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Peter Tatchell: Gay rights groups need to stand up to Islamist homophobia

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  1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jun 2011, 2:05pm

    Wow, for once I am in full agreement with Peter Tatchell.

    1. Spanner1960 13 Jun 2011, 9:06pm

      Finally the socialists are beginning to see the light, but I think there is a great deal of stable doors slamming shut way too late. This should have been handled 20 years ago when others raised the issue but were immediately slammed back down again and accused of being racist and anti-social.

      1. Peter Tatchell was one of the FIRST to highlight this, back in 1994. And the police arrested him instead of the hate preachers…. When will the Met apologise for this?

        1. @AdrianT

          Absolutely PT has raised this issue on numerous occasions since 1994. He has made a clear and principled stand on this issue and been prepared to learn and adapt to ensure competing rights are respected and honoured.

      2. What? Did you not read the post? He clearly illustrated how he was among the first to note the problem!

  2. Firstly, I welcome Peter’s comments on this issue and wholeheartedly endorse his view that we need to stand up to homophobia or prejudice of whatever type.

    I do agree that it was surprising that outside of PN there was little significant national reporting of the stickering incidents in either Tower Hamlets or the Midlands.

    I am not convinced by the argument that a more harsh penalty would have been metered out had the prejudice linked to these hate stickers been targetted at race or religious issues. I concede that the failure to (it appears) consider offences of inciting homophobic hatred does little to appease the LGBT communities who feel vulnerable given this acitivity. We have to be realistic and understand that penalty given by the courts depends not only on the offence charged but also the previous behaviour of the alleged offender. I have no knowledge of any previous convictions for Hasnath so am unable to determine whether he could have been given a higher penalty in …

    1. … current sentencing guidelines.
      I do think it is important to remember that the court case only considered those stickers that were placed on Transport for London premises and linked to the investigation by British Transport Police. There was no consideration of the dozens of other stickers elsewhere in Tower Hamlets, and it is not clear what (if any) action the Metropolitan Police have taken with the stickers within their jurisdiction.
      To suggest judicial homophobia is in these circumstances unfair. The court can only consider the information laid before it by the prosecution. The CPS can only consider evidence gathered by the police. I would argue the CPS were homophobic in failing to address the real issue of homophobia and hatred underlying this campaign. Much more, I would say there are failures with both BTP and the Met in terms of not apparently co-ordinating their investigations and community relations nor linking them back to other very similar events in the …

    2. I doubt that anything would have been done at all if it hadn’t been for gay activists raising the profile of this story. For all the lip service that the Met pay to stamping out homophobic hate crimes, their actions speak otherwise. I know that my experience of reporting a crime that turned into a homophobic attack was treated by the police as me making a fuss.

      1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jun 2011, 2:20pm

        Where were Rainbow Hamlets? Out East?
        If you look at Terry Stewart’s recent comments regarding the letter written to the ELM you’d see they actually have very little interest in the LGBTQI community in Tower Hamlets.
        Maybe they are the likes of what Mr. Tatchell talks but how do we improve things when those supposedly there to help do nothing and actually instead make excuses for the criminals?
        I’ll never for get Rainbow Hamlets Rebecca Shaw actually saying Homophobia was because of poverty.
        Coz thats what we want, a load of excuses and little in the way of action.

        1. Oh Jock – really, blow Terry Stewart. He is a nobody.So long as his group recieves no taxpayers’ money and so long as none of OutEast’s activities is funded by Hackney Council, where Stewart works.

          1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2011, 10:57am

            I agree but just concerned they are supposed ot be there for LGBTQI people but…
            It’s those people I feel for.

    3. … Midlands. Where was the examination of who had designed and distributed these stickers?
      I agree that Hasnath was a scapegoat (yes he deserved to be prosecuted for his role – but the co-ordinators were much more important). Of course, it may be possible that there is a greater investigation still ongoing – but there is a PR and community relations failure by failing to reassure the LGBT communities that action is still pending.
      As for the draconian nature of Section 5 Public Order Act – Peter speaks as though this is a new piece of law. It is not. It has been in force since 1986. It has been repeatedly used for causing harassment, alarm and distress in a variety of manners and there are distinct aspects of case law demonstrating what harassment, alarm or distress is.
      Judge Colemans interpretation of the law with regards Section 5 Public Order Act 1986 is in line with most prior case law – and causing harassment, alarm or distress must be able to be dealt with by criminal …

    4. … sanction – even if low level penalty. The right to freedom of expression carries with is a requirement to exercise it responsibly. If the individual exercising their right does cause harassment, alarm or distress repeatedly then they deserve to be punished. One of the key factors of case law with regards Section 5 is that the harassment, alarm or distress is a course of continued conduct. An example would be where an individual is rowdy and abusive in the street in front of elderly people and is warned regarding their conduct by a police officer but fails to desist and is then arrested – it is the continued conduct that takes the penalty. In the same way in this case, the number of stickers placed demonstrates continued conduct.

  3. Why is it that people are arrested for burning the Koran – on the charge of inciting hatred and behaviour likely to result in public order offences – yet hate preachers at mosques who call for gay people to be put to death are allowed to continue? I agree with Tatchell – the only answer must be institutionalised homophobia.

    1. They can’t arrest everyone. I use my Koran as first-stage toilet paper (then Andrex, then Tesco wet wipes).

      1. DJ Sheepiesheep 14 Jun 2011, 12:14am

        Vile…..I would not sully my bottom by wiping it with such a hateful text

        1. Ian Townson 15 Jun 2011, 12:01pm

          Given the Christian and Jewish holy books also condemn homosexuals would you also burn them or wipe your arse with them? Complete the sentence. Book burning is for….(you may need some historical knowledge to answer this).

          1. I cant find anything in either the Torrah or Old Testament or New Testament that specifically is condemning of homosexuality

  4. Jock S. Trap 13 Jun 2011, 2:15pm

    It always amazes me that we get accused of Racism and Islamophobia when we are just sticking up for ourselves from those same people who accuse us while they themselves are happy to openly spew their homophobia.

    1. Jock racism does exist though. Before muslims were having a go anyone who didn’t date a white guy was called either dinge queen rice queen curry queen etc. Not nice

      1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jun 2011, 3:15pm

        I’m not saying it doesn’t James! but I do get sick of the word being chucked around just because someone has the guts to stand up to these people.
        Very often, most decent people don’t resort to racism etc but just because they defending themselves will be accused of it to shut them up.
        I see no-one shutting up the homophobes just those that stand up to it.
        It seems to many will use the word Racism regardless just to stop a persons right not to be abused.
        It seems it is the easiest way to stop the brave from making a stand.
        Racism is as serious an issue as homophobia but too many times both can be used to dampen the real effects of such hatred.
        Using those words just to shut someone up who is being abused is wrong, it cheapens those of us that really do suffer both racism and homophobia.
        It cheapens your argument about the real racism that goes on within this community, a subject if you remember i am well aware of considering my man of 18 years is himself Black.

      2. Just because James! likes black cock, we need to start bowing to our inferiors now?

        1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jun 2011, 3:27pm

          Troll Alert.

          1. Ian Townson 14 Jun 2011, 3:00pm

            Jock is right. Accusing someone of being homophobic or islamophobic or racist etc can be a way of shutting people up instead of dealing with the issues in an open and honest way. Regarding muslims and homophobia. I am sure the vast majority of muslims are against the vile and disgusting rantings of those Islamist fanatics that call for the murder of homosexuals and the oppression of women. In fact on my recent visit to the East London Mosque/Islamic Centre as an out gay man I got a very positive response when I mentioned the gay hate stickers. The Director of the Mosque has publically condemned homophobia and forbidden any future use of it by hate-crime preachers. That and an increasing willingness to engage with the wider LGBT community is a start and hopefully can be built on.

  5. john sharp 13 Jun 2011, 2:28pm

    i will figh all religious hate speech
    religions are the opposite of what they claimand are tottaly useless
    they use fear to keep the beleivers in check
    well guess what i shall not fear
    for there are no gods

    1. You’re totally right there, John. I’m with you.
      What I find alarming about Tatchell is that only a few months ago he publicly declared that it’s A-OK for Christian preachers and Christian fundamentalists to stand bang in the middle of a crowded UK street and profess their beliefs about everything, including their belief, from their “holy” book, that homosexuality is the work of the devil. Now Tatchell is saying that gay rights groups must not tolerate similar statements or behaviour from Muslims who speak from their “holy” book.
      Talk about double-standards. Based upon Tatchell’s behaviour Muslims would be right to claim that Tatchell is Islamophobic – for he supports the right of Christians to deride us in public!

      1. I think you’ll find the distinction was whether there was incitement to murder or not. Even the looniest “Christian” street-preacher usually just predicts that non-believers and homosexuals (etc) will go to hell – that’s a world away from saying that homosexuals should be killed (by other people, as opposed to judged by a god).

        1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2011, 3:01pm

          Here! Here! Rehan.

        2. @Rehan

          Very true

          Although there are even loonier Christians who do call for murder (rare but exist) and there are moderate Muslims and Christians who are supportive and encouraging of LGBT rights

  6. Indeed Peter and gay rights groups also have to deal with the racism in the gay commiunity. It’s amazing how he never addresses that

    1. Just what planet are you writing from? It cannot be Earth, judging by that ludicrous remark.

      Merely looking at Peter’s website, and seeing the numerous campaigns he has been involved in, will show the ignorance of your statement.

      1. Oh shoosh

        There is a debate about gay bigotry I’d love to know what Peter thinks about it. Hes happy having a go at everyone else, time for him to look a bit closer to home

        1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2011, 10:59am

          Actually James! It a debate about Peters comments about how Gay Rights groups should be standing up to Islamic homophobia.

        2. Name ONE occasion when Peter has ‘had a go’ at anyone without a valid reason.

          1. @AdrianT

            I can’t think of one and I suspect no one else will be able to either

  7. Well said, Peter Tatchell! Addressing racism in our own community is a serious issue that has never been addressed. Much of the xenophobia we’re seeing from our own when it comes to doubting the authenticity of a gay asylum seeker is a classic example of it. I’m not saying there aren’t some who play the system, but in most cases, I don’t think they are. Who in their right mind would risk being deported back to a regime where they could face prison, torture, or in some cases, execution for being gay?

    This individual in my view was merely given a slap on the wrist, hardly worth prosecuting considering the pittance of a fine. I doubt if he acted alone and a £100 fine isn’t exactly going to deter the perpetrators from doing it again. I wonder if the police were able to find out who was really behind this or is the investigation ongoing?

  8. Peter Tatchell 13 Jun 2011, 3:03pm

    James, Please get your facts right before your smear me and others. The idea that I don’t address racism is nonsense. For example, OutRage! and I were the ONLY ones to challenge and resolve (alleged) racial discrimination against East Asian men at Rude Boyz at Fire nightclub. See here:
    In addition, I was active in the anti-apartheid movement for two decades and have supported every anti-racist struggle in Britain for 40 years.

    1. Absolutely it is cheap to suggest that you have not been a supporter of equality in all its forms. Anyone who has supported or followed you will be able to recognise that (whether or not they support all of your views).

    2. I’m talking about the general negative attitude towards minorities in the gay “community”. The sexual racism in sites like gaydar. when will that be addressed or should we just accept it?

    3. I applaud very much most of what you say. However as a gay man and someone who volunteers as a magistrate at the front end of the criminal justice system, I do not recognise your suggestion of homophobia amongst the judiciary. I see the reverse in my colleagues as a great sympathy for gay people. I’ve no proof – its just my opinion bassed on experience.

      As far as the sticker incidents are concerned, I do see a lot of people trying very hard to be outraged – and thus talking up these incidents whilst perhaps paying less attention to serious attacks.

      1. The Michael causer case springs to mind, Andrew….

  9. It’s too late.

    People like Tatchell – and more importantly, those in government power across Europe – have doomed us to an Islamic future by long appeasing Muslims and their psychotic beliefs.

    I don’t think there’s any hope.

    1. How on earth do you suggest Peter Tatchell has appeased Muslims ….
      Please evidence that

      1. Correction, Stu, you must say: “Please PROVIDE evidence FOR that”.

        1. @Jeremy

          I must not say what I do not want to say. If you don’t like my use of language – fair enough. However, as someone who regards all languages as being living and evolving I am more than comfortable and content that on a message board on the internet my language was appropriate and succinct and expressed what was needed to be said.

          1. Which in fact was nothing.

          2. @Aerobic1

            I agree, you initial comment was irrelevant and unnecessary – particularly as you still can not provide evidence to substantiate your claims

          3. zzzzzzzz

            “Evidence that.” Tut tut.

          4. @Aerobic1

            If you have anything to add to the debate – feel free …

    2. Jock S. Trap 13 Jun 2011, 3:36pm

      Ridiculous comment Aerobic1.
      Christians and Muslims have for centuries tried to get the better of one another, one way or another, sucking all unwilling innocents with it and failing.
      There is nothing to suggest it will ever change.
      Your using American Evangalistic arguements, they’re forever bleating on about this instead of taking care of their own backyard
      There will always be people who want (Extreme Christians, Muslims etc) and who do not (The rest of us plus the decent within religion).
      I believe it will be the ‘do nots’ that will finally prevail because as a decent society gets on progress becomes visible.
      The geography might change the realism certainly won’t.

      1. Jock. Your comment is meaningless. Have you ever read a book, or do you spend your entire day filling space on here?

        And Stu… do your own research. I’m not here to educate you.

        1. @Aerobic1

          I have done my own research and can find nothing which suggests that your assertion is anything but lies.

          Its a lazy debater who, when being truthful, is unwilling to provide the evidence … makes me believe your assertion is definitely false.

          1. Logging in to your Gaydar account is not research.

          2. @Aerobic1

            Gaydar is so last year

            I prefer research on factual issues to be based on authoritative sources that are supported by verifiable facts.
            I tend to look at news reporting, academic journals and other reputable sources

            Unfortunately, I suspect your sources such as wikipedia, the beano and the daily mail just do not pass muster.

          3. The document you have provided as ‘research’ is completely irrelevant, and decidedly one sided. Your attempts at being intellectual are hilarious!

          4. @Aerobic1

            With respect, I did not present the document as research just a single piece of evidence in support of one of my views.

            I have plenty more I could present on a range of issues that I have been happy to debate on here.

            Unfortunately, you neither have the common decency nor the insight to support your own assertions. It suggests your arrogance is actually impotent knowledge. Or possibly just impotence.

        2. de Villiers 14 Jun 2011, 7:41am

          > And Stu… do your own research. I’m not here to educate you.
          Perhaps not, but you are here to persuade rather than making a point and expecting others to do the persuasive work for themselves.

        3. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2011, 11:00am

          Oh Aerobic… bitter much?

        4. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2011, 11:02am

          Do I spend my entire day on here?
          Clearly you know more than me but you clearly ain’t good at Math.
          Either debate or give up if you can’t fella.
          Pathetic comment.

    3. de Villiers 13 Jun 2011, 6:38pm

      > have doomed us to an Islamic future
      Hardly. Our society has become ever more secular and we have never had more rights.

      1. Well said, de Villiers

    4. Spanner1960 13 Jun 2011, 9:56pm

      Aerobic1 is totally right.
      We have had years seeing the looming menace that is Islam slowly encroach, yet anybody that was willing to comment on it was immediately branded a racist by the loony left.
      Now it is here, and it’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better. The likes of Blair and Brown have let this genie out of the bottle for their own personal gains and since done a runner and left us holding the can.

      It is going to take a strong voice, and they are going to get a lot of flak for it, but if this country is ever again going to be able to hold it’s own, it is going to need decisive and strict controls over these people before we lose the plot completely and become overrun with radicals, racists and complete nutters.

      1. @Spanner1960

        Are you suggesting that we should send Muslims “back to their homeland”?

        because thats the sort of BNP stance that I perceive from your comments

        1. Spanner1960 14 Jun 2011, 1:45am

          Stu: Well it seems to me that they wish to turn my country into theirs. If these people want Sharia law so much, they should live in countries that follow it, and not try to convert the rest of us. Just because some of my opinions happen to coincide with a bunch of right-wing extremists does not make me one of them.

          To use the old adage, “Take the mountain to Mohammed”

          1. @Spanner1960

            So how do we deal with third and fourth generation Muslims?

            Incidentally, I am not endorsing the forced repatriation of people on grounds of religion – but one of the major drawbacks of such a policy is that a significant minority of British people are Muslim … we need to acknowledge that and deal with it!

          2. Ian Townson 14 Jun 2011, 3:29pm

            Spanner. You are quite right to challenge guilt by association. Believe it or not that was a McCarthyite tactic to condemn communists and fellow travellers in the 1950s. The views you hold do not make you racist or a fascist or extreme right-wing. But lets get a few facts right. Like many people you have uncritically absorbed all the media and politician’s frenzy around Islamist exremism. This is more to do with paranoia, selling papers, building journalistic careers and electioneering than reason. The vast majority of muslims are are at peace with their neighbours and communities and sharia law only applies to muslims. You can only convert people who are willing to be converted.

  10. Clark Downes 13 Jun 2011, 3:25pm

    Finally, the realisation of protecting the Muslims/Asians by the system is realised!

    In recent years the police have done more and more to be percieved as “pro multicultural” but this essentially amounts to being biased towards the Asian community.

    Its nothing new and it wont stop anytime soon Gays,blacks,whites and anything else come second class when it comes to ensuring the asian community are kept happy. The worst thing is they know this and abuse it.

    Im not racist, because I’d like equality for all, but positive discrimination (of any kind )needs to stop, all it leads to is racial tensions and hatred!

    1. What we need to get a grip of is how to deal with competing rights ….

      1. Again… an absolutely meaningless comment.

        It’s all so nebulous and unreal for you. Do you have anything practical to suggest?

        1. @Aerobic1

          Part of the solution is recognising the problem. Part of the problem is that there are competing rights in this regard – the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion with competing rights of a private life, rights to family etc etc etc That is a fact that for so long has been disregarded by those involved in issues of equality and diversity – partly because establishing the indiivdual rights has been important.

          As for methods of ensuring that we engage with competing rights … part of that involves ensuring fairness and balance in terms of criminal justice but there are many other aspects including education, negotiation and sharing …

          One of the most inciteful areas where this has been considered is the Canadian stakeholder model

          So a few practical ideas rather than your nebulous, meaningless criticism which fail to back up your ideas with evidence

          1. zzzzzzzzzz. Just as I thought.

          2. @Aerobic1

            Lazy – as I thought …

          3. But you don’t think. You just want to appear right-on and clever. The document above in no way addresses the problem of encroaching religious bigotry on the rights of other citizens in a largely secular society.

            But if it gets your posting count up… who am I to stand in your sad, sad way?

          4. @Aerobic1

            The thing is I do think, you just like to think that you do

            As for the article not addressing religion encroaching on a secular society – thats exactly what it addresses – go and re-read it – because you clearly have either not read it, don’t agree with it so are going to lie about its content (like you have previously on this thread), don’t understand it or are just muck raking

            To be honest, I don’t care – with no evidence to support your arguments – there is nothing to debate

      2. Spanner1960 13 Jun 2011, 10:03pm

        Stu: “What we need to get a grip of is how to deal with competing rights ….”
        And there you have the nub of the matter; when my rights overpower your rights, who’s right is right?
        90% of this Human Rights legislation is complete and utter BULLSH|T. All it has done is set people with opposing viewpoints at each others throats. Having an opinion about someone or something does not contravene the other persons rights. If I don’t like you because you are gay, or black or Muslim, so what?!!
        It doesn’t affect the way you live your life, and no law in the world is going to change the way I think.
        Human Rights laws should be in place to protect people’s lives, not their opinions.

        1. @Spanner1960

          It takes a very wise person to determine whose rights take precedence …

          And whilst I agree with some of the sentiment of your comments – for example, no law is going to change a persons opinion – that can only happen (if it does) through education, experience or discussion – not because the law says so …

          However, I do think human rights matter and I also think that enshrining human rights in law provides a benchmark and method of protecting each other in society.

          Ultimately whether or not there is human rights law there will be conflicting rights – so having some benchmarks to help establish how to deal with competing rights can only be helpful.

          1. Spanner1960 14 Jun 2011, 9:34am

            Would this be the “human right” that convicted criminals cannot be sent back to the country they came from? Or the right that prisoners should be humiliated into doing menial work etc.

            There are hundreds of examples of this. As far as I am concerned rights are not an automatic acquirement. They are earned. All rights must be associated with their accompanying responsibilities as a law abiding, conscientious citizen. If you choose to live outside of society, or treat it disrespectfully, then you should also forgo your rights as well.

          2. @Spanner1960

            Human rights are intrinsic and a decent and honourable society abides by them hence the Geneva convention and other assorted rafts of international law.

            Your comments about work in prison are largely irrelevant to human rights legislation.

            As for returning people to certain countries – that isnt a matter of UK human rights legislation but international law (largely).

            I totally agree with rights come responsibility but all that responsibility does not fall on the individual some of it falls on others and some falls on society.

          3. Spanner1960 15 Jun 2011, 2:05am

            This is precisely what I mean about “Human Rights” abuse. Everyone demands them, but nobody earns them. This is just the politically correct using the term to justify their own pompous socialist ethos, and this is only one of many examples:

          4. @Spanner1960

            The point is that human rights are intrinsic – they don’t need to be earned – we have them by being human. We have a responsibility to ensure we do not jeopardise others but we do not earn rights.

  11. ooer missus 13 Jun 2011, 3:32pm

    It’s easy to forget that not so long ago, many muslim counties were far more tolerant of homosexuality than Western countries.

    And all types of fundamentalism, including political fundamentalism (fascism), promote homophobia, it’s something to do the male being seen as superior to the female.

    I’d guess the solution is to tackle whatever makes people become mindless fundamentalists of whatever religion, what makes them become extremists, whatever makes them think that they have the right to resort to violence against those they see as sinners, whether it is against gays in the East End, or doctors in America murdered for carrying out abortions.

    Our society needs to prevent this mentality from arising as best it can if we want to prevent homophobia, racism and other social ills.

    But in the meantime we do also need the laws to be be upheld evenly, so it’s very clear that inciting hatred or violence against a minority is totally unacceptable in our society.

    1. Absolutely …
      Laws need to be enforced fairly – but that requires a number of things … not just the courts being balanced and impartial, but prosecutors seeking the most appropriate offences (if any) in an even handed manner, the police fully and appropriately investigating, and the communities co-operating with the investigative authorities when an investigation occurs and reporting concerns in the first instance …
      Its a lot to ask but it is possible

  12. ooer missus 13 Jun 2011, 3:36pm

    That should read muslim countries, not counties…westerners used to go to them to escape from the virulently homophobic western societies that existed then.

  13. If only Summerskill had the courage, the character and the decency to do what none other than Peter has done to make life better not only for gays but for everyone around the world. You are a hero, Peter, one of a kind and thank you for your unrivalled service to our gay brothers and sisters both at home and abroad. If anyone deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, its you.

  14. Stevieeeeeeee 13 Jun 2011, 5:09pm

    why are muslims seen as a race? surely its just a religion not a race?

    1. It’s ridiculous what this people do here. It’s not a muslim country and if they don’t like here ,go back…

  15. ooer missus 13 Jun 2011, 5:27pm

    Here’s a relevant little 13th century poem about fundamentalists:

    A conceited person sees some sin,
    And the flames of Hell rise up in him,
    He calls that hellish pride “defence of the Religion”;
    He doesn’t notice his own arrogant soul.

    Rumi (1207-1273), Muslim mystic and poet.

  16. George Broadhead 13 Jun 2011, 5:46pm

    Congratulations Peter on these telling comments, especially the ones on freedom of expression:

    “Freedom of expression is one of the most important of all human rights. It should be only restricted in extreme and very limited circumstances. The open exchange of ideas – including unpalatable ideas – is a hallmark of a free and democratic society. There is no right to be not distressed, upset or offended. Some of the most profound ideas in history – such as those of Galileo Galilei and Charles Darwin – caused great distress and offence in their time. While bigoted opinions should always be challenged, in most instances only explicit incitements to violence and damaging libels (such as false allegations of tax fraud or child abuse) should be criminalised.”

  17. It’s ridiculous what this people do here. It’s not a muslim country and if they don’t like here ,go back…

    1. And this is the approach that government is at last taking. They’re going to close Shariah courts, and next will come faith schools. You can’t have a cohesive society if one imported group is establishing a parallel culture all of its own.

      1. It’s time to do something.I agree with you Aerobic!!!

        1. @Rapture

          It is NEVER too late

      2. I totally agree with closure of Shariah courts (not that there have been many in the UK and they have not have supremacy over UK domestic courts nor have law enforcement had the right to refer to Shariah courts – nor should they).

        Shariah courts are potentially divisive and damaging to the fabric of a cohesive society – but I would argue it is false to suggest they have (yet) been of any significant influence within the UK

        1. There are over eighty sharia courts operating in the UK and their rulings have the force of law if, and only if, both sides have agreed to abide by such a ruling. In reality this usually means that the weaker person (woman, juvenile, person with learning difficulties) in any dispute has intense pressure brought to bear upon them to “persuade” them to acccept a sharia ruling that is invariably not in their best interest and always far less fair than a ruling from a normal, secular British court would be. Such courts are having a significant impact in the closed world of British Muslims.

          1. They do not have the weight of law that secular courts have.

            They can all be taken to the secular courts.

            Criminal law can not be taken to sharia courts.

            Its a smoke screen to suggest sharia courts is a major problem in the UK – they are divisive and damaging to a cohesive society – but they are not the big issue many are trying to imply.

      3. I hope you are right, but i believe it’s too late to save us now.

    1. One of the factors of that story that particularly disturbs me is that councillors have been attacked verbally and that police appear unwilling to take action. This is not only a failure to respect the LGBTQ communities and provide reassurance to the LGBTQ communities that the police will act on hatred towards the LGBTQ communities – but it is a failure of the police to defend democracy – there are offences of public order and of disrupting public meetings (some of those offences can be regarded in law as being aggravated by hatred).
      I wrote to the Met Police about this but they ignored me. I wrote to the local MPs voicing my concerns (even though I am not a constituent) but was told because I am not a constituent they could not respond. I wrote to Tower Hamlets Council and others but they are reluctant to act.
      I wholeheartedly agree no action should be taken that is Islamophobic – but that should not prevent genuine and appropriate action being taken against those who are homophobe

  18. Spanner1960 13 Jun 2011, 10:15pm

    “Hasnath is an easy, convenient scapegoat. He was a lowly foot soldier. There is no evidence that he organised the Gay Free Zone campaign.”

    Campaign? Conspiracy theorists unite!
    There is also no evidence that he wasn’t a lonesome little prat that wanted to stir up trouble. I am sure the Muslim forces-that-be would have supported his actions, but that doesn’t mean they were complicitly involved.

    The whole case was badly handled by the police and the courts. which simply compounded matters, but to say there was an organised group of writers, graphic designers, printers and fly-posters waiting in the wings to roll out this little farce is absurd.

    1. @Spanner1960

      The stickers are identical to those used in campaigns in the Midlands – it certainly suggests that there is a conspiracy of some sort

  19. I love peter tatchell, and so should you.

    1. Spanner1960 14 Jun 2011, 1:48am

      Signed: Mrs Tatchell.

      1. Another Hannah 14 Jun 2011, 12:29pm


  20. There are more anti gay Christians than there are Muslims, about half a billion more Christians are anti gays. So it seems there are more Christian terrorist than Muslims who are anti gay.

    1. Spanner1960 14 Jun 2011, 1:49am

      I have seen and met plenty of pro-gay Christians, and quite a few gay Christians. I have never met a single Muslim that ever supported homosexuality.

      1. Have to say I have met more gay Christians and pro gay Christians than Muslims – but I have to consider that I do know a gay Muslim and that I personally know fewer Muslims than Christians

    2. Another Hannah 14 Jun 2011, 12:33pm

      You have to look at the position in individual countries as well as the world. In the world there seem to be far more cases of Muslims causing problems, and they are far more intrusive and active in assserting that everybody else should follow thier beliefs. In Britain there seems to be almost no problem with other races, religions and cultures, it’s mostly muslims (and to a lesser extent Roman Catholics). Thing is Muslims are also involved in a violence in an organised gang like way as well.

      1. ” Muslims are also involved in a violence in an organised gang like way as well.”
        Wow, thanks for that. good to know. All 1.6bn of them is it, or just those in the UK?

    3. Andy, do you know of any christian countries that kill men for being gay. I can name about a dozen muslim countries that do. Christianity is homophobic, no doubt in that, but to say there are more anti gay christians than muslims is just, a big fat lie. And whilst the torah are homophobic (although theologically could be argued to not be), they’re no way near as homophobic as the koran and hadith. Islam is more homophobic than christianity. I don’t like either, but given the choice I’d rather live in Rome than Mecca.

      1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2011, 3:09pm

        Well Uganda’s hoping, apparently.
        I think most homophobic Christian countries put us in prison.
        Muslim one’s tend to hang us.

    4. Jock S. Trap 14 Jun 2011, 3:06pm

      Maybe but as a rule the Christian ones just tell us we’re going to hell unlike the Muslims ones who tell us we should be stoned to death.
      Both hatred, agreed but there is a difference.

  21. Islam is not a race – it’s a religion. Actually it’s a fascist Arab supremacist ideology with religious trappings and its teachings are vile and entirely reprehensible. They are based on a book which is filled with hatred and committed to male domination and violence and which is almost unbelievable in the childish glee with which it offers its so-called solutions – solutions such as child rape, slavery, property theft, murder of unbelievers, second class status of women, Jew hatred of the most extreme sort (perpetuated every day of the week on any Arabic TV channel you may care to watch), hatred of gay people and so on and on.
    Christians gave up their Old Testament in favour of Christ’s new commandment – to love one another but you will search the Koran in vain for anything similar to that or even for such common decencies as the ten commandments. Islam is a belief system rooted firmly in violence and hatred as anyone who has read the Koran or looked into Sharia Law knows.

    1. Another Hannah 14 Jun 2011, 12:36pm

      Not only does it cause problems for everybody else, but the countries which it occupies seem to end up in a complete backward mess. If it was here I suspect a similar mess would start to ensue, and that seeems to be what lots of the migrants can’t seem to grasp. The west is far ahead noe because of it’s culture, if they change it it will just become like those atrocious Muslim countries.

  22. burningworm 14 Jun 2011, 11:43am

    He is 18. The fine is representive of income.

    I would prefer community service/involvement because to lock someone up has an effect on us. We are not victims. We no longer need the pedestal of special interest. We need to be brave enough to challenge it and not expect some private prison to house the problems of society.

    1. Another Hannah 14 Jun 2011, 12:39pm

      We are all victims of the climate of fear and hate that is being created. I abandoned guns and shooting as a kid many years ago, now I’m beggining to think it might be wise to update and reestablish those skills. I am also now very wary of not putting myself in a position that would leave me vulnerable to their worst excesses in all kind of ways. It is starting to shape my life, though not in the way they intend.

      1. Ian Townson 14 Jun 2011, 4:00pm

        We are all victims of paranaoia and stupidity against muslims. Still it sells newspapers, makes politicians popular and builds journalistic careers.

        1. burningworm 17 Jun 2011, 12:19pm

          He is a kid, who spent money on stickers. He is the victim. He is the person who is the victim and we should distance our own reactions so that he gets the help he needs.

          Someone may call me a fag and try and make me feel inferior but what is really going, but a display of their inferiority. I don’t need assistance in that moment however that person does. And until we recognise that that type of display is a psychology sign of imbalance we will simply fine and lock people up and make us privileged victims.

  23. Carl Rogers 14 Jun 2011, 2:04pm

    As usual Peter Tatchell gets to the heart of the issue which our politicians, police and representative organisations are terrified to confront. Homophobia is particulalry nasty in the Islamic fundamentalist context because it calls for violence, intimidation and even murder and should be confronted head on without fear. Homophobia is as bad as Islamophobia and we should face down both of these malign but increasingly virulent diseases which are creeping in to our society.

  24. Peter Tatchell 14 Jun 2011, 4:42pm

    There is more evidence about this case that the police are withholding from us. They know the stickers are part of a concerted fundamentalist anti-gay campaign and that they were given to Hasnath by the Islamist organisers outside the East London Mosque. It time we started campaigning against the police who have done us bad.

    1. Absolutely Peter – this is a police issue – the courts can only deal with what is put before them

      I think it is time to campaign for the police to protect the LGBT communities by enforcing the law – if they don’t either the service is institutionally homophobic, institutionally believes religious rights are more important thant LGBT rights or individual officers are in neglect of their duty

      1. It may be time for an appropriate group to formally refer the Metropolitan Police to the IPCC for neglect of duty in protecting the LGBT communities

  25. monkey for sale 15 Jun 2011, 7:17am

    Gays have been waiting for the political left to’have with word’ with these muslims. The left haven’t and won’t. It’s high time that gays go the message – Islam/muslims are not our friends.
    The false accusation of racism means nothing today. The word “racist” has been so discredited.
    Islam/muslims are a menace.

  26. Gosh, I hadn’t looked at comments on this site since the East End Gay pride stuff ; I was to disgusted by the blatant racism.

    I see things haven’t changed.

    I can’t really bothered arguing just now, but thought I’d add a note to let people know : this is not representative of the LGBT folks as a whole – we are not all drivelling racists !

    1. Islam is not, repeat not, a race – it’s a belief system based on the superstitious belief that there was a perfect man who was a prophet some 1600 years ago. Read the Koran, study the Sharia, read the Hadith and study the four main schools of Islamic so called jurisprudence before slinging around your rather illogical accusations of ‘blatant racism’ and ‘drivelling racists’.
      Had you undertaken such reading and study you would know that Islam is a profoundly violent religion with a deep seated hatred of difference and you would think twice before writing such a simplistic comment.
      Of course, it’s far easier to name call than to put in the hard work involved in studying Islam and to spare the time needed to read its, allegedly Holy, scriptures.

  27. I agree, we totally need to stand up against homophobia from muslims. We have put up with it too long.

  28. superfan911 21 Oct 2011, 4:07am

    not all muslim ppl hate gay ppl zionism in motion once more, bing and buy the planetary patriot the worlds first muslim superman , he fights for gay rights too. in fact he has given support to transgender youth on his web pages too. you all like starting on ppl for just being muslim. funny how so many muslims like edward marcus speak up for gays yet you dont speak up for them why?

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