I have a letter in this week’s New Statesman. It is a response to an article in last week’s magazine by Mehdi Hasan. As NS Letters appear not to be published online I am pasting it here:
The piece by Mehdi Hasan in last week’s magazine (‘Who needs Tommy Robinson and the EDL, when Islamophobia has gone mainstream?’) tries to infer that statements by various writers, including myself, are identical to those on show at some EDL demonstrations. For instance he quotes some EDL supporters caught on camera chanting: “Burn the mosque!” and then quotes me as calling for ‘mosques accused of spreading “hate” to be “pulled down”.’ Mehdi then says ‘Spot the difference?’
I am confident that New Statesman readers can spot at least one difference that evades your writer. Let's try it on something else. ‘Failing hospitals should be pulled down’. “Burn the hospital!” ‘Care homes in which there has been systemic abuse should be pulled down’. ‘Burn the care home.’
Of course Mehdi has notoriously been caught on video describing non-Muslims like me as ‘Kuffar’, ‘cattle’ and (quoting the Quran) ‘people of no intelligence.’ Perhaps Mehdi does not regard accuracy as necessary when it comes to smearing us bovine creatures.
Incidentally, I was pleased to see on last Friday’s edition of Have I Got News For You the nation had another opportunity to laugh at Mehdi’s Daily Mail hypocrisy.