Questions and answers regarding the ‘coverage’ I have received at the ‘Islamophobia Watch’ website:
According to the Islamophobia Watch website, you have claimed that ‘the BNP don’t really hate Muslims’. Is this true?
No, it is a gross misrepresentation of my actual position.
I am an anti-fascist and the author of The BNP and the Online Fascist Network (a report exposing the racist ideology of the BNP and its supporters) and co-author of Blood & Honour: Britain’s Far-Right Militants [PDF] (a report investigating the neo-Nazi Blood & Honour organisation, which has links to the BNP).
At the time of the 2009 European elections and 2010 General Election, the BNP was attempting to hide its racist beliefs, claiming it was simply a patriotic party opposed to mass immigration and Islamic extremists such as the Luton protesters who hurled abuse at British servicemen. I argued that this was a shallow political trick designed to gain votes by covering up the BNP’s true racist ideology. By misrepresenting my position as being that ’the BNP don’t really hate Muslims’, Islamophobia Watch makes it appear that I was defending the BNP, when the complete opposite is true.
According to Islamophobia Watch, you have played a role in ‘promoting hostility towards the Muslim community’. Is this true?
No, this is a disgraceful lie.
I have written articles from an atheist perspective critical of the Qur’an and Islam (just as I have of the Old and New Testaments, the views of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the arguments of the Pope, and so on). I have also written blog posts critical of specific named individuals and organisations that I argue promote positions which are illiberal, socially divisive and/or Islamist in orientation (see, for example, ‘How “moderate” is the Muslim Council of Britain?‘).
I have never in any possible sense ‘promoted hostility towards the Muslim community’. In fact, the opposite is true, and I have been consistent in my opposition to those who lump all Muslims together as a single group and promote hostility towards them.
For a report-length article of mine on the topic of anti-Muslim bigotry, please see ‘Debunking the “Islamisation” Myth’, which can be downloaded or read online here.
Who is behind ‘Islamophobia Watch’ and what is their agenda?
‘Islamophobia Watch’ is run by an atheist Marxist named Bob Pitt. Pitt believes that ‘Islamophobia’ is part of a neoconservative conspiracy which aims to increase public hostility towards Muslims in order to gain support for its supposed colonial ambitions in the Islamic world (it is, Pitt claims, ‘a racist tool of Western Imperialism’). Any criticism of Islam or Islamist groups is seen by Pitt to aid this Western Imperialist campaign, so he smears anyone who engages in this as an ‘Islamophobe’ or anti-Muslim bigot, no matter how reasonable or logical their criticism.
Pitt’s mania regarding ‘Islamophobia’ has led to him condemning not only obviously genuinely bigoted groups such as the BNP and EDL but also liberal Muslims who are opposed to Islamism, well-known atheist writers, left-wing secularists such as Polly Toynbee, the gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, and many other people who in no sense support anti-Muslim bigotry. For an example of criticism of Pitt’s behaviour from a Muslim perspective, see Amjad Khan’s piece on ‘The cynical stupidity of Bob Pitt’, in which he writes:
As a Muslim, I take offence to Bob, under the guise of tackling Islamophobia, attacking people who are speaking against attempts by Islamists to monopolise Muslim engagement, especially when the arguments made are so lame and badly argued. I appreciate sections of the left have been drifting aimlessly for a number of years but this really takes the biscuit.
As a far-left and ‘anti-Zionist’ activist, Pitt appears to be under the deluded impression that making common cause with Islamist organisations that share his views on Western foreign policy and Israel will somehow ultimately assist the march to Socialist victory. He is not alone in this delusion and in recent years there has been a general move towards far-Left-Islamist alliances, with the Socialist Workers Party even going so far as expressing support for the Taliban.