Category Archives: homophobia

Notes from a Reader: Documenting the (Unofficial) Sharia Zone in Tower Hamlets and Other London Sites

In a previous post about Sharia Zones in London, one of my readers, who claims to have lived in Tower Hamlets, insisted there was no such problem. Another reader, also a resident (now former resident) sent these links to illustrate a different “take” on reality.

Spot the Fag at East London Mosque

Religion Teacher Attacked

Asian women threatened with death for not wearing headscarf

Community activist who took down Gay Free Zone stickers threatened with death on previous occasions:

Tower Hamlets declared sharia zone

Eid celebration Stepney Park (you can find these for other years on you tube too).

Maps showing how east london was full of gay people 20 years ago

Video of a man who was at the George & Dragon when it has been attacked

These  attacks have never been reported by gay media in Britain at the time they happen.  Here is a report that mentions an attack that happened several years earlier.

That attack came after one of the gang was imprisoned for his part in their brutal attack on Oliver Hemsley.  You can see how bad the attack was from this description.  He spent 134 days in intensive care.

Here’s the story of another gay man attacked in the centre of Tower Hamlets.  (These attacks on gay people & gay bars get so little coverage, even in the gay media, that that is the only report I can find of that attack).

Here’s the story of the man attacked by 30 racist muslims with machetes.

Here’s a story of a man in Tower Hamlets pushed in front of a train by another gang of muslims.

The European Muslim Research Centre put out a report about how much “cultural terrorism” there was against muslims.  It was refuted in this analysis (showing there are far more attacks against gay people than against not just muslims, but all religious people). Exeter University withdrew the report after this, and re-issued it with changes.

The mayor of Tower Hamlets is supported by the islamist Islamic Forum of Europe.

Anwar Al Awlaki spoke at East London Mosque, even after he was identified as someone who advised muslim terrorists.

Each gay pride marcher has 1 police officer for security (plus helicopter) following Gay Free Zone campaign.  Compare the numbers and the level of security, with the numbers and lack of security at the Eid celebration.

Hizb ut Tahrir frequently hold their annual conferences in Tower Hamlets.

At election time, Muslims stand outside the Tube stations handing out cards telling Muslims that if they vote they are apostates.  They also paste them on walls and lamp-posts.

The black, female, Jewish, socialist MP was ousted in 2005.  She was subjected to jew-hatred during the campaign, from the party that was aligned with Muslims.

I have been told by different people (some liberal, Guardian readers) in different parts of Tower Hamlets, that they have been stopped from going into public parks by gangs of Muslim men, who told them “this park is for Muslims only”.  I can’t find any corroborating reports for their stories.  But these were people (one Jewish) whose families had lived in Tower Hamlets for generations, long before any Muslims were there.

Here’s a report about weapons being hidden around the area.

The muslim dominated council banned biscuits from council meetings during Ramadan (thus imposing muslim restrictions onto non-Muslims, another feature of Sharia for Dhimmi).

Homophobic abuse shouted at gay councillors during council meetings, and nothing being done about it.

Alcohol is banned from the streets of Tower Hamlets.

Tower Hamlets council to ban lap-dancing, strippers.

Those restrictions on alcohol and licentiousness might not seem so bad.  However, bear in mind, that in the so-called puritanical Victorian age, east London was a den of sin and vice: masses of prostitution, drinking, and drug-taking.  Yet Tower Hamlets council is even more puritanical than the Victorians.  The Salvation Army was founded in Whitechapel in 1878,  East London is far less boozy and licentious now than it was in the19th century, but they did not ban drinking on the streets until a couple of years ago.

The 2001 census says that the proportion of muslims in Tower Hamlets is 36%.  Yet 66% of the councillors are muslims.  This means that the census underestimates the number of muslims, or that muslims only vote for muslims, or that the at the selection meetings of the political parties only Muslims are being selected.  Under sharia, non-Muslims cannot have positions of authority above Muslims (see the Hizb ut Tahrir manifesto).

The Post-Self-Destructivism of Judith Butler

Benjamin Weinthal and I have an op-ed today in the Wall Street Journal. Here are the links (as well as some of the material that got cut from the original submission (1250 words). Some of the wording may not correspond exactly to that in the published piece, and bold text does not appear in the article.

The Post-Self-Destructivism of Judith Butler

On Sept. 11, a German organization will reward the American scholar and anti-Israel activist.

In 1938, shortly after philosopher Martin Buber, formerly of the University of Frankfurt, came to Israel to teach at Hebrew University, a reporter asked how his Hebrew was. He replied: “Good, but not good enough to be obscure in.”

The joke, apparently, is on the city of Frankfurt, which tomorrow—Sept. 11, incidentally—will hand its prestigious Adorno Prize for excellence in philosophy, music, theater and film to Judith Butler. Ms. Butler, an American philosopher and anti-Israel activist, is a great admirer of Buber and the 1998 recipient of the “Bad Writing Prize” for her impenetrable prose.

Professor Butler’s first-prize sentence appears in “Further Reflections on the Conversations of Our Time,” an article in the scholarly journal Diacritics (1997):

  • The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.

Dutton remarked that “it’s possibly the anxiety-inducing obscurity of such writing that has led Professor Warren Hedges of Southern Oregon University to praise Judith Butler as ‘probably one of the ten smartest people on the planet’.”

objections to award: SPME Germany statement; summary article in JPost; extensive criticism and responses to Butler’s defense at SPME Faculty Forum.

Judith Butler, the Adorno Prize, and the Moral State of the “Global Left”

The following is a long version of a response to Judith Butler that will appear in various forms at other sites, including SPME. This version is here either for those who enjoy my overwrought prose, of those who find that the logic of edited versions elsewhere is interrupted by the cuts.

Judith Butler’s feelings are hurt because some professors who claim they’re for “peace in the Middle East,” have criticized her and openly called on the Adorno Committee to withdraw the Prize that they have announced would be offered to her this year, on Adorno’s birthday, 9-11. Stung by the criticism, Butler responded at the site of the notoriously anti-Israel Jewish blog, Mondoweiss. in her defense. The defense illustrates every aspect of the problem with Butler’s approach to the criticism of her work, including the folly of German intellectuals to raise her up as a heroic example.

The criticism of her receiving the Adorno prize involves the following three points: 1) Her criticism of Israel for violations of (her) moral standards is exceptionally harsh, even though she has very little to say about exceptionally harsh violations among Israel’s enemies. 2) She has taken this moral imbalance from mere rhetoric to determined action, supporting extensive and punishing academic boycotts of Israel (e.g., Kafka archive should not go to Hebrew University). And 3) she enables and encourages virulent anti-Semitism both in this participation in BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), and in identifying some of the worst offenders where that ancient hatred is concerned (Hamas and Hizbullah) as part of the “progressive, global, Left.”

Her response was a long, rambling, self-defense (2000 words) in which she systematically misrepresents the critique, and shields herself by claiming the status of a suffering victim of a vicious attack that deeply hurt her feelings.

Lee Hiromoto Responds to Pinkwashing Oped in NYT: Israel honors civil rights

Israel honors civil rights

By Lee Hiromoto / As you were saying
Saturday, December 3, 2011 – Updated 19 hours ago

Having served as a soldier in Israel’s military government in the West Bank during my compulsory military service, I know first-hand that Israel’s situation vis-a-vis its Palestinian neighbors is not perfect. The intricacies of administering captured territory according to international law are complex and security measures like checkpoints or arresting terror suspects can cause undue inconvenience to the innocent. But while the situation to the east of the Green Line may fairly warrant criticism, that should not detract from Israel’s democratic accomplishments.

Consider Israel’s neighbors in the Middle East. This September, three men were executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran for being gay in contravention of Sharia law. Also in September, a woman was sentenced to 10 lashes in Saudi Arabia for daring to drive a car in defiance of the Islamic kingdom’s strict regulations on women’s freedom of movement (the sentence was overturned due the intervention of King Abdullah, but the driving ban remains). In majority-Muslim Egypt, at least a dozen Christians were killed this spring during a mob attack on Coptic churches.

On the other hand, Israeli women, gays and lesbians, and religious minorities have attained a level of equality that other Middle Eastern countries should aspire to.

History shows that Israel’s embrace of modern sensibilities is not a new phenomenon.

Justice Haim Cohn of the Israel Supreme Court wrote in 1963 that consensual same-sex relations between adults should not constitute a crime. It took the U.S. Supreme Court until 2003 to reach the same conclusion when it overturned regressive sodomy laws in Lawrence vs. Texas. Living in both conservative Jerusalem and live-and-let-live Tel-Aviv from 2006-10, I took part in a dynamic LGBT scene that included everything from pride parades to religious services for gay Jews.

While Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was the law of the land in the United States, I served as an openly gay solider in the Israeli Defense Forces from 2008 to 2010. My colleagues, who included yarmulke-wearing religious Jews, were always respectful if not supportive everywhere from the office to the barracks. This level of acceptance, the diametric opposite of the death sentence triggered by being gay in Iran, made me proud to defend the country to which I had naturalized.

Prior to being drafted, I worked for Hand in Hand, a network of bilingual Arabic-Hebrew schools where Jews and Arabs of all faiths study together. In December, student decorations for Hanukkah, Christmas, and the Muslim Eid el-Adha hung simultaneously, a powerful symbol of religious tolerance in the Middle East’s only democracy (where an Arab Christian sits on the Supreme Court). My Muslim boss welcomed me, a Hawaiian Jew, into his home to break the Ramadan fast. I also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, nestled between Arab and Jewish neighborhoods, where female students wearing Islamic head coverings were a common sight.

Though far from perfect, Israel has distinguished itself as the only place in the Middle East to grant full dignity to women, gays and lesbians, and religious minorities.

To write off any reference to Israel’s civil rights accomplishments with a term like “pinkwashing” is more than just offensive. Such a callous dismissal reeks of partisan anti-Israel prejudice and undermines the nuanced, informed discourse conducive to Arab-Israeli reconciliation.

Additional comment from RL: And for the NYT, which refused an editorial from John McCain during the campaign (!), to run this grotesque editorial by a radical “leftist”, is a scandal that, alas, is all too common these days at the dirty grey lady.

Quintessence of the Useful Infidel: Spanish Gay Pride Parade bans Israeli Delegation

An article at Ynet illuminates the combination of insanity and cowardice that now animates much of the Western “left.” The largest Gay Pride parade in the world disinvited the Israeli contingent because of pressure from increasingly violent anti-Israel demonstrators in Spain, especially since the Flotilla Fadiha.

On the one hand, we have Israel, the only country in the Middle East where Gay Pride Parades occur, the only country which, despite being labeled a theocracy run by a bunch of rabbis who think homosexuality is an abomination, even allows Gay Pride parades in the holy city of Jerusalem, right in the face of the religious zealots, without violence.

On the other, we have the Palestinians and other Arab and Muslim countries, where homosexuality is repressed harshly, where killing a homosexual son is a widely approved form of honor-killing, where zealots roam unopposed by governments and kill homosexuals, where homosexuals flee to Israel for asylum, to hang out in the free atmosphere of cities like Tel Aviv.

And in between, we have progressive, peace-loving, free-spirited, rather flamboyant Western homosexuals, who side with the Arab homophobes. Why? It’s hard to gauge the part that’s idiocy (Palestinians are a progressive cause) and the part that’s cowardice (we’re afraid of security problems). But it sure does add up to produce yet another fine example of the useful infidel.

Spanish pride parade doesn’t want Israelis
Sources say pro-Palestinian groups led Madrid to cancel invitation extended to LGBT delegation
Yoav Zitun
Published: 06.08.10, 00:44 / Israel News

Organizers of Madrid’s pride parade, scheduled for the beginning of next month, have announced that they are cancelling the invitation of Israeli representatives slated to appear there, Ynet learned Monday.

The Israeli delegation, made up of members of the LGBT association and the Foreign Ministry, was scheduled to run an Israeli “bus” in the parade, for the first time since its establishment.

But the delegation has recently received hints from Spain that their arrival may cause anger among local pro-Palestinian groups, which may require excess security and, more importantly, cause a lot of embarrassment.

And we don’t want to be embarrassed when we’re being proud, do we?