, Uriah, so get used to it. Your ‘poor little us’ act is nearing the end of its successful run. There are just fewer people who will buy your lies today. Now off you run and ‘play spot the fag’ or whatever other charming activitites ELM has lined up for you.

  51. BenSix — on 1st July, 2011 at 2:21 pm  

    From the ELM’s statement -

    In order to do so, Mr Gilligan incorrectly said that the leaders of SREIslamic – one of the groups invited to speak – were also members of an extremist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir. They have very publicly left that group, as has been noted by the very sources which often supply Mr Gilligan with his “news”.

    If someone leaves a group but doesn’t tell me why they’ve left it I’m going to assume they still share its ideas. And if this bloke shares the ideas and ambitions of the Hizb why is it relevant that he’s not a member? It doesn’t make me feel much kindlier towards him.

  52. BenSix — on 1st July, 2011 at 2:26 pm  

    And, besides, they were happy to host the man when he was a member. And this meeting seems to have been organised before his resignation was announced.

  53. damon — on 1st July, 2011 at 2:46 pm  

    It’s the middle of the marching season in Northern Ireland. There’s several parades this evening. Including one starting from this Orange Hall in east Belfast.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/20923094@N04/3146512327/in/pool-hallsofulster/

    I think the East London Mosque and that Belfast Orange Hall have a fair ammount in common.

  54. Boyo — on 1st July, 2011 at 3:07 pm  

    “Why should that paper-thin excuse mean anything to me when those speakers call for me to be killed?”

    That’s a fair point.

  55. Random Guy — on 1st July, 2011 at 4:11 pm  

    I think we can all take away from the above article the irrefutable fact that Andrew Gilligan is a lying sack of sh*t.

    I would say that is pretty much undeniable. It would be nice if the usual suspects with a hard-on for people like Geert Wilders would acknoweldge this.

  56. Uriah — on 1st July, 2011 at 5:48 pm  

    @Lamia – how quickly you lie, yet accuse others. HP did not run an article on Gilligan’s sex abuse claims, so you posted a link to the article yourself in one of the threads. You even defended it when challenged about Gilligan’s facts. Don’t be so gutless when you’ve been caught out supporting a complete fabrication.

    “It was a conference featuring a number of well-known homophobes who advocated killing homosexuals.”

    Another blatant lie, they were just what HP likes to denounce as Islamists: http://hurryupharry.org/2011/04/07/the-east-london-mosque’s-islamophobia-gambit/

    See, you’re doing exactly what Gilligan did, falsely accusing of homophobia to justify your prejudices and hate speech. Your contribution to HP is a catalogue of hate and venom against Muslims based on proven falsehoods and smears. ‘Lamia’, how appropriate you’ve taken the name of a child-eating demon.

  57. Don — on 1st July, 2011 at 6:17 pm  

    Random Guy,

    While ‘sack of sh*t’ (Why so coy?) would reasonably be regarded as fair comment, I suspect that accusations of lying against a journalist might have legal implications.

  58. Auberon — on 1st July, 2011 at 6:47 pm  

    “I suspect that accusations of lying against a journalist might have legal implications.”

    Perhaps not if it has been proved he has been lying! Which, if we are to believe the Telegaph’s own statement, seems to be the case.

  59. meatpie — on 1st July, 2011 at 7:20 pm  

    Lefty contortions and inversions. Normal left shibboleths are discarded when it comes from the newly annotated oppressed.

  60. Rachel — on 1st July, 2011 at 7:40 pm  

    Jamal @ 49, I never for a moment think the ELM or groups that use its facilities speak for or represent all Muslims. I think some Muslims are on the right, some are not.

    Terms such as the ‘religious right’ are not that common in forums such as PP, and there are some arguments against its usage but I think it is quite appropriate here.

  61. Don — on 1st July, 2011 at 8:49 pm  

    #58

    ‘Perhaps not’ may be good enough for you and me, but some people can be petty litigious bastards. It happens and it’s a nuisance. I’m not saying Gilligan is one such, I just think it’s helpful to avoid accusing semi-public figures of lying on someone else’s forum.

    Maybe I’m wrong about that. It’s up to the mods. But I’m fully on board with the ‘sack of shit’ aspect.

  62. ThomasFowler — on 2nd July, 2011 at 9:14 am  

    My view is this: whatever the mosque has or has not done in the past, if a self-appointed “investigator” (e.g. Gilligan) is caught out editing the facts, distorting or removing context – or even lying – in order to present a better story (something we’re more familiar from reading The Sun or Daily Mail), then how can we trust the other material he has produced? Surely it calls into question both his or her methods of reporting; as well as his or her motivations for pursuing that line; and material he has produced elsewhere? Why would that person wish to distort the truth? For a ‘greater’ aim? What is that aim?

    I imagine the mosque has done some things which are problematic or reprehensible (yes, I’ve read the stories too, so please don’t list them all here). But for all we know, there may be an attempt to reach an accord with the local LGBT population. Instead of *changing the subject* (@rachel @bensix) and talking about SPUC or HT, we should instead stick to the facts in hand: Andrew Gilligan has distorted a local story about local parents objecting to aspects of their own children’s sex education in a tiny group of local primary schools – and instead tried to turn it into a major story about inviting extremists to preach homophobia. IMO a journalist (or his or her supporters) cannot justify that by saying: “Ah, well, ok these facts were wrong but these other ones were right, therefore I am justified in saying that ..” Uh-uh. Look at Johann Hari trying to justify his actions.

    @Lamia: I read you on HP too but I am afraid you come across as incredibly bitter, shrill, and ranting. No doubt you’ll want to slam back at me, lambasting me for being a useless liberal etc etc who is selling out: but I can’t see how that approach is helping you, the local LGBT groups or anyone else. Otherwise I just have to put you into internet troll or bedsit weirdo category. If you really want to see what the situation is like – go down there for yourself. I bet you’ll be surprised that it’s not as bad as you think.

    My own view is that if we wish to hold others to account, we must be as beyond reproach ourselves as we can – not tainted with dubious agendas and playing “economical with the actualité”.

  63. Lamia — on 2nd July, 2011 at 10:29 am  

    Uriah continues the self-pity party of a bully found out. Boo hoo. Off you go and play spot the fag, you dreary liar.

    @ Thomasfowler

    “I imagine the mosque has done some things which are problematic or reprehensible”

    Could you put that any more blandly? Yes, that does sound like, as you say, a typical mealy-mouthed useless ‘liberal’.

    “My own view is that if we wish to hold others to account, we must be as beyond reproach ourselves as we can – not tainted with dubious agendas and playing “economical with the actualité”.”

    My own agenda is simply that I object to people who categorise people like myself as criminal, filthy, deserving of banning, imprisonment or execution, etc. Scores of such people have preached at ELM, inlcuding the infamous Abu Usamah of Dispatches fame. In return I don’t call for them to be killed, I merely hate back those preachers, the institutions which gladly host them – most conspicuously ELM – and those who are apologists for them.

    LGBT people didn’t start this, Thomas. This is not some misunderstanding between communities, the violence and incitements to kill have been all from one side. You can be as eager as you like to believe ELM. I don’t. We’ll see who is correct in the next few months.

  64. ThomasFowler — on 2nd July, 2011 at 10:39 am  

    @Lamia:

    Well, on that I will agree with you. I would rather we have journalists, however, who aren’t doing a Johann Hari with the facts.

    If we are to hold institutions like this to account (and anyone else in the land) we must do so without our fourth estate resorting to faleshoods in order to make a better story (and thus boost their own sales/ego, rather than trumpet the ‘truth’).

    Let the truth out, let’s shine it full: but let’s not allow journalists and bloggers claiming to champion that very same truth start liberally editing the facts to suit their greater agenda.

  65. ThomasFowler — on 2nd July, 2011 at 11:06 am  

    Or I’ll put it even more plainly: I don’t need a journalist editing the facts to make a story “stronger”.

    Because for me this is a greater point than the evils of any mosque. If we can’t trust the truth to our media; if we catch them judiciously “editing” one story in order to make it stronger than it would otherwise seem – what else can we not trust them on? How can I, as a reader, know if I am being sold a sugared line elsewhere; how can I trust the facts I am being presented with on this or any other investigation?

    Saying: “but they did all these other bad things, therefore it doesn’t matter” [subtext: it's ok to misappropriate the facts here and there as long as the greater story is correct] seems a very, very dangerous path to follow. More dangerous for democracy than the evils of one mere institution.

  66. BenSix — on 2nd July, 2011 at 11:53 am  

    Instead of *changing the subject* (@rachel @bensix) and talking about SPUC or HT, we should instead stick to the facts in hand: Andrew Gilligan has distorted a local story about local parents objecting to aspects of their own children’s sex education in a tiny group of local primary schools – and instead tried to turn it into a major story about inviting extremists to preach homophobia.

    Changing the subject? The subject was the people who’d been invited to represent those “local parents” – ie. the SPUC (who’ve been linked to HT). THAT’s the subject.

  67. ThomasFowler — on 2nd July, 2011 at 12:50 pm  

    With respect, the subject of the entire post was that a journalist had taken it upon themselves to edit and re-arrange the facts in such a way that a different story other than the facts on the ground was reported. i.e. a story about a bunch of local parents excising their rights about what their children are taught in sex education lessons (with no reference to homosexuality and with local LGBT leaders present to witness the event) became a separate/new story on gay haters. That was only possible to do by editing out facts and sticking new ones in.

    The (separate) debate about what SPUC stands for, what HT stands for, what ex-HT people believe, and what Muslims theologically think about gays is a separate point. If we are going to debate that, then the story has to be about that and the writer be clear/honest about that. My wider point, too, is that by editing of such context, by insertion of claims which are not true, and by removal of certain facts which come in the way of a narrative, we are being presented with a “story” rather than 100% plain facts.

    Plain facts: a small bunch of local mostly Muslim parents got together to talk about taking their kids out of primary school lessons featuring animated video about sexual intercourse. No mention of gays or homosexuality in the meeting. Gay leaders present to witness the meeting.

    There’s a reason why other journalists aren’t producing the “exclusives”. Talk to journalists behind the scenes in the media, off the record, and you will get a very different opinion of Andrew Gilligan – and followers such as Harry’s Place – than you hear on the blogopshere.

  68. Rachel — on 2nd July, 2011 at 10:56 pm  

    Maybe I did take the thread off topic to highlight the alliance between Christian and Islamic rightists. But you(ThomasFowler) aren’t sticking strictly to the Gilligan/homophobia angle either – you want to say your piece about that but also declare the ‘emergency meeting’ to be just a group of local parents concerned about what their kids are learning. Well maybe, but in the US too the campaigns to ban sex ed (or Harry Potter or the teaching of evolution or whatever) often also start with a group of local parents but are often backed by established well-funded right wing or fundamentalist groups. If you look at the open leader sent to headteachers on the SRE Islam website then you might come to the conclusion that this is a pretty organised campaign already – perhaps we could call this an example of astroturfing.

    As you say, this belongs on another thread – but even when not talking about Gilligan and homosexual hate hysteria, be careful with your ‘plain facts’!

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