On the 2nd October 2017 on BBC 6 Music Live, Morrissey made a mordant joke about Anne Marie Waters losing the UKIP leadership election:
I was very surprised the other day, it was very interesting for me to see Anne Marie Waters become the head of UKIP. Oh no, sorry, she didn’t, the voting was rigged. I forgot.
Morrissey had been falsely accused of racism since 1992 when he was attacked by homophobes at Finsbury Park & the NME accused him of inciting it because of his sexuality. The false accusations – misleading quotes and paraphrasing, guilt by association, negative framing – colossally increased after NME journalist Tim Jonze rehashed the 1992 article in 2007, then became the Guardian’s music editor in 2010.
Anne Marie Waters is a lesbian, an Irish immigrant, a feminist & a vegan. She started out on the left of politics, and had been in the Labour Party, the National Secular Society and One Law For All, a campaign to stop religious laws from overruling human rights. She had been complaining that she was driven out of the left and smeared as a racist by the media. https://www.secularism.org.uk/one-law-for-all/
Ukip MEPs Hold Secret Meeting To Discuss How To Block Anti-Islam Candidate From Leadership Contest. Anne Marie Waters is a controversial figure in the party… (Owen Bennett, Huffington Post, 11 July 2017)
My core aim is to challenge and dismantle this entire mess of media (Anne Marie Waters, Express & Star, 7 September 2017)
The MSM has, in general, lazily covered people like Waters, preferring to sneer and smear – racists, far-right, bigots, idiots et cetera… She will reply that she is in fact the anti-fascist candidate, fighting the homophobia and misogyny of Islam… And next time there is a grooming case – and there are more coming – or a terrorist attack, it will be served up as proof of spineless liberals’ virtue signalling crap. (Jamie Bartlett, Little Atoms, 24 August 2017) http://littleatoms.com/society/ann-marie-waters-versus-media
The press reaction to the joke was relentlessly negative – with a consensus building that he ‘is no longer the voice of the oppressed, but sympathetic of the oppressor.‘ (Kat Manos, the Pop Break, 28 November 2017)
But since the 58 year-old rarely grants interviews, it’s understandable why some long-term admirers have given up on the Smiths singer, who once acted as a beacon for society’s outsiders. (Adam Sherwin, i, 2nd October 2017) https://inews.co.uk/essentials/morrissey-ukip-vote-anti-islam-candidate-anne-marie-waters-rigged-94751
Morrissey’s latest outburst – a conspiracy theory about anti-Muslim politician Anne Marie Waters – ought to be the final straw for right-thinking fans of his music (Stuart Heritage, the Guardian, 3 October 2017)
In March 2018 he was particularly wounded by the Independant and the Guardian.
The Independent printed an extreme Hate Piece so loaded with vile bile that it almost choked on its own endless capacity to be appalled… When the print media are lost for a reply, they simply change the subject by naming their opponent as ‘racist’, which is the perfect ploy because most people are naturally appalled to be called racist, and they step back in silence, and the debate collapses unresolved… Is civilization over? The cannibalistic mobile grave known as The Guardian suggests so… I am neither Loony Left nor Far Right. I am a humanitarian. I have not ever once voted in a British election because I have not ever discovered a party that represents my views. My main social concern is the abolition of the abattoir, the continued existence of which in modern times is beyond sane belief. I confess that my life in music has been stunted by shyness, and this remains. I am too interior, and this can often seem like bone splitting arrogance. But it is not… I have been criticized in the UK for so long (nowhere else!) that anything said about me no longer strikes me as a threat because I am still, after all, here… Katie Boyle, who very sadly died this week, said “you have to accept [the press] telling complete lies about you. You can’t take legal action because that fans the flame.” I see what she means! (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, 28 March 2018)
For Britain had been launched on the 15th October 2017 – so sometime after March 28th and before the 20th of April (23 days) – someone or something convinced him that Anne Marie’s party would abolish the meat-trade. Although he mentioned other issues in passing – “Labour are no different from the Conservatives in that they do not object to FGM, halal slaughter, child marriage, and so on. There is no moral clarity with these people” (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, 16 April 2018) – it came from a sense of bewilderment that he was so vehemently condemned for anything that could be related to race or immigration – his political focus was always animal rights .
I despise racism. I despise fascism. I would do anything for my Muslim friends, and I know they would do anything for me. In view of this, there is only one British political party that can safeguard our security. That party is For Britain. Please give them a chance. Listen to them. Do not be influenced by the tyrannies of the MSM who will tell you that For Britain are racist or fascist – please believe me, they are the very opposite!!! Please do not close your mind. Labour is hopelessly naive. Theresa May’s policies have turned Britain into a international target. The BBC has closed down. The Loony Left is concerned only with victim culture. For Britain will keep British society together. Violence is not the way forward. There are many problems in modern Britain that have become too large for Theresa May to deal with – mostly because she created them in the first place. The press appear to deal only in fashionable outrage; inflammatory and unjust comments against any new party that threatens the same old bloody pointless two-party system. Please give For Britain a chance. They will bring an end to the modern Westminster mania for self-destruction. For Britain is the bulldog breed that will never surrender. Both Labour and Conservatives have already sold you down the river into righteous oblivion. This is my last political strike. No wish to upset anyone! But the time has come to fight, and Labour and the Conservatives have their backs to the sea. Are you capable of change? Thank you, and peace for all of us. (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, 20 April 2018)
The reaction was the usual:
There are no excuses left for the former Smiths frontman’s repugnant political views… Morrissey’s opinions on race and immigration have been troubling fans since at least the early Nineties… his opinions are clear enough. He is sympathetic towards Farage, Waters, Brexit and celebrities accused of sexual assault. He dislikes immigration, multiculturalism, the EU, political correctness and “the loony left”. He has a particular obsession with Islam… Yet it is still startling how proudly Morrissey advertises that intolerance. (Dorian Lynskey, the New Statesman, 27 April 2018)
So he didn’t believe it.
I have been following a new party called For Britain which is led by Anne Marie Waters. It is the first time in my life that I will vote for a political party. Finally I have hope. I find the Tory-Labour-Tory-Labour constant switching to be pointless. For Britain has received no media support and have even been dismissed with the usual childish ‘racist’ accusation. I don’t think the word ‘racist’ has any meaning any more, other than to say “you don’t agree with me, so you’re a racist.” People can be utterly, utterly stupid. Anne Marie Waters seeks open discussion about all aspects of modern Britain, whereas other parties will not allow diverse opinion. She is like a humane version of Thatcher … if such a concept could be. She is absolute leadership, she doesn’t read from a script, she believes in British heritage, freedom of speech, and she wants everyone in the UK to live under the same law. I find this compelling, now, because it’s very obvious that Labour or the Tories do not believe in free speech… I mean, look at the shocking treatment of Tommy Robinson… I know the media don’t want Anne Marie Waters and they try to smear her, but they are wrong and they should give her a chance, and they should stop accusing people who want open debate as being ‘racist’. As I said previously, the left has become right-wing and the right-wing has become left – a complete switch, and this is a very unhappy modern Britain. (Morrissey, Tremr, 5 June 2018)
In May 2019, he wore a For Britain badge twice, once at a New York gig, once on US television.
The press outrage was global.
And that was it. He dropped Anne Marie and For Britain. And everything he has ever said about them is in this post.
In early old age could I please express very sincere thanks to BBC Radio 2 for their broad-shouldered support given to “California Son”, “Wedding Bell Blues” and “It’s Over”. Whatever the future brings, I will always remember Radio 2’s steady support during these rocky weeks – especially from Jo Whiley. I am sorry the UK print media’s contorted interpretation of who and what I am has gone all wrong. In these days when most people are afraid to even whisper, the print media write as if someone is coming to get them. This aching nervousness brings on the vengeful and paranoid. Inventing Britain’s doomsday is the preoccupation of the tabloids, and they can hate you for having lived. I straighten up, and my position is one of hope. The march backwards is over, and life has begun again. With voice extended to breaking point, I call for the prosperity of free speech; the eradication of totalitarian control; I call for diversity of opinion; I call for the total abolition of the abattoir; I call for peace, above all; I call for civil society; I call for a so-far unknowable end to brutalities; “No” to Soviet Britain; prayers not to gods but to forces; an end to disingenuous media cluelessness; the people have the power; hatred and beheadings belong in the furnace of history; music might still be your only friend; for every shade and persuasion … we shall always be alongside each other – everyone’s culture of value; no more fashionable outrage; cows are friends to humans – don’t kill them; beware of those who write in headlines; moral fiber means holding on … to your friends; give up on inferior arguments; God gave you your life to enjoy – you will cry for your life in years to come … death always answers back; do not be a nobody; you have survived this far in order to make the remainder peaceful and funny; your very survival proves that you have a right; ignore the cold eyes of fascism; your life is Art. (Morrissey, 24 May 2019)
I am not an activist, I have never voted for a political party, I do not belong to any political party… I do not believe that the most important thing about a person is the colour of their skin. (Morrissey, Kipper Central, June 2019)
It didn’t end the drama.
The media continue to write about him, linking him to the far right, giving the far right mainstream publicity.
In June 2019, his then manager, tweeted about the badge on Morrissey’s Twitter account.
In October 2019, his then manager, posted a response to an LA Times hit piece, written by For Britain’s Pakistani heritage, ex-Muslim, deputy chair, Khadija Adam, on Morrissey’s Facebook page.
For Britain believes in 1) British sovereignty outside the EU, 2) tightly limited immigration and 3) stopping Britain becoming an Islamic state, which on current demographic trends must happen in the middle third of this century… Islamism is a supremacist ideology that seeks to supplant the West. Anyone who supports Western liberal values such as free speech, gender equality and non-violent punishments for offenders should be anti-Islamist. The largest poll in the UK of it’s type revealed over half of UK muslims believe homosexuality should be a criminal offence. Do you therefore not understand why this may be an issue to the leader of a party who is gay herself?
On Morrissey Central, in June 2019, his nephew belatedly posted an interview from April 2019 that mentioned Anne Marie.
I think Anne Marie Waters is the only British party leader who can unite the left and right. I don’t know any other party leader who even WANTS to do this. The UK is a dangerously hateful place now, and I think we need someone to put a stop to the lunacy and to speak for everyone. I see Anne Marie Waters as this person. She is extremely intelligent, ferociously dedicated to this country, she is very engaging, and also very funny at times… My political stance is simple: I oppose barbarism … from the left from the right, or from the centre… a fascist would never have recorded “Wedding Bell Blues”, but, you see, the press choose their targets, and ignore what it suits them to ignore. (Morrissey, Morrissey Central, April 2019)
And, again on Morrissey Central, 27 July 2020, his nephew, posted Anne Marie’s vlog from a Live Export protest.
With legacy and social media ablaze, Anne Marie became one of the most important far right leaders, which she immediately ruined by becoming a white nationalist. Of sorts.
In August 2019 she appeared at a conference held by Generation Identity UK, a now defunct neo-Nazi group – under the bizarre impression that the room was full of moderates who would stop neo-Nazis using mass immigration to neo-Nazi. She had come to the conclusion that Europeans are biologically secular, non-Europeans are biologically religious, Europeans are white, non-Europeans are not white, therefore the way to stop Europe being taken over by Islam is to have the UN declare that white people are the indigenous people of Europe and that mass immigration is colonialism.
She was probably groomed into this absurd belief online.
In 2012 Anne Marie was due to give a speech at Queen Mary University of London, but it had to be cancelled after an Islamist protester threatened to kill everyone in attendance. https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2012/01/islamist-stops-university-debate-with-threats-of-violence
She was upset that her own side – the left – were mostly denouncing her as a bigot.
Groups like the English Defence League and Stop Islamisation of Europe are using real concern about Sharia law in order to promote their racist and anti-immigrant agenda. Like the Islamists, they blame everyone who they consider Muslim for the crimes of Islamism. Pro-Islamist Left groups like Stop the War Coalition, United Against Fascism and Respect Party are no better. They excuse and justify Islamism at the expenses of the lives, rights and freedoms of innumerable people. (Maryam Namazie, One Law For All: Enemies Not Allies Seminar, 29 January 2011)
Around this time she became Twitter friends with Tommy Robinson – who offered to help One Law For All get greater traction. Tommy was part of the counter-jihad – a weird mix of vulnerable minorities (gay people, Jewish people, ex-muslims, vegans…) using the far right to hold back Islamism (which is like napalming your face to cure acne), and the far right using vulnerable minorities to mainstream white supremacy (while struggling to conceal their contempt). Confusingly the far right were also cosying up to Russia, Iran and the hard left to oppose ‘organised Jewry’/the Israeli Lobby/Corporate America/Bankers/Capitalists/Zionists/Jews – so you could scroll Twitter and find a Neo-Nazi account sharing a list of Jewish people who work in the media with a Marxist.
As you all know, Co-Spokesperson Anne Marie Waters resigned in November 2013. What you don’t know is that her resignation followed more recent political disagreements on some key issues, including One Law for All’s refusal to collaborate with the members of racist and far-Right groups and our insistence on the need to distinguish between Muslims/immigrants and Islamists. (Maryam Namazie, One Law For All press release, 7 May 2014)
In 2013 she made a disastrous appearance at the Oxford Union arguing against the motion: this house believes Islam is a religion of peace. Ignoring that freedom OF religion is as important as freedom FROM religion she argued that ‘it is the moderate Muslims who must “dance around meanings” and “stretch interpretations” when confronted with the fundamentally violent ideology of the Qur’an’. (Oxford Union, YouTube, July 3 2013)
In November 2013 she left One Law For All and the Labour Party.
I joined the Labour Party because I believed that all people should have equal rights, and should never be disadvantaged as a result of characteristics that they cannot change. I believed that people should have the same rights and protections irrespective of their gender or skin colour. I believed in fairness and in justice. I believed in civil liberties and a government run by the people for the people… I still believe in those things, which is why I cannot, in any good conscience, remain a member of the Labour Party. (Anne Marie Waters, Dispatch International, October 2013) http://www.islamophobiawatch.co.uk/anne-marie-waters-and-dispatch-international-one-more-time/
She set up Sharia Watch UK, a right-wing version of One Law. It was launched in the House of Lords, hosted by Baroness Cox.
… journalists from The Times and the Daily Telegraph were present at the launch event for Sharia Watch UK. Adopting the counter-jihad movement’s favoured pose of being undemocratically ignored by an establishment cowed by ‘political correctness’. (Hilary Aked, Spinwatch, January 21 2015)
She wrote for counter-jihad journals like Dispatch International, failed to set up a branch of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) in the UK with Tommy Robinson, then joined UKIP, hoping to make opposition to Islam their main issue. https://www.radicalisationresearch.org/guides/pegida-uk/
UKIP’s anti-Islam leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters can be revealed as a strike-supporting socialist and trade unionist who played an active role in the Labour Party for a decade and described her political views as “standard left-wing”. Waters is the supposedly hard-right, Tommy Robinson-endorsed candidate in the UKIP leadership race. UKIP figures are concerned she is a Walter Mitty character, self-publicist and entryist who has taken a less than credible political journey. (Team Order Order, Guido Fawkes, July 4 2017)
Marxist Lesbian activist Anne Marie Waters, attempts to hijack UKIP for her Zionist backers (Jack Sen, Nick Griffin, Resistance Radio, 16 July 2017)
Over the past few years Ann-Marie Waters, an Irish LGBT activist, backed by Ezra Levant’s Rebel Media, Tommy Robinson and a cabal of Jewish nationalists with irrefutable ties to American Neoconservative organisations, has advanced upon the British political scene… On every last issue — abortion, non-Islamic immigration, gay rights, mandated teaching of homosexuality in schools, etc. — Ms Waters is a dogmatic Bolshevik to the core. (Jack Sen, Occidental Observer, 25 August 2017)
After a couple of months, I began to tutor Waters on media and presentation. Although she was a natural, I encountered a point during this intense period of training, where she seemed to exhibit an unnerving bias and hostility against men … Her delivery, in my personal opinion, was aggressive and spiteful. She was a bitter woman and not a patriot for England. (Winston McKenzie, a former UKIP organiser, quoted by Jack Sen, Occidental Observer, 12 September 2017)
When she lost the UKIP leadership election she set up For Britain. It became a magnet for far right activists, esp from the BNP, hoping to slip into power behind a civic nationalist facade.
Many Whites are, sadly, progressives. We won’t win our war for racial survival without bringing some of them around to White separatism. If that means appealing to feminists by pointing out Muslim misogyny, or environmentalists via facts about immigration and overpopulation, so be it. Whatever works. (Lord Shang, Counter-Currents comment section, 16 May 2019)
Pragmatic neo-Nazis were impressed that she would talk about The Great Replacement – the conspiracy theory that white people are being replaced in their ancestral homelands, which includes the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and South Africa, by non-white people – but didn’t see her going anywhere.
Though we might disagree with much of Ms Waters’ ideology and sometimes doubt her political choices, no one can doubt that she is a genuine, committed, and often courageous campaigner… at one time it seemed that civic nationalism with an anti-Islamist, pro-Zionist edge was the way forward, at least for those prepared to swallow their ideological objections in the interest of electoral ‘strategy’. That argument no longer holds water. (Admin978, Heritage and Destiny, 23 July 2021)
Purist neo-Nazis didn’t see why they had to put up with a lesbian if she wasn’t going to lure in unsuspecting voters with ‘legitimate concerns’. And moved in on Morrissey’s name, trying to claim his art as their own, a thing made vastly easier by left & centre commentators referring to A FAR RIGHT PARTY, or Britain First (an openly racist, anti-Irish-Catholic, party) in order to damn Morrissey as much possible.
Fascists like me get to keeping liking Morrissey while liberals have to burn all his records. Ha ha! Suckers!!! (Travis LeBlanc, Counter-Currents, 13 May 2019)
On 17 June 2019 Anne Marie made a YouTube video complaining that people on “our side of the political divide” were using Morrissey for attention while failing to name-check For Britain.
Patriotic Alternative’s Laura Towler declared herself a fan on nationalist podcast The Absolute State of Britain (2 November 2019)
‘Village Smiths’, apparently a Patriotic Alternative activist, tried to launch a culture zine dedicated to the coming ‘Britnat music scene’ on Morrissey Solo (it didn’t come) –
Conformity in the UK: The Unbearable Wokeness of the UK Punk Scene – While not a ‘punk’ in the traditional sense, Morrissey is a rare example of a musician not holding back in attacking the sacred cows of the liberal establishment… His increasingly nationalist views have divided fans of The Smiths and made him the target of a witch hunt in the mainstream media and music press in recent years. (Lewis, Vile Media, 20 April 2020)
On the 10th April 2020 Anne Marie made a YouTube video accusing Mark Collett, of neo-Nazi group, Patriotic Alternative, of being a racist, a misogynist and a homophobe – concluding with “If you want a manifesto that is solely about throwing black people out of the country then by all means do go and join Patriotic Alternative.”
There was a backlash from her milieu.
The problem is, you just spent five minutes in a hysterical, emotional outburst… You have not addressed the foundation of concerns for For Britain people who are moving to PA (Ralph Masilamani, YouTube, 10 April 2020)
I have often wondered how an Irish Lesbian felt she had what it takes to lead an in the main English Nationalist party? I supported For Britain from the sidelines, feeling that it was better than nothing… will it be ‘For Britain ’, pro Israel, Pro gay lead by someone who strikes me will take the money and toe the Jewish line. Or will they vote for P.A. A party lead by pair of decent English Patriots who arent gay, arent pro Israel and are uncompromising when it comes to policies which harm our people? I pray to the good lord that it is the latter… because ’we are here, we are not queer get used to it’. (Patriot, Patriotic Alternative blog comment, 10 April 2020)
In a livestream on the 13th of April 2020 she had to deny that she had any connection to Israel.
It wasn’t enough.
Weird Dyke Anne Marie Waters Launches Hysterical Attack on Patriotic Alternative… A dyke will never get on board with right-wing ethnonationalism because dykes are useless and sterile… Waters is a filthy dyke Jew puppet who we should laugh at and scold like a misbehaving child until she stops her destructive behaviour of worshipping white-hating Jews (Anon, Martinez Perspective, 22 April 2020)
On 14 May 2020 she uploaded a video titled ‘Our Demographic Destiny’ in which (somewhat hilariously given her strong Dublin accent) she stressed that as Prime Minister she would permanently remove anyone not sufficiently British.
On 30 September 2020 in a YouTube video – panicked by actor Laurence Fox’s billionaire-backed hard right Reclaim Party – she implied she had no celebrity support and For Britain was ‘for the people, by the people’.
In April 2021 a Simpsons episode branded Morrissey an anti-immigrant fat gay meat-eating racist. Anne Marie jumped to his defence on social media, highlighting animals in the hashtags, while asserting in a video that he supported her immigration policy, something he’s never mentioned.
Morrissey blanked her, but it didn’t stop his detractors from spreading her message.
And so it seems it will go on, world without end.
Side Note One: Anne Marie maintains – and probably believes – that For Britain is a Centre right, anti-racist party. And it does have a diverse – albeit emotionally unstable – membership.
Shazia Hobbs, who has a Scottish mother and a Pakistani father, went from For Britain to Patriotic Alternative after being convinced that Jews secretly run the world: It was difficult trying to fit into either race and never being able to, always struggling with the identity of being mixed. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/anti-racism-novelist-probed-police-23974857
Side Note Two: the left struggles to coherently oppose Islamic extremism, while the right often finds it agrees with it – leaving many victims of extremism with nowhere to turn.
He must have been startled too by the venomous contempt directed at him in England, both from the nativist Right and the multicultural Left. One of Margaret Thatcher’s closest colleagues, Norman Tebbit, damned Rushdie as a man whose “public life has been a record of despicable acts of betrayal of his upbringing, religion, adopted home and nationality.” A fine historian, Lord Dacre (Hugh Trevor-Roper), joined in, I’m sorry to say, mused whimsically about the possibility that some Muslims who deplored Rushdie’s manners might “waylay him in a dark street and seek to improve them.” And John Le Carré said – in a comically inapt phrase – that “Nobody has a God-given right to insult a great religion.” There was much more in that vein from self-appointed friends of Islam. What some of these effusions illustrated all too vividly was the intellectual and moral tangle that “multi-culti” had got itself into. For one thing, in the case of “The Satanic Verses” and others since, sauce for the Muslim goose was plainly not sauce for the Christian gander. The very same people as those who affected such horror at Rushdie’s blasphemy against Islam derided anybody who claimed to be upset by blasphemy against Christianity. In the case in London some years earlier when Gay News published a lurid (if not very good) poem about a supposedly homosexual Jesus, chattering-class opinion unanimously supported the magazine. As to those who asserted that criticism of Islam was akin to racism, they were if anything the real racists, albeit unconscious. They not only willfully confused race with religion, they patronizingly applied different standards to dark-skinned Muslims, from whom, it seemed, nothing better than mindless violence could be expected. Most poignant of all was Rushdie himself. Behind the spiteful Tory sneers was the memory that, for years before the fatwa, and not content with his literary success, he had tried to parlay his Third Worldliness into a career. (Geoffrey Wheatcroft, the New York Times, November 3 2009) https://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/news/13iht-edwheatcroft.1.20172827.html
The useful label ‘the pseudo-left’ has been knocking around the internet political blogs since 11 September, and it is high time it was brought into the mainstream media. It’s a shorthand description of the spectacle of left moving to the right, often to the far-right, and embracing obscurantists, theocrats and, in the case of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and its Baathist ‘insurgents’, classic fascists. (Nick Cohen, the Observer, 20 February 2005)
Lesbian and gay activists have called on The East London Mosque and its adjoining London Muslim Centre to prohibit homophobic speakers on its premises. The move has re-ignited controversy over the issue in Tower Hamlets with allegations being made by different groups of both anti-gay Muslim extremism and Islamaphobia. The latest furore follows an open letter posted online by 12 LBGT campaigners, including writers Julie Bindel and Paul Burston, which lists a series of events hosted by the East London Mosque allegedly attended by anti-gay Muslim clerics. These included Abdullah Hakim Quick, a supporter of the death penalty on gays and Abdul Hattin who incorporated a ‘Spot the Fag’ contest into his sermon in 2007. The letter follows the recent conviction of 18-year old Mohammad Hasnath who plastered ‘gay-hate’ stickers across East London, calling for the death penalty on homosexuals; Westminster Magistrates fined him just £100 for public disorder. Last month, four men were convicted of a brutal attack on a religious studies teacher, because they disapproved of his teaching. At the weekend, the Sunday Telegraph reported what it claimed to be number of previously unreported cases of hate crime which it claimed suggested police were allowing Muslims to ‘Islamicise’ an area of London. Reporter Andrew Gilligan cited several examples of Muslims and non-Muslims being threatened or ‘brow-beaten’ because they have been deemed to breach fundamentalist Islamic norms. (Christina Adamidou, East London Lines, June 14 2011) https://www.eastlondonlines.co.uk/2011/06/gay-activists-challenge-east-london-mosque-over-extremism/
Like so many liberals, I have started to self-censor to avoid the wrath of my politically purist friends… Because I find myself holding a “transgressive” body of beliefs and doubts alongside my blue-chip leftwing ones that are liable to get me branded a misogynist, an Islamophobe and a Little Englander – at least by people on my Twitter feed, and others of my peer group. (Tim Lott, the Guardian, March 11 2015) https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/11/mainstream-left-silencing-sympathetic-voices
It is said that while it is hard to stand up to your enemies, it is even harder to stand up to your friends. I spent many years at the heart of left wing politics and discovered, to my cost, what can happen when you begin to take a different view, when you do your research and realise that the accepted consensus isn’t necessarily correct; speaking out on this can result in rejection, expulsion from the club. There is no area where this so robustly applies among the hard left than that of the state of Israel. Support of or sympathy for Israel can make you an immediate enemy to many. Israel is the untouchable issue; the consensus from which you cannot veer. The fact that Israel is the only country in the Middle East in which gay people enjoy anything resembling freedom or human rights is apparently a fraud — because the anti-Israel left demands that it be so… In the Gaza Strip, ruled with an iron fist by Hamas, not only are women subject to appalling treatment, but homosexuality can result in death. In 2011 Hamas cofounder, Mahmoud Zahar, said, “You in the West do not live like human beings. You do not even live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?” Attacks are frequent in the Gaza Strip and gays live in fear; so much so that LGBT Palestinians commonly flee to Israel. (Anne Marie Waters, her blog, July 2015)
In November, MEND’s chief executive, Sufyan Gulam Ismail, announced to a Manchester mosque: “We don’t want the government to fob us off with some phony thing called Tell MAMA, which has got a pro-Zionist pretty much heading it, or in a very senior capacity, and is making all sorts of comments we might not agree with when it comes to homosexuality, to be recording Islamophobia.” (Nick Cohen, the Observer, 4 October 2015)