The Scum, Britain’s leading red-top gutter rag, put Abu Hamza on its front two pages again for what must be the third week running. The paper has made a date of it each week, turning up at Abu Hamza’s street sermons outside the Finsbury Park mosque (which was closed specifically to keep him and his gang out). Today it claimed that he “sunk to a new low … with a sickening attack on Jews and the Queen”. The actual views expressed - that the Holocaust is exaggerated - have been common currency in the Muslim community for decades. I personally don’t share these opinions - there have been no serious scholarly critiques of the Holocaust, only pseudo-scholarship by Nazi apologists like David Irving, and the fact remains that before Hitler came to power there were millions of Jews in Europe, and after he fell, there were probably less than a million. In Poland - the main area of settlement - the community has been virtually wiped out, and the figures don’t support the idea that all of this was due to a mass emigration to Israel. But the Holocaust is the main justification put forward for Zionism, and so it’s natural that the enemies of Zionism (such as those dispossessed by Zionists, and their fellow Arabs and fellow Muslims) should seek to discredit it.
The Scum then claimed that Abu Hamza (not “Hamza” - the name means Hamza’s dad) “repeated an insult he made against Sun readers last month and branded them ‘retarded’”. Well, a cursory read of the paper would tell you that it is not written for people given to seriously-considered views on any political topic, and the political stories are usually placed on page 2 (as was the Abu Hamza story!) right next to the topless bimbo on page 3. He had a go at the French for banning headscarves in schools - well, why shouldn’t he?
The paper then printed the opinion of Tory party chairman Liam Fox, that “the freedom of speech that we so cherish was never designed to give vent to the vile rantings of men of hatred such as Abu Hamza”. Freedom of speech (which was not really enshrined in law until the Human Rights Act) protects everything which is not explicitly against the law, and questioning the facts of history has never been against the law in the UK. I am sure it was never intended to facilitate the drip-drip anti-immigrant propaganda of papers like the Daily Express either.
Someone should really point out to Abu Hamza that someone threatened with the withdrawal of his citizenship - and with that, imprisonment or deportation - is really in no position to be giving the Friday sermon given that such treatment might well cause some degree of personal resentment and anger. On the other hand, perhaps it is preferable that he is allowed to continue preaching in the street, so that he does not move on to the nearby Muslim Welfare House, with all the disruption that might cause.
Possibly Related Posts:
- Review: Silent Witness, “One Day”
- It’s not just the Far Right
- Review: Panorama, “White Fright”
- It was the Muslims
- Please sign this petition: leave our hijab alone!