National Secular Society: Occasionally Agitated

Lingering prejudice in Britain can bring out the worst in people. Such attitudes are not confined to thugs in the EDL or the BNP, rather are often found on the periphery of the Hard Right, spoken in polite tones and impeccable English.

More importantly, there is denial about racism towards ethnic minorities in Britain. Denial of the facts.

Recent examples of this form of negation were Douglas Murray’s extended rant in the Jewish Chronicle and Charles Moore’s piece. Sadiq Khan deals with it.

Notable in this trend was Andrew Gilligan’s hack journalism. It sought to deliberately play down racism in Britain and deny the evidence. Tim Fenton’s ably picks it apart, Gilligan’s Islamophobia Goof:

“…Gilligan to put out an article without him getting called out for a mixture of falsehood and misrepresentation. This is probably because falsehood and misrepresentation is exactly what he indulges in. And today he has been at it again, twisting the available facts to fit the Telegraph’s narrative, that the “Islamophobia Industry” is getting above itself.”[My emphasis.]

In all of these articles the conclusions were long decided upon, even before writing and the supposed evidence was shoehorned into place, each according to the authors’ particular bias.

It is all the more annoying when these slanted pieces are used as good coin.

NSS1a

The National Secular Society made such a mistake last week, using Gilligan’s suspect form of journalism, Muslims must be protected. Islam must not.

They should know better than use singular and questionable sources.

If the National Secular Society are truly interested in the welfare of Muslims and ethnic minorities in Britain then they should contact the groups monitoring prejudice against them, Tell MAMA.

Picking a single source, that has a clear bias against an antiracist organisation, was a sign of poor judgement by the National Secular Society. They should know better.

I would recommend that the National Secular Society and secularists read the [PDF] report: Anti-Muslim Hate Crime and the Far Right By Professor Nigel Copsey, Dr Janet Dack, Mark Littler and Dr Matthew Feldman.

Update 1:Tell MAMA’s response to the original article, National Secular Society & the ‘Money’ Shot Which Never Was!

“Furthermore, the flippant manner in which anti-Muslim prejudice is discarded, does a disservice to victims such as this woman, or this one. What is the worst element of all of these discussions, is that the victim’s voice is drowned out by figures, numbers and statistics. It would do the National Secular Society a world of good, if they simply took a few minutes out to listen to the stories of these Muslim women. For Amina, she is starting to put her life together against after 14 months of anguish. For Jamilah, the scars will never heal.”

Gun Laws, Causes And Who To Blame

In the aftermath of the shooting in Newtown most people are still trying to get to grips with the enormity of this crime. Twenty young children killed and six teaching staff.

It is hard to take in.

However, certain types of politicians and politicos, who are not given to reflection, are trotting out their particular agendas with indecent haste.

Gawker draws attention to Oregon State representative, Dennis Richardson’s crass comments:

“If I had been a teacher or the principal at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and if the school district did not preclude me from having access to a firearm, either by concealed carry or locked in my desk, most of the murdered children would still be alive, and the gunman would still be dead, and not by suicide. “

Incredibly, Mike Huckabee blames the killings on the separation of Church and State.

According to Pink News, Westboro Baptist Church blames Gays for the shooting.

Salon points out that James Dobson blames gays, abortion for shootings and Mary Elizabeth Williams blasts apart Mike Huckabee’s oafish views.

Astonishingly, someone with a particular affliction uses the killings in Newtown to attack Jews.

JHate explains:
[Warning: links to racist material, as a matter of public record.]

“On his December 14 radio show, American anti-Semitic activist Mark Glenn reveals that the villains responsible for the Sandy Hook school massacre are…wait for it…the Jews. “When you see these kinds of things happening,” Glenn says, “you see these kids basically acting out this program that has been installed on their hard drives since they were born, you have to go to the source. Who programmed them? Who taught them that it was OK to do things like this? And again, for me the bottom line is that it’s the Jewish mainstream media….” Glenn is a longtime anti-Semite who is a commentator for Press TV, a semi-official Iranian broadcast network. In recent months he has also founded an internet radio network featuring a roster of anti-Semitic hosts, based on the blogtalkradio.com broadcasting platform.”

Glenn has a long history as an active antisemite and not unsurprisingly, is a friend of Gilad Atzmon.

The dire, Brendan O’Neill at the Torygraph poses a question without a moment’s intellectual engagement:

“There is one question that the pious critics of America’s so-called gun culture cannot answer. If mass school shootings like that in Connecticut really are a product of the apparently mad Second Amendment, of the fact that guns are widely available in the US, then why did such shootings only take off in the late 1970s and early 1980s? Guns have been available in the US for more than two centuries, but multiple-victim shootings in schools, of the sort that rocked Connecticut and Columbine before it, are a very modern phenomenon. It cannot be simply the availability of guns that leads people to massacre children or their fellow students, or else there would have been horrors like this throughout American history. “

Obviously, the difference was the availability of assault rifles, a product of modern technology. That is part of the reason, all of which eluded the contrarian O’Neill.

The Nation demonstrates how assault rifles are available at Walmart in the US.
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