Galloway on the Mo-toons

From the clear headed sanity of Trevor Phillips, to the opposite extreme. Harry’s Place has a BBC transcript of an interview George Galloway did with El Khabar newspaper in Ageria. When aked his opinion on the Danish Mo-toons and the reaction of the Muslim world, this is what he said:

…frankly what happened is an insult to Islam and Muslims. Personally,
I condemn these barbaric and evil acts. Today, the objective of the Western
states is to control the oil of the Muslims whatever the price. In fact,
the cartoons published in Denmark did not surprise me because the Western
states have been waging fierce attacks against Islam for years. These began
by humiliation, insults and then occupation. Today they reached the point
of ridiculing the prophet. This incident is worse than the 11 September
attacks in the US and the 7/7 incidents in London. Therefore, today it is
the right of Muslims to express their anger and to defend their right and
faith.

So publishing a handful of satirical cartoons is more morally reprehensible than blowing up thousands of innocent people? Shouldn’t this man be in a strait-jacket?

UPDATE (16/5/06): It looks like El Khabar misquoted Galloway, as The Times has issued an apology for repeating the quote.

Mr Galloway actually said to El-Khabar that Muslims are now more marginalised than ever before, “worse than the aftermath of 9/11, worse than the aftermath of 7/7

(Thanks to iomama in the comments)


24 Responses to “Galloway on the Mo-toons”

  1. Marc Draco says:

    I’d be questioning his mental health too. After all this is the guy who went on Big Brother and pretended to be cat. Can someone tell me why *anyone* voted for him (to become an MP)?

    He should go and live among the Muslims under Sharia law and see how long he lasts!

  2. Marlene says:

    I despair of George Galloway! What a truly wicked thing to say about 9/11 and 7/7. He should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. Is the man completely crackers? He is totally out of touch with reality and we all know what that means. He should be ‘sent to The Tower’ immediately and I don’t mean Blackpool!

  3. Andy A says:

    But sending him to the tower (or a 2006 equivalent punishment) would deny him his right to free speech, and to do that is to say that only some speech may be free. ‘First,they came for the communists, but I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out. Then …’ But we all know the Martin Niemöller poem. And we have to be very careful that our free speech isn’t just the next one on from the one they banned yesterday.

  4. Andy A says:

    Bugger, I meant ‘the Jews’ in that first line of that poem. Damn! What a silly prat!

  5. Robert Walton says:

    This buffoon has every democratic right to say what he wants in our society,however,I wonder if he stopped long enough to consider what sort of treatment he would be on the end of, had he said the obverse,as a muslim,in a muslim society.

  6. Marcus says:

    George Galloway in a straight jacket? Straight? As straight as a reject EU cucumber or as bent as a nine-bob note … take your pick .. LOL

  7. Marlene says:

    So because of ‘free speech’ no-one can be a traitor? Seems unfair to me, if certain factions can parade with placards advocating slaughter and beheadings etc. and George can be totally disloyal to Britain. I see traitors abounding in this wonderful country.

  8. marc says:

    I hope the people who voted this lunatic into parliament are hanging their heads in shame.

    Marlene – free speech is only free if it only extends to debate; no one has the right to use it to incite violence against others. Oddly enough, this area is rarely challenged.

  9. Andrew Please says:

    I doubt he actually said those things. He couldn’t have… surely? I would like to see him interviewed by a British journalist and asked if those comments or their sentiments are really attributed to him. As the pretend Motoon semi-apology in a Saudi newspaper the other day points out, they will print whatever they want in some countries, (for God’s sake).
    I know Golloway is a pointless attention seeker, but surely he couldn’t have made those comments?
    It should cause a huge furore and open up a proper two sided debate, but sadly and predictably it won’t.

  10. Andy Gilmour says:

    Marlene,
    You said:
    “So because of ‘free speech’ no-one can be a traitor?”

    Well, let’s see.. for starters, “traitor” is a bit of an antiquated notion, based on artificial geo-political constructs and archaic systems of government. “Traitor” to what, exactly?? Perhaps we should consider the actual law regarding “traitors”…

    The last person to be prosecuted as a traitor (ie under treason law) was Marcus Serjeant, the 17-year old who fired a fake pistol at the Queen’s (pause to spit at mention of outdated monarchical irrationalism) horse back in 1981. He got a 5-year sentence – more than many rapists, please note. How ridiculous is that?

    But if you’re not directly threatening the monarch (repeat spit), then actually it’s very hard to be a “traitor” outwith wartime. And we’re not at war. Vague and ill-defined wars on hotly-disputed concepts don’t count. Or would you say that anyone who ever called for “Troops Out!” of N.I. was a ‘traitor’? How about people wearing “Bliar!” t-shirts? “Stop The War?” etc,etc. They could be argued to be “adherent to the King’s enemies in his realm, giving to them aid and comfort in the realm, or elsewhere, and thereof be probably attainted of open deed by the people of their condition”. Not much change since the 1351 original, I’m afraid…655 years of progress???

    Or do you simply define “traitor” as someone who says things that you don’t like about British foreign policy, or indeed extremely foolish things about cartoons and the right of protest? Or how about someone who commits adultery while married to the monarch (yet another spit) or heir to the throne? (hint – this IS a breach of the current treason law, rendering the ceased-to-be Princess Diana a genuine traitor.)

    How about me? I don’t think the British state should exist in its current form, and that we should have an independent Scottish republic. I actively seek the break-up of the realm – definite “traitor” material.

    But “traitor” to what, exactly?

    As Wallace put it:
    “I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject.”

    Bit like being accused of blaspheming against a religion you don’t believe in. Absolute nonsense. I’m highly “disloyal” to “Britain” – as is anyone who opposes any of the myriad idiocies our governments have committed over the years. Damn “traitors”, the lot of us.

    Only difference is I’d argue I can provide rational empirical evidence for (most) of my actions, whereas George Galloway…well…

  11. Dan Factor says:

    Reasons for Galloway’s views are simple. He, like many socialists see Islam as a victim relegion and Muslims as people who need constantly to be patted on the head and told how awful the world is for them and how everyone in the Western world hates them.
    This makes more Muslims believe the entire Western world is against them and that every “non-believer” is a hater of Islam and therefore must be struck down with violence!
    By telling Muslims that everyone but he and his stupid Respect party (of course Galloway thinks so much of his Muslim constituantes that he chooses to bugger off onto a reality TV show rather than work for them) hates them he feeds the flames of hatred from extremist Muslims towards the West further.
    As an atheist I see Islam as no more a victim relegion than Christanity. And whilst I cannot agree with what has been done in the name of “freedom” in Iraq I certainly don’t see how a couple of stupid cartoons that had no artistic merit whatsoever can be oppressing Muslims!

  12. Marc Draco says:

    I’m with Dan. If the world is awful to any religion it’s because the religion brought on itself. Period.

  13. James says:

    I have the Democratic right to say that George Galloway is one DUMB SON OF A BITCH!

    I feel better now!

  14. Marlene says:

    My father was one of the brave souls who landed on the beaches of Normandy on D Day. The fight against Nazi
    terror was not an option and the fight for the freedom of this country was a desperate bloody struggle, as we all know.
    Why do people like Andy Gilmour take all this for granted as an ‘antiquated notion’ and reject loyalty to this wonderful country, where we have the freedom and free speech that had to be earned the hard way. Let those who condemn it try to parade in those countries that deny it, they would be literally shot down.

  15. Marc Draco says:

    I think Marlene that Andy (knowingly, or otherwise) has noticed that Holy Tony and his band of merry arse-kissers are turning the tide of demoncracy (that BOTH our fathers fought for) into a dictatorship.

    My personal soap-box is how can a car salesman with questionable religious beliefs and connections to American fundamentalists, buy himself not only a couple of schools at 10% of their worth, but also a knighthood! This is bullshit. Churchill would never have allowed that.

    We live in a nanny state that’s trying to control every aspect of our lives and we’re rapidly heading toward a state like George Orwell predicted in his book, 1984.

    MPs work for us, but a lot of them, Blair in particular, seem to have forgotten that.

  16. Andy Gilmour says:

    Marlene,
    Ok, let’s play the pointless “bravery and patriotism by
    association” game:

    One of my grandfathers fought in WWI, and the other was on the Malta convoys in WWII. My wife’s (US) great-uncle was at Normandy, and was shot & captured by the Germans.

    But that’s completely irrelevant, so let’s move on, shall we?

    Right, well, “patriotism” is, indeed, the last refuge of a scoundrel. Which was a view my (WWII) Grandad espoused extremely strongly. But you don’t seem to have much beyond it in terms of an argument…?

    Of course, you completely failed to answer the question of what exactly constitutes a “traitor”? Why the hell should I feel “loyalty” to an unrepresentative, undemocratic system of “British” government, or an un-elected monarch (spit) who’s a relic from the feudal ages? (We’re lucky here in Scotland, at least our wee parliament has SOME form of proportional democracy. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a start!) Personally I’d have gone with the rebels in the US in 1776 (as my wife’s lot did), and felt perfectly ethically justified in doing so. In what way does this diminish my desire and effort to protect freedom of expression?

    Then you say:
    “Why do people like Andy Gilmour take all this for granted as an ‘antiquated notion’ and reject loyalty to this wonderful country, where we have the freedom and free speech that had to be earned the hard way. Let those who condemn it try to parade in those countries that deny it, they would be literally shot down.”

    Pathetic assumption, Marlene. Utterly unjustifiable, and a spurious variation on “love it or leave it” tacked on the end. Clean up your own backyard first, Marlene, THEN you can start getting on at the neighbours. BTW, do you read the Daily Mail on a regular basis? Or is it the Sunday Telegraph? Just asking…

    It goes without saying that I’m grateful every day not to live in a country suffering state oppression, theocracy, vast droughts, abject poverty, etc,etc. And I fight (sorry, in a non-violent way, gosh, I’m such a wimp) for my son’s right to enjoy the same good fortune. By the way, I’ve had some very interesting experiences defending my non-theism while surrounded by American creationists on our trips to visit the in-laws in Kentucky. Sorry again, I wasn’t likely to be shot at, but you can be sure I defended freedom of expression vigorously against highly oppressive odds (in a foreign country where the populace is regularly physically hostile towards heathens, please note…). I’ll probably not get to Iran, but in the meantime I’ll make do with protest emails, etc – [ http://www.president.ir/email/ ]

    One tiny (very tiny) little thing I do is post on the internet using my real (full) name, making me easily identifiable for any nutters out there. I’ve only got one life, and I’m not going to hide. There – a miniscule little stand for freedom. What’s your excuse?

    This could be a wonderful country. In many ways it is, but slavish adherence to the rule of an undemocratic band of theists isn’t “loyalty”, it’s ignorance.

    If you think all that makes me a “traitor”, then I’ll wear the badge with pride.

    Marc – definitely knowingly. I’ve been warning people about the dangers of creeping theocracy over here since I first encountered it in the USA years ago. Talk about being treated as a scaremongering prophet of doom! I suppose I get to say “I told you so!” now…and I was inculcated into the cult of electoral reform by my dad, when I was 11 (vote counting for a Scottish Liberal Party internal election!). Bring on democracy! Single Transferrable Vote NOW! :-)

  17. tom p says:

    I am somewhat suspicious of this ‘quote’ from Galloway. Something about it doesn’t quite seem right, though I can’t quite think what it is right now. And, of course, it has come via Harry’s place, a site for pro-war left-wingers who hate Galloway more than just about anyone else alive. If anything, their citing of it almost diminishes its credibility, for me anyway.
    Of course, if he did say it, then it’s a fucking disgrace, but it certainly doesn’t mean he’s a traitor

  18. Monitor says:

    El Khabar has an English language report on the interview which supports the subscription-only BBC Monitoring transcript reproduced at Harry’s Place.

  19. [...] (via MediaWatchWatch) Posted by Paul in Censorship and Freedom of Speech, Religion and Superstition (2/3/2006 at 12:04 am) [...]

  20. marc says:

    No Tom. Not a traitor. A self-promoting twat who really doesn’t belong in government perhaps, but not a traitor.

  21. Rana says:

    “So publishing a handful of satirical cartoons is more morally reprehensible than blowing up thousands of innocent people? ” That’s true I agree with you it’s NOT more reprhensible..but yeah let’s not forget about the HUNDRED THOUSAND innocent muslims that have been killed in the past probably ten years, about 95% of them had nothing to do with what some politicians claim.. their numbers don’t even compare to the 3000 thousand innocent Americans-including muslim and Arab Americans- who were killed in 9/11 .. you want this to be a fair website let’s be realistic and fair here!

  22. Monitor says:

    Yes, but Galloway didn’t say that, did he Rana? The interests of fairness and realism are not well served when you try to defend someone’s words by pretending they said something entirely different.

  23. Rana Balsheh says:

    Monitor! i’m not only talking about Galloway’s..i’m talking about the number of people in this website that are one-sided and who claim this website to be fair and realistic..as an American i find it really disappointing when someone uses the 9/11 terrorist attacks to express their hatred towards muslims.Plus, about 80% of what is said about islam in this website is totally biased..i mean if you have a point that you wanna get across atleast use the right info but it seems like people here(in this website) are either too lazy to look up some TRUE info about islam, or are just using biased information and like i said before to make it seem like it’s ok to hate all muslims and their religion who supposidly -as some people who have never even looked it up-is a religion of terror!

  24. iomama says:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2078896,00.html
    The Times of London:

    Mr Galloway actually said to El Khabar that Muslims are now more marginalised than ever before “worse than the aftermath of 9/11, worse than the aftermath of 7/7”. We are happy to correct the record and apologise to Mr Galloway.
    —————————
    seek the truth and the truth shall set you free