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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Daily Mail pretends Christians persecuted for discussion


    by Sunny on 8th December, 2009 at 9:10 PM    

    The Daily Mail has this story:

    A Christian couple have been charged with a criminal offence after taking part in what they regarded as a reasonable discussion about religion with guests at their hotel. Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were arrested after a Muslim woman complained to police that she had been offended by their comments. They have been charged under public order laws with using ‘threatening, abusive or insulting words’ that were ‘religiously aggravated’.

    Although the facts are disputed, it is thought that during the conversation the couple were challenged over their Christian beliefs.

    The facts are “disputed”, but to no surprise the story implies strongly that the Christian couple are being persecuted after being challenged over their beliefs.

    Let’s look at another version of events:

    A Muslim woman was asked by a Christian hotelier if she was a terrorist and a murderer because she was wearing Islamic dress, a court has been told. Ericka Tazi told Liverpool magistrates she faced a tirade of abuse from Benjamin Vogelenzang and his wife Sharon, at their hotel on Merseyside.

    The 60-year-old, who suffers from fibromyalgia and lives with chronic pain, said: “He just couldn’t accept the way I was dressed. “He asked me if I was a murderer, if I was a terrorist. I’m a 60-year-old disabled woman, I couldn’t understand where it was coming from, it was shocking to me.”

    Another guest, Shirley Tait, said she was in her bedroom when she heard Mr Vogelenzang shouting the words “Nazi” and “warlord”.

    Funny. The Daily Mail reporter didn’t think it was important to report those facts. Wonder why that is.
    [via Martin Robbins]

    I wonder if any of the usual suspects will argue the Muslim woman deserved it because of her dress.


         
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    Filed in: Media, Race politics






    33 Comments below   |   Add your own

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    1. The weekly roundup | Daily Mail Watch

      [...] has some notes about the pay of the Mails’ top man, Dacre, Pickled Politics talks about persecuted Christians and Charlie Becket has some thoughts on copyright issues raised by a Mail article about [...]



    1. Matthew Taylor — on 8th December, 2009 at 12:26 PM  

      “Funny. The Daily Mail reporter didn’t think it was important to report those facts. Wonder why that is.”

      It might just possibly be that the Daily Mail article is from *20 September* and the facts - indeed quotes - whose omission you're criticising were given in testimony *today*, December 8th.

      Did you bother to check the Liverpool Echo's story contemporaneous to the Mail's?

      http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/l...

      Does the Mail have an agenda? Probably. It comes to something, however, when I find myself defending the Mail's journalism - you've managed to surpass their penchant for straining reality to fit agendas.

    2. wyrdtimes — on 8th December, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

      Apparently they also suggested that Mohammed was like Hitler or Saddam Hussein too. How does that pan out?

      Hatred of Jews - check, hatred of homosexuals - check, hatred of non-believers - check, totalitarian tendencies - check, military expansionist - check, sexual deviance?

    3. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 12:35 PM  

      Well spotted Matthew Taylor

      That is one massive clanger. How do you explain the racist behaviour of the Liverpool Echo on the 20th September. Damn, looks like all the news sources were being racist on that day. not reporting the facts….

    4. Don — on 8th December, 2009 at 12:40 PM  

      wyrdtimes

      That may have been their opinion, it may well be a justifiable opinion. but it is scarcely reasonable to inflict it forcefully on an infirm guest at one's establishment. especially over breakfast.

      The idea that an elderly woman. alone and in pain, invited a vigorous theological discussion over breakfast in an hotel seems unlikely.

    5. Sunny H — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:25 PM  

      Retraction? Not really.

      The point is that the Daily Mail's original piece quoted the couple being persecuted but didn't get anything from the woman making the complaint.
      So it didn't report her side of the story.

      Furthermore, the language clearly implies it was the Christian couple being persecuted for discussing their beliefs.

      Not really a clanger marvin. But if you endorse that sort of behaviour then you may be sympathetic to the hotel owners perhaps.

    6. Yakoub — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:27 PM  

      The Guardian, reporting on 21 September, reported it thus:

      A pair of Christian hoteliers who argued with a Muslim guest have been charged with a “religiously aggravated” public order offence. Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang run the Bounty House Hotel in Aintree, Liverpool. The incident took place in March when a guest came down to breakfast in a hijab. It is alleged Mr Vogelenzang said the prophet Muhammad was a warlord. He denies the claim. It is also claimed that Mrs Vogelenzang described the hijab as a form of bondage.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/sep/21/hotel-...

      If you look at The Independent's coverage, it becomes clear that the coverage on 21 September was warped by the fact that The Christian Institute less than impartial comments dominated coverage of the alleged incident, and is the basis for The Daily Fail's mendacious warbling:

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/chri...

      This is the same gay-bashing literalist fundamentalist Christian Institute who backed Lillian Ladele in her attempt to get out of performing civil partnerships on the grounds of freedom of conscience. Of course, like most organisations of this ilk, if they ever gained serious political power, British people would be offered the freedom to choose between Christianity or death.

    7. Ravi Naik — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:41 PM  

      How do you explain the racist behaviour of the Liverpool Echo

      Actually, Matthew Taylor proved Sunny's point. Nowhere in the Liverpool Echo article is there a reference that “the couple were challenged over their Christian beliefs”. Why not? Because at that time no one knew what really happened, but that didn't stop the Daily Mail to make arses of themselves now that we know what really happen.

    8. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:43 PM  

      From Yakoub

      Independent article ends with

      “People see the police standing by when Muslims demonstrate holding some pretty bloodthirsty placards, but at the same time come down hard on two Christians having a debate over breakfast at a hotel.

      “We are just hoping the magistrates use their common sense and find them not guilty.”

      He added the couple were “absolutely distressed by it”.

      I think all the news stories on 21/22nd September ooze racism against people who have converted to Islam. I mean what kind of impression does that Independent article give by ending with those quotes?

      Looks like the Christian Institute stuck their oar in and successfully distorted the facts, even for the lefty rags (which is disappointing, because normally they are infallible). Though if Christian Institute wanted to build very tall imposing church towers against the public's wishes we should support them. Otherwise that would be bigotry.

    9. marvin — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:45 PM  

      Ravi have you slept at all in the past week? You know sleep deprivation will lead to hallucinations. Get some shuteye man.

    10. MaidMarian — on 8th December, 2009 at 1:51 PM  

      If you read the BBC link, there is actually a very interesting line buried in there.

      'When detectives questioned the couple they claimed they had been sharing their “faith views”.'

      Now, I would hazard a wager that the couple are pretty horrible people, and I would equally guess the woman had a very distressing experience. But on the face of it, sharing faith views is fair comment on what happened here..

      It is not a crime to disagree with someone, or offend someone. It is not even a crime to lie, for example it is not an offence for me to say, 'Sunny, that is the best picture of you ever.' It is an offence to endanger public order and I can not see any suggestion that that was the case here (happy to be corrected). I can not see a public interest in this prosecution because, indeed this sounds like a legitimate - if robust - exchange on faith views.

      Our friend the Lyrical Terrorist did not do anything greatly different after all and the talkboards went all soppy over her.

      Sure, the Mail has a pretty vile agenda, this couple sound like horrible people and there are many things to say about the prejudice of both. It just doesn't really sound like this is a good illustration of the point.

    11. Don — on 8th December, 2009 at 4:51 PM  

      I pity the fool who tries to share their faith views with me at breakfast.

    12. camilla — on 8th December, 2009 at 5:05 PM  

      “The Daily Mail reporter didn’t think it was important to report those facts.”

      facts? excuse me! these are her words, not facts…

      as for me I always wonder why people “insulting” muslims sound the same… hmm, why is that? maybe because muslim used to make the whole thing up…

      COME ON! ANOTHER “ISLAMPHOBES VICTIM” IN PURSUIT OF QUICK MONEY…

      I don't believe a word of her

    13. Sunny H — on 8th December, 2009 at 5:19 PM  

      I can not see a public interest in this prosecution because, indeed this sounds like a legitimate - if robust - exchange on faith views

      Actually I agree with you MM. I don't think an argument like this should lead to people being prosecuted. Though if I was a lodger I'd just refuse to pay the bill and say that was because the owners harassed me.

      But my point with this blog post was to show the Daily Mail spin and how it happily promoted the nutters from the Christian Institute.

    14. Cauldron — on 8th December, 2009 at 6:28 PM  

      Good points all, MaidMarian.

    15. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 8th December, 2009 at 11:20 PM  

      I get your point sunny.
      Looking around at headlines just a few days later … they switch angles
      “Muslim woman hits back over race row with hotel couple”

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1216357...

      it went from Christian persecution - to a racism - ?
      about the muslim woman though, for a month she wore western clothes then on her last day at the hotel she put on hijab - from this link -it claims she states she may appear in court with full burka … LOL!
      interesting that she suffers from fibromyalgia - which has links to mental illness - http://www.medicinenet.com/fibromyalgia/page2.htm

      I really liked this post - One of the things that upsets me most these days is both how the media uses “news” and how people use the “media” -

      I do get some comfort from this - would seem “mainstream media” is not so mainstream in the US with NPR at the top :)
      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newswar...
      (2009 figures reflect an upward trend as well)

      There is discussion over here on European news traditionaly being more “political” than the american version of reporting - and if current trends in media are turning in a simular direction…. though it seems to be turning people off.

      you ask - “The Daily Mail reporter didn’t think it was important to report those facts. Wonder why that is?”
      I would say the answer is the mail is a crap paper ..he is not paid to report facts he is paid to report crap … probably half their readers do so only to find and point out the crap being reported there and create some sensationalism.

      I kind of don't get your last comment about the “spin” though… only cause it doesnt stop there, it keeps going and going in every direction. As I have shown with that link to another headline. Maybe the mail is an equal oppertunity promoter for all institutional nutters.

    16. DavidMWW — on 9th December, 2009 at 2:34 AM  

      It is unlikely that we are going to get an honest description of events from either party in this case, as they are both equally mired in their own self-indulgent persecution complexes.

      But wtf is it doing in court in the first place?

    17. Reza — on 9th December, 2009 at 3:04 AM  

      Matthew Taylor, Marvin and DavidWWW all make very good points. Clearly this should not be in court.

      However, I understand Sunny’s point that this is demonstrating that the Mail is biased.

      Of course it is. All media is biased to some extent with regard to the views of it’s editorial team. This blog is biased. So is the BBC.

      I’ve written twice to the BBC recently, regarding thoroughly biased and wilfully misleading reporting.

      The first example concerned the reporting of the murder of a “grandfather leaving a mosque in Tooting” by a gang of “youths” in front of his grand daughter in a “racist attack”.

      Nowhere in the report did it mention that the “youths” in question were all black.

      Subsequent reports appeared to address this very material omission, and I like to think that my letter had something to do with it.

      The second, far more serious case, concerned the “racist attacks” on Indian students by Australian “youths”. At the end of the report, the BBC helpfully provided an analysis of Australia’s racist history, including their former ‘whites-only’ immigration policy.

      However, the BBC article failed to mention that all of the “racist” attacks were carried out against Hindu and Sikh students by ‘Australians’ from Middle Eastern Muslims backgrounds.

      At what stage does “spin” become a lie?

      So get off your high horse Sunny. Neither the BBC nor you have any moral authority in this area.

    18. Yakoub — on 9th December, 2009 at 3:32 AM  

      When I was uni, a Jewish guy who was supposedly my pal froze me out when I converted to Islam, so when I saw him demonstrating the use of Tefillin to a Christian student, I asked him if he was explaining Jewish bondage. He told me to fuck off, and rightly so - actually, I probably deserved a smack in the mouth for that. But the only time anyone should get legal-heavy over such matters is when they are providing a public service, as when some RC ars at the national blood service starting dissing the Prophet as she was sticking a needle in my arm. I formerly complained.

    19. Yakoub — on 9th December, 2009 at 3:37 AM  

      When I was uni, a Jewish guy who was supposedly my pal froze me out when I converted to Islam, so when I saw him demonstrating the use of Tefillin to a Christian student, I asked him if he was explaining Jewish bondage. He told me to fuck off, and rightly so - actually, I probably deserved a smack in the mouth for that. But the only time anyone should get legal-heavy over such matters is when they are providing a public service, as when some RC ars at the national blood service starting dissing the Prophet as she was sticking a needle in my arm. I formerly complained.

    20. Me — on 9th December, 2009 at 4:23 AM  

      All those checks also apply to the Christians, my uniformed friend; Hitler was a Christian. Check. Christians embrace homosexuals? No check. The couple in the article showed their intolerance towards another faith. Check. Totalitarian tendencies? Check (see the planned “democracisation” of the Middle East by the two Christians, Bliar and Bush). military expansionist. Check (see previous point). Sexual deviance. Homosexuality is more prevalent in the West. Also the average peado is male and white. Check.

    21. jamestheVIII — on 9th December, 2009 at 4:23 AM  

      | have read spin on stories before but yet again daily mail takes the biscuit.

      A muslim woman is abused by a couple who call her terrorist and murderer because she wears a scarf or piece of material on her head which appears to be made of a cotton type material!

      And the couple who are expressing their views or shouting nasty abuse in most normal peoples book are labelled as being persecuted, whats next nazi germans going to be called persecuted because they believed in the superior Aryan race!

    22. wyrdtimes — on 9th December, 2009 at 4:51 AM  

      Yeah ok so your confirming that Mohhamed and Hitler had things in common then - that's the point I was making.

      I'm not a Christian btw so they'll get no defence from me and I'm not offended by any insult to them.

      “Homosexuality is more prevalent in the West”. And?

      In the “West” we've got to the point where we don't think homosexuality is a crime and definitely not worth throwing people off hill-tops or hanging them for it.

      The average peado is male and white - well the ones we know about anyway. Who knows what going on in the Ummah where paedophilia is legitimised by the life of Mohammed himself? Eh?

    23. Me — on 9th December, 2009 at 5:48 AM  

      Yeah ok so your confirming that Mohhamed and Hitler had things in common then - that's the point I was making.

      Me: Quite a childish response, and no I am not confirming what you have stated.

      I'm not a Christian btw so they'll get no defence from me and I'm not offended by any insult to them.

      Me: I have no intention to insult Christians. I was merely pointing out that the same allegations you make can be made against any other religion or person. Tell what your viewpoint is, and I will edit my comments so that they apply to whatever you believe.

      “Homosexuality is more prevalent in the West”. And?

      Me: And what? You really do have a problem trying to grasp the point being made, don't you?

      In the “West” we've got to the point where we don't think homosexuality is a crime and definitely not worth throwing people off hill-tops or hanging them for it.

      Me: …but you haven't got to the point of letting (other) people believe what they want without your snide, obnoxious and vile comments and innuendos? Very modern of you.

      The average peado is male and white - well the ones we know about anyway.

      Me: We also know that there has been a huge outcry in the US and Europe about both churches and synogogues where these acts have been taking place.

      Who knows what going on in the Ummah where paedophilia is legitimised by the life of Mohammed himself? Eh?

      Me: You obviously only read selective news. A Saudi national was recently sentenced to (and executed?) for illegal acts against children. He won't be doing it again. In the West, its a slap on the wrist and time out to re-offend.

      Me: I have to apologise for my comment “Also the average peado is male and white”. That was an ignorant comment - I got carried away with responding to wyrd.

    24. wyrdtimes — on 9th December, 2009 at 6:02 AM  

      “Me: Quite a childish response, and no I am not confirming what you have stated.”

      You were too.

      “Homosexuality is more prevalent in the West”.

      Me: And what? You really do have a problem trying to grasp the point being made, don't you?

      I'm struggling to understand what your point about homosexuality in the west is about. What is your point?

      “Me: You obviously only read selective news. A Saudi national was recently sentenced to (and executed?) for illegal acts against children. He won't be doing it again. In the West, its a slap on the wrist and time out to re-offend.”

      Lots of people support the death penalty, I'm not one of them. Even for paedophiles.

    25. Me — on 9th December, 2009 at 6:46 AM  

      You were too.

      Me: Na, na, na-na, na!

      I'm struggling to understand what your point about homosexuality in the west is about. What is your point?

      Me: Then I would suggest that you re-read your own initial comments to which I responded. Perhaps that will shed some light.

      Lots of people support the death penalty, I'm not one of them. Even for paedophiles.

      Me: You are entitled to your opinion. And in certain circumstances I can see your viewpoint too.

      Me: Although I'd like to hang around and read your response, I must dash. I probably will not visit this website again, therefore have a nice day.

    26. DavidMWW — on 9th December, 2009 at 6:58 AM  

      Case dismissed.

      Thank fuck for that.

    27. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 9th December, 2009 at 10:37 AM  

      Quoted from the original mail link ….

      “The use by the police of the Public Order Act to arrest people over offensive comments has dismayed a number of lawyers, who say the legislation was passed to deal with law and order problems in the streets.

      Neil Addison, a prominent criminal barrister and expert in religious law, said: ‘The purpose of the Public Order Act is to prevent disorder, but I’m very concerned that the police are using it merely because someone is offended.

      ‘It should be used where there is violence, yobbish behaviour or gratuitous personal abuse. It should never be used where there has been a personal conversation or debate with views firmly expressed.

      ‘If someone is in a discussion and they don’t like what they are hearing, they can walk away.’
      He added that the police had a legal duty under the Human Rights Act to defend free speech ‘and I think they are forgetting that’.
      A number of Church leaders in Liverpool have written to Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, voicing their concerns and pressing for the case to be dropped.

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1214666... “

      I am not sure how your system works - Is it the actual POLICE who independently pressed for this case? - Or is the woman Erica Tazi - asked after making the complaint if under public order laws she would like to follow through with court action ?
      anyone know?

    28. KB Player — on 9th December, 2009 at 2:23 PM  

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/8...

      Explaining his reasons for dismissal, Judge Clancy said Mrs Tazi's claim that she was verbally attacked for up to an hour had not been backed up by the other witnesses.

      Would you and I stick around while being verbally attacked for up to an hour? Whatever happened to storming out of unpleasant situations?

    29. Don — on 9th December, 2009 at 3:40 PM  

      What is 'up to an hour'?

      She claims she left but was followed. Storming may not be such a viable option when you are 60 and poorly. Who knows? Shouldn't have gone to law, but I suspect she had a case for giving them a scathing review on the relevant website.

    30. Roger — on 10th December, 2009 at 4:47 AM  

      “a reasonable discussion about religion “

      ????????????????????????????????????????????????/

    31. Reza — on 10th December, 2009 at 6:04 AM  

      “I am not sure how your system works - Is it the actual POLICE who independently pressed for this case? - Or is the woman Erica Tazi - asked after making the complaint if under public order laws she would like to follow through with court action ?
      anyone know?”

      From Harry’s Place:

      “Now, let’s see what the so-called Islamic Human Rights Commission has to say about this trial. Surprise surprise! It turns out that this front group for the Islamic Republic of Iran was behind the case:”

      http://www.hurryupharry.org/2009/12/10/the-ihrc...

    32. boyo — on 10th December, 2009 at 2:56 PM  

      “the usual suspects” Does the Mail have an agenda? Probably, but no more than Sunny.



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