Earlier this month I was informed that I’d been selected as The Brexit Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for a constituency in Scotland. No prizes for guessing which constituency. On the day that my candidacy was to be announced I received an email from a journalist. He told me that he had seen this blog and referred some of my posts to Mr Anas Sarwar who is a Member of the Scottish Parliament. Mr Sarwar declared that I was ‘an abhorrent racist’. The story about me was published. My nascent political career was terminated. I had dared to tackle the issue of the impact of Islam on the British way of life.
On Thursday 15 August I was unceremoniously evicted from the process of standing as an election candidate for The Brexit Party in Scotland. On the day my candidacy was to be made public, between them a journalist and a Labour Party politician ended my very short political career. The journalist referred certain views of mine to Mr Anas Sarwar MSP who categorised me as ‘an abhorrent racist’. The story about me was published and that terminated my active involvement in politics. Amen.
Why? Because I had had the temerity to discuss the impact of Islam on the British way of life. In the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing (22 May 2017) I had included some intemperate language about Islam on this blog. Perhaps it was a mistake and unwise of me to have included intemperate language, but I had done so nonetheless – we all make mistakes. To use intemperate language or to offend is not illegal, of course. You may have done so yourself in the past in private; I did so in public. However, in my case, as a consequence, I paid the price in the febrile atmosphere that now pervades political discourse in our society. We have freedom of speech, but only up to a point. Nowadays, to speak intemperately or to offend publicly is singularly unacceptable and anyone doing so runs the risk of being crushed out of any and all national debate. I offended a Muslim politician and was crucified on the altar of questioning Islam.
To be clear, using intemperate or offensive language is neither good speaking, nor good writing. I did so and paid the price in this era of antiracism faux outrage. However, it’s one thing to use such unhelpful language and another thing to be criminalised (allegedly) as a result.
Islam and the British Way of Life
Here on my blog, I had made the point that Islam was a politico-religious cult inimical to the British way of life. Indeed, a recent ‘Hope not Hate’ survey discovered that a mere 30% of people think that Islam is compatible with the British way of life. Moreover, 35% of British people think that Islam represents a direct threat to our way of life.
The think-tank, Civitas, discovered that there are some 80 or more Sharia Courts/Councils operating in the UK. These Sharia Councils represent a pseudo-political/pseudo-judicial sub-society within our society. In a documentary, ‘Undercover Mosque’, the BBC recorded imams making outrageous statements to their congregations about the brutal punishments that should be meted out to apostates and others who fail to comply with the Quran and Sharia law.
I had the audacity to question the extent to which Islam should be tolerated in British society. As a Libertarian, I have no difficulty with people worshipping their gods. However, Islam goes well beyond worship and charitable works; Islam sets out the terms and conditions under which people must live their lives. Those terms and conditions bear little or no relation to the Judeo-Christian way of life that has evolved in this country over the past three or four centuries.
I made these points above and more in my blog. A journalist brought my views to the attention of a Labour Muslim politician, Mr Anas Sarwar MSP. Mr Sarwar accused me of being ‘an abhorrent racist’. My active involvement in politics was immediately terminated.
As with beauty, offensiveness is in the eye of the beholder. Furthermore, in the English language there’s a technique known as exaggerating for effect. In one of my earlier posts I referred, inter alia, to ‘bulldozing mosques to the ground’. This was one of the turns of phrase – taken out of context by the journalist, of course – that led Mr Sarwar to accuse me of being ‘an abhorrent racist’.
I was exaggerating for effect; I caused offence; not the most effective form of writing, I agree. I served for 20 years in Her Majesty’s armed forces where, like many of my colleagues, I developed a penchant for black humour. However, to my knowledge there are no British laws against using black humour nor exaggerating for effect nor causing offence (albeit our hate laws are closing in rapidly on freedom of speech, as I have discovered to my cost). Moreover, it would be illegal under British law to bulldoze a mosque to the ground without a court’s express permission. This may have been lost on Mr Sarwar.
However, what won’t have been lost on Mr Sarwar is that under the Hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed) it’s permissible to throw homosexuals, bound and gagged, off the roofs of tall buildings. I would also refer Mr Sarwar to the imam Abu Usamah who, calling on the Hadith, is on record in the ‘Undercover Mosque’ documentary as saying that homosexuals should be killed by throwing them off a cliff stating, ‘throw the homosexual off the mountain’. Personally, I find these views somewhat offensive. Bear in mind, however, that they form part of the Sharia politico-religious law sub-society tolerated within British society.
Whilst we’re on the subject of offensive language, the gag voted as the best joke of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival by the ‘Dave’ TV channel’s viewers was, ‘I keep randomly shouting out “broccoli” and “cauliflower” – I think I might have florets’. Cue faux outrage from the Twitterati and the charity ‘Tourettes Action’ who said the joke brought shame on Dave, and demanded an apology from the offending comedian, Olaf Falafal. Allah give me strength.
Sharia Law and the European Convention on Human Rights
The Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights considers that the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam ‘fails to reconcile Islam with universal human rights’. The Committee goes on to recognise the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) ruling that ‘the institution of Sharia law and a theocratic regime are incompatible with the requirements of a democratic society’. Bear in mind that in our own democratic society here in the UK there are thought to be some 80 Sharia Councils operating. Indeed, the Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights is concerned about the pseudo-judicial activities of Sharia Councils in the UK. Members of the Muslim community are expected, often under considerable social pressure, to accept Councils’ religious jurisdiction which, for example, clearly discriminates against women in divorce and inheritance cases.
The ECHR also makes observations about Sharia law’s incompatibility with human rights in the areas of not only divorce and inheritance proceedings, but also in the areas of:
The right to life.
The prohibition of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.
The right to a fair trial.
The right to respect for private and family life.
Freedom of religion.
The protection of property.
The prohibiting of the death penalty.
In conclusion, the Council of Europe passed Resolution 2253 which states:
‘The Assembly considers that the various Islamic declarations on human rights, adopted since the 1980s, while being more religious than legal, fail to reconcile Islam with universal human rights, especially insofar as Sharia is their unique source of reference’.
Phobia and Racism
There are two things which concern me about what’s happened here:
A phobia is an irrational fear of something. Therefore, Islamophobia is an irrational fear of Islam. However, my concerns about Islam are not irrational. According to the ‘Hope not Hate’ survey to which I referred earlier, it seems that some 70% of people think that Islam is incompatible with the British way of life. The same survey showed that 35% of British people think that Islam represents a direct threat to our way of life. So, it’s perfectly rational to be concerned, even to fear the impact of Islam on the British way of life. However, to assert these facts is, of course, heresy.
Islam is not a ‘race’. Muslims are not a ‘race’. However, Mr Sarwar is at the centre of a group of politicians who have chosen to redefine Islamophobia not as an irrational fear of Islam but as a trait ‘rooted in racism and a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness’. So, it’s extremely convenient for politicians like Mr Sarwar to be able to conflate Islamophobia and racism … because then it’s much easier to remove people like me from the political discussion. I can be criminalised and, therefore, ‘justifiably’ excluded from the debate about the role of Islam in the British way of life. Mr Sarwar has succeeded in his objective of having the voice of somebody like me silenced; silenced at least in the arena of elected politicians.
Given the observations of the Council of Europe that I explained earlier, one wonders how exactly in the UK we’re supposed to be able to discuss fully and frankly the relationship between Islam and democracy and human rights without automatically being labelled as Islamophobes or racists by men like Mr Sarwar? No political party – not even The Brexit Party, it seems – is willing to put into its manifesto a discussion about the impact of Islam on the British way of life.
On Race and Racism
Here’s a thought: England has an impact on the Scottish way of life. Somewhere in Scotland these gentlemen below took to the streets to air their view, God bless them …
Here’s another thought: Islam has an impact on the British way of life. However, if those same gentlemen seen above had tried standing on a street corner with a sign saying, ‘ISLAM GET OUT OF SCOTLAND’, whilst flicking up a ‘V’, they’d be having their collars felt before you could say the Prophet Mohammed (no cartoon inserted for fear of a fatwa on my life).
Now, I wonder when the Scottish Labour politician, Mr Anas Sarwar MSP will be accusing the gentlemen in the picture above of being ‘abhorrent racists’? Perhaps I could help Mr Sarwar with another useful definition:
Anglophobia is not an irrational fear of England but is a trait ‘rooted in racism and a type of racism that targets expressions of Englishness or perceived Englishness’.
There, that should assist Mr Sarwar’s crusade against racism and hopefully allow him and his journalist friend to track down and vilify the Anglophobic gentlemen in the photograph above.
For 20 years as an officer in Her Majesty’s armed forces, I put my life on the line for Mr Anas Sarwar MSP to be free to call me ‘an abhorrent racist‘. Good luck to the fellow, but I don’t think this is something he’ll quite understand.
Shut Out of Active Politics
I’m disappointed to have been shut out of active politics in my country. I’m contemplating what I shall do next. I’m minded to throw in the towel and give way to politicians like Anas Sarwar who clearly wield enormous power. On the other hand, I’m also energised by the words of Winston Churchill who once said at a time of national crisis, ‘never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense’. Churchill also said (offensively), ‘Keep buggering on’.
I’m giving this recent turn of events some serious thought. I may decide to opt out of political engagement and discourse altogether and do like most folk: mind my own business and despair at the state of British politics. Or I might keep buggering on. We shall see. What I do know is that Mr Anas Sarwar MSP and his growing army of fellow social justice warriors are at the heart of a Cultural Marxist push in British politics which is deeply worrying.
Racism as a Crime
It’s disconcerting being labelled ‘an abhorrent racist’. By the way, friends who know me personally laugh out loud – heartily – at Mr Sarwar’s childish accusation. Racism can be a crime under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and/or the Criminal Justice Act 2003. So, by accusing me of being ‘an abhorrent racist’, Mr Sarwar is implying that I’m a criminal. Racism is a crime if the perpetrator: uses verbal or physical abuse; or behaves as a bully; or uses threatening behaviour; or indulges in online abuse; or damages property; or any combination of that lot.
In this particular case, Mr Sarwar was accusing me of online abuse. Abuse means using cruel or violent behaviour. Nothing on my blog constitutes cruel behaviour, albeit I’ve acknowledged that some of my more colourful turns of phrase may have offended some people some of the time; sorry about that. However, I doubt whether any court would, on the grounds of the words I’ve used on this blog, convict me of racism. Notwithstanding, Mr Sarwar felt fit to accuse me in public of a criminal offence – and he’ll get away with it, of course.
Thanks to the journalist concerned and Mr Anas Sarwar MSP, I’m unlikely ever now to be able to play an active and direct role in politics; they’ve achieved their mission of shutting out another Libertarian. As it happens, the incident was a flash in the pan, but it had the desired effect for Mr Sarwar. We move inexorably towards 1984: government overreach, totalitarianism and the repressive regimentation of all people and behaviours within society. The use of black humour or intemperate or offensive language shall not be permitted. The purveyors of such language shall, by manufactured definitions, be categorised as ‘abhorrent racists’ or such like, and thereby be silenced. Antiracism is becoming a religion in itself. We live in depressing times. George Orwell will be chuckling in his grave.
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