Despite the Tell Mama group saying publicly that they believe that robust debate on religion is acceptable and justified, the moderate mask has slipped and their true agenda, which is attacking those who criticise Islam, is starting to be seen. Tell Mama have published an article on their website that has attacked someone for expressing antipathy for the ideology of Islam, something that is permitted under the 2006 Racial and Religious Hatred Act.
The article, which gathers a highly selective group of Tweets from someone going by the name of Say Aye (@DowHeater) has been quite obviously put together by Tell Mama for the purposes of attempting to discredit someone who dislikes Islam and its effects on British society and especially on the women in our society. This is not research this is just internet ‘bin riffling’. Like a hungry tramp looking for food in a dustbin, Tell Mama spend a considerable amount of time, and possibly YOUR money obtained from various sources, looking for those who dislike Islam and crying ‘oh the humanity, oh the Islamophobia’ when they find them. This particular case is very worrying as Tell Mama have been, on their Twitter timeline, threatening Say Aye with arrest by Scottish Police. If Tell Mama were truly interested only in dealing with unwarranted physical attacks on Muslims, something that anybody committed to law and order could find acceptable, then they would not be treating words, that contain little if any actual incitement to violence, as an attack on Muslims.
I don’t agree with everything that Say Aye says, nor do I agree with all those who follow her or all her retweets but then it would be extremely worrying for me if I did find everything anybody said agreeable. Everybody has something that someone else can or might disagree with. A free society should encompass various views. However, I will defend Say Aye’s right to call an ideology of base savagery, violence and misogyny by its proper name, which is Islam.
Here is the piece published by Tell Mama on their website. The original is in italics and my comments are in plain text. The direct link to the article can be found here: http://tellmamauk.org/central-conduits-anti-muslim-bigotry-online-hate/
“Rather than dedicate hundreds of words to the troll account @DowHeater (and its backup account @DowHeater2). The simplest solution is to highlight how the account routinely promotes content from Islamophobic websites like Jihad Watch or Bare Naked Islam.
Firstly, from reading DowHeater’s tweets I see little evidence that her account is a ‘troll account’. She doesn’t publish or retweet stuff that is controversial just to get a reaction, which for me would be the definition of a troll. What is initially laughable about this Tell Mama piece is although it states that they will not dedicate hundreds of words on what they refer to as a troll account, Tell Mama go onto doing just that, dedicating hundreds of words to attacking one person. The use of the fake ‘snarl’ word ‘Islamophobia’ to describe the scholarly Jihad Watch site is completely and utterly unwarranted. Yes Bare Naked Islam is a bit ‘pugilistic’ in its style, but many of BNI’s stories are sourced from mainstream and checkable sources which means that BNI cannot be accused of telling lies about Islam because they are only reporting stories that are already out there.
Or retweets content from the unpleasant @JihadistJoe or individuals wanting Islam banned and mosques shut down in Britain.
It is not against the law to express an antipathy to another religion nor to encourage members of religions to either become atheists or even change religions. Neither is retweeting stuff from the parody account @JihadistJoe, encouraging violence against Muslims. Tell Mama think that it is wrong for people to think that Islam should be banned in the UK but there are also a tiny minority of Christian Protestants who dislike Catholicism and things associated with it and sometimes see it as the faith of the ‘antichrist’ and demonstrate their feelings at pilgrimage sites like Walsingham. Society tolerates the admittedly disagreeable views of this small Protestant minority so why should not society tolerate the much larger number of people who for good reasons dislike Islam?
How about manipulating police appeals with a crude anti-Muslim reference? On November 17 @DowHeater tweeted “FOUR Nasty Evil Bastard #Muslims kick a pregnant woman to the ground PL RT.”But the police make no reference to religion.
Although Tell Mama are correct in stating that the police are not mentioning the religion of the attackers of a pregnant woman, the fact that this attack happened in Luton, a hotspot for extremist Islamic activity means, that on a balance of probabilities basis, it is highly unlikely that this unfortunate woman was attacked by Buddhists, Sikhs or Hindus who often are of ‘Asian’ appearance and most likely to have been attacked by Muslims. As usual Tell Mama are being disingenuous and economical with the truth when it comes to this story. Tell Mama are, so far, proving that the description of them as ‘mendacious grievance-mongering taqiyya artists’ has some substance. I see no evidence that DowHeater is ‘manipulating’ police appeals apart from the insertion (which may not even be by her) of the word ‘Muslim’ into the police story. she is only commenting on them, if you agree with her comment fine, if you disagree with her comment then that is also fine.
Tell Mama are correct in saying that the BBC article doesn’t mention religion. However, the BBC, which was once a great and trustworthy institution, has in recent years gained a bad reputation for going out of their way to not mention the ‘M’ word when it comes to crime reporting. I recall the almost gleeful way that the BBC greeted the Berelowitz report which came out when the public first started to encounter the problem of Islamic Rape Gangs. The Berelowitz report, although thorough, played down the cultural and ideological factors in Islamic Rape Gangs and tried to paint gang related sexual exploitation as something that all communities were guilty of. Although the report was correct in saying that sexual abusers can come from all sectors of society, both the report and the BBC played down the cultural and religious factors in some of the worse cases of organised grooming and sex trafficking. Tell Mama’s criticism of Dow Heater fails to take into account that sometimes Tweeters may have much more local knowledge than journalists and it may well be that Dow Heater may have been in possession of information that confirmed her suspicions that the alleged attacker was a Muslim.
What Tell Mama have failed to point out is that in another later report from the Scottish Daily Record, it was confirmed by court reports that the alleged attacker is indeed of Islamic heritage. See this report for more details: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/crime/man-appears-court-charged-raping-4646233
What about the far-right English Defence League? Turns out they’ve earned @DowHeater’s respect: “Don’t Believe BS abt #EDL these ppl have taken a lot of shit and lies thrown at them, #respect”
Speaking as someone who once marched against the genuinely racist far right in the form of the NF and the British Movement, I also have respect for those members of the EDL who have spoken out against the scourge of the ideology of Islam whilst not succumbing to the sort of racialism that attacks people for the things that a person cannot change, eg skin colour. Being opposed to the ideology of Islam doesn’t automatically make someone ‘far right’. I’m the very last person who could be accused of being a ‘jackboot licker’ but I dislike the cult of Islam because I can see how it destroys not only the societies which pander to it, but also many of its own adherents, especially the female ones. There is indeed a lot of BS talked about the EDL and its members and pointing that out doesn’t make someone a member of the far right.
In August, @DowHeater exploited a series of murders to call for the boycott of Muslim businesses.
It is not ‘exploiting a series of murders’ that have been either proved to be or alleged to be committed by Muslims to show how differently such cases are dealt with when compared to those who attack Muslims. There is a problem with double standards in policing and in the courts where Muslim hate preachers can get away with encouraging murder, but putting bacon on a mosque doorstep results in a prison sentence. Speaking about such a problem is not ‘exploiting’ it. Although I personally feel a little uncomfortable about communal business boycotts because of the history of such actions, it should be noted the political Left is quite happy to encourage boycotts when it suits their political aims, such as boycotts of Israeli businesses, but cry like stuck pigs when a similar tactic is proposed for Muslim businesses. There is a real issue with things like Halal certification fees being partially diverted to Jihadis and Muslim run businesses being ‘honeypot’ premises for Islamic Rape Gangs, and there is nothing untoward in pointing this out. I try not to buy Halal certificated food nor do I patronise Islamic businesses and I do this for both political and religious reasons. That doesn’t make me in any way far right nor does it make me into a modern day Blackshirt. I’m just choosing where to spend my money, as is the right of every consumer. Consumer boycotts have been used by the Left for many many years so Tell Mama should not be surprised if their political opponents use the same tactics.
It is to be noted that the means that Tell Mama has used to attack DowHeater on this story is a dyed in the wool Leftist writer, Steve Rose, who features heavily on both Tell Mama’s website and on their Twitter timeline. I would have had more respect for this particular part of the attack on DowHeater had they not used sources that can be easily and switfly discredited. Mr Rose relied quite heavily in his piece on comments from the West Midlands Police, which is a force that has quite close links with the Tell Mama group and has been the subject of criticism by HM Inspector of Constabulary for letting ethnic groups ‘police themselves’. Statements by West Midlands Police that they cannot corroborate discrimination against non-Muslims should, because of their history and policies, be taken with not just a pinch of salt, but a huge bucket full of the stuff. He also took at face value denials by Vue Cinemas that there had been any religious or racial discrimination. It may well be that the Vue Cinema incident was the result of an overzealous local management but it was the sort of action that is unwise in the extreme as it feeds dislike of Islam. Criticising this policy by the Vue management is acceptable as this policy was not flagged up in advance. I have no problem at all with cinemas or other attractions taking private bookings or hiring out the whole place to one group for a special event, but this is not what these allegations against Vue were about. To treat Steve Rose as an independent and fair minded source is about as sensible as treating the Soviet newspaper Pravda as an accurate guide to capitalism. Steve Rose is a technically good writer and probably a good and kind person in his everyday life, but that doesn’t mean I or others cannot criticise both his politics or his perceived agenda or his close association with the Tell Mama group.
I’ve already dedicated more words than intended in exposing the vile @DowHeater account.
The use of the word ‘vile’ to describe DowHeaters words are completely over the top. The use of the word ‘vile’ should be reserved for rapists, murderers, war criminals and similar and should not be used to describe someone who merely dislikes an ideology that often causes problems wherever it sets up shop.
Accounts like @DowHeater are only content with caricatures of religious identity – where the crimes of a minority are held up as the majority and where ethnicity brings an assumption of faith.
The problem with this particular statement is that sometimes caricatures have within them an element of truth. For example: The Japanese are associated with technical innovation, the Chinese with cheap consumer goods, the Americans with high-tech military hardware, Jews with the medical profession, the Germans with punctuality and efficiency, the English with an outward facing politeness etc etc. Violence, supremacism, misogyny and terror are things that many people quite rightly associate with the ideology of Islam and no amount of whining about ‘Islamophobia’ will change the fact that Islam often shows itself to be a violent oppressive belief system. It was pretty dishonest of Tell Mama to use the tiny minority of extremists line in this piece. This is because various studies and surveys have shown that Islamism far from being a pursuit of the tiniest of minorities, is much more widespread among Muslims than many on the Left would like to admit. If Jihad was such a tiny and insignificant thing among Muslims why are we seeing at least one Muslim a week travelling off to fight for Jihad in places like Syria and Iraq?
The echo chamber is self-evident.
Robust critique of religion is welcome but advocating for its removal from Britain is not.
The only ‘echo chamber’ that I can see in this case is the one that Tell Mama are sitting in the middle of. They are playing to the gallery of Islam promoters and left wing muppets on this one and it really shows.
Tell Mama are a discredited organisation. They and their senior officers have lost cases in the criminal courts and the civil courts and one of their complaints about a story in the national press has been chucked out by the Press Complaints Commission. Their too close contacts with police forces such as West Midlands is also a legitimate cause for concern, as it is possibly affecting the quality of policing for the residents of Birmingham and the surrounding areas. If I was Dow Heater, I would consider being attacked by the shysters and mountebanks of Tell Mama as a badge of honour because if you are taking flak from Tell Mama then that must mean that you are right over the target. Despite Tell Mama’s assertion that they approve of robust criticism of religion, the tone of this piece was almost wholly concerned with shutting down someone’s opinion of the ideology of Islam. Tell Mama’s mask of moderation has slipped and they have shown themselves to be primarily interested in shutting down criticism of a religio-political ideology called Islam.
What is interesting about the Tweets from or connected with the DowHeater account is that none of them that were featured in anyway encouraged violence against individual Muslims. They express an antipathy to Islam but as I said earlier, this expression of antipathy or dislike is something that is permitted for free speech reasons by the Lords Amendment to the 2006 Racial and Religious Hatred Act. There are far worse criticisms of the ideology of Islam out there on the internet and social media, Dow Heater’s comments are not of that type.
It’s quite plain to see that Tell Mama are attacking someone who they think doesn’t have any significant political backing, and that they believe that they can get away with bullying and threatening purely because Dow Heater has a view on the ideology of Islam that Tell Mama do not share. Such bullying and threats to send the tame politically correct police officers round to harass Dow Heater is not acceptable in a society that should, if it considers itself free, allow those voices that dissent from the mainstream. Britain does have a problem with Islam and attempting to silence those voices who point this problem out is just as unacceptable as those calling for the burning down of mosques, churches or synagogues.
When I look at what Tell Mama have become the phrase that comes to mind is ‘how have the mighty fallen’ because a few years back they were high profile and staunchly supported by those political titans, the Liberal Democrats. They tripped the light fantastic through the corridors of power and hobnobbed with princes and prime ministers. Now they are reduced to dragging their sorry arses round the internet to pick up scraps of information about individuals, and willy-waving about their misguided and politically bent police mates. The Tell Mama horse is dead and no amount of flogging it will make it get up and be credible again.