Anti Fascism,  Islamism,  Secularism

Bob Pitt: Still Slandering Iranian Dissidents

Bob Pitt.

We know him by his nom de guerre “Martin Sullivan”, the tirelesssome defender of right-wing Islamist reactionaries and their enablers at Islamophobia-Watch.

For those of you who have never read Islamophobia-Watch, it is a blog designed to smear human rights activists who criticise the treatment of women, gays and lesbian, secularists and apostates in Middle Eastern countries; defame Muslims who are critical of aspects of their own faith community or Islamist politics; and Iranian political dissidents – usually left-wing women – who criticise the reactionary and patriarchal theocratic regime that murdered their comrades and turned them into refugees.

Pitt was originally drafted in by Ken Livingstone to attack critics of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who objected to City Hall promoting this gay-hating, terrorism-supporting chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood.

I had imagined that, after the departure of his patron,  Pitt would have found working under the Boris administration unpalatable, and gone to work for one of the Islamist groups that it was his job to promote. But I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth: it is nice to have him out in the open where we can keen an eye on his mischief making, instead of having him scuttling around somewhere behind the scenes.

Much of his time seems to be spent pouring vitriol on middle eastern dissidents who oppose the Islamist politics he promotes. When he’s not attacking them on his blog, he fires off emails to the trade unions from the comfort of his office in the glass testicle saying pretty much the same thing: injecting his poison into London’s political life.

Here’s one of Bob Pitt’s recent missives attacking an organisation of secularists from Muslim backgrounds:

—– Original Message —–
From: Robert Pitt <*****>
To: ********
Sent: Fri Nov 07 14:19:48 2008
Subject: RE: Conference on Political Islam, Sharia Law and Civil Society
a Success

The so-called Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is a complete fraud. There was scarcely an ex-Muslim at this conference! The CEMB is a front organisation set up by the Worker-Communist Party of Iran, a rabidly Islamophobic far-left sect. It’s modeled on the Council of Ex-Muslims in the Netherlands launched by Ehsan Jami, who was one of the speakers at the conference. Jami’s an ally of the Dutch far-right racist Geert Wilders. UNISON should be more careful about the sort of stuff they circulate.

Here’s a version of the same smear published on Islamophobia-Watch

As we’ve already pointed out, the Council of Ex-Muslims is a complete fraud. It’s a front organisation for the Worker Communist Party of Iran, an ultra-left sect most of whose leaders were never Muslims in the first place. It’s just an excuse for the WPI to indulge in their obsessive and destructive propaganda against Islam.

Maryam Namazie, of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain has published an excellent response to these lies and slanders on her blog.

Pitt says the Worker-communist Party of Iran is ‘Islamophobic,’ implying that criticism of Islam and opposition to political Islam are racist. Clearly, there is a big difference between Muslims and political Islam – as a contemporary right wing political movement like many others, as well as between Muslims and Islam, which is the ideological aspect of this contemporary movement and a belief like many others. Pitt’s blurring of these distinctions and the accusation of racism are devious ways of silencing criticism and opposition and frankly defending the political Islamic movement at the expense of our rights and lives.

It is worth reading Maryam Namazie’s full response…

To attack refugees from the Islamic Republic of Iran as “Islamophobes” only adds to the danger that they face by virtue of being religious dissenters. He is attacking people who are doing something very dangerous, something which takes huge courage – more courage than it takes for Pitt to sit in his office trying to fuck them up.

He knows that once his malicious gossip spreads and people start to believe the whisper “these people are actually in bed with the European Nazis”, that’s the end of their credibility on the Left. They’ll be blackballed by groups like UNISON. Their phone calls will not be returned. They’ll not be invited to work on projects with progressive groups.

And that’s precisely what Pitt wants to achieve. He wants to smooth the way for the faux-progressives in the Islamist movement to enter the mainstream unchallenged. He’s a wily operator, and he knows what he is doing.

But it’s time everyone else did too.