Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Guardian reaches a new low

On Friday night, I was amazed – no, I'm afraid sickened is probably the right word – to find the Guardian’s Comment Is Free website had celebrated Thursday’s Holocaust Memorial day with this piece, written by none other than Sheikh Raed Salah. For regular readers, you will know that Raed Salah is a renowned extremist preacher and anti-Semite who the government have recently failed to have deported. Importantly, the judge essentially ruled there was not enough evidence to show he was a danger to the British state and therefore deported; it certainly did not clear him of making anti-Semitic statements, such as repeating the blood libel, a centuries-old trope about Jews drinking children’s blood.

There is a huge amount of information on him – he is a convicted fundraiser for suicide-bombing terrorists Hamas – but really all you need to see is this video (hat-tip: Harry’s Place), where he laughs about drawing a swastika on the blackboard of his old Jewish schoolteacher as a child.

A riot, eh?

Apart from the article trying to exonerate him from the blood libel (his explanation for which even the judge who freed him declared to be “wholly unpersuasive”), the most disturbing thing about this is the Guardian feeling it is perfectly acceptable to publish articles from well-known racists. Some of you may not have seen this extraordinary puff piece on “Holocaust cartoonist” Carlos Latuff, who is also responsible for these “hilarious” cartoons. Some of you may not be aware that there is even a website, the rather good CiFWatch, which also carries a piece on Salah’s article, dedicated only to highlighting dodgy pieces in said newspaper. The piece documents complaints to the CiF editor, Becky Gardiner:
There is a whole bunch of evidence, unused in the trial and unquestioned, that shows the nature of Raed Salah. Becky Gardiner is very much aware of it herself, because I know that “a senior Guardian figure” took it to her, in an attempt to get her to publish just ONE piece explaining why liberals and progressives ought not to back Raed Salah.

Articles were written. They were submitted by a number of people to the Guardian. They weren’t even acknowledged.

Becky Gardiner’s view, I’m afraid to say, was that Comment is Free should not offer a platform to those who wanted to oppose Raed Salah’s incitement and racism. She saw opposition to Zionism as a sort of Manichean struggle, in which she was on the side of the angels.
The slant of the Guardian’s coverage is also analysed in this characteristically outstanding piece from normblog, which gently notes:
the paper in question doesn't give space in its pages for those who hate other ethnic minorities, or justify violence against them, or deploy prejudicial stereotypes about them.
So there you have it. A nice way to celebrate Holocaust Memorial Day.

I look forward to the next piece at Comment Is Free: from Nick Griffin of the BNP perhaps? Just for balance, you understand.

1 comment:

  1. It's not surprising given that back in 1999 they falsely accused black singer Patti Boulaye of saying that apartheid should be brought back when she actually said "Let's have a party now that apartheid is gone!" yet we often(albeit rightly)criticise the Sun and the Daily Mail for sloppy journalism!They can't see the plank in their own eyes for the splinter in others!


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