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Mayor’s office refuse to apologise to Tatchell

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  1. Tatchell must be getting his Grand Muftis mixed up. Hitler’s friend Grand Mufti is dead now.

  2. Mayor's Press Office 2 Mar 2007, 5:45pm

    For readers information this is the Mayor’s Office statement referred to in full:’The Mayor has strongly supported the right of gays and lesbians to stage Gay Pride events last year in Moscow as well as in Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Moldova and Romania and other East European countries where this has been under attack. He, together with the Mayors of Berlin and Paris, raised this directly with Mayor Luzhkov at the meeting of Mayors in London on 28 February and the criticism of Mr Luzhkov has been widely reported in the Russian media – for example by Ria Novosti, Echo Moskovi, Argumenti i Fakti.’Mr Tatchell’s new piece in the Guardian’s Comment is Free rightly concentrates on the reactionary positon on gay rights of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is by far the most powerful religious institution in Russia, as well as right wing secular currents and the Mayor welcomes this. However this appeared at 8 15pm on 28 February – several hours after the Mayor had made his comments.’This new statement by Mr Tatchell’s is in sharp contrast to those on the similar ban last year when he stated: “These attempts by Russian state and religious leaders to suppress Moscow Gay Pride are a throwback to the bad old days of czarist and communist totalitarianism. No amount of threats and intimidation by the Mayor of Moscow, the Chief Mufti or the Chief Rabbi will stop the gay freedom struggle in Russia added Mr Tatchell.’ (’Last year Mr Tatchell presented Russian muslims as being the leading force attacking gay rights with the Mayor and Orthodox church responding to this: ‘Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has announced that the city government will not allow a gay parade “in any form” and any attempt to hold a gay event will be “resolutely quashed.” The Mayor’s diktat follows statements by the Russian Chief Mufti threatening violence if the Pride parade went ahead’ (’A post by Brett Lock of OutRage! from 17 February 2006 stressed the central role of the Mufti, and his only reference to the Orthodox Church was to report that the Mufti had appealed to them to oppose the Moscow Gay Pride. ‘In contrast to this emphasis on the leading role allegedly played by Russian muslims here is the account by Scott Long of Human Rights Watch on the violent assault on the Moscow Pride march in 2006: ‘As they neared the entrance, draggled in the downpour, the skinheads came out of nowhere. I say ‘skinheads’ as a useful generalization. In fact very few of them fit the stereotype. There were three waves. First there were the Boys, the most numerous, mostly young (though some ranged into their late thirties), black-clad, short-haired though usually not shaven, thuggish and enraged. They were the shock troops. They were followed by the Priests. These, fatter, older, carried crosses or icons.They had beards,

  3. Press Office 2 Mar 2007, 5:48pm

    Unfortunately the final part of the statement below was truncated by the word limit. The conclusion is appended:’They had beards, often, leather jackets trimmed to look like orthodox cassocks, sometimes black T-shirts with crosses bent fascist-style as if ready to administer a black mass. They chanted. Chanted. Finally, in the rear, there were the grandmothers. Old babushkas, kerchiefed, also carrying icons. They turned their backs on the mayhem the leaders were causing, faced the curious or outraged crowd, vented their tearful misery at the spectacle of their grandsons being arrested behind them, sang hymns, presented a pathetic face of suffering.’ ( As may be seen there is no reference to muslims – who may have been present but clearly did not play the main role.’This campaign therefore portraying Russian muslims, and the Grand Mufti in particular, as playing the leading role in the disgraceful and criminal assault on the Gay Pride march in Moscow last year is entirely false. It is evident that the Russian Orthodox church has much greater weight than all other religious organisations in Russia put together and it is only it, not Russian muslims, who can practically create major religious pressure for such a ban – the statements by Russian islamic leaders were as right wing as those of other religious leaders on this issue but they had no practical ability to be the decisive influence in this campaign.’That Peter Tatchell in his new piece rightly emphasises the dominant role on the events in Moscow played by right wing Orthodox and right wing nationalist groups is extremely welcome and the Mayor looks forward to campaigning with him to defend gay and lesbian rights in Eastern Europe on this basis. But his does not alter the criticisms of Peter Tatchell’s previous statements on this issue.’

  4. Brett Lock 3 Mar 2007, 12:15am

    Very interesting… and utter rubbish from the Mayor’s press office. Their lies and distortions are exposed here:

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