MR ANAS SARWAR MEMBER OF THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT

This post reflects advice provided to me by my solicitor, Harper Macleod, and by The Free Speech Union, of which I’m a Gold Member, and other substantial individuals whose opinions I trust and value

If you’re reading this post, the assumption is that you’re conducting ‘background checks’ on me, Mark Nash, also known as Moraymint. You’re checking up on me because Mr Anas Sarwar MSP accused me publicly of being ‘an abhorrent racist’. Therefore, to be fair to me – and to respect the principle of freedom of speech – I ask you politely to read on. People have asked me recently to make this statement, precisely because they were conducting ‘background checks’.

So, here I invite you to balance your views rather than subscribing without question to Mr Sarwar’s opinion of me and thereby potentially making yourself my judge, jury and executioner.

Incidentally, Moraymint is a light-hearted play on words. Moray is a council area in the north of Scotland and is pronounced /Murray/ as in Murray Mint. Hence Moraymint. Since establishing this Moraymint Chatter blog in May 2012 I’ve made little secret of my true identity; that’s why Mr Sarwar was able to attack me personally.

This post is in two parts: Part I provides a description of the incident of interest to you; Part II substantiates my rebuttal of Mr Sarwar’s defamatory accusation.

PART I – THE INCIDENT

Mr Sarwar’s Defamatory Accusation

The purpose of this post is to rebut a defamatory accusation made against me in August 2019 by Mr Anas Sarwar MSP, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party; an accusation that Mark Nash is an ‘an abhorrent racist’. I deserve the right of reply and, if I may say, the right to have my reply heard by you before you draw what would otherwise be ill-founded conclusions about my character. Character assassination, as exercised in my case by Mr Sarwar, is a profoundly damaging course of action. Of course, that’s what Mr Sarwar intended it to be. After all, we’re talking politics here.

Mr Sarwar made his accusation in The National, a low-circulation, sectarian newspaper devoted to the cause of an independent Scotland. At the last count, The National’s readership comprised less than one-quarter of one percent of Scotland’s population. Apart, I think, from the New European – itself a low-circulation, pro-EU newspaper – no other news organ took much if any notice of Mr Sarwar’s opinion of me. At the time, I was The Brexit Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Moray and was no friend of either Scottish nationalism or the European Union. Not much has changed in either of those respects. You’ll understand perhaps why the individual and the newspapers concerned colluded to target me.

Political-Islam

Mr Sarwar was agitated by a post I’d published on this blog in 2017 attacking – in forthright terms – Islam in its politico-religious ideological form; political-Islam, for short. I argued that political-Islam was, and remains for that matter, a pernicious and, when pursued fanatically, deadly ideology. I used colourful language; I exaggerated for effect (call it satire, if you like); I was arguably intemperate; I may have written in offensive terms but, like beauty, offensiveness is in the eye of the beholder. However, at no time did I, nor have I ever written anything wrong or illegal on this blog, nor did I focus my ire on human beings as such; I attacked political-Islam.

This is an addition to the original text of this post. The difficulties in our society associated with the Islamic faith have been in the news again recently. A Religious Education teacher from Batley Grammar School is now in hiding with his family, fearing that he may suffer the same fate as his French teacher-colleague Samuel Paty who was beheaded in the name of Islam in October of last year. Both teachers’ grave mistake was to raise the subject of Islam in the context of freedom of expression, as I’ve done on this blog. The two topics don’t go together – evidently. I suppose being defamed as a racist is a relatively small price to pay.

Racism

A racist is a person who is prejudiced against, or antagonistic towards people  on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is in a minority or is marginalised. Racism is not about prejudice or antagonism towards an abstract concept such as religion.

It’s convenient to conflate criticism of a belief system, political-Islam in this case, with prejudice against believers in that system (people who worship Allah) – and then label the critic (me) ‘a racist’. However, as the evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins once said, ‘Something you can convert to [Islam], is not a race’.

Instead of challenging me on my robust views about political-Islam, Mr Sarwar took the easy, and I would argue malicious, politicised approach of making an ad hominem attack on me with the express purpose of impugning me. Mr Sarwar’s accusation was deliberately uncharitable, whatever he or you or anybody else thinks about my perfectly legal opinions of political-Islam.

Charitable Islam

I’ve no axe to grind about the religion of Islam, nor any other religion for that matter. I believe in not only freedom of expression, but also freedom of worship. Indeed, in the past I’ve experienced personally one of the doubtless many merits of the Islamic faith and wrote about it in praiseworthy terms in this post in 2013: The Mosque Kitchen. Note that I was praising Muslim charitable behaviour years before I was criticising political-Islam. Hardly the actions of ‘an abhorrent racist’, would you not agree?

Bigotry

A bigot is a person who is prejudiced in their views and intolerant of the opinions of others. It’s reasonable to assume that Mr Sarwar, who happens to be a Muslim, was offended by my colourful attack on political-Islam. However, instead of engaging me directly as a potential politician, albeit with views contrary to his own, Mr Sarwar – using merely the incendiary ‘r’ word – expressed his intolerance of my opinions of political-Islam and demonstrated his prejudice towards me. According to Mr Sarwar, one can only express an opinion about political-Islam on pain of being accused of latent criminality. Go too far, and your life is at risk. It’s standard procedure these days for suffocating public discourse: simply accuse an interlocutor with whose views you disagree of homophobia, transgender phobia, Islamophobia, racism; just choose your damning accusation and the woke brigade will descend on your debating foe like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. You’re cancelled. The conversation is closed. You can lose your job.

You can decide for yourself whether or not Mr Sarwar is a bigot.

Freedom of Speech

Since you’re reading this, I have to ask whether you personally are intolerant of the opinions of others, however much you might not like those opinions, nor how they’re expressed? Do you believe in freedom of speech? Mr Sarwar is at liberty to call me or anybody else for that matter  ‘an abhorrent racist’. It’s under very serious threat in Scotland, but freedom of speech remains a bedrock of our democracy. However, you have to ask yourself whether accusing somebody (me, in this case) of latent criminality (racism is a crime, after all) in order to close down debate and deliberately damage the character of your interlocuter, is consistent with the spirit of freedom of speech? I would argue that Mr Sarwar is, at best, uncomfortable with genuine freedom of speech.

Defamation

Stuart Campbell blogs under the Wings Over Scotland banner. In March 2017, Mr Campbell was on the receiving end of what he considered to be a defamatory accusation made against him by another (erstwhile) Scottish Labour Party leader, Ms Kezia Dugdale. Scottish Labour Party leaders must have something against bloggers. Mr Campbell was accused by Ms Dugdale of being ‘a homophobe’. As with Mr Sarwar’s accusation against me of racism, there was and remains no evidence that Mr Campbell was/is a homophobe.

Mr Campbell pursued Ms Dugdale in the Sheriff Court. The Court found that Ms Dugdale’s accusation was indeed defamatory, ie it was untrue that Mr Campbell was ‘a homophobe’ and that, consequently, Mr Campbell’s hitherto unblemished reputation had been damaged. However, the Sheriff decided not to award damages to Mr Campbell. So, Mr Campbell appealed his case to the Court of Session. The Higher Court agreed with the Sheriff Court that Mr Campbell had indeed been defamed. However, like the Sheriff Court, the Court of Session decided not to award Mr Campbell reparations for the damage to his reputation. Ms Dugdale escaped reparations payable to Mr Campbell on the defence of ‘fair comment’, such is the vagary of defamation law in Scotland.

Ms Dugdale’s lawyer, Mr Campbell Deane, has had a look at my situation vis-à-vis Mr Sarwar’s accusation against me. Mr Deane said that on the face of it my situation was ‘not a million miles’ from Mr Campbell’s. I interpreted Mr Deane’s comment to mean that Mr Sarwar’s accusation that I’m ‘an abhorrent racist’ was not true and could well be found by a Court to be defamatory; however, I wouldn’t know for sure unless I took my case to Court.

I asked the Wings Over Scotland blogger, Stuart Campbell, what he thought of my particular situation and whether he felt that I should pursue Mr Sarwar for defamation and damages. Mr Campbell’s advice to me was clear and emphatic: ‘don’t even go there’. Mr Campbell told me that despite both Courts’ decisions that he was defamed, ie that it was not true that he was ‘a homophobe’ and that his reputation had been damaged, Mr Campbell had incurred almost a quarter-of-a-million pounds in legal expenses in his nugatory attempt to claim damages from Ms Dugdale.

I don’t have £250,000 to waste on pursuing Mr Sarwar through the courts and, of course, Mr Sarwar always knew that. Hence, it was a no-brainer for Mr Sarwar to see off a political threat and simultaneously skewer someone’s reputation, risk-free, simply by slapping on them the unmentionable ‘r’ word and walking away. That’s what happened to me. That’s why you’re reading this post.

Your Call

Like I said earlier, my assumption is that you’re interested in me, Mark Nash, for a particular reason and you’ve discovered, through ‘background checks’, that I attracted some defamatory publicity in August 2019. Without any evidence to the contrary, you could be forgiven for subscribing to Mr Anas Sarwar’s venomous opinion of me, despite neither of you actually knowing me from Adam (or from Allah, if you prefer). The old chestnut, ‘you shouldn’t believe everything you read in the newspapers’ holds good here.

If you’re open-minded, genuinely interested in my character and whether or not you should proceed with a decision to engage with me – for whatever reason that you’re conducting ‘background checks’ – then I should be grateful if you would do me the courtesy of reading Part II of this post before taking a properly informed decision about our potential future relationship.

PART II – AN ALTERNATIVE PERSPECTIVE

A Lady of Pakistani-Muslim Birth

An acquaintance of mine is a lady of Pakistani-Muslim birth; I’ll refer to her as Aleema (not her real name). Aleema is a follower of my blog and one of  the almost quarter-of-a-million people from 146 countries around the world who have read my Moraymint Chatter musings. I’ve met Aleema; she lives in the UK. She’s a formidable woman with an international public profile. As a young woman, owing to the way she was treated by her family and by her father in particular, Aleema renounced the religion of Islam. Aleema is an apostate.

According to some scholars of Islam, the penalty for apostasy is death. Moderate Muslims will argue that this is not the case. Fair enough, but this Guardian newspaper article covers the subject and was published with the strapline, ‘Ex-Muslims who dare to speak out are often cut off from their families and fear for their lives’. Aleema lives in fear for her life; she has to take precautions at all times in her private life and when fulfilling her public speaking role. Incidentally, Aleema will forgive me for making it known here that she is a most charming and intelligent woman, and I enjoyed immensely the day my wife and I spent in her company in November 2019. I should love to tell you more about Aleema, but I can’t do that; I promised to respect her privacy, as you’d expect under the circumstances.

Aleema is a victim of political-Islam, as were the young people bombed to smithereens at the Manchester Arena in May 2017, the incident which prompted me to write that arguably controversial blog post in forthright and, to some readers, offensive terms; a post which led Mr Anas Sarwar MSP, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, casually to label me ‘an abhorrent racist’. As you conduct your ‘background checks’, I hope you can see that there are in fact two sides to this story.

The point is this. When Mr Sarwar accused me of being ‘an abhorrent racist’ – and despite The National newspaper’s flawed account of the episode – I decided in consultation with my Brexit Party colleagues to withdraw from the General Election race and, indeed, to withdraw from active politics forever. Thanks to The National and Mr Sarwar, I’d had enough before I’d even started my nascent life as a politician. I realised that I had dipped my toe into shark-infested waters and I didn’t need the grief for me or my family and friends.

An Apostate’s View

On learning of my withdrawal from the political fray, Aleema emailed me in  September 2019. Remember that Aleema was born into a Pakistani-Muslim family, as was Mr Sarwar as it happens. This is what Aleema said to me:

Regrettably, as a measure of the threat posed to Aleema by political-Islam, I have had to edit and redact parts of Aleema’s email to me …

Hello Moraymint

Let me introduce myself. My name is Aleema and I have been following your blog for a few years now. Let me begin by thanking you for your column. I have followed it with great interest over the years and have always felt grateful for your clarity of thought and the contribution you have made to public discourse. I was delighted to see you standing for office, and hopeful that you would win. At the very least I expected you to have a positive impact on the process.

So it is with considerable sadness and rising anger that I have read your most recent post [in which I said I would be withdrawing from active politics].

Let me explain. I was born into a Muslim family – what one might call an Islamist hard-right family. I chose to leave Islam. This had repercussions, including being disowned by my family and worse. But I do understand the Muslim community from the inside-out [because] I grew up in it and so I feel compelled to write to you about this most recent turn of events.

As you are aware, the West seems to have a great deal of difficulty differentiating between political-Islam and religious-Islam. Political-Islam has wide-ranging ambitions for global domination, supported through various entities by countries and regimes which I will not name here, who are playing a long game. 

Unable to distinguish between the two, the liberal-left have become unwitting pawns of this movement, corralled into defending positions which under any other circumstances would be anathema to them.

Political-Islam (Islam which has designs on increasing its influence in the public sphere) takes advantage of the West’s inability to appreciate the not-so-subtle differences between the two forms of Islam, caught up as the liberal-left is in the fear of being labelled intolerant or at worst racist.

I have suffered the indignities of race discrimination and know what it is. I am also aware that there are many Muslims who simply want to live-and-let-live, and to practice their religion in peace. It becomes quite the Catch-22: those who have left Islam place themselves at many kinds of risk by speaking out; many of those who are practising Islam simply do not want to tangle with the hard-right; and so the floor is left open to those Islamists who shout ‘Islamophobia’ at every imagined slight. To date this has been a successful strategy when it comes to shutting down the discourse we normally expect to enjoy as participants in a civil society.

 I might add that I was a delegate at [Aleema named the international conference]the largest gathering of ex-Muslims (apostates) ever convened, where we could only be advised of the location of the event at the very last minute and had to be surrounded by heavy security, out of fear of retribution by the very classes who are challenging you now. These were deemed prudent measures. I do not have to tell you that this is all incompatible with the principles of the Enlightenment, or the secular values on which our society is supposed to be based.

So, the only thing I can really say here is, don’t let them win – and they have been winning. There are many moderate people within the Muslim community, and outside of it, who sympathise with you and share your point of view. For my part, I mostly keep my head down because this is a fight I don’t want to take on at this moment in my life, although I will someday.

I fully understand your choice to go silent, and you will be missed.

Thank you once again for your writing over the years.

All the best

Aleema

Not All Muslims Side With Anas Sarwar

Aleema’s email provides you with the other side of the ‘abhorrent racist’ story. Indeed, Aleema emailed me on a number of occasions as I grappled with the destruction of my reputation at the hands of Mr Anas Sarwar and The National newspaper. In a subsequent email, Aleema said, ‘I think that you will find any number of Muslims and ex-Muslims who sympathise with your position; people such as Maajid Nawaz at LBC Radio and Maryam Namazie at the Council of Ex-Muslims for Britain spring to mind’.

Aleema also said, ‘I am so very sorry that all of this has happened. Your clarity of thought on the political issues of the day has been invaluable. I am so desperately sorry that this has happened to you. I’m afraid people do not have the ability to distinguish between political-Islam and religious-Islam, which of course the political zealots exploit to great effect. My perception is that (so far) they have been winning’.

Your Call Again

Back to the fundamental reason for this post. You’re doing ‘background checks’ on Mark Nash and have discovered that, according to Mr Anas Sarwar MSP, Mark Nash is ‘an abhorrent racist’. You’ve done me the courtesy of permitting me a right of reply to what I argue was a defamatory accusation. It’s simply not true that I’m a criminal, a racist. Aleema testifies to my assertion, but there’s plenty of other evidence I could present to substantiate my rejection of Mr Sarwar’s malicious accusation. Ask me for more evidence of my cosmopolitan urbanity if you wish and I’ll get it to you.

I regret that Mr Sarwar saw fit to impugn me as he did. Mr Sarwar’s accusation had nothing to do with freedom of speech nor rational public discourse. So, it’s reasonable for me to declare here that I was gratuitously defamed in a joint enterprise by The National newspaper and Mr Sarwar for nothing more than their narrow political ends.

This is critically important: you may not agree with my views on political-Islam, nor my use of language in one or more posts here on my blog. I have to accept that, notwithstanding everything you’ve read in this post, some of you reading my more forthright views will still be clutching your pearls and/or hyper-ventilating. However, is that sufficient cause per se for you to shun me? Or do you cherish freedom of speech?

My first career was as a commissioned officer in the British armed forces where I undertook active service in Northern Ireland (during ‘The Troubles’), the Falklands War and the Gulf War (1991). I’m a passionate advocate of freedom and democracy and on occasions – without wishing to put too fine a point on it – I risked my life for your way of life and for the freedoms that we both enjoy.

If you believe that political-Islam doesn’t exist or, if it does, it’s sacrosanct and cannot and must not be criticised in any way, certainly not publicly and pointedly; if you think freedom of speech doesn’t extend to writing in barbed or uncomfortable terms as I do occasionally; if you think Aleema’s situation is her problem and not yours or mine; if you think the Manchester Arena bombings had nothing to do with political-Islam; if you seriously believe that I’m a racist, then by all means conclude your background checks by ghosting me. Of course, I’ll learn something about you personally and/or the organisation you represent if you do shun me. I’ll assume, reasonably, that freedom of speech doesn’t feature anywhere in your values.

On the other hand, if you feel that you now have both sides of the story and are able to reject Mr Sarwar’s flawed characterisation of me and, moreover, accept that being offensive is not, in fact, an offence (unlike the misplaced belief of at least one British police force), then please let me know. Indeed, feel free to use the following statement or something similar …

Dear Mr Nash

We’ve completed our ‘background checks’ and have noted Mr Sarwar’s opinion of you. We’ve seen your reply of March 2021 posted in public on your Moraymint Chatter blog. We’re content that, in the spirit of freedom of speech, there are two sides to every story. We’re confident that you’re not a racist. We may not subscribe to the content and style of some of your public comments, but they don’t of themselves constitute a reason for us to act as your judge, jury and executioner. Freedom of speech is as important to us as it is to you. We look forward to associating and working with you in future

Audi Alteram Partem

Finally, for what it’s worth, I love my country. If there was one philosophy that  has defined my attitude to the privilege of being British it is this quotation, often erroneously attributed to Voltaire, but was in fact coined by an English historian and author Evelyn Beatrice Hall in Voltaire’s name: ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’. One wonders if Mr Anas Sarwar MSP would ever defend to the death my right to criticise political-Islam as I have in the past risked my life for his right to label me a racist?

Thank you at least for hearing me out and I wish you all the best. If you require me to provide you with character references, please contact me directly: moraymint@millbank.myzen.co.uk

To stimulate debate, please feel free to share this post on social media using one or more of the buttons below. Tell people you share my views; or tell people I’m talking cobblers; I don’t mind either way. I like the idea of peaceful means to effect change. Jaw-jaw is better than war-war.

If you think it will change things in ways you’d like to see, why not share this post with your elected representatives?

Please feel free to join the 400-odd other followers of my blog by clicking on the ‘Follow Blog via Email’ box over to the right of the page. I didn’t plan it this way, but Moraymint Chatter now gets tens of thousands of hits during the course of a year, so if you comment your views could be widely read. At the last count, this blog had received over 200,000 hits from readers all over the world, as well as countless shares on other social media platforms.

See you down the pub … eventually.

45 comments

  1. deejaym · ·

    Anas Sarwar was privately educated at the £12,000 a year Hutcheson’s Grammar School, the same private school that Comrade Sarwar sends his own children to, despite his Labour Party’s opposition to private education.

    After graduating in dentistry from Glasgow University, Mr Sarwar worked for the NHS for five years before becoming a Glasgow MP in Westminster. In the interests of equality of opportunity, Anas inherited the seat from his father, the interesting Mohammed Sarwar. Mohammed’s commitment to Scotland was so strong that subsequently he renounced his British citizenship, returned to Pakistan and became involved in his homeland’s rancidly corrupt toxic politics.

    Political donations to Mr Sarwar junior have included £40,000 from SAPP Holding Ltd, whose headquarters are a post office box in the British Virgin Islands. SAPP are a tax avoidance vehicle for ‘philanthropist’ Puneet Gupta. Another £40,000 has been donated by a Mr Kazim Gulzar, whose business partner is a certain Asim Sarwar, Anas Sarwar’s brother.

    Mr Sarwar also accepted a £4,000 personal donation, and a £2,000 donation to his constituency party, from Ali Najafian. An Iranian businessman, Mr Najafian has A&G Investments Limited, eighteen company directorships and a string of convictions for sexual offences against children. According to the Daily Record, “In 1992, Najafian admitted a catalogue of sickening sex offences against young girls when he appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court.” Ali remains in the headlines, with three luxury cars being firebombed outside his property last October.

    On the other side of the balance sheet, Mr Sarwar’s parliamentary expenses have included a 2p claim for a pencil sharpener.

    Anas Sarwar’s other brother is Athif Sarwar, convicted of an £850,000 family firm VAT fraud in 2007. However, on appeal, the judges accepted that Athif had not realised that six shell companies started laundering money through the family cash and carry business a year after he was appointed managing director. Money that, according to the BBC, “Was then concealed, disguised, converted or transferred before being transferred as either cash or goods to an unknown person.”

    Father Mohammed MP was also no stranger to the courts, being charged with vote-rigging regarding the 1997 general election. Mr Sarwar was acquitted after claiming that he’d loaned one of his political opponent’s money (as you do), rather than paid him a suspected bribe.

    Subsequently, Gordon Brown nominated Mohammed for a peerage but it was turned down by the House of Lord’s appointment commission after an objection by the tax authorities.

    In 2008/9 Mohammed Sarwar’s was the highest MP’s expenses claim at almost £200,000. This included £24,000 for running a second home and £31,000 for travel between London and Glasgow. According to the Daily Telegraph, he also chaired Muslim Friends of Labour, “An organisation that channelled [to Labour] more than £300,000 of donations from prominent Muslims.”

    As for the family business, it revolves around various manifestations of United Wholesale Cash and Carry. Comrade Anas has a 23% share in the business, thought to be worth about £4 million pounds. In the interests of equality, they do not recognise trades unions and pay below the living wage…………

    All of the above information was missed out from the BBC coverage of the recent Scottish Leaders debate, but is freely available via internet search.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks deejaym and, yep, he’s a fine fellow of a man …

      Like

  2. […] article was first published in Moraymint.com and we republish here with kind […]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] article was first published in Moraymint.com and we republish here with kind […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Neil Graham · ·

    You’re clearly not a racist and it is not racist to criticise political Islam or any kind of Islam. Society needs to talk about this matter.

    But you are now a ‘Tommy Robinson’.

    You may recall how UKIP members felt that Mr Robinson had been unfairly represented and that he was the victim of state suppression of his views.

    You may recall how Gerard Batten, former UKIP leader, invited Mr Robinson to be an adviser. He was expressing support for the right to criticise Islam, free of state bullying – which UKIP members felt Mr Robinson had been subjected to.

    UKIP was the only party which was prepared to state this. You clearly agree with such a view.

    Yet Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage saw fit to describe members as ´far right thugs looking for violence´.

    You were a part of the Brexit Party which sought to use UKIP´s defence of freedom of speech as a means of attacking UKIP. In the same way that you have been unfairly attacked.

    UKIP was a small party seeking to raise an important principle. Yet your own party sought to destroy UKIP on precisely the grounds that you have been unfairly attacked on.

    You are obviously no racist and I hope you get some justice. You are in a very unfair position.

    But you need to reflect on your own position – as a former Brexit Party member – in this situation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Neil. In the most general sense, I have no political allegiance – apart from being a libertarian and a democrat (not in the American sense) by instinct. The mainstream political parties are indistinguishable, one from another. My interest in The Brexit Party was almost exclusively related to my desire to the see UK recover its sovereignty. In Scotland, the SNP is a nationalist cult movement and the Scottish Parliament’s voting structure makes change very difficult. Ironically, it was designed by Tony Blair to keep Labour in power in Scotland forever. That didn’t work out too well. I’m interested in what The Reform UK Party might get up to, but I’m not holding my breath on that one. Breaking into our political system with a new party is nigh-on impossible. Like many I suspect, one feels politically homeless these days …

      Like

  5. Gordon Diffey · ·

    It is disappointing that there is a sector of society that does not want to engage in dialogue. Indeed if they disagree with a point of view they do not engage in reasoned discussion or argument, but use innuendo and various labels like fascist, racist, extremist, etc. in order to block debate. Even sadder are those who read those epithets and accept them as fact without further research themselves.

    Well, Moraymint I have known you since 1979 (42 years) and know you to be an intelligent, thoughtful person. I know that you research your articles and your life in great depth. If you have a fault, it is that you are forthright, but I guess you would reply that I am guilty of bluntness on occasions. I know that racism is not one of your failings, but you do enter discussions of subject areas that are sensitive. If society is to progress in a balanced manner, then we must discuss these subjects otherwise the political classes will continue to further distance themselves from the majority of the population who just want fairness. The debating chamber cannot be left to activists who are so ingrained in their beliefs that they will not tolerate any contrary point of view and resort to bullying to obliterate them.

    Honour and Truth must prevail

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Martin Rivers · ·

    It’s good to read your musings again, despite the subject matter being incredibly frustrating, mainly down to how some of the current main stream politicians act, such as Mr Anas Sarwar. Whilst freedom of speech is so important to many of us, I fear the over-liberal view of most in the modern world will continue to erode the fabric of our society. It’s crucial we maintain debate within those who oppose other’s views sinking to these levels. Sadly, I for one, won’t be holding my breath!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Martin, and good to hear from you …

      Like

  7. I have read your blog for at least six years but this is the first time I have felt is necessary to sign up for a WordPress account to support you against this low life “foreign” MP who should be ashamed of himself. You are no racist in my book, Sir.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thank you Alice. I do find Mr Sarwar’s attitude to freedom of speech ‘foreign’ to my own, but he was in fact born in Glasgow of Pakistani-Muslim parents – like my friend, Aleema (in terms of her parentage). I agree that Mr Sarwar should be ashamed of himself, but I doubt whether shame features in his lexicon. He’ll be no different to many other politicians in that respect. They really are an odd species …

      Liked by 1 person

  8. John PM Rooney · ·

    It should be a source of shame in the west that we allow decent people, like yourself, to be defamed by those that are happy to use their privileged position and the cost of justice to evade responsibility for their lies.

    Even a right of reply fails to remove the stain of a casual and baseless slur, intended to stifle debate. Your description of your abuse at the hands of an elected official, even one in the flawed conception that is the Scottish parliament, should be a salutary lesson on the dangers of a lack of integrity in politics.

    You have both my sympathy and my support.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks John and you’ve hit the nail on the head. Mr Sarwar knew he could impugn me with impunity (!) and so he did. It made me realise that, in fact, I didn’t really want to join men of his ilk in their so-called ‘profession’ of politics. They’re all welcome to live in that world – which has a certain enduring stench to it …

      Like

  9. Great post MM – I have shared with a few people and my MP . Next up, my MSP….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thank you; appreciated. Bear in mind that you/we have lots of MSPs under the strange voting arrangements in the Scottish Parliament. You can try using this link: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/msp/

      Like

  10. I simply echo the expressions of support already expressed. There was never an iota of doubt in my mind as to your integrity – in stark contradistinction to that of Anas Sarwar.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. reallyoldbill · ·

    Hi Moraymint,

    Really good to see you posting again, I have missed your interesting insights. Rest assured that had I thought for one moment anything you had posted was racist, much less that you were such yourself, I would long ago have deserted this blog. I don’t. The sad reality today in the UK, and from outside it seems even more so in Scotland under present management, is that free speech is under assault like never before. Cancel culture in which the right to public expression of opinion is only allowed if it conforms to the script approved by the left, no alternatives allowed, is pernicious and corrosive. The use of accusations that those who hold them are inevitably racist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, Islamophobic or one of any number of other toxic classifications is all that is needed, unsupported by evidence, to shut down alternative views or debate. It is reminiscent of the Salem witch trials from which I thought we had moved on.

    Keep up the good fight because despite the attempts by the left to depict their distorted version of the truth as the only reality, the silent majority can see through it all. I hope that sufficient sensible Scots use their votes in May to send a strong message that they have had enough of this nonsense and burst the bubble of those who seem intent on dragging your proud nation into a place with which Dante would be familiar.

    Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Great to hear from you too, Bill – as ever …

      Like

  12. Richard Ross · ·

    A sad tale indeed and I hope Mr Sarwar and other elected representatives who choose to smear private citizens knowing they can get away with it will be held to account at some stage. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Richard …

      Like

  13. Regrettably, ‘they’ are winning the battle against reason by using the very tactics they wrongfully accuse you of using. The likes of Mr Sarwar don’t play by any rule-book and indeed, are positively encouraged and aided by the skewed politico-legal system we live under.
    Over the years that I’ve followed your posts, I have discerned no hint of bigotry nor anti-religious bias of any kind. Your forthright manner of reasoned expression of views is to be commended, as I have commented, on many occasions. “Keep up the good work” isn’t a throwaway line, it’s a sincere entreaty to do just that, as is ‘nil carborundum illegitimi.’

    R E Lee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thank you very much …

      Like

  14. Dave Page · ·

    Dear Mark,
    I have completed my ‘background checks’ and have noted Mr Sarwar’s misplaced opinion of you. I have seen your reply of March 2021 posted in public on your Moraymint Chatter blog. I am content that, in the spirit of freedom of speech, there are two sides to every story. I am very confident that you’re defiantly not a racist. I do subscribe to the content and style of all your public comments and don’t believe, of themselves, they constitute a reason for me to act as your judge, jury and executioner. Freedom of speech is as important to me as it is to you. I look forward to associating and working with you in future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Per ardua …

      Like

  15. Martin C. · ·

    Nice to have you back, Mr Mint.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Good to be back …

      Like

  16. derekbernard · ·

    Dear Moraymint

    As always, thanks for this.

    You are consistently on the side of the angels, so I was very sad when you wrote that your brief foray into politics had come to an end.

    But thank goodness you are still writing. Please don’t let ghastly people like Anas Sarwar stop you from doing so.

    All the best

    Derek Bernard

    Jersey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Many thanks Derek …

      Like

  17. Chris · ·

    I spent my entire working life in the kingdom ‘adjoining’ Saudi Arabia.
    I’m more than au fait with male followers of Islam.
    They had an expression out there which went something along the lines of …
    “You can take them out of ****stan, but you can’t take the ****stan out of them”.
    Unfortunately, the only way to overcome is to get down in the gutter with them, and that’s seemingly the case with most, if not all, Lefties.
    Devoid of moral principle; brimming with hatred.
    I wish you well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thank you Chris …

      Like

  18. deejaym · ·

    Thank you MM for another considered & beautifully balanced post.

    Would Mr Anas Sarwar MSP ever defend to the death my right to criticise political-Islam as I have in the past risked my life for his right to label me a racist?

    NOT

    A

    CHANCE

    In the world inhabited by 2 bit hustlers such as Sarwar, criticism & smears are only permitted to go one way. It would be an honour for me one day to buy you a drink “down the pub”.

    Please do keep posting, your sense & sensibility is sorely missed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks deejaym!

      Like

  19. Alex Dade · ·

    Correction – it’s incredibly difficult to prove a negative, but you certainly took a masterful whack at it!

    Alex Dade
    584 Bradley Rd
    Bay Village, OH 44140
    adade@reagan.com
    C: (440) 781-0302
    H: (440) 455-9171

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Made me laugh buddy!

      Like

  20. Alex Dade · ·

    The problem, regrettably is that you’re trying to prove a negative – almost impossible, but nice try anyway.

    It’s the old political saw –

    “You’re a racist!”
    “No I’m not!”
    “Prove it!”

    Alex Dade
    584 Bradley Rd
    Bay Village, OH 44140
    adade@reagan.com
    C: (440) 781-0302
    H: (440) 455-9171

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Donna Walker · ·

    I never thought you were a racist in the first place. But (as the Duchess of Netflix has just demonstrated) it is the accusation of choice for members of the the intolerant Left when they wish to damage and/or silence an opponent.

    As far as Political-Islam is concerned, I believe the following quote is applicable: ““The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    You are a good man for speaking out.

    Please carry on blogging. In fact, please blog a bit more frequently. Kind regards ….. and hope to see you down the pub one day.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Yes, a beer down the pub would work for me!

      Like

  22. Douglas Brodie · ·

    I note that Anas Sarwar and almost all of his Labour Party MSPs voted through the SNP’s dystopian Hate Crime Bill on 11th March. Will I get into trouble for using such a provocative (hateful?) adjective?! Only Conservative and Reform MSPs voted against it, see https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=13191&i=119442.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Yes, the Hate Crime Bill is perfect for men like Mr Sarwar. Soon, I’ll be be getting a knock on the door from Mr Plod for curating this blog …

      Like

  23. Michael Foster · ·

    A fine, well balanced statement as always. i find it abhorrent that our freedom of speech is undermined in this way. i would be interested to hear what Toby Young of the Free Speech Union thinks of your situation and what he would advise.
    With regard to Islam and its long term negative effects on this country in so many respects I share all your concerns, and regret the way our liberal values are used against us.
    In my view the only hope lies in the ex-muslims group of brave individuals who are prepared to stand up and speak out against the many vile aspects of the ‘religion’, which is why i give them regular PayPal payments as my small contribution to the fight.. I hold the hope that as the views become more widespread there will come a ‘tipping point’ when all those who share doubts and negative views feel confident to speak out. Then the whole edifice may crumble, as it should.
    Finally, the single worst aspect of this ‘religion’ is apostasy, the notion that one should be put to death for simply changing your mind is incredible; and regrettably this is still practised in many places. And this is part of the ‘religion of peace’; the ultimate hypocrisy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Michael …

      Like

  24. Chris Emblen · ·

    From the moment I started reading your blogs I thought that you’d make a fine politician, offer balance to what sometimes can seem a one sided debate.
    I’m glad more people are feeling confident enough to at least debate the pernicious effect of Political Islam.
    I’m not sure how we fight back when much of the media supports or turns a blind eye but fight we must, freedom is too important for our Children and theirs to let slip away.
    Thanks & good luck.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. moraymint · ·

      Thanks Chris …

      Like

  25. xantilor · ·

    My father was half-Scottish, wore the kilt on occasion, and could put on a fine Scottish accent. I was brought up to think Scotland a great country, bold and romantic. I’m dismayed at the direction it seems to be taking these days. I don’t think much of Mr Anas Sarwar MSP’s behaviour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · ·

      Appreciated xantilor …

      Like

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