Monday, 15 October 2012

We've seen it across the Middle East. Election victories for Islamic radicals are followed by sharia-enforcement thug squads. Now something similar seems to have surfaced following George Galloway's triumph in Bradford.
...police are investigating claims that Respect loyalists have harassed rape victims with anonymous phone calls and menacing messages on Facebook and Twitter, after they challenged Galloway's views on sex and consent.

...But much more worrying for Respect is the fact that the party in Bradford is garnering a nasty reputation for itself, thanks to what has been referred to as "thuggish elements" in the party which reportedly contributed to Yaqoob's resignation. Jill Smith, a community health worker with the NHS, is one of Galloway's constituents. She is only willing to meet in secret and insists we do not use her real name or mention her age. She didn't vote in the March byelection, having failed to fill in her registration form in time. But if she had, she'd probably have gone for Galloway, she says. "I've campaigned about Gaza, pro WikiLeaks, against Islamophobia – politically, we're very similar," she says. "I thought he would be a strong voice for Bradford. I've lived in the constituency for 10 years and worked there for six, and things need to change. It's a tinderbox, racially, and there are massive inequalities, massive social deprivation. I was hopeful he was going to help vulnerable people."

Instead, Smith believes, Galloway did the opposite, by "belittling rape victims". She should know, having herself survived a rape attack. Disgusted by his statement, Smith decided to challenge her MP's remarks and co-ordinate the Bradford About Consent campaign, starting with a demonstration. What happened next shocked her so much that she claims to have dropped two dress sizes from the resulting stress. When we talk, she has been signed off sick for five weeks, is chain smoking and has been prescribed sleeping tablets.

Eight days before the demonstration, Bradford About Consent set up a Facebook events page. Smith, along with other survivors and supporters, were horrified to see the page fill with hateful messages from people defending Galloway, threatening to "come down with our quad bikes and megaphones and drown you out". Moderating the page became a "24/7 job", she says. Supporters were accused of being stooges from the Labour party, "pretending" to be survivors of rape in order to blacken Galloway's name. At least one woman who planned to attend received anonymous phone calls asking "if she was a rape victim". On the day of the demo, four men turned up to support Galloway – or intimidate the protesters, depending on your view (the men took pictures of those present, which they later posted on Facebook).

Ten days after giving her name publicly as spokeswoman for the campaign, Smith's car windscreen was smashed. Banners from the demo were on the back seat. Concerned that she may have been targeted by Galloway supporters as a result of the campaign, she called the police, who confirmed last week that they were investigating the incident as an alleged hate crime, as well as "a complaint relating to comments made on a social networking site". Smith says officers have told her they are contacting Facebook and the IP addresses behind the profiles responsible for the worst abuse.
Source: Guardian

Still, I suppose harassing rape victims and smashing their windscreens is step up from imprisoning them, which is what would happen in Pakistan.


Anonymous said...

Th Guardian doesn't even hint who people are who are so against any mention of rape and rapists.

I just cant imagine who these people could be. They could be RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS such as the EDL, or BNP.


Anonymous said...

ask the Brits

How does is feel to be the Jew?

Anonymous said...

" An anti-Semitic hashtag has become the third most popular hashtag in France on Twitter, and organizations are speaking out against it. A French nonprofit corporation, SOS Racisme, was “considering” whether to make complaints against some Twitter users.
On October 10, the hashtag UnBonJuif, which means “a good Jew”, suddenly became the third most popular hashtag. There were tweets like these:
a picture of an emaciated Jewish woman taken in a Nazi concentration camp.
“a good Jew is a dead Jew.”

The president of the Union of French Jewish Students, (UEJF) Jonathan Hayoun, called on Twitter to “put in place a new system to moderate” anti-Semitic tweets.

Yesterday, the most popular hashtag in France was LaRafle, which means “the roundup”, which was also the title of a 2010 film about the Holocaust-era deportation of French Jews.

The tweets were largely anti-Semitic and many denied the Holocaust. Twitter defined the LaRafle hashtag as “related to UnBonJuif.”



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