Robert Fisk has rightly lashed out at the scourge of the Internet – extremist anonymous people with too much time writing and saying things they would not otherwise say in real life.
He writes, Now in the old days, when someone stuffed something abusive in your letter box, you’d be round the cop-shop in no time, brandishing green-ink letters in the face of the station sergeant. Threatening behaviour, at the least. But now, merely to complain about this sort of incendiary material marks you as the oddball. “It’s because of your profile,” a friend told me.
Eye-opening indeed. The free and constructive speech of those who speak out should not be snuffed by those who live in the shadows. Such anonymous behaviour is particularly galling when it comes from liberals who also claim to be anti-extremism. Sadly, it appears that they share the ‘true believer’ philosophy of the terrorists — the ends justify the means. Fisk continues —
But something is going wrong here. Surely this is not what the internet is for? Across the world now, anonymity – the bane of every newspaper Letters Editor – is accepted by cyber-journalism, the more hateful, the more understandable. I’ve pulled out of several radio “chat” shows in mid-broadcast because of the absolute refusal of the anchors to explain why they will not challenge the sometimes viciously named Tweeters or email writers. Websites and blogs and chatrooms were never intended to cover the Breivik-like cruelties of these sick people.
The Euston Manifesto
Let me relate my first-hand experience in this regard: Lucy Lips is a person who hides behind this rather strange pseudonym and concocted a story about my positions pieced together from my writings on this site. The person also used my picture without permission and tenuously put together a narrative that satisfies his/her ‘Euston Manifesto’ roots but was diametrically opposite to what I stood for. The ‘Euston Manifesto’ was a collection of liberals who wanted to break away from the general liberal political line on Palestine and other Islamic-world issues. Fair enough, but does this mean that they should also adopt the tactics of the American far-right: smearing and out-of-context repetition of police blotters? If so, then the only rational explanation is that they are too educated to identify with the ignorant right but share the same ‘true believer’ anything-goes moral philosophy. It almost seems that this bunch is in competition with Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer for who has the least moral approach to smearing. At least the loony right write with their own names and are not embarrassed to sling mud. These so-called liberals, too shameful to lie in their own name, choose to become anonymous cowards.
Most Islamophobic Blog in the United Kingdom
The Euston Manifesto expresses its propaganda on a blog that is obviously not directly related to it. I will not glorify the mud-slinging piece about me by putting a link to it here. Suffice it to say that I did send a complaint to the web site a few months ago and later to the hosting providers of the site. The domain is hidden behind ‘anonymous free speech’. An almost identical piece was posted to a Dubai blog and they removed it promptly. I just waited to see where it would lead. Meanwhile, I did some research into the writing style and the motive behind the libelous piece — and the trail led to a certain otherwise-respectable lawyer by the name of David Toube. He is employed by Cleary Gottlieb, and he used to write on the said blog as ‘David T’ and then perhaps a gender confusion prompted him to adopt the pseudonym of ‘Lucy Lips’. You can watch him here in all his Islamophobic glory:
Based on interactions that others have had with him, Mr. Touble has a penchant for hounding people and trying to make them lose their job, and I think that is what he attempted with me. I have now stopped updating my LinkedIn profile with my current work situation. In my humble opinion, if a Breivik-like massacre happens in the United Kingdom, chances are that it would be linked to this blog that is the home of the Euston Manifestonians.
Mr. Fisk again: Anonymity on the Net is as pathetic as the anonymous “sources” that have contaminated the gutless journalism of the New York Times or CNN or theBBC for decades. And the innocent must be able to seek redress in cyberspace as well as in print. Poison-pen letters are illegal. So are offensive electronic messages, if the Malicious Communications Act of 1988 is to be believed. So why should we be forced to drink poison on the Net?
Cease and Desist
The main thrust of the Euston Manifesto appears to be the legitimisation of Zionism on the left. Thankfully, it has been a relative failure. Most activist Muslims, like me, will always fight to protect Jews from anti-Semitism but will always fight the racist and apartheid goals of Zionism. And so will liberals of most stripes. Kapish? And we will write with our own names, because we have a coherent position. We do not have to hide behind pseudonyms to try and intimidate people into silence.
If you are an anonymous coward, then you are not a liberal, not an intellectual and not even a gentleman. Who are you afraid of? Some light shining on your positions – among your families, friends and co-workers? Are you not sure of your convictions? Or are you just bullies?
A Wake-up Call for Liberals
This is also a wake-up call for liberals that Zionism is a lie and a blot on humanity. Like all lies, it needs underhanded tactics and shadowy bullies to keep up its pretense of an ideology. Zionism requires a continuous shrill cacophony, for it requires the suspension of reason in asserting that an end goal for one people can be justified by any means against another.
The Euston Manifesto led to a pseudo-intellectual foundation for the most Islamophobic site in the United Kingdom. Is this what you signed up for? Will you depart from English fair-play and encourage racism to mask the worst racism extant in the world today?
An English gentleman or lady would never stoop that low. Cease and desist before it is too late and another Breivik is inspired.