Hackney Citizen

Stickers declare ‘gay-free zone’ in Hackney

Homophobic signs have been posted up in Shoreditch and Stoke Newington

gay-free zone

Gay-Free Zone stickers have appeared in Shoreditch and Stoke Newington

Stickers have been placed around Shoreditch and other parts of east London, declaring it a ‘gay-free zone’.

The stickers state: “Arise and Warn. Gay free zone. Verily Allah is severe in punishment” and feature a rainbow flag inside a diagonal bar.

Whilst no specific group has claimed responsibility or been accused of posting the stickers, some activists within the LGBT and Muslim community suspect that that a far-right group may be at work, trying to stir tension in these neighbourhoods.

This is not the first time these stickers have been sighted around Hackney – in September last year, there were reports of the same stickers around Stoke Newington.

Equality campaigner Peter Tatchell has spoken out on the issue, arguing that both homophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry are wrong. “LGBT and Muslim people should stand together, united against hate,” he said.

Likewise, Thierry Schaffauser, chair of gay rights group Out East, said, “We’ve been very sad to see homophobic stickers appearing in South Hackney and broader East London. We are in contact with Hackney Council and are discussing what potential action to take.

“We remain very prudent since we don’t know who the authors and the motives behind the stickers might be. What is sure is that we condemn hate in all forms and that whoever is behind the stickers, we will denounce the attempts to divide our communities. We want Hackney and East London to remain a diverse place where we all live together, whatever our differences are.”

The Association of British Muslims has condemned the stickers, stating: “There is nothing in the Qur’an against LGBT people. Allah has honoured every son [and] daughter of Adam, so such a hateful message is not only morally and ethically wrong but actually unislamic.”

Update Tuesday 22 February 2011:

Following requests for comment, Hackney police and Hackney Council both said they are committed to combating hate crime.

Detective Inspector Amy Quirk, from Hackney’s Community Safety Unit, said: ” Hackney police have an excellent working relationship with Hackney Council and there is a huge amount of good work going on to prevent and detect hate crime. Where criminal offences are committed and suspects identified, Hackney police will make arrests.

“We will not try to second guess the author or their motivation, but will deal fairly and firmly with whoever is behind these stickers which are clearly offensive.

“To date there have been no complaints received  by the police in relation to the stickers.  Hackney’s Safer Neighbourhoods teams are aware of these posters and will continue to monitor the situation and take action where appropriate.”

A Hackney Council spokesperson said: “Hackney Council condemns this hateful act, and we are committed to working collaboratively with our partners to combat homophobic crime in the borough.

“We have been working closely with LGBT liaison officers at Hackney and Tower Hamlets Police to offer reassurance and to establish good working relationships with gay-friendly venues in the borough. We have also increased street lighting and CCTV in certain areas. In addition, a dedicated police support number and email have been made available for the LGBT community.

“At Hackney Council we support LGBT month each year, and will continue to use all channels available to us to engender mutual respect, understanding and tolerance within our communities.”

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90 Responses »

  1. I find this worrying & Very sad to see this happening in Hackney & Shoreditch Area which is full of all different people & backgrounds.

    Personally I find these people or persons sad, As they’d have no idea if they were living with an Gay/Lesbian person/people,

    Let alone if someone was hanging around in the parts of Hackney were they put those stickers & I find it more silly,sad, Than Hateful.

    I am an openly Gay man & lived in Hackney & Shoreditch most of My life & I’ve never been attacked in Hackney for being Gay,

    Although I am not Your obvious Gay person, Nor would be comfortable kissing/holding hands in Hackney Or Most parts of The Uk/London.

    Scott1984_FP From Twitter.Com

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  2. When I first heard of this last week, I had doubts about any islamic connection. I could be wrong, but I feel a far right group could be the perps.

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  3. Anyone got any ‘moron-free zone’ stickers knocking about? Incidentally, the sub got it right in the headline, at present the stickers are actually claiming Hackney is a gay free zone (ie. free for gays).

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  4. I go along with the idea that these stickers are more than likely the work of non-muslim right wing shit stirrers.

    Meanwhile, on the topic of Queers and Islam here is a handy book: Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Homosexuality-Islam-Critical-Reflection-Transgender/dp/1851687017/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1287862497&sr=8-1

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  5. Oh, right, yeah, its the far right, of course. Those blighters must also be behind the inclusion in the Qu’ran and generally recognized interpretation of Fasaad fi al-ardh (Spreading mischief in the land), under which, amongst other things punishable by death is…homosexuality.

    How fantastically ridiculous. Even when the evidence stares them in the face, some people just have to look the other way. Again, and again, and again.

  6. “Homoerotic themes were present in poetry and other literature written by some Muslims from the medieval period onwards and which celebrated love between men. In fact these were more common than expressions of male attraction to women.”

    Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, MacMillan Reference USA, 2004, p.316

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  7. Yes, but Gavros. Any random Muslim group who wanted to do this would probably contain at least one intelligent person who would make this more subtle, even if it were a highly homophobic Muslim group.

    The EDL and similar organisations, however, contain no intelligent people at all and have made such a blatantly “please let everyone start hating Muslims, apart from Gavros who clearly already does” design that I took one look at it and thought ‘EDL’. If they made their bullshit convincing enough I’m sure they could maybe pull in a few ordinary people with these bigoted stunts, but they’re actually too stupid to make it work.

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  8. Plus … “There are no verses in the Qur’an that unambiguously condemn homosexuals, and there are some that suggest they can be tolerated in Muslim communities. In addition, reports from Hadith that condemn homosexual and transgender persons are of dubious authenticity.”

    (via “Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims”)

    Similarly … Abu Bakr Al-Jassas (d. 981 AD/370 AH) argued that the hadiths on killing homosexuals “are not reliable by any means, and no legal punishment can be prescribed based on them.”

    and … Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, a contemporary Mauritanian scholar, has argued that “[even though] homosexuality is a grievous sin…[a] no legal punishment is stated in the Qur’an for homosexuality…[b] it is not reported that Prophet Muhammad has punished somebody for committing homosexuality…[c] there is no authentic hadith reported from the Prophet prescribing a punishment for the homosexuals…” He argues that both hadiths on stoning and killing homosexuals are weak: Hadith scholars such as Al-Bukhari, Yahya ibn Ma`in, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Hazm, Al-Tirmidhi, and others impugned the two hadiths.

    (via “Threats to Behead Homosexuals: Shari`ah or Politics?” on islamonline.net … which is full of crap about homosexuality and lesbianism being “heinous crimes against humanity” but does seem to have an underlying premise that “it should be stated that Islam is a religion of mercy” and that “jumping directly to the punishment indicates that the societal system has failed, and that there is a disorder in the educational thinking in the society.”)

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  9. The Al-Fatiha Foundation is an organization which advances the cause of gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims.

    Al-Fatiha is dedicated to Muslims of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning or exploring their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (LGBTIQQ), and their families, friends and allies.

    Al-Fatiha promotes the progressive Islamic notions of peace, equality and justice. We envision a world that is free from prejudice, injustice and discrimination, where all people are fully embraced and accepted into their families, faith and communities.

    http://www.al-fatiha.org

    plus UK Muslim LGBT support http://www.imaan.org.uk

    A Jihad for Love (2007) is a documentary film about Islam and homosexuality, directed by Parvez Sharma,

    http://www.ajihadforlove.com/

    Guardian review … http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2007/sep/06/gayrights.religion

    plus … Islamic homosexualities: culture, history, and literature By Stephen O. Murray, Will Roscoe

    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=hQuHFPKp8L0C&pg=PA89#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Meanwhile, on the more general topic here is the CEMB … Council of ex-Muslims of Britain

    http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/

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  10. Also definitely worth mentioning as a further counterbalance to those crappy stickers….

    Arsham Parsi: Iranian queer activist and founder of Iranian Queer Organization and Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees.

    http://www.arshamparsi.net/
    http://www.irqo.org/
    http://www.irqr.net/

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  11. We are forced to be tolerent of the intolerant

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  12. The English Defence Leagues site has been attacked by Anonymous because of this. Its offline right now.

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  13. It’s entirely possible these stickers were put up by a Muslim group. It’s also possible they were put up by some far-right group as a way to stoke hatred. We don’t know. In fact, we have no evidence either way (other than the wording of the stickers, which probably should be viewed with a grain of salt).

    It’s stupid, irresponsible and even a little dangerous to try to lay the blame at any one group’s feet at this point.

    Please try to use your brains and think critically, people.

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  14. … it’s always useful to remind ourselves of some of the progress being made, such as this story:

    “Stoke Newington school tackles homophobia: Incidents of abuse and harrassment involving students have greatly reduced.”

    hackneycitizen.co.uk/2010/11/02/stoke-newington-school-tackles-homophobia/

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  15. From the East Londone Advertiser: “Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell claims he has been attacked three times by youths in Brick Lane shouting religious slogans. His friends living in the area were “afraid to reveal their sexuality.”

    Guess they’re in the employment of the EDL too?

    Clearly there are reformist groups out there who have an enlightened view of homosexuality, but then they are heavily outweighed by radical elements, highly present in East London, who think exactly the opposite. While reasonable people, both muslim and non-muslim, ignore their agenda, and focus instead onthe wrongs of the far right, this radical polarisation will increase. Stop trying to brush the issue under the carpet.

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  16. A mate of mine was attacked by a bunch of white (I’d guess pretty non-religious) kids outside my house once because they thought she was gay, does that mean the area is a hotbed of atheist bigotry with moderates in the minority?

    Of course not. Like anywhere else, Hackney has idiots wandering its streets from all walks of life and all religions – and there’s plenty of mental evangelist Christian groups in Hackney btw. The focus you choose to place on Muslim extremists is just as bad as their focus on gays or some people’s focus on the EDL.

    I’d guess that it probably was a muslim extremist but so what? They’re representative of sod all – and if it was the case that specific communities were able to stamp out extremism entirely I’d never have to walk past fascist graffiti again.

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  17. Fair point Rob, but I bet neither you nor your friend assumed the attack was actually the work of a militant gay fringe group agitating against a far right militant fringe group? But that’s exactly the reasoning behind this “it must be the EDL” argument. Maybe it is, maybe it isnt, but to deny that there are people in the Muslim community who could conceivably have done this is to put your head in the sand at best. What’s more its counterproductive, as it serves the purpose of the EDL amongst disenfranchised, predominantly white working class people who see this instantaneous blaming of the extreme right without any basis in fact to back it up as equivalent to a political class which has consistently failed to listen to their grievances over the past 30 years – thus leading them to identify more with the EDL, increasing their base. Its easy to blame the EDL for this, but jumping to conclusions about it serves no-one’s interests at the end of the day.

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  18. I can’t believe I’m saying this (based on what you had posted earlier), but I agree with your last post, Gavros. I think you summed it up well.

    Below is an extract from a blog (Fagburn) about this. I think it sums it up nicely:

    The EDL is often banging on about homophobia and Islam – and appear keen to attract gay supporters; they even claimed in December to have dis-invited Koran-burning Pastor Terry Jones to adddress a rally, in part because of his homophobia. Of course, there is a strong homophobic current among Islamists. Last month five Muslim men were arrested in Derby for distributing a leaflet that called for the execution of gay men. So we shouldn’t be surprised if some hate-filled Islamic fuckwits have been plastering east London with these posters. But equally I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out the EDL were behind it. Here’s how Charlie Brooker concluded his column on Monday, “I believe this is a wonderful country. All of it. The people are inherently decent and fair-minded. All of them. We should resist crude attempts at division, wherever they come from. Because we deserve better. All of us.”

    http://www.fagburn.com/2011/02/anti-gay-posters-in-london-is-edl.html

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  19. Oh I wouldn’t disagree with you that blaming the far-right on zero evidence is pretty dodgy reasoning!

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  20. anonymous don’t announce their activities in the pages of the hackney citizen. if you want to know what they are doing, they have a website for that: http://anonnews.org/

    whoever put that silly post up in an attempt to whitewash islamist violence against gay men should try better next time.

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  21. Don’t forget what four muslim thugs who really murdered an innocent RE teacher down the road in Bow. His crime? Teaching muslim girls about other religions.

    FOUR brutal thugs who slashed a teacher’s face because they hated him teaching “other religions” to Muslim girls face jail.
    Gary Smith suffered a fractured skull and needed three operations after being attacked with a Stanley knife, iron bar and lump of concrete.

    The RE head, 37, was cut from his mouth to his ear when he was set upon as he walked to work.

    Detectives had made secret recordings of Muslims Akmol Hussein, 26, Sheikh Rashid, 27, Azad Hussain, 25, and Simon Alam, 19, plotting to target Mr Smith.

    The covert investigation captured the gang condemning him for “teaching other religions to our sisters”. Prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse told Snaresbrook Crown Court, East London: “The evidence from what was said on the probe points overwhelmingly to a religious motive for this attack.”

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  22. I too share these concerns and will be raising this at the meeting of Full Council on 2 March.

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  23. Beware the council are taking notice.
    BAN ALL STICKERS!

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  24. via BBC 22 February 2011 Last updated at 17:42

    Residents tackle East End “gay free zone” stickers

    Last Friday, a group of eight friends who lived near to Shoreditch decided to take matters into their own hands.

    They met at Shoreditch Town Hall and walked around the nearby area.

    Wherever they found a “gay free zone” sticker, they either defaced it, replacing “gay free zone” with the word “love”, or they covered it with a poster saying “help yourself to love”.

    “Rather than get angry with the people who did it, we decided to counter it with some love,” she said.

    “We’re a cross section of people, of all races and sexualities – gay, straight and bisexual – saying its just not appropriate.

    “But we thought- you know what? We’re not going to hate you back.

    bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12526820

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  25. The person I saw putting up one of these stickers in Whitechapel last September was a fashionably dressed twenty-something Anglo-Asian man.About 5 foot 10.

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  26. Abbas why do you have to lie and in doing so give yourself away?

    Gary Smith was not murdered, he suffered a horrific attack which was found to be religiously motivated but he is still alive and physically recovered.

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  27. Given the knee-jerk reactions of some contributors to this issue, it’s hard to not dismiss them as UAF sockpuppets…

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  28. I have been accused elsewhere online, re the topic of these stickers, of somehow being in denial about Islamic homophobia.

    So I feel the need to articulate the *actual* motivation behind my choice of comments here. And it is this: I am simply not interested in regurgitating what we already know. I believed it was more interesting to make the effort to research and share a number of links focusing mostly on progressive or alternative information about the topic of Queers and Islam. I had assumed people would be similarly curious to learn and explore lesser known information on the topic. That is all.

    Similarly I am not in any denial about Islamic homophobia when I state my belief in the strong *possibility* of the stickers being a False Flag or Psyop strategy by the far right (and I never specifically pointed at the EDL by the way). Oh, and no, I have nothing to do with that Anonymous post either (it was insinuated over on Facebook that it might have been me).

    Just needed to get that off my chest.

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  29. @SimonH I think Abbas made a typo and meant nearly not really. The report is copied from the newspapers

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  30. As I say the person I observed putting up one of these stickers was a well-presented smart casual Anglo-Asian man,clean-shaven,about 6 ft tall.He would have been probably of Indian/Pakistani descent and was not dressed in a traditional “muslim” way.This took place in the early afternoon on either Friday 25th September or Saturday 26th September 2010,on the bus stop just outside the hotel Ibis in Whitechapel.I removed & laughed at said sticker.Later on it looked as though he had attempted to repair rather than replace the sticker.This coupled with the small numbers of stickers found over the intervening months would suggest this is not a large-scale movement.
    BTW I apologise that this post is not a complex or risible theory,merely what I actually saw.I hope it in no way troubles anybody wishing to construct a thrilling tale of intrigue or espionage around these rather sad-assed bits of tat.

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  31. @briannny: Even without your observation, there’s a logical flaw in the reasoning of those who believe that the stickers are the work of the EDL, which is that they don’t actually have much of a power base in east London. And if this really was a campaign of disinformation to discredit muslims, why have stickers not appeared in Luton, Leicester, Bradford, etc.?

    Sadly, the likes of UAF are so in love with their own rhetoric that they fail to see what’s going on right under their noses!

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  32. @ Brianny, Whether you’re sharing a true story or not, anecdotal evidence is of little real worth when posted by someone hiding behind an unidentifiable name.

    I wish people would start to adopt greater transparency online. Be prepared to stand by your words and opinions.

    On the topic of the stickers, it is of course worth considering that the stickers could be the work of just one person. The anti-Banksy is amongst us perhaps :)

    Meanwhile, on the topic of the far right, and I’m not at all meaning to stoke any flames of conspiracy, I’m not talking about the stickers right now, this is just a general observation I wanted to express, …. but I notice a tendency for people to automatically assume that the words “far right” only refers to white working class people. Why is that? How have the powerful rich far-right managed to get themselves painted out of the picture?

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  33. @Russell Higgs: come to that, why are the Islamists NOT usually regarded as ‘far right’, considering their militant misogynist, homophobic and anti-semitic propaganda? There’s more than one kind of fascism…

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  34. I am interested,though not in the least surprised, to see that a made-up name presenting a genuine account is viewed as inferior to a genuine name presenting an unsubstantiated hypothesis.But for the record,that IS what I saw,whether it’s believed or not.Fortunately it wasn’t a massively important event as I have no intention whatsoever of revealing my actual name here.
    I wonder if the noble Mr Higgs could speculate as to why I might frustrate him in this way? Is it because I am in fact covertly persuing the readers of the Hackney Citizen in my discreet black helicopter,using reptilian psychic weaponry on those who have foolishly forgotten to don their tin-foil helmets,in my herculean efforts to ruin the reputation of an unidentified man seen indulging in some rather weedy homophobia?Or is it because I don’t want to EVER communicate on a personal level with any of the ungainly legions of ghastly chatroom sermonizers?

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  35. I thought I would clarify a few points. The stickers were seen last year in Nottingham, Twickenham and Whitechapel. They made a reappearance in Tower Hamlets during the weekend of 12-14 February. The LGBT forum for Tower Hamlets (Rainbow Hamlets) have been in discussion with the Police, the Council and indirectly the East London Mosque. The stickers have been condemned by the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, the director of the Mosque, and by the leader of the interfaith forum. It now seems those responsible have started targeting Hackney.

    While many will draw their own inferences based on the texts referenced on the stickers, no-one has yet been charged with any criminal offence in relation to them. We are therefore not in a position to confirm or deny any speculation about the identity of those responsible. I note however the comments made by Brianny above and would be grateful if (s)he could communicate that information to the police LGBT liaison officer in Tower Hamlets.

    Readers may be interested in the following links:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00yqs93/5_live_Breakfast_24_02_2011/ (Opens in iPlayer – ff to 1 hr 24 mins) and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-12526820

    Alternatively feel free to visit the Rainbow Hamlets facebook group.

    Rebecca Shaw
    Co-chair
    Rainbow Hamlets

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  36. I find it slightly puzzling that D.I Quirk states that no complaints have yet been made.

    I myself a resident of Hackney have reported it. I also know of at least four other people who have reported it too. I urge anyone else who sees a sticker to also report it so this rather sad individual (or indeed group) can be caught and stopped from intimidating anyone else.

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  37. a few years ago, julie bindel wrote about pakistani muslim gangs grooming underage girls into prostitution,
    she was criticised for being racist, pushing bnp propaganda, the truth has since come out.
    a guardian survey showed that muslims were intolerant of homosexuality whereas a survey by a university showed football fans were against homophobia.
    is multi-culturalism such a sacred ideal that womens & gay rights are sacrificed?

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  38. @ brianny,

    You don’t “frustrate” me, as you put it. I was making a calm rational observation about the cloak of anonymity vs the light of accountability.

    I believe very strongly in the importance of transparency and accountability. I believe, as David Brin states in his book The Transparent Society, that accountability is a far more precious and valuable thing than privacy.

    Of course it is useful to have the option of creating anonymous alternative identities online, with which we can safely explore and discover different aspects of ourselves etc. And of course anonymity is tactically very useful. But when we’re posting under our real names it encourages us to think about what we’re going to say before we say it, because it can be traced back to us. And that’s a good thing too.

    And as I originally stated, I wish more people would be prepared to stand by their words and opinions.

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  39. @ The Great Smell Of Brute.

    Precisely.

    And in these sort of discussions we perhaps need to consciously make a distinction between the Islamic far-right and the more progressive and compassionate aspects of Islam. Rather than just painting all muslim people with the same brush.

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  40. A question. You know the bit where in their last comment where “brianny” attempts to muddy the discussion by introducing tired and supposedly humourous cliches about conspiracy theorists; can that be called an ad hominem? I’m genuinely unsure.

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  41. I don’t know the latin for “pseudo-anarchist control freak”,but I do know,and I cannot state this strongly enough, that I saw a well-presented smart casual Anglo-Asian man,clean-shaven,about 6 ft tall putting up one of these stickers.He would have been probably of Indian/Pakistani descent and was not dressed in a traditional “muslim” way.This took place in the early afternoon on either Friday 25th September or Saturday 26th September 2010,on the bus stop just outside the hotel Ibis in Whitechapel.I have forwarded this information to the relevant police officer,via e-mail,although I’m sure interpretive street mime would have been more intellectually valid.

    ps Thanks Russell-I bet my partner five pounds you wouldn’t be able to resist the opportunity of drawing further attention to yourself.We are having a slight dispute over you posting three times with your calm rational observations-I believe this should entitle me to fifteen pounds.By way of a compromise she says if your next post is more desperate in it’s ungainly attempts at self-validation to an assumed audience of strangers,she’ll round it up to a tenner.
    Of course you might be able to restrain yourself from responding,thus depriving me,the unfunny bounder not keen to adhere to the dictatorial strictures of your particular strain of urban non-conformism, of a fiver.It’s never too late to make the leap out of adolescence!

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  42. If anybody here has any actual INFORMATION,the relevent contact details concerning hate literature in the Tower Hamlets area can mostly be found here -
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=121836957827291#!/group.php?gid=121836957827291&v=wall
    also Crimestoppers-
    http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/in-your-area/london
    It is wholly irresponsible to make broad suppositions about the guilt or otherwise of any given group of Islamic or British extremists,no matter how unpalatable they may be.It is equally foolish to dismiss potential witnesses accounts on the basis of their (understandable) preference for online anonymity.Attempts to justify this silly pretension merely waste futher time which could be spent establishing an actual,rather than hypothesised,identity for the perpetrators of this nasty stunt.

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  43. This comment has be removed following complaints. – Ed.

  44. @Brianny hello! I think I have a photo of the guy doing it, or at least one of the guys doing the stickering… can I run it past you?

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  45. Better off forwarding that to the police,if you saw these people doing it then you shouldn’t need me to confirm it as you’ll have witnessed it yourself.Or go to the Rainbow Hamlet’s facebook wall,various contact details there. Better to let the people investigating judge if the pic is useful,it can’t do any harm.Plus the police will have CCTV access for comparisons etc.

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  46. @Russell Higgs: I totally agree. Unfortunately, UAF don’t appear to acknowledge the existence of Islamism (probably to gloss over some of the dodgy strategic alliances they’ve formed), only ‘Islamophobia’; and whilst the EDL acknowledge the difference officially, many of their members do not.

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  47. @J-Pie & brianny: let’s hope that your evidence means that the perpetrator(s) will be identified, arrested and charged.

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  48. There is a facebook “East London is a Hate Free Zone”.
    This has been set up to allow all diverse groups to come join and debate in a contructive manner, our diversity and that which makes us different.
    By doing this the whole community will learn of who we are, what makes us laugh cry and how to love rather than hate.
    Dont allow outsiders to come in and distroy a beautiful community we have worked hard to build. We have all choosen to live here for that very reason.
    Remember we are not one dimensional. Many of us are diverse as individuals. We are Black and Gay, White and Faith, Disabled and Transgender, Refugees and Lesbian. The list is endless Let embrace each other and say no to all Hate regardless. Join our facebook “East London is a Hate Free Zone”. .

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  49. J-Pie,

    Can I suggest you send it to Harry’s Place and maybe some other blogs, and don’t just send it to the police. Their behaviour regarding this scase is suspect as I know for a fact they have received complaints about the stickers but they are claiming they haven’t had any! I’m not sure I would trust them to act on, rather than just ignore, the photo.

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  50. So now Pink News is reporting that the “asian” (aka muslim) who did this has been released with no charges.

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/03/11/man-arrested-released-over-east-end-anti-gay-stickers/

    So much for it being the EDL who did it. Can we now have some apologies from those blindly homophobic defenders of islamic fanaticism?

    There are plenty of comments by gay people at Pink News calling for Stonewall and Rainbow Hamlets to resign. Everyone knows that if these stickers had gone up elsewhere in the country saying “Muslim Free Zone” there would have been prosecutions for religious or racial hatred.

    We’ve had almost 20 years of violent islamic homophobia going unpunished. Let’s see if those 2 muslims from Derby being prosecuted for inciting violence towards gay people actually get convicted.

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  51. … comment number 41 is very bizarre.

    Why is “brianny” labelling me as a “pseudo-anarchist control freak”?

    One thing is definite, “brianny” sure is fond of the ad hominem approach.

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  52. I have to add that just because a person isn’t white that does not rule out a person from being connected with the far right.

    … A recent news story, 26 February 2011, reported a poll revealing that a worrying number of people in the UK, BY NO MEANS ALL OF WHOM ARE WHITE, would support an anti-immigration party provided it carried no overt associations with the downmarket bootboy neo-Nazism of the BNP.

    According to the survey,
    39% of Asian Britons,
    34% of white Britons
    and 21% of black Britons
    wanted all immigration into the UK to be stopped permanently, or at least until the economy improved.

    And 43% of Asian Britons,
    63% of white Britons
    and 17% of black Britons
    agreed with the statement that “immigration into Britain has been a bad thing for the country”.

    guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/27/support-poll-support-far-right

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  53. @ Citizen Maxie, in comment 42 You said “It is equally foolish to dismiss potential witnesses accounts on the basis of their (understandable) preference for online anonymity. Attempts to justify this silly pretension merely waste further time which could be spent establishing an actual,rather than hypothesised, identity for the perpetrators of this nasty stunt.”

    Spending a few moments sharing our varied opinions here on this page is not preventing anyone from establishing anything.

    I do get the distinct impression that some comments here are slightly desperate to try and undermine and close down any alternative comments. I wonder why that might be?

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  54. I knew you couldn’t hold out for long!Thanks for the fiver,you vainglorious pontificating cariacature!

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  55. @russell-” do get the distinct impression that some comments here are slightly desperate to try and undermine and close down any alternative comments”
    -my reading of these posts is that they were baiting you very specifically to respond in order to find amusement in the substance of your specific statements,rather than mounting some form of general suppressive tactic.And having myself followed the handy link you provide to your webpages,I’d say that this behaviour is not only understandable,but practically inevitable,and surely a response you must have grown to expect.
    Having said that,& in all seriousness,a comment on this page has it would appear been removed following complaints- this might throw light on any genuine suppression of free & open commentary so could anyone enlighten me as to what the comment consisted of,and who requested it’s removal?

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  56. @ “brianny”

    STOP WITH THE PETTY PERSONAL ATTACKS.

    You come back here as often as I do. Grow up.

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  57. Sorry,last post,won’t be rustling your feathers again-when I’m told my genuine personal experiences are not valid in a discussion on that very subject, I find that somewhat insulting.Fortunately there are people in the Hackney /Whitechapel area more interested in actual events than self-promotion,so this page of postings proved against the odds constructive.Anyone who has actually followed your link will be amazed that you have the audacity to tell anyone to grow up!

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  58. @ “brianny”

    what I actually said in comment 32 was this:

    “Whether you’re sharing a true story or not, anecdotal evidence is of little real worth when posted by someone hiding behind an unidentifiable name.”

    Here’s a suggestion “brianny”, rather than hiding behind easy convenient anonimity, why don’t you arrange to meet me and tell me what you think about me to my face.

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  59. @russell-this lapse into petulant aggression is depressing,and causes me some concern especially when apparently directed at an anonymous female.It is overtly apparent what this person thinks of you ,you evidently have taken an exaggerated exception to her statements and it is deeply worrying to think that you wish to take this dispute into the physical realm. It is absolutely obvious from your posts how unwise this would be,and I would urge her not to engage you in any further exchanges.
    Having re-read your various posts it would appear you view yourself as somehow integral to the argument that the far Right are capable of both considerable cunning and pragmatic co-operation with seemingly culturally opposed groups. Therefore you have seen fit to assume that the poster calling themselves “ Briany” is mocking you in order to discredit this theory by linking your perceived shortcomings to a general weakness in the viewpoint you espouse-hence your repeated use of the phrase “ad hominem”. Might I suggest that you are, if my reading of this is correct, possibly guilty of some degree of self-agrandisement? There are many anti-fascist philosophers & organisations capable of presenting & maintaining these arguments in a more rigorous forum, with superior examples & supporting arguments, and without your input. It seems unlikely that any fascist organisation, no matter how ramshackle & demented, would regard a person of your standing & preoccupations to be a vital lynchpin in the operations of their opponents.
    You would surely concede that the public persona you have gone to concerted lengths to construct does not lend itself well to the presentation of what would be generally perceived as a rational debate .A more grounded interpretation of the motivation for what you term “petty personal attacks” would be-
    the manner in which you initially chose to undermine “Briany”s apparently important, (and it would certainly appear factually accurate) information concern-
    ing the perpetrator of this minor hate offence in preference for your own abstract opinions has unsurprisingly annoyed her/him, thus causing her/him to wish to ridicule you personally. Why you should desire to continually draw attention to these postings is not a matter that I feel able to quantify rationally- but it would certainly appear to be yourself perpetuating. at your own expense, this rather pointless sideshow.
    You should stop.

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  60. March 15th PRESS RELEASE by imaan.org.uk

    New, hard evidence emerges, proving EDL and other right wing, anti-Muslim allegiances amongst the organisers of East End Gay Pride, 2 April 2011

    Imaan, Europe’s largest support group for LGBTQI Muslims calls for removal of the organisers and for the event to be delivered by Pride London and local communities.

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  61. I hope this is not intended as proof of the rationality of your behaviour.

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  62. perhaps this is a good point to offer another chance to visit some links relating specifically to the topic of Queers and Islam …

    Homosexuality in Islam: Critical Reflection on Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Muslims

    amazon.co.uk/Homosexuality-Islam-Critical-Reflection-Transgender/dp/1851687017/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1287862497&sr=8-1

    The Al-Fatiha Foundation is an organization which advances the cause of gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims.

    al-fatiha.org

    UK Muslim LGBT support

    imaan.org.uk

    A Jihad for Love (2007) is a documentary film about Islam and homosexuality, directed by Parvez Sharma,

    ajihadforlove.com/

    Guardian review … guardian.co.uk/film/2007/sep/06/gayrights.religion

    Islamic homosexualities: culture, history, and literature By Stephen O. Murray, Will Roscoe

    books.google.com.au/books?id=hQuHFPKp8L0C&pg=PA89#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Arsham Parsi: Iranian queer activist and founder of Iranian Queer Organization and Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees.

    arshamparsi.net/
    irqo.org/
    irqr.net/

    plus

    CEMB … Council of ex-Muslims of Britain

    councilofexmuslims.com/

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  63. “The team here at East End Gay Pride would like to announce that they have accepted the resignation of Raymond Berry from the EEGP team.

    It has come to light that Raymond has previously had dealings with the English Defence League, however he has assured us that he is no longer any part of the EDL group. He also stated that he has previously attended march’s organised by the EDL”

    ….meanwhile Imaan will be releasing further material this Thursday to prove links between the remaining organisers of East End Gay Pride and nationalist, fascist and anti-muslim groups.

    imaan.org.uk

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  64. “The choices we make as autonomous adults must not be limited by other people’s irrational or neurotic concerns.” I found this posted as a partial explanation for mr Higgs appearing naked at Downing Street in an event poorly attended and only apparently publicised by himself.His other output includes over a thousand self-portraits,maily pulling faces or placing diverse objects on his head.He also sells badges of himself thru cafe press.I can’t see why he would presume to be a good representative of rational discussion.

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  65. … en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

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  66. “Aegri somnia” would be nearer the mark…

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  67. Or,”argumentum ad hominem” if he’s trying to say that other posters are using personal attacks to undermine his viewpoint,whatever that may be…the phrase “ad hominem” is used to infer that an appeal is being made to ones primal rather than intellectual urges.Herein lies the danger of attempting to bolster one’s argument by using wikipedia latin!

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  68. The focus of this thread is Queers and Islam, plus the attempts by the far right to stoke divisions among us.

    Unfortunately there are also a number of comments here that prefer instead to invent negative judgements and assumptions about me personally. Such comments are of course feeble attempts to divert us away from the main focus.

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  69. Why would they invent stories about you?Who are you in relation to this issue?

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  70. I am not making this post for any other reason than disgust at the way some individuals attempt to control,limit, divert and distort information for their own dogmatic ends.I don’t have any interest in attacking gays,muslims or even fascists particularly.I just hate the mindset that reduces broad social issues to petty cliquey sniping,particularly when this is done by someone claiming to be supporting inclusivity & a community conscience.

    It would seem that anyone who has claimed to have seen these stickers being put up has seen them being put up by young Asian men.(Though this seems to have been of little concern to mr Higgs,prompting my earlier “invented negative judgements”)So, would this be-
    a. fabricated statements placed by the “far right”,which would imply that the “far right” wish to gain support among homosexuals
    b.young Asian men working for the “far right”,which would imply that the “far right” wish to forge links with Asians
    c.young Asian men who dislike homosexuals,which would imply,heaven forfend,that Islam could conceivably be used as a tool of oppressive idoctrination
    d.young Asian men trying to distance themselves from their own homosexuality,which would imply that this was the plot from a particularly shaky episode of “waking the dead”
    As the most regular poster on this thread seems to have decided unilaterally on how these minor events have come about,who is to blame and what should be viewed as valid discussion on an open forum,I would suggest anyone seeking actual information on the issues raised here looks elsewhere.
    If anyone wonders where my invented negative judgements and assumptions about mr Higgs have originated,please follow the links he has thoughtfully provided to his own work.While I wouldn’t say it’s without any merit,it certainly does not confer on him the intellectual high ground.

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  71. Honestly, some of the comments on this page are so dumb they could only be written by far right fanatics (or readers of the Daily Mail).

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  72. Why is Hackney Citizen fuelling hatred?

    Assuming there is any truth in the story that Islamacist homophobes are active in Shoreditch (which I very much doubt), why is this blasted from front page (Feb 2011 edition)? Why should a tiny group be so well publicised by a paper that positions itself as pseudo alternative/Green/Left? If these anti-gay stickers have appeared anywhere then this looks for all the world like a divide and rule, spook game pitting communities against each other. That is a State psyop designed to ferment conflict and divert attention from real abuse of power by bankers, corporations and politicians as millions pay the price of capitalist greed. Wake up, the British State’s been at this game for centuries.

    The real question I is why this dodgy, inflammatory garbage is worth reporting, let alone screaming from the front page? Unless of course Hackney Citizens wants to help spread discord and hatred.

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  73. At least there’s more evidence to support the article (which does not assign blame) than in your conspiracy theory which is all conjecture and has no supporting evidence (even circumstantial) whatsoever.

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  74. Perhaps it’s the work of ‘moles’ within an Islamist cell, in the pay of a far-right group, which in turn is a cover organisation being run by MI5 operatives to spy on neo-Nazis…ROFL!

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  75. @ Russell Miller who said “Unless of course Hackney Citizen wants to help spread discord and hatred.”

    Looks to me like you need to give up the spliff mate.

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  76. Judging by Russell Miller’s daft and unnecessarily snidey remarks about the Hackney Citizen (a wonderful and very popular local paper), combined with similarly destructive remarks he has left dotted about the web over the past year or so, I find myself concluding that Mr Miller himself is perhaps someone with an underlying agenda to spread disharmony and distrust among our local community.

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  77. @Spooky: indeed. And “dodgy, inflammatory garbage” is an apt description of Russell Miller’s allegation that the sticker campaign , “is a State psyop”! Some people (UAF and the likes of Mr Miller, for example) just don’t want to admit that Islamism exists, or that it has an agenda which is homophobic, misogynist and pro-totalitarian.

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  78. GSoB: Islamism may be homophobic, but that doesn’t mean that garden-variety Islam isn’t homophobic as well. Islam is not a religion that has a good track record when it comes to homosexuality, even if you take into account some of the cherry-picked “evidence” to the contrary presented by some of the posters on this thread.

    That does not, of course, mean all Muslims are homophobes. They aren’t. But it’s far less of a stretch to think the stickers might’ve been put up by some homophobic religious type than to go so far as to think it’s some sort of plot (by the far right, the state or even Islamists). It could just be local religious bigots. We have plenty of those in London and in the UK.

    If they were Christian stickers, I doubt some of the posters on this thread would be protesting so (figuratively) loudly.

    I appreciate that we shouldn’t jump on the bandwagon and assume the stickers are the work of Muslims. Fair enough. But we shouldn’t discount it completely. I say we deal with the stickers and don’t worry so much about assigning blame, unless more evidence comes to light. I mean really… is it so important that we know who is behind the stickers anyway? Maybe, maybe not.

    UAF and others have good points (at times), but as much as I agree with tempering our reactions in order to avoid stirring up anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments, I also don’t believe we should turn a blind eye to bigotry, even if it comes from minority groups. No one should get a free pass when it comes to that.

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  79. @Adam:-
    The reason I mentioned UAF in this context is because they have a track record of:

    * Hijacking other people’s (anti-fascist) protests and campaigns;
    * Stifling debate and doctoring the facts to suit their own narrow (and largely hidden) agenda, particularly regarding Islamism;
    * Claiming any any cancellation by the EDL as ‘their’ victory over fascism;
    * Engaging in street protests against the BNP in a manner which has usually served only to lend the latter credibility with certain sectors of the electorate;
    * Trying to assume an authority that is not their’s to exercise.

    Take a good look at UAF and the SWP, and it’s hard to miss the fact that there’s a major overlap between the two organisations.

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  80. @GSoB – I agree, completely. I wasn’t taking exception to your post as much as I was (initially) trying to point out that this may very well not even be Islamists doing this, but just regular Muslims.

    …or it could be some sort of Psy-Op run by MI5.

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  81. …Or by the Easter Bunny, for that matter! :-D

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  82. gsob,I saw a one armed man running down shoreditch

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  83. … Muslamic Ray Guns – The EDL Anthem

    youtube.com/watch?v=AIPD8qHhtVU

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  84. Here’s a link for Russell Miller- proof that the EDL are in fact, behind those stickers:
    http://hackneycitizen.co.uk/2011/04/05/gay-free-zone-homophobic-stickers-police-release-cctv-image/

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  85. http://hackneycitizen.co.uk/2011/04/05/gay-free-zone-homophobic-stickers-police-release-cctv-image/comment-page-3/#comment-40084

    Would any of you arrogant bloody fantasists care to apologise?

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  86. @ Brianny

    whoever you may be Brianny, it has to be said that most of your comments here really don’t do you any favours.

    In most of your comments you come across as being remarkably petty minded.

    You remind me and most of my house guests of some cartoon teenager throwing a perma-sulk. And it’s really not very attractive.

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  87. @Spooky: considering the amount of ideologically-driven abuse Brianny has had to endure from certain individuals, simply for puncturing their pet theories about the far right, I think an apology is the very least she deserves!

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  88. Don’t the lefties above – and especially the author of the piece – feel incredibly stupid now? Hate filled campaign by Muslim extremists turns out to be …duhhh hate filled campaign by Muslim extremists. Wakey wakey. Crazy religious fundamentalists hate us.

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  89. Hey, wait a second: I’m a far lefty and I think my comments above ‘speak’ for themselves.

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  90. Maybe this convenient and tidy prosecution narrative is true. Personally I’d still like to know which side of the political spectrum this kid dresses on.

    And it is of course just as possible that this is one of those unfortunate kids who has been systematically raped by paedophile police chiefs and other local dignataries from an early age and who has been coerced into taken the rap, as they say.

    Who knows?

    Meanwhile, in reply to nonsense such as that written by “sam” … “Muslim fanatics need to be removed from our society.” and “matt” … “We have let people like this into our country? Looks like the country is busy heaping up its own funeral pyre after all.” … over on another Citizen thread related to this topic … I would like to add and point out the obvious, PLENTY OF INTOLERANT IDIOTS ARE ALSO BORN IN THIS COUNTRY.

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