Bloggers drawing “bizarre, mainly racist, conclusions” from assault on Anglican priest

Earlier this month, an Anglican priest was beaten up quite badly by a group of ‘Asian youths’ in east London. Canon Michael Ainsworth was left with cuts and bruises after an attack by a group of boys in his own churchyard. The police said it was a ‘faith hate’ crime; some of the boys had repeatedly shouted ‘fucking priest’ as they beat him up.

Inevitably, there were complaints about ‘political correctness’: calling the boys ‘Asian’ was obfuscating the fact that Muslim persecution of Christians had reached the shores of Britain. Med Mel took it one step further at her Spectator blog: the “jihadi nature of the attack on of the attack on Canon Ainsworth”, she wrote, “is unmistakeable”.

Except, of course, Med Mel, Damien Thompson and lots of other right-wing commentators and bloggers had forgot to ask the Canon what he thought of the vicious assault. A local paper, the East London Advertiser did, however, interview Canon Ainsworth:

“We must respond calmly, and not jump to conclusions…” Coping with the hysteria from “wild” national press coverage had been “almost worse than being attacked.” He felt helpless as his church was besieged by cameramen and reporters after the story broke last Friday. “They have their own agendas,” said Mr Ainsworth, “as do the bloggers, both professional and amateur, who are using the story for their own ends and drawing bizarre, mainly racist, conclusions.”

Perhaps Med Mel’s fellow Spectator blogger Clive Davis could also send her the link to the interview seeing as though he noted it at his blog? Then again, given her previous efforts in documenting the jihad in Britain, she will probably dismiss the Canon’s interview as an example of self-hating dhimmitude.

I do, however, think such incidents ought to force us to think more closely the intersect between race, class and identity (which is what religion is such cases). If, as Inayat Bunglawala argues, the assault involving Canon Ainsworth was an example of drunken yobs losing control rather than ‘religiously motivated’ what about other similar incidents where someone from a ‘minority’ group is the victim? The problem, I think, is that we are not necessarily motivated do something (good or bad) by a single factor*.

Those interested might be think about (re)visiting some material on this subject.

*Which is probably why doing something fisabilillah is held in such high regards within an Islamic ethical framework.

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5 Responses to “Bloggers drawing “bizarre, mainly racist, conclusions” from assault on Anglican priest”


  1. 1 apostatepakistanigirl March 26, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    This is total white liberal nonesense. I am a Pakistani female living in East London, we have the BNP, we have drug gangs and yes, we even have Muslim extremists. You are selling out progressive Muslim and ex-Muslim women by failing to acknowedlge the nature of this attack. You are doing this partly out of naivety cos you think you can appease the Takfiris and partly out of contempt- cos you don’t realize the sharp difference between progressive, secular and integrationist Asians like myself and Jihadists-we’re all just brown folks to you who can be spun stories to get what you want from us. In fact, you will do almost ANYTHING to show the Jihadists that no matter what they do-they are never really to blame. This is a sickness that has destroyed Pakistan. Do you think you are doing Muslim and ex-Muslim women a favor by protecting us from white working class racism? You aren’t cos we lived with it all our lives and in any case, a white backlash cos of some Anglican priest is a non event, we are already too racially divided anyhow here in East London. The real danger is Islamic intimidation. You think you can, one prevent another 7-7 by cosying up to the Jihadists and at the same time curry favor with our community by playing on fear of being tarred by racists for the attack on the priest? Er sorry, cosy white pseudo racist liberals who think you are so fucking smart you can play all sides. First, Islamic radicals despise you, your women are whores and your men are either drug addicts, scum or queer- either way, you are degenerates who must pay for Fallujah, Palestine, Chechnya and Afghanistan, they MUST attack you to maintain support from the Gulf and new recruits in Pakistan, it’s basic PR and media management in a war, your white lame quibbling has no bearing on the matter- blood will flow. Second, in ure misgudied attempts to save Muslims from the BNP (they scared to come into our neighbourhoods so don’t worry), you are undercutting progressives by turning a blind eye to Islamic radicals. There is no BNP backlash for you to worry about, the problem is Islamic extremism, and for people like me, it’s a very serious and worrying problem cos I am on the frontline, you aren’t, you probably live in a nice house in Hamstead worrying about anti facscist action, me, no, i am walking down the street risking getting a serious beating for the anti Islamic statements i have made, for the fact that I am a lesbian woman, and for the fact that I got the FCO forced marriage unit to get me out of Karachi in 2006, and there are many other women who are in dreadful dangers, for as apostates, our situation is very dire, and women like me lack the economic freedom to leave our communities. In fact, I am now SO convinced that Britain is NOT a safe place for a Pakistani apostate female to live, I am trying to relocate to America. You can have ure British rat infested East London and you can curry favor with the mitatrafiyuun for the rest of ure lives as far as I’m concerned, cos I’m going. End of story, apostate and progressive women can expect indifference from the courts, no understandin from the police and total incomprehnsion from the liberal establishment. I have been threatened several times already for my work- I guess you are eager not to blame Islam? Of course, cos you are cornered now in ure own country you bloody fools. Sell women like me out to the extremists would you, you’re not going to get the chance, I’m getting out cos Britain isn’t safe anymore. BY the way, I was a practicing Pakistani Sunni Muslim until I was 17 when I apostocized secretly in Medina, I was raised strictly in the ahl al sunnah tradition and my family are Muslims of Muhajir origin and I was hald educated in Saudi Arabia. I am an apostate, a radical feminist and a lesbian, I am also proud to be Pakistani, you can’t confront Islamic extremists but I CAN, I hate them, will fight them and see them as expressions of the worst forms of patriarchy and expect NO SUPPORT FROM YOU- IT’S NOT EXPECTED NOR IS IT WELCOME ANYMORE. STAY WITH YOUR ISLAMIC FRIENDS COS THE WEST IS DEALING WITH ISLAMIC TERRORISTS TO DESTROY US.
    My blog site is apostatepakistanigirl.wordpress.com

  2. 2 septicisle March 27, 2008 at 12:17 am

    apostatepakistanigirl: I more than sympathise with your overall concern and plight, but there’s no evidence in this particular case to say straight away that it was racially or religiously motivated, let alone part of some sort of “jihad”, especially when the priest himself has called for calm and not to instantly judge things.

  3. 3 thabet March 27, 2008 at 4:45 am

    apostatepakistanigirl: Well, I can only echo what septicisle said. You shouldn’t be made to suffer and I think there is certainly a problem with some Muslim communities in Britain who seek to recreate their imagine homelands (they only succeed in combing the dysfunctional aspects of the two).

    It’s just the story above was about an assault on a priest and the response from some right-wing bloggers. At present, there is no evidence that it was really a “jihadist” attack, although I am sure those boys were not above indulging themselves in the prejudices they will have grown up with.

  4. 4 apostatepakistanigirl March 27, 2008 at 6:04 am

    Obviously, I have no interest in white wing bloggers, to them, I’m just a Paki anyway. There attitude disgusts me and i see it, right wing racism in the police also, cos there’s a kind of wall of indifference an ex-muslim or muslim has to break down. We see the same from the British state iself of course, a disease of the mind that allows rural patriarchal values from Pakistan to not only take hold, but to be on the rise. Thabet, who is male and a Muslim obviously, has at least said something progressive in a sense, our communities are extremely dysfunctional and there is no coping method to our community to deal with, well, for example, people like me- except sexual intimidation, to shout rude stuff out of cars at me, social ostracization etc. But they done all that, and I don’t care. They even sent me to Pakistan in 2006, FORCIBLY, only I escaped in Orangi Town (N.Karachi), and on that occassion, the British government DID actually do something. But not for my ex, she’s still in NWFP, married, forced-not arranged, married and a niqabi now, just like we both was in Saudi Arabia (where we were brought up in the Pakistani ex-patriate community).
    The priest is a good man, it’s ma’ruff, i got no religion, but he’s good, and best for all then if this case is judge solely on the FACTS. It also seems to me, Muslim radicals are unlikely to attack a priest anyhow, they prefer to intimidate their own, and a CHristian priest would not be a obvious target, the Takfiriis are not what you think, cos I know them more than YOU, there motivation is emotional-sexual-political, religion is just a way to systematize and to link into a wider cause, one that does reflect their ideaology. Now I hate the BNP and all these white groups that stirring the pot may bring up, but i never seen them, so these downclass Nazis who would not hesitate to send me to Pakistan (I not going cos I was born here in the uk and I got all me rights and know me rights also),or worse, and who have done TERRIBLE things, they should all be dealt with so they can’t hurt anyhone ever again. And Jihadists, this is same, you fighting Nazis to liberate Germans, so you got to fight Jihadists to liberate us, if you can, and I don’t think you can. So what you will get is Takfiiri dominated ghettos in Muslim communities, police no go areas, horrible things going on inside like acid attacks, burnings of women, beheadings of women, like all what YOU created in Iraq where situation of women is truly horrific, any girl who steps out of line, of course, in ure new great system she’;ll just be killed and dumped. You think I stupid enough to wait around for that? No way, no way, I’m getting away. Sorry, but you are just use sweet words to apologists for Jihadists, this fight against patriarhcy from which Jihadism grows can only be won by desai women adopting RADICAL FEMINISM.

  5. 5 Annick April 3, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Dear APG,

    I have been reading quite a lot of your comments on several websites and symphatise with the terrible things you have been through. I don’t pretend that I know how angry/hurt and violated you must feel, I wouldn’t be able to.

    However, because of what you have been through it seems like you have become a very bitter person, angry at every group in society, apart from RAD FEM Pakistani girls.

    Perhaps if you were to give people a chance and not judge them before you know them, they would not judge you either. You never know … you may even find that not all people are as evil as you think they are. I am sure you don’t like being pre-judged, so try not to pre-judge others.

    Just because not everyone shares your view, doesn’t mean they are evil. You obviously have some personal issues to deal with, but by responding to people in an aggressive way you are pushing away anyone who may try and get close enough to help you…and no, I’m not a Christian..


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