Is Douglas Murray making up facts?

The Social Affairs Unit - Douglas Murray argues that the Papacy has been degraded by Pope Benedict’s U-turn on Turkey’s entry to the EU

Douglas Murray, author of the author of the Social Affairs Unit’s pamphlet Neoconservatism: Why We Need It, who gave a speech to the Pim Fortuyn memorial trotting out a load of familiar rhetoric about “dhimmitude” which I debunked here, has posted another moronic article to the SAU’s blog on the Pope’s recent visit to Turkey (which Mad Mel uncritically reproduced). His general gist was that the Pope should simply not have caved in to Muslim pressure to change his position on Turkey joining the European Union, which he had previously opposed.

Among other howlers in the article, such as casting the tiny gaggle of morons who “protested” outside Westminster Cathedral after the Pope’s lecture in Regensburg with curses against the Pope, something which is not permitted in Islam, as “some of the cruder representatives of the ‘religion of peace’”, and recommending a book by Robert Spencer, there is this accusation:

A discussion of the merits or demerits of Turkish entry might be left for another day, but what cannot be left unaddressed is the signal the Pope has now given out.

How is it possible that he changed so much

asked a young Islamist girl called Merve Celikkol, who concluded to the New York Times reporters on the ground that the Pope is “a hypocrite”.

The NY times report can be found here (reproduced here), and as you can see by reading the short passage in which Ms Celikkol is mentioned, there is no evidence that she is an “Islamist” at all:

In Ankara, residents expressed doubts about the pope’s sincerity, and it remains to be seen whether the pope’s gesture will have a warming effect in Turkey, or in the broader Muslim world.

“It’s not support, it’s a lie,” said Hakan Ozgunaydin, a 29-year-old co-owner of an upscale shoe and belt shop in downtown Ankara. “I would expect him to say, ‘those bloody Turks,’ when he leaves this country.”

Merve Celikkol, a 21-year-old physics student, was just as blunt, calling the pope a hypocrite: “How is it possible that he changed so much?”

(American readers please note: “bloody” is a British English curse word, allegedly derived from “by our Lady”.)

Where does Murray get the idea that Ms Celikkol is an “Islamist”? If she is a physics student, then she would have to remove her hijab before entering college, something which most women attached to “Islamism” wouldn’t even consider doing. Many women dropped out of university in Turkey to avoid doing this, and others went abroad to study.

And it’s term-time. If she’s an Islamist, and a physics student, chances are she was not interviewed in Turkey.

But that’s not the point. Murray calls her an Islamist. The article does not say she is, and I can’t find any that says she is.

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