First posted: 21 January 2014
At the end of December 2013, a host for Liberty GB radio was charged by West Midlands Police with "racially aggravated harassment". Tim Burton's supposed crime was a Twitter post in which he described Fiyaz Mughal (who runs an "anti-Islamophobia" website/organisation called Tell MAMA) as "a mendacious grievance-mongering taqiyya-artist".
Fiyaz Mughal's (or Tell MAMA's) latest claim (as of the 14th of January) is that Tim Burton has also been guilty of "racialising Muslims."
Now why did Tim Burton describe Fiyaz Mughal as a "a mendacious grievance-mongering taqiyya-artist"? He did so because it was revealed that Mughal had been deceiving the public about nonexistent "hate crimes" against Muslims (as first revealed by Telegraph journalist Andrew Gilligan). More specifically, Tell MAMA had published misleading statistics on "anti-Muslim incidents" in the wake of the Islamic murder of soldier Lee Rigby. In terms of detail, Mughal was publicly criticized by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
As a consequence of these lies (or at least these acts of dissimulation), Tell MAMA had its public/state funding withdrawn.
So what happened next? What happened next was a bizarre case of self-reference.
Because Tim Burton highlighted Fiyaz Mughal's bogus claims about nonexistent "Islamophobia" and "hate crimes" (against Muslims), Mughal decided to accuse Tim Burton himself of committing a hate crime for revealing such mendacity. Effectively Fiyaz Mughal is attempting to stop people pointing out his bogus hate-crime claims by saying that such criticisms are also, well, hate crimes.
So firstly, Fiyaz Mughal is attempting to stop all criticism of Muslims (as Muslims) and Islam itself. And now he's also trying to stop all criticisms of his publicly-known deceit.
As a result of all this, Tim Burton will be standing trial on the 18th February 2014 at Birmingham Magistrates' Court.
The very strange thing about all this is rather than it being the case that Tim Burton is "racialising Muslims", as Fiyaz Mughal claims, it's actually the case that Tell MAMA (or Fiyaz Mughal) and the Left are doing so.
What Tell MAMA/Fiyaz Mughal and the Left are trying to do is convince everyone else that all criticisms of Islam and Muslims (as Muslims) are racist in nature. Why? Because if they can pull that off, then they can silence all such criticisms.
The extreme Left had already thoroughly and intentionally "racialised" Muslims and even the criticism of Islam itself. For example, the Guardian's resident Marxist and associate editor, Seumas Milne, has unequivocally stated the following:
"Islam has become a proxy for race, and Islamophobia [is] a form of ...."
In addition to that he also believes that those critics of Islam and Muslims (as Muslims) who don't see themselves as racists have simply "absolved themselves of racism." Apparently, all of us are "entirely oblivious to more than two decades of debates around race."
The UK's Islamophobia Watch and Loonwatch in the U.S. have also racialised Muslims and even Islam itself; as well as claimed that critics are "Islamophobes" or "fascists". Indeed, even those critics of Muslims and Islam they don't explicitly classify as "fascists" or "Islamophobes" are deemed to be "contributing to the rise of Islamophobia [fascism]."
In other words, Tell MAMA and the Left actually want -- or they politically require -- all critics of Islam and Muslims to be racist: all the easier and better to silence them. Fiyaz Mughal, just like the Left, is using race or racism as a tool to bring about his own little piece of sharia blasphemy law. More specifically, Fiyaz Mughal is trying to use the Religious and Racial Hatred Act of 2006 as a means to stop all criticism of Islam and Muslims.
The 2006 Act & the Racialisation of Muslims
The consequences of the initial Bill of 2005, and the reality of its wide scope, were captured very well by Lord Lester at the time of a main amendment:
"The new speech crimes are sweepingly broad. They apply to threatening abusive or insulting words, behavior, written material, recordings or programs intended or likely to stir up religious hatred. Unlike most other serious offenses they require no criminal intent. They apply not only to words spoken in public but in private. They cover the electronic media, plays, films, works of fiction, political argument, preaching by priests and clerics, comedians and politicians."
We are talking here about the possibility of people being sent to prison for up to seven years for saying such things as "the Koran is full of violence and aggression". We are talking about a law which seems intent on freeing Islam from all criticism, as has been the case in parts of the Muslim world for up to 1,400 years.
The 2006 law can be seen as an attempt by Muslims and their friends to racialise their religion -- Islam. What I mean by this is that Sikhs and Jews, in the UK, already had full protection from incitement because the courts regarded them as distinct races. They didn't see Muslims and Christians in the same light.
Here we come across a problem of Muslim hypocrisy. On the one hand all Muslims stress the fact that Muslims do not constitute a single race (as an argument against racists). They stress "Muslim universalism" and the fact that "Islam embraces all races". On the other hand, many Muslims want to be seen and treated as a race simply because, in legal terms, that would benefit Muslims as a whole.
Thus because the laws against racial incitement don't fully protect Islam and Muslims from criticism, it was seen to be necessary to racialise Muslims in legal terms. In that way they would gain the full protection which ethnic minorities receive from the state and the courts. Thus it was then hoped that it would come to pass that all criticism of Islam, the Koran and Muslims (as Muslims -- not as a race) would be seen as racist (or as "the last acceptable racism", as Baroness Sayeeda Warsi once described it). Only in that way would all criticism of Islam, the Koran, and Mohammed be stopped. And this is precisely what many Muslims, and their Leftist friends, are trying to do. This is what the initial law essentially attempted to bring about.
The thing is that adequate religious discrimination laws were already in existence before 2006. There were specific laws which banned religious discrimination in the workplace. This in itself shows us that many of those who originally brought about the 2006 law wanted to go beyond the mere protection of people from religious discrimination. In other words, people of various religions were already protected from bigots by older laws. In that sense, the 2006 law was simply not needed.
That was why the original 2005 Bill was subject to various amendments. More specifically, it was stressed, at the time, that "the freedom of speech must be insured just as much as the freedom from bigotry." Thus we are entering the world of semantics. A distinction was made between "threatening words and behaviour" and words which were merely "critical, abusive and insulting." Nonetheless, many Muslims tried, and are still trying, their hardest to close or even eliminate the gap between threatening words and behavior and mere criticism. They are attempting to criminalize the criticism of Islam, the Koran, and Mohammed.
One primary reason why this law didn't go completely down that route was because the law itself was turned against Islam, Muslims and even against the Koran itself (as, in the latter case, Christian groups did). If the 2005 Bill hadn't thrown up this self-referential problem for Muslims, God know how far down the banning, prosecuting and imprisoning route we would have gone by now.
The Labour Government of the day (in 2005/6) did try to defend itself and its new law. It argued that it was necessary because Jews and Sikhs were already protected by existing law, but Muslims weren't. This is argument is false. Jews and Sikhs are protected as ethnic or racial groups; not because of their religion. Muslims do not constitute a single race. Indeed there are Anglo-Saxon, Chinese, black, etc. Muslims (as Muslims themselves often stress in other contexts).
Racially speaking, there already existed laws which protected Asians or, more specifically in the case of the UK, Pakistanis, as racial or ethnic groups: even the Asians or Pakistanis who happen to be Christian or non-Muslim. Thus, again, the Government of the time, and many Muslims, wanted more than mere laws against racial discrimination or racist violence. They were and still are attempting to make it illegal to criticize Islam, the Koran, and Muslims (as Muslims) in any way.
1) These quotes get to the heart of Mughal's campaign. It's clear how far he wants to go:
"Mughal asserted that tougher sentences were needed to tackle Islamophobic crime, noting that the guidelines by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to monitor social media were 'not fit for purpose'.
"They raised the bar of prosecution significantly.
"Now unless there is a direct threat to somebody on Twitter or Facebook, the CPS will not prosecute. The CPS is just plainly out of sync with reality.
"We also need more robust sentencing...."
Many people are saying that Mughal is "attempting to bring about sharia law in the UK". He's not. His specific job or aim is to bring about sharia blasphemy law in the UK. (The rest of sharia law is being dealt with by his fellow Muslims.) Sharia blasphemy law is Mughal's little area of sharia to deal with, as it is with the BBC's Mo Ansar.