Vive Charlie Issue 19 - Page 46

When people become newly involved in political campaigning, particularly any kind involving Islam, they often do so with apprehension. Many are afraid of violence, or of being labelled a racist and therefore ostracised, and they invariably fear losing their jobs. This fear is partly caused by deceitful, and particularly nasty, attacks from people and groups on the extreme left. The left’s attacks on its opponents can be venomous. It’s important to note that I said attacks on its opponents there, because rarely do leftists trouble themselves with political discussion of issues actually raised, nor does it often concern itself about whether or not the ammunition it will use for its attack contains any truth.

So today I was left with the rather tedious job of picking apart a little bundle of lies produced by the hate-spreading extreme-left organisation that so ironically calls itself “Hope Not Hate”.

The lies began early, as did Hope Not Hate’s directions as to what we are and are not allowed to say about Islam. The report is built on one acutely egregious lie – that I, and others, are using the Mohammed Exhibition deliberately to whip up violence and incite “civil war”.

This is all based on a post by a member of a group called Knights Templar International. He wrote of a meeting he had had with myself, Tommy Robinson and Alan Lake. That meeting did take place - to talk about building a website (which I believe the writer does for a living). If there was any talk of ‘civil war’, then it will have been by way of conversation, not some cartoon-like plot. In any case, aren’t people allowed to speculate on the potential for civil war?

Regardless of what people do or don’t believe about war in this country is irrelevant to the fact that we were there to talk about a website. There is no evidence whatsoever that I have ever called for, or endorsed, civil war (and if Mr Lowles has some, I suggest he produce it). I have never done so in private or in public, because it is not what I believe in or want. It is to avoid violence that I am keen to include voices that are not being heard because they are not approved of by the left.

The Mohammed Cartoon Exhibit was organised by me, in partnership with Vive Charlie. It has nothing to do with Alan Lake, or Tommy Robinson, and they have no involvement in it whatsoever.

The entire Hope Not Hate report is a self-declared “expose” of something that never happened. I was not “involved in discussions” about civil war, this is pathetic and desperate. I was going to work with Tommy Robinson on Sharia Watch, because he represents a large voice that is ignored by the state; usually at the insistence of groups like Hope Not Hate. If we can agonise over what drives to people to join ISIS, why can’t we talk to people about why they join the EDL? Why don’t we discuss their legitimate and sincerely-held concerns?

Their desperation to smear me has meant that, as usual, their report is full of quotes from other people – but where are mine? And do they have any response to the points I raise or the facts I state?

The ‘profile’ of me is particularly amusing – they can’t get even the smallest facts right. I don’t know how many times I have to say this, but I stood down from the Basildon and Billericay seat. Again, I stood down, I was not removed. That fact is easy enough to confirm. I did not “introduce” Tommy Robinson at a Passion for Freedom event, the organisers did (I wasn't one of the organisers, as claimed). I was on the same panel, I too was introduced. More lies include that I have been “speaking regularly at EDL demonstrations”. Presumably Mr Lowles, you can point me to one occasion then? I have never spoken at an EDL rally, which I suspect you know very well.

Particularly disgusting is the photo on page 17 with a caption stating that I, and others, were caught “confronting a Muslim who objected to their speeches”. I remember this man, and he agreed with us. Our ‘confrontation’ was a in fact a friendly conversation.

Groups like Hope Not Hate are incredibly sinister and dangerous for quite a few reasons.

By Anne Marie Waters

Director of Sharia Watch UK. Former UKIP Parliamentary Candidate.