X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Blogs

Tolerating a libel

7 June 2011

11:06 AM

7 June 2011

11:06 AM

It’s always unpleasant to be libelled and particularly nasty to be defamed by
supporters of totalitarian Islam. Journalists really shouldn’t sue, but sometimes it can get very frustrating, especially when the libel is obviously malign and ill informed. Over the past
couple of weeks I have been examining the close relationship between London Citizens, the “community organisers” so beloved of the political class and the Islamists of East London
Mosque and Islamic Forum Europe. In week one, we looked at London Citizens’ Deputy Chair Junaid Ahmed, who is a supporter of Hamas. Then last week we examined the reaction of  Jewish leaders who have signed up to London Citizens. This is a relatively straightforward story of the left making common cause with
radical Islam, an all-too-familiar story over the past decade. The IFE is not very happy about being rumbled. Azad Ali, an Islamist civil servant who regularly writes on the IFE blog, has now come
up with the following deranged conspiracy theory:

“Martin Bright the ‘self-confessed Islamophobe’ is the editor of the paper which published an article, under the headline “This Was No Peace Activist” by Geoffrey
Alderman, glorifying the killing of an innocent peace activist Vittorio Arrigon “

[Alt-Text]


There is no more truth in the assertion that I am a “self-confessed Islamophobe” than that I am the editor of the Jewish Chronicle. The “evidence” for the first assertion
comes from the self-styled Islamophobia Watch blog and its absurd “amir” Bob Pitt, who claims to have seen me admit as much at a City Hall event. I remember this occasion well just as I
remember explicitly saying that I was not Islamophobic (in fact I consider myself more open to the diversity and contradictions of the Muslim world than the IFE) but that I thought fear of Islam
was completely understandable. Indeed, fear and public criticism of organised religion must be open to citizens in an open and democratic society. However, Azad Ali does provide a useful service in
flushing out Junaid Ahmed’s real views on Hamas and the controversial speech he gave praising it leaders:

“I delivered this speech during the height of the illegal invasion and war against the population of Gaza in 2008/09. Over 1,300 innocent people were killed and evidence emerged that illegal
‘white phosphorous’ chemical bombs were being used against civilian populations. Henceforth, I make no apology for being emotional. My faith teaches me to stand up for justice and speak
against the death of innocent children, women and men.”

Azad Ali and Junaid Ahmed are Hamas supporters and, as a free-speech democrat I support their right to express that support as emotionally as they like. But for me, Hamas is a movement of the
religious extreme right committed to the destruction of the state of Israel. As someone who believes in the rights of leftists, women, homosexuals and Jews to live their lives without fear, unlike
my friends at London Citizens and various north London synagogues, I cannot make common cause with these authoritarian reactionaries. And for that reason, I understand that I will have to tolerate
being libelled by them and their apologists. 

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close