In recent times, I’ve stopped taking seriously some people who claim to stand for human rights and progressive values. We still face a serious threat from terrorism and atrocities are continually committed by governments across the world. So a consistent approach to these complicated issues is needed, not one hiding behind the veneer of respectability.
Take Patrick Sookhdeo, (apparently) director of Institute of the Study of Islam and Christianity (ISIC), which claims to be: “committed to human rights, religious freedom, equality and respect for all and stands against all forms of discrimination and incitement to hatred.”
This claim is a bit curious since Sookhdeo one wrote an article for The Spectator titled ‘The Myth of Moderate Islam’, critiqued here. He also contributed to a book titled ‘The Myth of Islamic Tolerance’, which was put together by Robert Spencer of the notoriously bigoted Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch blogs. Sookhdeo has been applauded by the BNP too for his warnings against the ‘The Islamization of Europe’ which, if translated to any other minority, would immediately be condemned as racist material. Anyway, anyone who knows how to use Google should be clear on where Sookhdeo stands stands on intelligent analysis – firmly with Melanie Phillips.
And yet, amusingly enough, this nutjob is being promoted on Harry’s Place as an innocent man who will save the Middle East by pushing through anti-apostasy laws. Let’s be clear – I believe in people being perfectly free to join and leave religions if they wish for fear from others. Now here’s the amusing bit…
Sookhdeo is director of the Barnabus Fund, which earlier called for Christians in Gaza to be saved (who cares about the Muslims eh?). That’s bizarre in itself since the people on Harry’s Place always complain that Muslims in the UK only care for their co-religionists in the Middle East. Apparently that annoyance doesn’t extend to Christians who do the same.
Presumably, Sookhdeo doesn’t believe moderate Muslims nor moderate Islam exists. They must all be wannabe terrorists. This is of course the narrative that Robert Spencer puts forward.
Furthermore, the Barnabus Fund is calling for the apostasy law to be abolished across the Middle East. A noble goal – but why the fuck would anyone in the Middle East listen to a nutjob who writes articles titled ‘The Myth of Moderate Islam’? It’s like taking advice from the Muslim Brotherhood on human rights in Britain.
More amusingly, the guest blogger on HP goes on to try and smear Ben White, a writer on Middle Eastern issues for the temerity to criticise Israel. Apparently, this article says he is a supporter of Hamas.
If asserting the Palestinian right to self-defence is being an apologist for Hamas, then David T of Harry’s Place is also a Hamas apologist, no?
Of course, neither are – but the smear-merchants who now regularly infect Harry’s Place aren’t interested in nuance. It’s all about throwing mud at people while pretending to stand up for human rights… by supporting more nutjobs like Patrick Sookhdeo… who just happens to contribute articles for Robert Spencer (himself has been condemned by David T and Brett of, erm, Harry’s Place).
Well done guys for not support whackjobs!
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Filed in: Current affairs,Middle East,Muslim,Organisations,Religion