Friday, July 11, 2008

Antisemite sues bloggers

Note: The author of this post is not "The Devil's Kitchen"

Readers in search of a fight should head over to Harry's Place for an account of why they are being sued by a representative of "Hamas UK".

Mohammed Sawalha is President of the British Muslim Initiative and a senior fundraiser for Hamas activities in Britain who objected to a post on HP in which they noted his use of the phrase "Evil Jew" in a speech delivered to Al-Jazeera, before an eagle-eyed editor changed the phrase to "Jewish lobby". HP backed this claim with screenshots and additional supporting evidence. The British Muslim Initiative are peeved that anyone would think they would use a phrase like "evil Jew" (perish the thought!) and, having not had the retraction and apology they were demanding, are now suing.

To quote DavidT:

Mr Sawalha is a man who prefers to conduct political debate by means of litigation. He hopes to bully those who oppose his vicious theocratic politics with threats of writs. I suppose that I should be relieved. Hamas’ usual technique is to murder those with whom it disagrees.

This is a matter of verifiable fact. Some may think that it takes remarkable chutzpah for a Hamas fellow-traveller to get upset over being called an antisemite, though I suspect Mr Sawalha might not use that word himself. The fact that government ministers are sharing a platform with these people - as you'll discover over at HP - is extraordinary, but depressingly predictable nonetheless. (UPDATE: Credit where it's [belatedly] due; the minister in question has now pulled out of tonight's event.)

Harry's Place is my cup of tea, but I accept that it may not be everyone else's. Once again, though, we find ourselves in a position when bloggers are being threatened with a big stick for pursuing stories that - so far, at least - the mainstream media haven't picked up on. So once again, I'd suggest, we should make a noise about it. If you can watch a dust-up between Harry's Place and a Hamas front organisation and not instantly know what side you're on, you might want to tweak that "moral compass".

More detail can, as ever, be found at the Ministry of Truth.


Ian_QT said...

Separately from this, there's another blogger under attack in Wales.

Christopher Glamorganshire, a civil servant working for the Welsh assembly was sacked, seemingly for contravening a Civil Service bloggers' code.

Surreptitious Evil said...

I think we can safely say when talking about legal (or disciplinary) attacks on bloggers that it would have to be an extra-ordinary blogger (or any extremely off-side post) that would have me on the side of the lawyers.

I blog in spite of the MOD PR directive that requires me to clear any public comment in advance. I note, in the Welsh case, that as it is the government who has dismissed the employer that Ss 12(4) & (5) of HRA98 may be of use:

(4) The court must have particular regard to the importance of the Convention right to freedom of expression and, where the proceedings relate to material which the respondent claims, or which appears to the court, to be journalistic, literary or artistic material (or to conduct connected with such material), to—

(a) the extent to which—

(i) the material has, or is about to, become available to the public; or

(ii) it is, or would be, in the public interest for the material to be published;

(b) any relevant privacy code.

(5) In this section—

“court” includes a tribunal; and

“relief” includes any remedy or order (other than in criminal proceedings).

My emphasis. You cannot, except in special circumstances (e.g. the Working Time Directive), give up your rights under the law within a contract so, respectfully, I must disagree with Glyn Davies. The material clearly falls within 4(a)(i) and would have to fall within 4(b) for sanctions to be legal. And then you need to consider whether the information was of such sensitivity that dismissal was a reasonable sanction.

My 2p, anyway

Mark Wadsworth said...

Re 'British Muslim Initiative', there's a simple rule here; any company or organisation whose name includes the word 'British' is inherently shit. Whether that's BAE, BAA, BA, British Gas, BNP, Council of British Muslims, British Institute of Human Rights etc etc.

BP is the exception that proves the rule.

Umbongo said...


You omitted "British government" from your "shite" list.

Mark Wadsworth said...

U, well spotted.

David said...

Like your site a lot. You’ve done a great job. I found another you might enjoy. Real Man Magazine. They're fighting the good fight against the feminization of men. It compliments your site. Cheers!

Rob said...

It is part of the 'soft' Jihad. See the cases in Canada against Steyn, Levant et al for more info. 'Lawfare', I think they are calling it - nuisance legal suts served to bankrupt people regardless of the strength of their defence. Britain's law on libel is particularly helpful to the Jihadists here.

roman said...

And the British Museum is pretty good. Agree about the rest.