CORRECTION: Despite trying very hard to be as accurate as possible in this, as in all this blog’s articles, I have noticed that I have made a textual error. Namely I have made a textual error with the title in that I refer to Fiyaz Mughal as an ‘alleged Islamic grievance monger’. Unfortunately this is incorrect as Mughal is indeed a fully fledged, 24 carat ‘Islamic grievance monger’ and therefore the word ‘alleged’ was superfluous. I have accordingly edited the title.
Tim Burton of Liberty GB was convicted yesterday at Southwark Crown Court of religiously harassing Fiyaz Mughal, the notorious Islamic grievance monger and founder of the questionably honest Tell Mama organisation. Mr Burton was found guilty by a jury of ten (two of their number having previously succumbed to illness) on one count of racial or religious harassment.
The case revolved around a joke job application and some subsequent emails that Mr Burton sent to Tell Mama’s ‘grievance monger in chief’ Fiyaz Mughal. The emails contained a number of comments and links that Mughal said, in evidence given by video link, caused him ‘distress’. The comments included accusing the Tell Mama organisation of being an ‘Augean stables filled with taqiyya manure’ (a statement that many readers of this blog may agree with). Other comments were referring to Mughal as ‘Fizzy Bollocks’ and telling Mughal or rather the Tell Mama generic email box, that a particular response from the address ‘wasn’t very Christian of you’. Other emails that formed part of the indictment contained a number of links to articles on Fahrenheit211 and the New English Review along with a Danish article calling for Muslims to ‘reform Islam, renounce it or get the hell out of my country’.
Mughal claimed that the whole conversation with Tim Burton was directed against him on the grounds of his identity as a ‘non practising Muslim’ which begs the question, at least from me, that if Mughal claims to be a ‘non practising Muslim’ why on earth was he claiming that he was ‘distressed’ by another email that mentioned ‘bacon’. Now I don’t eat bacon but I’m certainly not ‘offended’ by someone toasting me with the stuff. After all, it’s not as if I’m being force fed the bacon is it? The email contained the words ‘we are lifting a glass and having a bacon sandwich on the second anniversary of the Birmingham Taqiyya trial’. This is a reference to an earlier criminal case when Fiyaz Mughal attempted to convict Mr Burton on a charge of racial harassment for calling Mughal a ‘Mendacious grievance mongering Taqiyya artist’. On that occasion Mr Burton was acquitted.
If there is one thing that stands out from this trial, then it was the demeanour and behaviour of Mughal himself. Information taken from a contemporaneous note made during the trial described Mughal’s demeanour, whilst giving evidence via video link, as ‘very aggressive’. This note also shows Mughal to be behaving in a manner that could best be described as loud, shouty and seemingly extremely obnoxious. Defence counsel also on several occasions had to tell Mughal to ‘stop shouting’. In addition Mughal evaded questions put to him by the defence counsel and instead tried to make statements. Mughal also made wild and often unsubstantiated allegations that various individuals, internet radio stations and publications, including Fahrenheit211, were ‘far right’. At one point Mughal got quite upset about Fahrenheit211 and snarled ‘they are probably blogging this trial at this moment’ (which was indeed the case).
Mughal appeared to be classifying every entity and individual that didn’t agree with him, or which didn’t treat this particular community panjandrum with deference, as ‘far right’. Mughal came over as a thin skinned but violent tempered individual during his evidence, which to some viewers of the trial, spoken to during the case by this blog, belied his claim that he was ‘distressed’ by a joke and a couple of sarcastic emails. Mughal certainly did not give the appearance that he was any sort of vulnerable wallflower. Mughal’s ‘performance’ during his evidence contained a fair bit of the sort of shouting and aggressive behaviour that may not have been out of place in the film ‘Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf’.
Mughal also waxed bitterly about a whole manner of things that he blamed on Mr Burton in one way or another. Mughal blamed him for an image that showed Mughal with a bloated face implying in Mughal’s words that he had ‘grown fat on public money’. Those readers who have seen and are angered by how much public money, over a million pounds at the last count, has been hosed at various projects and organisations that Mughal has been involved with, may agree with that description of Mughal. It needs to be said at this point that I believe that this image originated with another group and not Mr Burton. Fiyaz Mughal, during his evidence also whined loudly about the image below, available on T shirts, mugs and other items, which describes Mughal as a ‘mendacious grievance mongering taqiyya artist’.
At one point during Mughal’s evidence, which for the record he chose to give via video link, Mughal claimed he was ‘scared’ of Mr Burton and this was one of the reasons why he was giving evidence this way. Mr Burton it needs to be said at this point is aged 64 and, according to evidence given in post conviction mitigation, is in poor health. Mughal also claimed that he was in addition ‘scared’ of what he called ‘Mr Burton’s associates’ which turned out to be, from this blog’s notes of the trial, mostly made up of respectable men in their late 50’s to mid 60’s and some equally respectable and inoffensive ladies. We need to ask why was Mughal claiming to be frightened of such people when Mughal is a very public figure who is confident enough to address Parliamentary committees, hobnob with various civil servants and be a former councillor? There’s something not quite right there. I wonder what it could be? Was he really ‘scared’ or was it all a bit of subterfuge in order to gain the sympathy of the Jury? I invite you to examine the account of Mughal’s evidence -giving style and to draw your own conclusions on that matter.
Unfortunately for Mr Burton on this occasion, the jury chose to believe the prosecution story, which was that Mr Burton had religiously harassed Mughal, rather than that of the defence case which was that this type of religiously motivated conduct had not occurred and that the communication was of a jokey nature. Following the conviction, the judge Mr Recorder Alex Gordon put Mr Burton on conditional bail pending a probation report and sentencing in late April 2017. The offence for which Mr Burton has been convicted carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.
Although the court did not turn out the result that many people wanted and although some may say that the right to criticise ideologies like Islam or high profile Islamic panjandrums like Mughal has been eroded because of this case, there is one interesting and positive outcome from it. This is that Fiyaz Mughal has, by his own demeanour and his own reaction to questions, shown himself to be a thin-skinned, aggressive martinet who is in possession of a high degree of self importance and a hair trigger sense of ‘offence’. Furthermore, because of this case, and I see it from those I have conversed with and from traffic figures for this blog, there are a whole load more people now aware of just why so many have such a large number of concerns about both Fiyaz Mughal and the organisations that he founds, runs or otherwise controls. In football parlance Mughal has scored an own goal as well as a goal against the opposing ‘team’. Mughal may have got the court result he wanted, but according to the court notes detailing Mughal’s evidence, he made himself look incredibly bad on a very public legal stage.
Mughal, who has been alleged to have considerable contacts with the Crown Prosecution Service and in the Department of Communities and Local Government, as an advisor on various Islamic and ‘Islamophobia’ issues is a man who has formed organisations that receive vast amounts of public money. He has been given a lot, some say too much, influence on too many entities, including the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. There are a growing number of people who feel that this man, and the organisations that he has founded, are not behaving in ways that benefit the general public interest. They also feel that these organisations, such as Tell Mama and Faith Matters to give but two, are a waste of money that could better be spent elsewhere and that the time has come for the politicians to step in and end this useless fiscal drain and to severely curtail the undue influence that Mughal and his organisations are alleged to have on entities such as the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Department of Communities and Local Government. If Fiyaz Mughal thinks that the result of this trial is the end of the many valid criticisms that have been aimed at him and the organisations that he has been associated with in recent years, then I am here to tell him that he is very much mistaken.
Here are links to two stories about this trial that this blog published during the course of it. By necessity to avoid conflicting with the legal doctrine of sub judice whilst the trial was in progress, these two articles are slightly more devoid of ‘descriptive colour’ and background information than has the article above. This is because during the trial only that which is disclosed in open court whilst the Jury was hearing the case can be published.
Man told Islamic group that he would clean out their ‘Augean stables’
Fiyaz Mughal angered by lines of defence questioning