“Anti Muslim Bigotry”- that’s rich, coming Â from a guy who regularly rants about the kuffar, curses Jews & Christians in the vilest of ways and sings theÂ praises of Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He publicly branded all non-believers as mentally ill “animals” . This parasite is a walking slime-bomb, but in typical Mohammedan fashion, he plays the victim and… gets away with it.
Have you ever been called an Islamist? How about a jihadist or a terrorist? Extremist, maybe? Welcome to my world. It’s pretty depressing. Every morning, I take a deep breath and then go online to discover what new insult or smear has been thrown in my direction. Whether it’s tweets, blogposts or comment threads, the abuse is as relentless as it is vicious.
You might think I’d have become used to it by now. Well, I haven’t. When I started writing for a living, I never imagined I’d be the victim of such personal, such Islamophobic, attacks, on a near-daily basis.
Mehdi Hasan writes atÂ Comment is Free, 8 July 2012
He has some harsh words to say about the role of some of his fellow journalists when it comes to stoking hostility towards the Muslim community and its faith:
From my perspective, the British commentariat can be divided into three groups. The first consists of a handful of journalists who regularly speak out against the rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry â€“ from the Telegraph’s Peter Oborne to a bevy of Guardian columnists, including Jonathan Freedland, Seumas Milne and Gary Younge.
The second consists of those writers, such as the Mail’s Melanie Phillips, the Telegraph’s Charles Moore and the Spectator’s Douglas Murray, who see Islam and Muslims as alien, hostile and threatening. Phillips has referred darkly to a “fifth column in our midst”; Murray has said “conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board”.
But it is the third, and perhaps biggest, group that concerns me most: those commentators who boast otherwise impeccable anti-racist credentials yet tend to be silent on the subject of Islamophobia; journalists who cannot bring themselves to recognise, let alone condemn, the growing prevalence of anti-Muslim feeling across Europe â€“ or acknowledge the simple fact that the targeting of a powerless, brown-skinned minority is indeed a form of racism.
I’m a fan of robust debate and I’m not averse to engaging in the odd ad hominem attack myself. This isn’t a case of special pleading, on behalf of Britain’s Muslims, nor do I think my Islamic beliefs should be exempt from public criticism. But the fact is that you can now say things about Muslims, in polite society and even among card-carrying liberal lefties, that you cannot say about any other group or minority. Am I expected to shrug this off?
We don’t give a hoot whether you shake it or beat it, Hasan. We just want you back where you belong: in your Paki slum!
Here’s Sara A.B. on Harry’s taking Mehdi Hasan to the cleaners:
Sarah AB, July 9th 2012, 6:33 pm
A brief post to point out that a very informative comment by Quizblorg has just been, I believe, deleted from underneathÂ thisÂ article without trace.Â I didn’t save it, so I can’t be absolutely sure, but my recollection was that it was a long comment, that it attracted well over 1000 recommends, and that it may possibly have included the word cattle.
The more general issues raised by Mehdi Hasan about anti-Muslim bigotry should not of course be brushed aside â€“ and here’s a link to aÂ reportÂ from Tell Mama, an initiative I blogged about a few months ago â€“ to reinforce that point.Â But Hasan is perhaps not the best person to give lectures about bigotry.
A reader with (fortunately) an unrefreshed window has managed to save it!
I absolutely agree with you that there is a disturbing phenomenon of nasty and bigoted comments being posted in the comments box of any piece about Muslims or by a Muslim writer
There is world of difference between that â€“ which should be condemned â€“ and the proper criticism of writers who are Muslim, who themselves express sometimes horrific political views, or use offensive rhetoric. Such revolting rhetoric should be opposed, always.
You don’t quote from the ’selectively edited speeches’ that you gave. You should.
This was what you said:
““The kaffar, the disbelievers, the atheists who remain deaf and stubborn to the teachings of Islam, the rational message of the Quran; they are described in the Quran as, quote, “a people of no intelligence”, Allah describes them as; not of no morality, not as people of no belief â€“ people of “no intelligence” â€“ because they’re incapable of the intellectual effort it requires to shake off those blind prejudices, to shake off those easy assumptions about this world, about the existence of God. In this respect, the Quran describes the atheists as “cattle”, as cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world.””
Not only did you use the offensive term ‘kaffar’. You said that people who were not Muslim were ‘people of no intelligence’. Imagine somebody saying that about Muslims -you would object, and rightly so.
You went on to say:
““In Islam, to believe is to know. To disbelieve is not to know. That is what it fundamentally comes down to; it [to disbelieve] is to remain ignorant; to cover up knowledge. After all, what is ‘kaffar’? Kaffar comes from the root word which means to cover up, to conceal. The kaffar is the one who covers up that knowledge which is clear. The French orientalist scholar Lamens [?], he once wrote that the “Quran is not far from considering unbelief, disbelief as an infirmity, as an illness, as a disease of the human mind”. Subhanallah. Non-Muslims point this out to us.””
What is the ‘context’ within which that is acceptable?
You also said that Muslims needed to improve their standard of education, and were praised for saying this by your defenders. But you made this point in the context of … Muslims needing to “outthink” Jews!
” Our Jewish brethren who we spend so much time fighting and arguing with: 12 million Jews in the world and 150 nobel prizes to their name. All Israel’s top 6 universities feature in the top 200 universities on earth â€“ none of the Muslim world’s top universities feature in top 100 or 200 universities in the world and then we wonder why we are losing battles â€“ we are not being out-fought we are being out-thought. We are not underarmed. We are undereducated.””
This was a comment about conflict â€“ battles, arms â€“ with those you think are in conflict with Islam.
The most worrying part of your speech was when you praised the Supreme Leader of Iran â€“ a Shia religious authority â€“ for his supposed opposition to nuclear weapons. Is it not worrying that a political editor of a national newspaper should take the statements of a religious leader as ‘gospel’, so to speak. It implies that you believe that Iran is not really building nuclear weapons â€“ and that, I think, is actually your view. You’re free to hold that view, but to do so on religious grounds is worrying:
““Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa saying the stockpiling, the production, the use of nuclear weapons us forbidden under Islam. Spot on. Islamic Republic of Iran. The fatwa of the Supreme Leader.””
The other matter of concern is that you have shown a readiness to attack others who draw attention to Islamist hate preachers. Remember this piece?
In it, you attacked the anti-extremists of Quilliam for their report on hate preaching and extremism on the Islam Channel. You denied it existed. However â€“ tellingly â€“ you then went on to attack the Islam Channel itself â€“ because it had broadcast a preacher who had said nasty things about Shia Islam, your own sect. The Islam Channel was later censured by OFCOM for precisely the offences that you denied it was guilty of.
There are other points to make briefly. Lady Warsi is a politician. She has a close relationship with somebody who was active in Hizb ut Tahrir. Frankly, if there were a Tory with a close relationship with a BNP activist, you’d attack them, and rightly so. They’d probably resign. Similarly, Lord Ahmed, whose record speaks for itself. Yet, he has been let back into the Labour Party, recently.
Frankly, if these problems are not addressed by us, then the field is left clear for the BNP and the EDL, and the nastiest people in the comments box.
The comment had been recommended by about 1400 readers, which may possibly have been a record for Comment is Free.
There was also another comment which responded to a comment in which Mehdi Hasan condemned opposition to Lord Ahmed’s conduct. The comment listed Lord Ahmed’s many associations with extremists, some of them Islamists and some of them on from traditional white far right groups, and suggested that this was why he attracted criticism.
I don’t know why The Guardian would delete a comment which threw light on the reason that Mehdi Hasan is so controversial a figure. It makes them look silly and a little dishonest.