I can’t imagine the Batley ‘blasphemy’ incident has escaped the notice of ANYONE interested in British politics. In summary, a teacher showed a class a cartoon of Mohammed. From what we know it was a legitimate use of the cartoon. And, we don’t have a blasphemy law in the UK … officially. Yes, we are damned close with our ‘Hate Incidents’, and Scotland now has what is essentially a blasphemy law, introduced by Humza Yousaf, SNP Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Care. But, as yet, it is not illegal to use a cartoon of any religious figure in a classroom while teaching about religion, or about blasphemy.
Of course, the Islamists of the Batley ‘Muslim community’ want otherwise. They’d like nothing more than a blasphemy law preventing the criticism of Islam. So, when it became known that the teacher had used a cartoon of Mohammed, the Islamists stepped it up a gear and ‘parents’ (i.e. leaders of mosques and a members of a number of Islamist groups) started to demonstrate outside the school.
The teacher was justifiably afraid for his life. A similar incident resulted in the beheading of the teacher Samuel Paty, in France. The Batley teacher went into hiding.
Where were that teacher’s union representatives? Where was the outrage over the Islamist activists attempts to impose blasphemy laws by coercive campaigning? Nowhere.
And, where has Owen Jones been? Perhaps he’s too busy wondering, “Why do they think I support Islamic extremism?”
Here’s why some people might.
Our 21st Century Citizen Smith was out meeting with striking teachers, and even managed to put in an appearance at a photo op for a George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. Knowing how fond Owen is of teachers (he has many tweets supporting them), and the persecuted, you might expect him to have a few things to say about the situation at Batley, and the persecuted teacher, no?
No, of course not. At least not the incident at Batley involving Islamists trying, again, to dictate the school curriculum and enforce blasphemy rules.
When Owen suddenly took an interest in Batley, it wasn’t for the persecuted teacher, but for Labour’s potential demise in that constituency. Own was happy to tweet support for Labour.
The video linked in Owen’s tweet only had this to say about Batley …
“Batley … diverse … Muslim community … supporters of the Labour Party”
Since Owen has an interest in the wellbeing of teachers, including the Batley teacher in hiding, and of Labour’s Muslim voters in Batley, why would he miss the opportunity to mention the problem, the conflict, the ‘slight’ difference of points of view on the matter of Mohammed cartoons?
Owen wasn’t going anywhere near this banana skin. There was no way he was going to risk alienating Labour’s Muslim voters (the remaining red wall) by having anything to say about the extremists in their midst If you listen to his video it will become clear that IF Batley is lost to Labour, it will, as usual, have “nothing to do with Islam” and its horrific blasphemy demands, but instead will all be Keir Starmer’s fault. Keir, it seems, is the new Labour patsy for all that’s wrong with Labour.
Both Owen and the Batley teacher’s union that has also gone missing. It seems Batley’s ‘bin men’ have a greater interest in a persecuted teacher than either teaching unions or Owen Jones.
Except that the teachers unions did eventually put in an appearance, or at least ‘a teaching union official’ is reported to have done so, and has told the bin men to shut up.
Where have we seen this sort of intervention before regarding Labour’s reduced red wall in Yorkshire? Remember Naz Shah liking and retweeting this?
Not only have the teaching unions not come to the aid of a member, but they seem to prefer to support a ‘charity’.
So, Owen Jones, defender of the persecuted, supporter of teachers’ rights … why are you MISSING IN ACTION AT THE BATTLE OF BATLEY
A number of ‘lefties’ have gone missing in action. The precise point they went missing is telling.
Owen Jones writes articles on a number of issues, but mainly Labour support, and, being gay himself he writes and campaigns on LBGT+ issues.
You’d think Owen would be all over the Iranian regime, given they are well known for hanging gay men. He has occasionally tweeted that Iran’s regime is “vile”, though under the search term ‘Iran’ there’s no explicit tweet about the hanging of gay men, or the protests by Iranian women about the forced hijab.
His comments on Iran focus almost exclusively with an obsession about US potential for starting a war with Iran – not in itself an unrealistic concern, but when he has zero tweets about gay men being hanged by the regime, it’s a little suspicious of his motivations and agenda. I’m not suggesting he’s not interested in these issues and the suffering of people in Iran, but what I am suggesting is that his political biases prevent him being explicit about it … after all, it wouldn’t do to be thought an Islamophobe. And, what would Mehdi Hasan think about it?
This post is about how Owen is quite interested in events in Iran, the killing of Soleimani, and the prospect of US troops going into Iran. Until, that is, flight PS752 is shot down. Then it all goes very quiet. Not unlike other left wing accounts.
We’ll pick up Owen’s tweets and retweets here, on the 3rd, when news broke of the killing of Soleimani. I won’t include all tweets, but I will point out the gaps, and give examples of other tweets he was posting or retweeting.
11:09 AM · Jan 3, 2020 – Donald Trump killing Iran’s second most powerful leader risks a horrific wider war in which many innocent people will die, in a region already long consumed in death. But it could also bolster Trump’s re-election chances by making him a wartime President. Which he knows.
11:15 AM · Jan 3, 2020 – Britain must not back another US-instigated catastrophic war: discussing that on @LBC at 11.20am.
11:21 AM · Jan 3, 2020 – You don’t need to try hard to work out what’s going on in Trump’s head. You just need to read his old tweets.
11:37 AM · Jan 3, 2020 – Qassem Soleimani does indeed have blood on his hands. As do many current and former US leaders and senior officials – indeed, from Henry Kissinger to George W Bush, far more. What precedent does Trump think has been established?
6:06 PM · Jan 3, 2020 – The orchestrated right wing pile on against this good tweet underlines that any Labour leader who doesn’t cheerlead for the foreign policy of Donald Trump will be deemed unacceptable and beyond the pale[Quote Tweet of Lisa Nandy on Iraq war as a warning]
Retweets Mehdi Hasan, fan of Iran, who else:
4:25 PM · Jan 3, 2020 – If the argument is simply that Suleimani was a bad man who has American blood on his hand and therefore deserved to die/be killed/assassinated, then who’s next? Kim Jong-Un? Oh wait, Trump gets “love letters” from Kim. So the Iranians need to brush up on their writing skills.
Owen continues with retweets of others that posted on the 3rd. He might retweet on the 4th (I’ve not checked time of retweets, only tweets).
He retweets less frequently, and posts none of his own tweets on Iran – though his tweets continue on a number of other issues.
He manages to retweet the glorification of the support for Soleimani, on Soleimani’s funeral:
2:25 PM · Jan 5, 2020 – A video of the Soleimani funeral. This is the largest crowd I’ve ever witnessed in my life. I’ve never seen Iranians so unified, ever. This is Suleimani’s funeral in Ahvaz, Iran. Trump has no idea what he has done.
This is outrageous glorification of a despotic terrorist funding warlord, and we soon find out that the funeral was, as expected, staged by busing in people, whether they wanted to be there or not. This is the type of misrepresentation we’d expect from supporters of authoritarian regimes. How is Owen letting the gay hanging regime off so easily?
This is the last retweet on Iran as far as I can see:
11:31 PM · Jan 7, 2020 – TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran state TV says Tehran launches “tens” of surface-to-surface missiles at Iraq’s Ain Assad air base housing US troops
On the 8th, the plane was shot down. Of course plenty of reports echo the Iranian state position of engine failure, but I would find it difficult to think anyone but the most naive would not at least suspect the plane had been downed by an Iranian missile.
There are no other tweets from Owen on the subject. None. Not while we awaited the outcome of the initial investigations. Eventually, the regime admitted that the plane had been downed by a missile. Nothing from Owen.
Not ‘nothing’ as in no tweeting, no. The thankful relief of anti-Meghan racism (of which there’s no actual evidence) fills a few tweets from Owen, along with other subjects that would make you think the Iran situation had never happened. I mean, seriously, Owen doesn’t even have anything to say about Trump’s war mongering, not that the Iranians have shot down a passenger plane.
Surely Owen would eventually come out with a tweet or two in support of the people of Iran as they find their brave voices of opposition to the “vile” regime. After all, in several of his older tweets, while lambasting the Great Satan, he made sure he had virtue signalled the fact that he supports a ‘democratic Iran’ … we’re just not sure which democratic Iran – a really democratic Iran, or the pseudo-democratic Iran of the oppressive regime. This would be a big opportunity for him to speak out and let us know.
But no. … Well, not quite. He does retweet this …
4:58 PM · Jan 11, 2020 – Solidarity to the 100,000s taking to the streets in India led by women marchers to protest the plans of the far right Govt of Modi to strip Muslims of citizenship. Smash fascism
Hold on! This isn’t about the Islamofascism of the Iranian theocracy, It’s about the Modi government.
That’s right. From the downing of the plane, through the street protests of the Iranian people, his only tweet of street protests is of events in India – and that’s because in this case the victims are Muslims and the perpetrators are not, which is such a consistent bias seen all over the far left it would be comical if not so tragic a betrayal of liberal principles to the fascism of Islam.
Oh, and he tweets this … on the police labelling XR an extremist group.
5:08 PM · Jan 11, 2020 – Where this is heading is very clear: towards an authoritarian state in which dissent – in this case, trying to stop the destruction of human civilisation – is equated with dangerous extremism.
A particularly ironic tweet, given his MIA on Iran. Let’s absorb his words:
“Where this is heading is very clear: towards an authoritarian state in which dissent – in this case, trying to stop the destruction of human civilisation – is equated with dangerous extremism.”
An authoritarian state? The UK? Well, I too am concerned about the restrictions on free speech … restrictions that Owen Jones seems to have either overlooked or supported. And yet he has nothing to say on Iran and the #FreeIran2020 protests going on there, where an actual authoritarian state is now taking pot shots at protesters, with live rounds, … in the aftermath of having shot down a passenger plane.
This is our freedom loving socialist people of the left: Fuck freedom, if it means we have to criticise Islamic regimes, or heaven forbid, actual Muslims no matter how despotic they are.
There are some utterly bizarre interactions going on around Islam in the UK. There’s much guilt by association and incredibly dishonest smear campaigns, even coming from those that are often victims of dishonest smears themselves.
Nigel Farage was demonised as a racist for his UKIP Brexit campaign that saw him stood in front of a poster of economic migrants. It should have been obvious to anyone (because he explained it) that his point was that the images we were seeing throughout 2014/15 were predominantly of healthy young migrant men. Where were all the weak, old and infant refugees? Why had these men left them behind? These were legitimate questions, at the height of illegal immigration. So too was the question about the political ideology that many of the illegal immigrants were committed to. Even Angela Merkel had to face up to these realities eventually, as she shut down all the publicly expressed concern she could, and eventually had to stem the flow.
But then, when Gerard Batton announced the ‘consultation’ role of Tommy Robinson, Farage joined in the smears of Robinson and the guilt by association of UKIP. Personally, I see Robinson as a legitimate activist, but not a particularly good politician – too hot headed and not responsible enough to have him too close to the leadership of a party. But, he has definitely been smeared beyond any recognition of the person he actually is. So, it’s strange to see Farage take that particular stance himself – a convenient distancing of himself from someone he sees as lost to fair coverage and so dangerous to Farage’s personal agenda.
In another context we see long-term gay activist Peter Tatchell struggle to hold a rational position regarding Islam. He has joined with activists from Faith to Faithless (a part of Humanist UK) to encourage acceptance of homosexuality among Muslims in Britain. He too has demonised Farage and Robinson, and has played the dodgy alliance game of suggesting ‘persecuted’ minorities like gays and Muslims should unite against the right. Totally paradoxical since Islam is inherently conservative, and in many cases far right – so much so that explicitly liberal Muslims like Maajid Nawaz are demonised by organisations like the Muslim Council of Britain and 5 Pillars. Of course Tatchell’s hoped for alliance backfired when Muslim parents announced their own homophobia* is an essential part of Islam.
[*They declare they are not homophobic, and yet also insist that anyone that doesn’t like their bigotry is Islamophobic. The ironies mount up pretty fast in this sphere of human affairs.]
In a similar fashion we see Owen Jones denouncing the same homophobia among Muslim parents, yet also declaring as Islamophobes anyone else that dares to criticise Islam. Lately he has taken to building a chain of guilt from Tommy Robinson, to Douglas Murray, and on to Yasmine Mohammed, the latter being a thoroughly decent ex-Muslim that simply campaigns for the right for ex-Muslims not to be persecuted.
And it’s odd that Owen Jones cites the Muslim Council of Britain as an upstanding organisation in the same thread, when it is they, among others, that declare that Ahmadi Muslims are not to be considered Muslims, so continuing the persecution of Ahmadis that sees their mosques attacked in Pakistan, an Ahmadi killed in Glasgow by a Sunni from Bradford (for ‘insulting Islam’), and even very recently having a UK mosque provide leaflets requiring the killing of Ahmadis. What on earth is Jones doing siding with a conservative homophobic misogynistic religion? I doubt he’d have much in common with Westboro Baptists who seem to hold a similar view on homosexuality to many Muslims (a large number of UK Muslims think homosexuality should be illegal, at least … the less cautious will support the death penalty).
Elsewhere we have the Muslim prosecutor of Muslim grooming gangs on the Three Girls case also declaring other critics of Muslim grooming gangs to be Islamophobes, while his colleague and ex-police investigator Maggie Oliver, also of Three Girls fame, uncovers much police corruption around the cover up of grooming gangs and calls for ‘people power’ in response. Wasn’t Tommy Robinson and example of ‘people power’ in action?
And even though we see more and more Muslims acknowledging the problems in ‘our community’ they too still play the Islamophobia game: The Enlightenment of Saira Khan. Saira has been calling Robinson a racist for years, and yet she is just as explicit as he is, even more directly so, in her condemnation of those in her ‘community’ that transgress the bounds of decency by being a groomer or a terrorist.
Papers like the Guardian seem to alternate between articles that report on problems around Islam, only to follow up with an opinion piece by yet someone else that declares it’s Islamophobic to report on the problems around Islam. No surprise that Miqdaad Versi of the MCB has created a busy schedule for himself demanding, with some success, that news papers change the headlines of many of their stories so that thy are less ‘Islamophobic’.
It’s not as if the news about the news is consistent in this regard either. Owen Jones, again, expressed his Twitter indignation by declaring that stories about the young ‘angelic’ Christchurch terrorist wouldn’t happen if it were a Muslim terrorist – except that’s precisely what the news papers did regarding Jihadi John – so much so the Mail front pages for the two terrorists were practically identical.
Within Islam it doesn’t become any simpler – quite the opposite. Liberal-Moderate, Moderate-Conservative, Conservative-Fundamentalist, Fundamentalist-Extremists … overlapping circles of influence where the extreme ends totally denounce each other as non-Muslims, yet each circle makes excuses for and defends their near political neighbours. You have to wonder where all the 2 billion Muslims are, when so many Muslims declare fellow Muslims to be non-Muslims for their inadequate understanding of Islam. Meanwhile, we are told, “We are all Muslims”, under the unity of the Ummah … a monolith of Muslim creation. We are also told that Islam is a diverse religion, yet, oddly, all accept Allah, Mohammed and Quran – where all but liberal reformers insist the Quran is the inerrant perfect word of Allah, that is both easy to understand and yet needs scholarship to avoid all the nasty bits – nasty bits that are not there, apparently, despite what you actually read in the Quran.
“Nothing to do with Islam” we hear. Well, if that’s so, how is it Islamophobic for non-Muslims to point to the Islamic texts that ISIS cite? How is it that many of those that joined ISIS became more religious, more Islamic, according to those that knew them, before tipping over the edge into radicalism and extremism?
The complexities of all this, the smears, the alliances, the shear irrationality of it all, need a damned good Venn diagram of overlapping appreciation. But I fear it would be so complex it wouldn’t make it any clearer.
We need more rational debate, and more honesty, less conflating Islam with race – what nonsense that is. We have a long way to go.
Poor Tommy and Owen are from not too dissimilar backgrounds – at least that’s what Owen says. Tommy’s mother worked in a bakery, and apparently left Tommy with no particular political education or affiliation. Owen’s parents were a shop steward and a lecturer, so basically aspiring middle class with plenty of political awareness. Dead similar.
Tommy went to a local school in Luton, while Owen attended a sixth form college, equal opportunities being what they are. So, let’s hear no more about Owen’s privileged background.
But their paths changed after leaving high school.
Owen received a top education in one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Tommy left school and had various jobs.
Nevertheless, they retain an uncannily similar campaigning style. [Credit to someone else for spotting the similarity – but I’m blocked by Owen and can’t find them now]
Every single day, the British media, and the media elsewhere, whips up racism and bigotry against Muslims, against migrants, against refugees, and against other minorities, those people being a particular favourite target right now. Now there are some consequences. It fuels, it drives, it legitimises street level abuse, harassment, bullying, in the playground, the workplace. It fuels overtly racist attacks. It drives violence, and it drives the rise of the far right. After Christchurch, the massacre of dozens of Muslims, there can be no more tolerance, and no more silence within the media industry, about the role of the media, effectively acting like hate preachers, with megaphones that reach tens of millions of people, every single day. Now there are some that get very angry in the media when it’s called out, how dare you call out the media, as though they’re being victimised and attacked and insulted, rather than using their platform to speak out and challenge the racism and the bigotry which has consequences for people. Now the media is an industry which is overwhelmingly dominated by those from those from those privileged backgrounds who do not suffer the consequences of the bigotry and racism that the media fans. But it has to now be called out. And, to fail to use one’s platform, if you have a platform, to speak out against racism and bigotry by the most powerful institutions, or some of them, in the country, is to be complicit. So, enough of people responding in this defensive way, or being silent, or themselves peddling racism and bigotry. Call it out.
And the following wouldn’t be out of place in a video from Tommy …
Every single day, the British media, and the media elsewhere, whips up hatred and bigotry against those that criticise Islam, those people being a particular favourite target right now. Now there are some consequences. It fuels, it drives, it legitimises street level abuse, harassment, bullying, in the playground, the workplace, of Islamic supremacism. It fuels overtly Islamic attacks. It excuses Islamic violence, and it drives the rise of the far right Islam. After Manchester, the massacre of dozens of victims, or Rotherham and the 1400+ child victims, there can be no more tolerance, and no more silence within the media industry, about the role of the media, acting like cowards, more afraid of being called racist hate preachers themselves, with megaphones that could expose the Islamism to millions of people, every single day. Now there are some that get very angry in the media when it’s called out, how dare you call out the media, as though they’re being victimised and attacked and insulted, rather than using their platform to speak out and challenge the grooming gangs and the consequences for children. Now the media is an industry which is overwhelmingly dominated by those from those from those privileged backgrounds, like Owen Jones, who do not suffer the consequences of the Islamic terrorism and grooming gangs, that the media fans, by screaming ‘Islamophobia’. But it has to now be called out. And, to fail to use one’s platform, if you have a platform, to speak out against grooming gangs, which Andrew Norfolk eventually did. The most powerful institutions, or some of them, like the police, politicians, and media, that say “Nothing to do with Islam” is to be complicit. So, enough of people responding in this defensive way, or being silent, or themselves peddling excuses for Islamic homophobic bigotry. Call it out.
The thing is, there WAS silence in the media, on Muslim grooming gangs, from Owen, and especially from Corbyn, who sacked (sorry, managed to ‘persuade’) Sarah Champion from the opposition front bench for daring to talk about Pakistani Muslim Grooming Gangs. There has been collusion in the silence from press, police and politicians, specifically many Labour councils.
For over a decade any attempt to raise the issue found the media hunting down those that complained and labelling them as racists – teachers that saw the grooming happening outside the school gates were demonised and hounded out of office if they expressed any concern in too explicit terms.
Maggie Oliver, of the eventually infamous case of Three Girls in Rochdale, which came only after she had been thwarted in her attempts to investigate the problem in Manchester, has been campaigning for more awareness, and for investigations into the neglectful and complicit senior police and social services that shut down anyone trying to expose the problem.
Even Times writer, Andrew Norfolk, admitted he sat on a story of grooming gangs for a couple of years, for fear of being called racist. A self-censoring press! You’d actually think Norfolk would have been sacked for NOT getting the story out sooner. Instead he was honoured as the brave soul that eventually did publish. Let that sink in. The problem is so bad, you’re more of a hero for publishing what should be a straight forward crime story, than a demon for covering it up for a couple of years while who knows how many girls continued to be abused by those eventually prosecuted.
And don’t get me started on the mind boggling utter nonsense of Islamic terrorism being “Nothing to do with Islam”, which we have heard countless times from politicians, when Islamic terrorists tell you explicitly they are doing it FOR Islam, and cite Quran and Hadith in detail as justification.
Hot head Tommy has his issues. He says things that are too close to the edge of anti-Muslim bigotry, but if confronted he’ll generally walk it back. On many occasions he’s been very explicit about how he has no problem with most Muslims – he even talks of a local Muslim who he finds to a better example of a decent person than anyone else he knows. His issue is always with Islamism, Islamic extremism, Muslim grooming gangs, and the attacks on free speech that are targeted at speech against Islam specifically. You may not like the way he goes about things – fine. You may reject him for his criminal record – fine – except let’s not see double standards where other ex-cons are deemed to have been redeemed. But if you dismiss what he has to say in totality for who he is, rather than listening to what he has to say first, then, guess what, you’re a bigot.
Owen has no excuses, other than he’s been indoctrinated into a political class that searches for victims that they can make their next project … until the victims no longer want to be saved. You won’t see much concern for the working class if they happen not to like one particular religion.
Why has there been a Labour failure to make any criticism of Islam in practice? Where have Corbyn and Owen been on LBGT issues while the Parkfield Islamic homophobia has been going on?
There is absolutely no chance a newspaper would splash a childhood photo of an Islamic terrorist who murdered 49 Christians in a church as an “angelic boy”. Displacing focus from the victims to oh how could a sweet WHITE boy become a terrorist.
Funnily enough, the Mail and the Sun, had already displayed such a sentiment, using the term “angelic schoolboy”. This is what you get when you’re so biased in your political ideology you refuse to read anything that opposes your views. This is how dogmatic bigoted ideologues like Owen survive.
Let’s go back a bit further to look at what Owen had to tweet about Jihadi John:
Now there’s a surprise. The guy who complained about someone using Jihadi John as “a pop at Corbyn”, then four years later he’s using a newspaper front page to have a pop at what he perceives ‘Islamophobia’ in the press.
When he’s not throwing a tantrum and stomping off interviews that aren’t going his way, despite his persistent rude and entitled interruptions when it’s time for another guest to speak, and when he’s not spending his day blocking people on Twitter, he’s writing bigoted two faced pieces in The Guardian (“my newspaper”) that exhibit his own bigotry towards the ‘working class’ – no wonder Labour struggles for their support when they have mouth pieces like Owen.
This is where you get to with Grievance Politics that has infested Labour. Not that grievances shouldn’t be exposed, but that bigot Owen will be very selective about which he exposes, erring on the side of not exposing grievances by Islam, and conjuring up grievances even when there are none to be found.
For all Robinson’s antics, his ‘reporting’ actually has more credibility that Owen’s. That is deeply worrying, that an activist like Robinson that shouts about genuine grievances is an outcast that’s driven out of social media, while Owen Jones is, to a vocal yet gullible number on the left, is a heroic voice for the underdog. You won’t find much from Owen Jones on FGM (though he endorses “my newspaper’s campaign” – hardly a campaign, but rather too few articles); and when he writes about homophobia he won’t comment how much more of it there is in Muslim communities – because, of course, that would make him a racist … against a political religious far right homophobic ideology.