Wednesday, 29 June 2011
I visited Brian Whelan's page where he has more evidence of Hari having engaged in deceitful practices, including lifting quotes from other people's interviews.

On this page, Whelan asks people to help him crowd-check Hari's interview quotes, other than the ones that have already been exposed. One of Hari's interviews was with Malalai Joya, the Afghan women's rights activist and author of the book "Raising My Voice." Whelan had already exposed a "borrowed" quotation in this interview, borrowed in this case from the book's blurb. Presumably Whelan doesn't have the book itself, so can't check the quotes against the main text.

I happen to have an Amazon Kindle version of this book. There is a Counterjihad-themed story behind this. On a forum once, I came across someone who seemed partially steeped in the usual multi-cult philosophy, but also showed some signs of intelligence and an ability to think for himself and lift himself out of it. So I tried to persuade him to read the book "Reflections on the Revolution in Europe" by Christopher Caldwell, to help him on his journey. He eventually agreed to do this on condition that I would read a book he nominated: Raising My Voice by Malalai Joya. I hadn't heard of this person before and didn't particularly want to read it, but thought it might be worth making the sacrifice in the hope of "saving one soul". So I bought a Kindle version of the book and am about half way through it now. It's somewhat interesting in its way, even from a Counterjihad perspective. It shows the extraordinary struggle a rational person has to go through to bring about even a slight improvement in the condition of a country dominated by Islamic evil.

Anyway, since I had an electronic copy of the book, it was quite easy for me to check the quotes. Just copy and paste the quotes from the interview into the Kindle search field. Copy and paste: the same technique Hari apparently uses to put his interviews together. Haha! Here's what the check turned up:

Hari interview:

On many occasions, ordinary men and women – anonymous strangers – helped her out by sending the police charging off in the wrong direction. She adds: "Every day in Afghanistan, even now, hundreds if not thousands of ordinary women act out these small gestures of solidarity with each other. We are our sisters' keepers."


Raising My Voice, by Malalai Joya (location 973 of 4871, 21% of the way through the book, doesn't have proper page reference because it's an electronic copy):

Really, though, there was nothing too unusual about this interaction. Every day in Afghanistan, even now, hundreds if not thousands of ordinary women act out these small gestures of solidarity with each other. By necessity, after decades of brutality, we are our sisters' keepers.


Busted, Hari!

Here's another one:

Hari interview:

When the American invasion began, the Taliban fled her province, but the bombs kept falling. "Many lives were needlessly lost, just like during the September 11 tragedy," she says. "The noise was terrifying, and children covered their ears and screamed and cried. Smoke and dust rose and lingered in the air with every bomb dropped."


Raising My Voice (location 1019 of 4871, 22% of the way through the book):

The next day, US bombers roared over the city and hit the radio and TV station, along with the house of a Gulbuddin Party commander. The noise was terrifying, and children covered their ears and screamed and cried. Smoke and dust rose and lingered in the air with every bomb dropped. Luckily no civilians were killed in these first attacks on Farah, but there were many injuries. And the news reaching us from other parts of Afghanistan was terrible.

Just as many innocents died on September 11th, the initial invasion of Afghanistan also took many blameless lives.


Busted again!

Hari interview:

As soon as the Taliban retreated, they were replaced – by the warlords who had ruled Afghanistan immediately before. Joya says that, at this point, "I realised women's rights had been sold out completely... Most people in the West have been led to believe that the intolerance and brutality towards women in Afghanistan began with the Taliban regime. But this is a lie. Many of the worst atrocities were committed by the fundamentalist mujahedin during the civil war between 1992 and 1996. They introduced the laws oppressing women followed by the Taliban – and now they were marching back to power, backed by the United States. They immediately went back to their old habit of using rape to punish their enemies and reward their fighters."


Raising My Voice, (location 572 of 4871):

Most people in the West have been led to believe that intolerance, brutality and the severe oppression of women in Afghanistan began with the Taliban regime. But this is a lie, more dust in the eyes of the world from the warlords who dominated the American-backed, so-called democratic government of Hamid Karzai. In truth some of the worst atrocities in our recent past were committed during the civil war by the men who are now in power.


Raising My Voice, (location 1067 of 4871):

As the warlords marched back into power, they returned to their old habits of using rape to punish their enemies and reward their fighters.


So he's lifted two quotes here from completely different parts of the book and melded them into one!


Another. Wow.

Hari interview:

She did it anyway, and decided to fight this fundamentalist by running in the election for the Loya jirga ("meeting of the elders") to draw up the new Afghan constitution. There was a great swelling of support for this girl who wanted to build a clinic – and she was elected. "It turned out my mission," she says, "would be to expose the true nature of the jirga from within."


Raising My Voice, (location 1229 of 4871):

I was determined to help put an end to the warlords and fundamentalists, and I knew the great majority of Afghan men and women shared this aim. My mission would be to expose the true nature of the Jirga from within it.


OMG they just keep coming. Most of the quotes seem to be lifted from her book.

Hari interview:

As she stepped past the world's television cameras into the Loya jirga, the first thing Joya saw was "a long row with some of the worst abusers of human rights that our country had ever known – warlords and war criminals and fascists".


Raising My Voice, location 1325:

Most of the nine delegates from my province of Farah were not warlord supporters, although the same could not be said for the representatives of many of the other provinces - especially the northern provinces of Afghanistan, where warlords had full control. Some of them, in fact, were among the worst abusers of human rights that our country had ever known.


Bloody hell. This is getting wearying. There are so many. I have to type out the text from Kindle as it doesn't allow you to copy and paste.

Hari interview:

For a moment, as these old killers started to give long speeches congratulating themselves on the transition to democracy, Joya felt nervous. But then, she says, "I remembered the oppression we face as women in my country, and my nervousness evaporated, replaced by anger."


Raising My Voice, location 1253:

I stood up at the table in front of the room, wondering if my thoughts would be as dry as my mouth. But then I remembered the oppression we face as women in my country, and my nervousness evaporated, replaced by anger.


Hari interview:

"From that moment on," Joya says, "I would never again be safe... For fundamentalists, a women is half a human, meant only to fulfil a man's every wish and lust, and to produce children and toil in the home. They could not believe that a young woman was tearing off their masks in front of the eyes of the Afghan people."


Raising My Voice, location 1461:

For fundamentalists, a woman is half a human, meant only to fulfil a man's every wish and every lust and to produce children and toil in the home. They could not believe that a young girl was tearing off their masks in front of the eyes of the Afghan people.


Hari interview:

She leans forward and quotes Brecht: "He says, 'He who does not know the truth is only a fool. He who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a criminal.'"


Raising My Voice, location 1506:

One of my favourite quotes is by the German writer Bertolt Brecht, from his play the Life of Galileo: 'He who does not know the truth is only a fool. He who knows the truth and calls it a lie is a criminal.'


Conceivably, Joya might well have repeated this quote in the interview with Hari, although at this point does he really deserve the benefit of the doubt?

Hari interview:

She says there is no difference for ordinary Afghans between the Taliban and the equally fundamentalist warlords. "Which groups are labelled 'terrorist' or 'fundamentalist' depends on how useful they are to the goals of the US," she says. "You have two sides who terrorise women, but the anti-American side are 'terrorists' and the pro-American side are 'heroes'."


Raising My Voice, location 4185:

In this hoax of a 'war on terror', which groups are labelled 'terrorist' depends on how useful they are to the goals of the United States. The US calls the Taliban terrorists, but not the warlords who murder and rape innocents to impose their will on the people.


Hari interview:

There has been an epidemic of self-immolation by women across the "new" Afghanistan in the past five years. "The hundreds of Afghan women who set themselves ablaze are not only committing suicide to escape their misery," she says, "they are crying out for justice."


Raising My Voice, location 4368:

The hundreds of Afghan women who set themselves ablaze are not only committing suicide to escape their misery - they are crying out for justice.


Hari interview:

Apologising for her English – which is, in fact, excellent – she quotes Brecht again: "Those who do struggle often fail, but those who do not struggle have already failed."


Raising My Voice, location 2979:

As Brecht says, 'Those who do struggle often fail, but those who do not struggle have already failed.'


Again, it's conceivable that Joya did repeat this quote in the interview.

Hari interview:

She says that it is wrong to say Afghanistan will simply collapse into civil war if that happens. "What about the civil war now? Today, people are being killed – many, many war crimes. The longer the foreign troops stay in Afghanistan doing what they are doing, the worse the eventual civil war will be for the Afghan people."


Raising My Voice, location 4248:

Some people say that when these troops withdraw a civil war will break out. Often this prospect is raised by people who ignore the vicious conflict and humanitarian disaster that is already occurring in Afghanistan. The longer the foreign troops stay in Afghanistan doing what they are doing today, the worse the eventual civil war will be for the Afghan people.


Hari interview:

Many people in Afghanistan were hopeful, she says, about Barack Obama – "but he is actually intensifying the policy of George Bush... I know his election has great symbolic value in terms of the struggle of African-Americans for equal rights, and this struggle is one I admire and respect. But what is important for the world is not whether the President is black or white, but his actions. You can't eat symbolism."


Raising My Voice, location 4123:

Please understand that this is how the President of the United States looks from where the Afghan people are sitting. I know that his election has great symbolic value in terms of the struggle of African-Americans for equal rights, and this struggle is one that I admire and respect. But what is important for the world is not whether the president is black or white, but rather his ideas and his actions. You cannot eat symbolism, and for us Obama will only become a symbol of an unjust war and domination if he continues down the path set out.


Hari interview:

"It's not good to show my enemies any weakness, [but] it's hard to be strong all the time," Joya says with a sigh, as she runs her hands through her hair. She has been speaking so insistently – with such preternatural courage– that it's easy to forget she was just a girl when she was thrust into fighting fundamentalism.


Raising My Voice, location 2413:

Although it is not good to show my enemies any weakness, I am still only a human being. It is hard to be strong all the time.


Wow, I'm glad that's over. I was planning to watch a DVD tonight till I got derailed by this. I would say that probably a majority of the quotes in the "interview" seem to be lifted wholly or partially from Joya's book. In fact, the borrowing is on such an enormous scale that I think we're entitled to wonder whether Hari even met Malalai Joya at all, or did he just make the whole thing up?

It's interesting that Joya is one of the names Hari cites in his partial apologia:

Over the years I have interviewed some people who have messages we desperately need to hear – from Gideon Levy about Israel, to Malalai Joya about Afghanistan, to Gerry Adams about how to end a sectarian war.


Regardless of how worthy these messages may or may not be, there can be no excuse for the kind of gross deceit Hari has displayed. The man is a fraud. He ought to be drummed out of the journalism business for good.

UPDATE:

Guy Walters and Jeremy Duns have picked up on this story in the New Statesman and managed to find even more instances of 'borrowing'. Well done to them. They have reproduced the entire text of the article and set out the 'borrowings' in bold. This makes it easier to see just how much of the "interview", assuming there actually was an interview, has been lifted from her book. You can see it here.

23 comments:

Will said...

Very enlightning, will post a link to your story.
As they say: "The truth will be known, even if the crows have to tell".

Kevin T said...

He says in his defence that he does it when the interviewee has phrased something poorly. Judging by the sheer extent he's doing it, presumably they're all monosyllabic, slurring and stoned when he meets them.

Dominic said...

Kevin T

Great comment.

And I agree wholeheartedly that Hari should be drummed out of journalism - maybe writing for Viz for a while would help him???

Unisa Sociologist said...

Thanks for your diligent researches: once we're on the trail of Hari's plagiarism, it just gets better and better. This man is a pathological fraud, plagiarist, poseur. Thanks again, I shall give this link the widest possible circulation. Wonder what the Independent would say? Another award for Hari-Kiri? He should fall on his own sword (pity's I can't say that, since he's a homosexual).

Anonymous said...

Jesus wept. This is absurd!

PlayMusic said...

Staggering research, well done.

I couldn't help but write this for 'the lulz':

Johann Hari interviews Thom Yorke: http://bit.ly/lLWxRZ

Anonymous said...

I wonder if he won his double first in the same way?

David L Rattigan said...

Holy shit. Is there anything in that interview he didn't lift from the book?

Alas, I think Hari's supporters will find it easy to dismiss this one: The blogger's a right-wing Islamophobe, so you can't trust him. Maybe they'd pay attention if you changed your blog name temporarily to, I dunno, "Comment is free" or something.

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

"Alas, I think Hari's supporters will find it easy to dismiss this one: The blogger's a right-wing Islamophobe, so you can't trust him. Maybe they'd pay attention if you changed your blog name temporarily to, I dunno, "Comment is free" or something."

Haha! The facts are the facts, though. My quotes from the book "Raising My Voice" can easily be verified by anyone spending £6.39 to purchase an electronic copy of it from Amazon. You don't even need a Kindle or an iPad any more. There's a Kindle PC app now.

Jim said...

Send a link to this to Damian Thompson at the Telegraph.

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

I sent him one last night. He was the first person I contacted. No response.

Apparently I'm 'untouchable', what with being a crazy 'islamophobe' and all.

Anonymous said...

If you download an Open Source program called calibre (lower-case "c"), together with suitable plugins, you can strip the DRM from a Kindle (or any other) ebook and load the text into a word-processor. Makes searching and cutting & pasting easier. [This note for any others searching for Hari's wisdom in others' ebooks.]

Andrew said...

Next time you want to go through Hari's quotes you don't need to retype them all. If you use Kindle for PC (free download) there is a tortuous way of copying text. Select the text you want and use the "search Google" option. Then you can copy the text from the Google search box. Not ideal, but it works.

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

Thanks for the Kindle tips.

Matt Wardman said...

Quick check. How exhaustive was your checking - have you checked against all the alleged quotes in the Hari piece. Working on a graphical presentation.

Be grateful for an email contact.

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

The check was fairly comprehensive. I copied what seemed to be the most distinctive part of every quoted section and checked it against the book. There were a few more minor examples that I didn't bother including in the post as they didn't have quite the same stone-cold gotcha level as the others, even though they did probably originate with the book too.

It's conceivable that a couple of minor 'borrowings' may have slipped through unnoticed if they were just brief phrases, not whole sentences, but unlikely I'd say. You can send an email to zakalwe@gmx.co.uk

Matt Wardman said...

Doing some detailed analysis.

It is worth a note that the interview was *about* the book.

"I meet Joya in a London apartment where she is staying with a supporter for a week, to talk about her memoir."

That doesn't make Hari's lying about the context for the quotes any more defensible, or his fabrication of the twee domestic details which makes it seem like the book quotes were given verbally, but it is essential context for any critique.

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

Fair point. There were other quotes in his article that were taken from the book. I didn't bother including them in this post where I felt that the context suggested that he was quoting from the book or was ambiguous about it. I only included duplicate quotes where I felt the context implied that she was speaking the words to him in the interview.

Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Cheradenine Zakalwe (30 June 09:28)—All’s well that ends well.

Cheradenine Zakalwe said...

Haha! We got there in the end. When the Guardian links to an anti-Islam blog, you know something strange is going on.

mensajes claro said...

As they say: "The truth will be known, even if the crows have to tell".

Anonymous said...

Great work. Hari shoudl never work in journalism again and the Indy should apologise for having hired the little prat in the first place... coz that is a big, big, mistake.

mensajes claro said...

Great work.

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