Moving on
Towards Better Times...?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

All may not be as it seems

I came across this article on alternetpeek :

Galloway panders to homophobes
Posted by Evan Derkacz on November 23, 2005 at 10:57 AM.

“This week is unwittingly shaping up to be "so you thought so-and-so was different" week.

First there was Tony Blair, then John McCain. Now it's George Galloway's turn to become a reglar old fashioned politician. Which is not to say that because a. politicians pander then: b. all politicians are equal. It's just in service of clarifying the process and making us less emotional and more strategic in our support. As I've said before, politicians are not fully human, they're partly the assembled interests of voters and funders……. “

My Comments:

So what exactly had Galloway done?

Well, it appears that Galloway’s Respect Party recently expunged its platform of reference to gay rights, because, it was attested, “Respect is in alliance with the right-wing, anti-gay Islamist group, the Muslim Association of Britain.”

Now I am no fervent supporter of George Galloway.  He is, after all, a politician, and I happen to go by a principal first stated by Billy Connolly: “Anyone whose sole ambition in life is to be a politician should be seriously prevented from being one.”   But I have followed the attempts to scapegoat Galloway, because of his strong anti-Iraq War stance, with interest.  And I must admit that it has been good to see him putting his US critics soundly in their place when others have failed miserably.

I do not know whether Galloway committed the crimes he is accused of, although I would hazard a guess that, should his attackers wish to look at other figures, from across the political spectrum (and not just from ‘the left’ – as the US see Galloway ….), they would find similar ‘indiscretions’.  Because let’s be realistic here.  It is not Galloway’s political dealings his attackers are really interested in; their campaign is purely and simply to bring him down for having the audacity to stand up against the US Government and to have gained support for doing so.

So I was intrigued to follow the link to dougirelandssite  given in Evan Derkacz ‘s article.  Here I found the following:

November 23, 2005

“The leaders of the British anti-war party Respect -- which managed to elect its only George_galloway_2_1 member of parliament, George Galloway (left), earlier this year -- have demonstrated their lack of principle in a blatant act of electoralist pandering to homophobia.  U.K. Gay News reports that, at the Respect party's conference on Sunday, November 20, a grassroots revolt by party members passed a resolution denouncing the party's leadership for vetoing the inclusion of gay and lesbian rights in the party platform. George Galloway MP is a crucial member of the Respect party leadership -- which is dominated by the Trotskyists of the Socialist Workers Party, who created Respect……. “

And so on and so on…..

My Comments/Continued:

Now, apart from a rather incorrect lambasting of the UK Socialist Workers Party, which Ireland seems to have confused with a US copy (and accused them of being homophobic – which couldn’t be further from the truth, as many gay members of the UK SWP would attest), I found that some very suspect ‘journalist investigation’ had been carried out by Mr Ireland.

The articles he linked to as ‘evidence’ for his attack on Galloway were as follows:

gaynews – an organisation which can claim a great deal of ‘respect’ for its tireless campaigns for human rights.  However, of late Gay News has been concentrating its fervour on Islamic teachings and practices regarding women and gays (as if the Christian faith was itself blameless on these issues ….), and, which, with the help of Peter Tatchell (the UK militant gay rights activist known for his belief in ‘outing’ all those he thinks are gay, whether they like it or not),  can be said to have polarised opinions on Islam and the Muslim faith, without regard for differences of opinion within that faith or for the human rights of the millions of Muslim men and women left open to victimisation by often unwarranted attacks on Islam.

But I can understand why Gay News would take the stance it did.  It is, after all, interested in a particular agenda – gay rights – fair enough.

Which leads me on to the other articles quoted:

The article about the ‘Respect’ Conference published in the socialistworkeruk is quoted by Ireland only for its lack of mention of the rebellion in support of gay rights.  Not the greatest piece of evidence there…. Just an unwarranted attack on a left wing party – I wonder why?

Following on from this, in his ‘Update’, Ireland  says:

“A bit of research unearhed some interesting facts about the funding of the Respect party. Eric Lee -- who runs the excellent trade union-funded, London-Dr_mohammed_naseem based  labor news website labourstart (which mobilizes support for striking workers around the world) -- checked out Respect's required financial filings this year with the U.K Electoral Commission. It turns out that half of Respect's money comes from one man, Dr Mohammed Naseem  ….”

Ireland then goes on to attack Dr Nassem for quotes he has made on his personal website, which include:

“Naseem's IBP also put out  a statement claiming that the London bombings of buses and subways last July weren't carried out by Islamic fundmentalists but (as Lee summarizes the IPB document he links to on his personal  blog [and here Ireland is relying on Eric Lee’s version of Naseem’s words without bothering to check their accuracy] )  "the attacks were a provocation, staged by the police, the Blair government, or the Mossad -- or all of them together." Naseem repeated his claim that no Islamic fundamentalists were involved in the bomings even after the arrest of Yasin Hassan Omar, an Islamist who helped plan the bombings….” [typos are his, not mine]

Well, I’m sorry Mr Ireland, but if you bother to look, you will find that an awful lot of ordinary UK citizens (atheist, agnostic, Christian, Hindu, as well as Muslim) tend to think the same thing.  One does not have to be a radical follower of Islam to question the nature of the London Bombings – there are far too many inconsistencies in the evidence to take Government’s word that these were carried out by Al Qaeda – or whatever they wish to call them ….

There is little more to the article than this, just a reference to a bbcprofile of Naseem, simply to allow the quote that Naseem is “ Chairman of the Birmingham Central Mosque, "one of the largest Islamic instutions in Britain."  Failing to mention of course that this ‘institution’ holds a great deal of respect in Britain {I was much more interested in Naseem’s other ‘quote’ at this link – liking Blair’s political approach to Hitler’s – something many UK citizens are beginning to fear could be true.

So Ireland has gathered all his ‘evidence’ together and he has tried to make a case which seems to be biased not only against Galloway, but against Islam itself.  But he has produced a far from perfect ‘assessment of the facts’.  More important to me, however, is the question as to why Ireland wrote this article in the first place.  What was his real agenda?  

To me, it seems to be deliberately easing the way for an imperialist stance on Islam. And yet it is written by a man who claims to be “a lifelong opponent of American imperialism”.  

I don’t think so.  

posted by summersun70 at 1:53 PM


Blogger Brett Lock said...

Why would Tatchell be using gay rights as an excuse for attacking Galloway's opposition the the Iraq war when tatchell himself is an opponent of the Iraq war?

It seems to me that there is a low-level homophobia that holds that gay rights concerns can never be the central issue in and of itself and when expressed must always be a part of another "agenda".

4:28 AM  
Blogger summersun70 said...

Hi Brett
Thaks for your comment. It gave me more food for thought.
I've actually answered you in my latest post (26.11.05).

11:41 AM  

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