Shiv Malik’s threats

I had a number of pieces to write here yesterday, but was unable to get down to write any of them because I received a threatening email from Shiv Malik, about whose “Hizbis have jobs” nonsense I wrote an entry on Monday. On Tuesday, he sent me an email asking for my phone number, inviting me to hear his side of the story because “if you’ve ever worked in the media then you shouldn’t be aghast at the fact that i might not get everything that I want to say across to the readers”. I didn’t reply immediately, intending to ponder my response. Yesterday, his tone had changed, and he sent me this:

Hi if you don’t respond pretty sharpish to my email giving some contact details a part from your email address I might consider suing. Of course it is highly libellous to call some one a liar because it is disparaging in their work, profession. Regards Shiv.

Well, as I said, I didn’t reply “sharpish” because I didn’t have time; I spent Tuesday either working or in London, and didn’t get home until about 9pm. I actually have a day job; I do not make my living from blogging. However, Shiv has had all that time to use my comments facility as a right to reply; he has chosen not to do so, and resorted to threatening emails.

I note that he uses the word liar. I would like to know where he got the idea that I called him a liar, because I did not do so on the blog. I called him dishonest, which is, in my judgement, what his article on Sunday was. It contained a number of irrelevances and “scare facts” in a story whose central fact was simply that HT members have highly-paid professional jobs, as one might expect as they are mostly highly educated people. This is part of his paper’s campaign against the least-threatening of all the Islamist groups operating.

The story also contained one demonstrable falsehood, which is what a lie is. He quoted a paragraph from a short article on a HT website, in which he substituted the word kaffir for kaafir. All the instances of the article one can gather from a simple Google search contain the spelling “kaafir”, which means unbeliever. In his article, he substitutes “kaffir”, which is an Afrikaans derogatory term for black people. The terms have decidedly different connotations, despite being only one letter different and the Afrikaans being derived from the Arabic (via Malay). Many pairs of words, with wholly different meanings, have only one different letter.

If this is a misprint or a spell-checker error, I’m happy to accept this and apologise, but he should also have a pretty good explanation for why he has not said so in two emails. He might also explain why he wrote, in the 7th August Independent on Sunday, that Zeyno Baran of the Nixon Center had “warned” him of HT’s indoctrination tactics, when in fact she wrote her “warning” in the National Review. Do people repeat things they wrote in a magazine verbatim in conversation? It’s possible, but it’s unlikely. The way it was written gives the impression of a warning from Zeyno Baran to Shiv Malik, but a brief investigation reveals that the quote is from a magazine article which you can find with a quick Google search. Now, Shiv, answer the question: have you ever met, or contacted, Zeyno Baran?

Shiv Malik still has the option of using my comment space for his right to reply. I do not censor it, other than for certain things like spam, permatrolls, and certain other things to which I object. If someone disagrees with the content of my blog, let them say so here, rather than send me threatening emails.

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