« Home | Take the veil. » | Scum-watch: A reporting Foley? » | Scum-watch: The sky is falling! » | Zzzzzzzz... » | The modern gulag and Catch-22. » | Same old Tories. » | News of the Screws-watch: The biggest liar in poli... » | Troops out of Iraq! Troops, err, stay in Afghanist... » | Scum-watch: Getting ready to back Reid? » | Redwatch-watch: Fascist filth exposed. » 

Saturday, October 07, 2006 

Scum-watch: Blaming a religion and community shamelessly.

Despite all that's already happened this week, the Sun's not prepared to allow the exasperation of some die down. Today it splashes on its front page with the claim that a house which soldiers were planning to move into was vandalised by "Muslims", with threats being made to them over the phone.

MUSLIM yobs who wrecked a house to stop four brave soldiers moving in after returning from Afghanistan sparked outrage last night.

The house in a village near riot-torn Windsor had BRICKS thrown through windows and was DAUBED with messages of hate.

Four young Household Cavalry officers who had planned to rent it were also the target of phone THREATS.

They were yesterday forced to look elsewhere to live — after top brass warned them against inflaming racial violence near the Queen’s Windsor Castle home.

Note that these weren't Asian yobs, Pakistani yobs, Indian yobs or other brown-coloured yobs; no, these were definitely MUSLIM yobs.

The young officers — from the same regiment as Prince Harry — had planned to use the four-bed house for rest and recuperation after months risking their lives on the frontline.

Louts struck two days after the four arrived in uniform in an Army Land Rover to view it.

The source said: “A gang of local Muslims set about keeping them away. They hurled bricks through the windows and then wrote offensive graffiti across the front of the house.” The vile messages included one in 4ft letters on the drive — warning: “F*** off”.

Sources inside Windsor’s Combermere Barracks — where the officers are based — confirmed Muslims had made calls threatening the men.

In other words, only circumstantial evidence that the vandalism was even linked to the soldiers looking at the place. None of the "vile" messages, which the Sun kindly censors so you can't even properly see what was written, seem to be racially or politically motivated. The only evidence that MUSLIMS were involved is from an unnamed source at the barracks, and that's from what could be entirely unrelated phone calls.

Police hunting the vandals confirmed: “One line of inquiry is that it is racially aggravated.”

A spokesman for letting agency Kings, who are marketing the property, said: “It was an isolated case of vandalism. We do not know the reasons behind it.”

The Sun and police differ over what constitutes a race riot.

It's not surprising that police are keeping an open mind. Since the beginning of the week there have been clashes and skirmishes in a suburb of Windsor which contains a Muslim-owned dairy in a predominantly white suburb. Reports differ and are confused over how it started, although tension appears to have been rising over plans to also use the dairy as an Islamic centre. A woman speaking to the Windsor Express alleges that after going to the dairy to check on her son, who had been involved in a previous altercation, that she was attacked by a group of up to 20 men, armed with "pitchforks, baseball bats, lead pipes and blow-torches". She also maintains that they smashed up her daughter's car, as well as beating the backs of her legs. A separate report states that a 15-year old boy and his mother suffered minor injuries. Sardar Hussain, the owner, claims that his security guard was the first to be attacked. Despite claims by some newspapers that the incidents amounted to race riots, the police have denied it, and it seems to have been more about local issues than directly related to race. Nevertheless, with this happening in the vicinity of the house that was vandalised, it would be daft for the police not to be considering that it may be in some way related. A dispersal order has now been granted, enabling the police to remove gangs of youths from around the dairy.

The Sun however decides that a front page article directing anger at MUSLIMS isn't enough, and so dedicates its leader column to discussing Jack Straw's comments about the veil, or rather the MUSLIM "anger" directed against him:

THE knee-jerk anger directed at Jack Straw by a section of the Muslim community is offensive.

There is not a racist, Islamophobic bone in his body.

For 27 years he has represented admirably a constituency with the third highest proportion of Muslims in Britain.

His constructive observations about veils have sparked an absurd overreaction from some Muslims for whom even the mildest criticism of any aspect of their religion amounts to a declaration of war.

When the Pope quoted dispassionately from an ancient text about the Prophet Mohammed, his effigy was burned in the street. One lunatic demanded his execution.

Mr Straw is the new hate figure.

Complete and utter unadulterated bullshit. Let's have a look at some of these absurd, angry, overreactions:

Islamic Human Rights Commission chairman Massoud Shadjareh said: "It is astonishing that someone as experienced and senior as Jack Straw does not realise that the job of an elected representative is to represent the interests of the constituency, not to selectively discriminate on the basis of religion."

Rajnaara Akhtar, who chairs the organisation Protect-Hijab, suggested the "appalling" comments showed "a deep lack of understanding".

Reefat Bravu, chair of the Muslim Council for Britain's social and family affairs committee, said yesterday that Mr Straw's comments had exacerbated existing tensions. "We had John Reid first and now we have Jack Straw ... This is going to do great damage to the Muslim community, again we are being singled out by this government as the problem. Women have a right to wear a veil and this is just another example of blatant Muslim-bashing by this government."

Nahella Ashraf, chairwoman of the Manchester Stop the War Coalition, said: "Obviously we want to send a loud and clear message to Jack Straw about what he's said. We don't agree with what he's said, it's just completely out of order.

"The idea that after representing Muslims for 23 years, he's now come out and said that a cloth over someone's face is stopping him from interacting, is just absurd."

Halima Hussain, from civil liberties group the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, asked BBC News 24: "Who is Jack Straw to comment on negative symbols within a religion that is not his own?"

"Who does Jack Straw think he is to tell his female constituents that he would prefer they disrobe before they meet him," says Respect MP George Galloway. "For that is what this amounts to. It is a male politician telling women to wear less. When put like that, there's no one who would be considered part of the civilised political spectrum who would have anything but contempt for Straw.

"Yet, because this is about Muslims, we are seriously being told this is about breaking down the "barriers to community cohesion". It is not women choosing to wear what they want that is sowing division in our society. It is poverty, racism and the despicable competition between the Tory and New Labour front benches over who can grab the headlines as the hammer of the Muslims.

Dr Daud Abdullah of the Muslim Council of Britain said individual Muslim women could choose to remove part of their veil.

"Even within the Muslim community, the scholars have different views on this.

"Our view is that if it is going to cause discomfort and that can be avoided then it can be done."

Dr Abdullah added, however, that covering hair remained "obligatory" for Muslim women.

Out of all those remarks, perhaps 2 could be construed as being angry rather than being concerned, worried or defiant, and one of them was from the white George Galloway, the other from the notably radical Muslim Public Affairs Committee. Jack Straw has hardly been turned into the new hate figure overnight. The Sun's grasping at straws is so desperate that it brings up the completely unrelated reaction to the Pope's quoting of a Byzantine emperor who said that what Mohammed had brought was "evil and inhumane", which understandably caused offence, even if the reaction to it in some quarters was completely unjustifiable and wrong. It fails to mention that the burning of his effigy didn't occur in this country, or that the referred to lunatic, the extremist idiot Anjem Choudrary, only suggested that the Pope could be subject to capital punishment, rather than calling for it.

The Scum continues:
Some Muslim men and women queued up to heap bile on him for attacking their way of life.

Some plainly had no idea what he’d actually said. From their reaction you’d have thought he’d demanded Islam itself be outlawed.

Where are these Muslim men and women? They certainly weren't in Blackburn, where the Guardian asked 6 people to comment on Straw's views, none of whom heaped bile on anyone. If anything, the debate on Straw's comments has been civil, understanding and interesting. The only people who have been trying to profit out of it are the far-left likes of Respect (the appearance of Lindsey German on Newsnight was cringe worthy) and the far-right likes of the Sun and the BNP.

It is perhaps understandable if Muslims feel under siege at the moment. That is the unhappy and unfair consequence of Islamic extremists bringing terror and death to the UK and the world.

But our mainstream Muslim community can help itself simply by getting a grip.

And accepting that, in Britain, no religion should be above criticism.

They feel under siege because of how they suddenly appear to be under constant attack. John Reid a couple of weeks ago talked nonsense, warning parents that their kids were in danger of being "brainwashed". The Sun itself has had more than a hand in this siege mentality; their story on Thursday on the Muslim police officer being excused service was blown out of all proportion. The Sun has repeatedly demanded that Muslims as a whole condemn violence, as if they are entirely responsible for what some who claim to follow Islam do in their name, and now today they focus on an isolated case of vandalism by claiming that MUSLIMS were definitely responsible.

Everyone accepts that there are detailed, difficult and necessary debates to be had over multiculturalism, integration, immigration and extremism. However, these debates cannot be conducted while there is a near constant state of media hysteria, along with newspapers seeking to apportion blame, as well as exaggerating what are far from open and shut cases of either political correctness or racism. Jack Straw was right to raise his concerns, and they have been thoroughly debated in a much calmer way than the Sun claims. When the Sun stops blaming an entire community and an entire religion for the actions of a few, it might then be the time for it to be listened to. Until then, it should be shown up as the hate-filled right-wing rag that it is.


The Diana Express's front page, claiming that 97% want veils banned, is based on phone calls to their 25p a time voting line, rather than from a properly conducted and weighted opinion poll. Not only do you have to be completely stupid to register your state of mind by giving yet more money to Dirty Des, but it seems that the majority that do also happen to be authoritarian and deeply intolerant. There's no connection between the two things, obviously.

Share |

The tabloid coverage Straw's comments has been in Der Stürmer territory of late.

Post a Comment

Links to this post

Create a Link