James Goddard: Far-right protester called for Islam to be banned and for ‘mass repatriation’

James Goddard, the self-styled ‘yellow jacket’ protester and far-right activist, called for Islam to be banned and for its expulsion from Europe, in several hateful online screeds, a Tell MAMA investigation can reveal.

Goddard’s high-profile harassment of journalist Owen Jones, pro-EU activist Femi Oluwole, and the Conservative MP Anna Soubry has received wide condemnation from politicians across party lines, with the Prime Minister Theresa May condemning the “unacceptable and disgraceful treatment” of Soubry in a cabinet meeting.

Before the Facebook ban, however, Tell MAMA became aware of a post from an account of Mr Goddard, in a public Facebook group called “Jacob Rees-Mogg: Supporters’ Group”. The post, which first appeared on December 31, 2017, linked to a MailOnline article about the use of barriers in London for New Year’s Eve celebration. He wrote that this was “proof that as long as Islam exists in the west, then there will never be peace”, and called for a repatriation program to be institutionalised. He ended the Islamophobic post with the hashtags ‘#BanIslam’ and ‘#DefendEurope’.

The Facebook username, ‘Brexiter1989’, was used in a GAB account, which has remained accessible but inactive since late 2017. The profile biography reads: “I oppose Islam and everything that it stands for, as long as Islam exists in the West, there will never be peace.”

A post written a month earlier, in November 2017, echoes the Facebook comment but instead, calls for the Qur’an to be banned, adding: “We need to expel Islam from the West ASAP”. Again, Goddard used the ‘#DefendEurope’ hashtag, along with the hashtag ‘#repatriationistheonlysolution’.

A post which read: “P*ki traitors of any stripe, along with your treasonous officials who enable the ethnic cleansing of the native British people” was reposted to Goddard’s GAB profile, to which, he replied: “All illegals need deporting ASAP. It’s about time the indigenous people of Great Britain, were put first.”

Following the murder of an elderly man and the attempted murder of sixteen other pedestrians in Melbourne, Australia, James Goddard attempted to link the attack to Islam, adding that ‘mass repatriation was the only solution’ and ‘Why does our political class, continue to import barbaric, 3rd world savages?’. Saeed Noori, an Australian citizen, who was born in Afghanistan, pleaded guilty in December 2018 but was not charged with any terrorism offences.

In December 2017, Goddard wrote to Jayda Fransen, the then deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First on GAB, “Although I don’t agree with the way you go about things, I have to say you’re effective and brutally honest. As you were, OCS”. The initialism ‘OCS’ is a reference to ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’, rhetoric appropriated by Britain First. Goddard had reposted a comment from the leader of Britain First, Paul Golding when he first joined GAB.

Goddard also wrote that: “Multiculturalism has destroyed Western Europe, unless we start a mass repatriation program, we’ll all be living under the barbaric Sharia Law.” This post gained fourteen positive upvotes and two reposts on GAB.

He called for the East London Mosque to be shut down ‘along with every other Mosque, that currently besmirches our great country.’

His Christmas wishlist for 2017, included the banning of Islam in the West, and the imprisonment of Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the ‘other globalists’, a rhetorical sleight of hand which some have argued is an antisemitic dog whistle.

Credit: GAB.

The Twitter account of James Goddard, which remains active as of writing, again used the term globalist on December 31, 2018.

As with others, the far-right conspiracy-logic of so-called Islamic appeasement by governments in the UK and abroad permeates through much of his social media content. This mistrust of institutions and the pursuit of alternative truths reflects what Michael Barkun argues in a Culture of Conspiracy, is a form of ‘stigmatised’ knowledge. This form of knowledge, Barkun argues, seeks to validate alternative forms of ‘truth’ outside of mainstream institutions, which are considered corrupt or untrustworthy. He has referred to Theresa May as a ‘nasty Islamic appeasing Dhimmi’, which borrows from the conspiracy-logic of ‘Eurabia’.

Goddard spoke at a ‘Free Tommy Robinson’ rally earlier this year.

Jason Farrell, the Home editor for Sky News, described meeting Goddard at a Democratic Football Lads Alliance march.

A racist post on GAB concerned the author and journalist Afua Hirsch, where Goddard wrote, “If you don’t like it, then kindly find the nearest exit and F**K Off, back to Bongo Land”.

He’s also expressed a desire to see the ‘transgenders’, Dianne Abbott, ‘Sadick Khan’, and the Muslim populations of Great Britain and the United States deported to Afghanistan. All groups and individuals he labelled as ‘parasites’.

Other conspiracy theories, of a white nationalist persuasion, have appeared on the personal Twitter account of James Goddard. On August 28, 2018, he tweeted: “Coming from a rat like yourself. Oh please. I speak the truth, like I’ve said many times, we must address the issues in our country. Terrorism, grooming gangs and cultural Marxism. We must tackle these to preserve our country!”.

Credit: Twitter/@JGoddard230616

The conspiracy of ‘cultural Marxism’ was coined “by American thinkers, most of them white nationalists, to explain the rise of political correctness and anti-racist beliefs as well as the advent of multiculturalism”. Others have pointed to the antisemitic underpinnings of the theory. This theory appeared was woven into the manifesto of the far-right terrorist Anders Breivik. It was a stalwart of the politics of the neo-fascist British National Party.

Questions now remain if Twitter will follow Facebook in removing Goddard from their platform.

Speaker Jon Bercow has called for a change in policing policy, following the harassment of parliamentarians, in what he described as a “form of fascism”.








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Categories: GAB, James Goddard, News

Threats to Liberal Democracy

Liberal democracy, the foundational principle of western societies, has been increasingly vulnerable. Globalisation and its fast pace has delivered undeniable benefits but brought with it unattended challenges, namely swiftly growing wealth inequalities and a deepening sense of cultural fragmentation. The atomisation of society has increasingly pushed people to the margins to rediscover a sense of belonging and meaning from a politics they feel no longer answers to them but elitist institutions, both economically and culturally.

The threat to liberal democracy today approaches from primarily two wings.

The first is the populist white nationalist right. A tide of authoritarian politics has swept across Europe and America. The political cultures of each nation-state vary meaning drawing a set of common variables, and thus a solution, is too simplistic. But arguably, a mixture of economic disillusionment in the wake of the financial crash in 2008 and imposition of austerity measures combined with cultural anxiety at fast-paced and large-scale immigration has triggered an opening for authoritarian politics to step forward. In the face of their emergence, social democratic parties have simply not been able to provide coherent answers.

Europe has witnessed a march to the populist right across a range of countries including France and Germany. In Hungary and Italy, right-wing governments who pitched their manifestos on anti-migrant and anti-refugee rhetoric swept into power. Orban has chilling consequences possibly for Muslims and Jews living in Hungary. Italy’s various ministers have made repulsive statements around Roma immigrants. Even in France and Germany, the far-right have weakened the mainstream political settlement. In Britain, UKIP made a brief surge before melting away but not before spearing Britain towards Brexit. In America, Donald Trump ran on a campaign of building a wall to keep out Mexicans, to stop outsourcing jobs to China and ban Muslim migrants. It unfortunately worked.

So why are these politicians, who for all their deference to western political traditions and culture are attacking institutions of liberty be it a free media or judiciary as well as adopting thuggish tactics with protesters, gaining such prominence?

Asserting the primacy of economic grievances would be a mistake. Not all populist voters are unemployed or at the bottom end of the labour market. But a bleak forecast of the future and nostalgic yearning for the past exists even amongst more middle-class families. With growing inequality and dwindling resources, many feel locked out of the best opportunities and see a closed off set of elitist interests dominating them. It would be wrong to say that the financial crash created populism, or even the grounds for it, but it certainly fertilized it with the anger and resentment it needed. Desperate material conditions unanswered by politicians paved way for populists to emerge and demand a return to times when the value of nation-states and all from it was respected.

An example of this is Britain. The closing of industries that provided a sense of security, communal solidarity and identity to many towns created an economic rust and power and wealth relocated almost entirely to London. Communities became bogged down in chronic unemployment and poverty, atomised by the dearth of decent jobs and forced relocation of workers travelling south to find economic prosperity. This was before austerity rolled over the country like a black wave, squeezing public services, cutting welfare at a time when wages weren’t above the poverty line and power lay with employers and landlords. Such a climate made people regard the EU and Westminster as distant elitist institutions that did not represent them. They voted Leave to make their voices finally heard. Why after all would they vote for a continuation of the status quo governed by a party ushering in public spending cuts whilst trimming taxes for the wealthy?

Yet it would be too naïve to assume this alone or even primarily explains the flare in support for populist politics. Globalisation has changed communities at a fast pace, with sense of control now lost and a feeling of cultural fragmentation taking place. It doesn’t help that the sort of communal jobs were closed by Thatcher while communal hotspots like pubs and SureStart have increasingly declined either. A place where people can interact with others and feel like they belong in their local communities has been lost. The commodification of migrant workers rather than viewing them as long-term stakeholders in these communities has also weakened these social bonds. We demonised those uncomfortable by their neighbours not knowing English as racist rather than recognising that sharing a common language is the basis upon which you build social bonds in a community, and not knowing it only otherwise isolates migrants and creates loneliness. People look at their towns and feel like something is missing. These are challenges which have been ignored and need to be addressed. That we have not is partially why the far-right have grown in power and authoritarian parties have taken office.

The other side of it is that we have been inconsistent in our defence of tolerance, freedom, equality and pluralism. Migrants and refugees have been portrayed as burdens and threats rather than important facets of any society, both historically and currently, and both economically and culturally. Racism is normalised in political discourse rather than obliterated entirely. It has had corrosive impact on diverse communities and further fractured relations. The portrayal of Muslims as terrorists and extremists rather than ordinary people who are often at the forefront and the first victims of Islamic extremism must also be challenged. From the rhetoric of politicians to newspapers, discourse around Muslims has normalised a climate where it is increasingly fashionable to abuse a Muslim on the streets. Britain remains considerably better off than its European peers where the rights and protections for minorities remain considerably worse. In challenging the white nationalists, we should not let them dominate the narratives on economy and immigration by allowing immigrants and refugees to be cast as threats to national identity and security. Compassion and empathy is ingrained in us and the British society has evidently shown that years of anti-refugee headlines can be made redundant in one second by the powerful image of a dead refugee child washing up on a Turkish beach. But we must be do better in ensuring it does not reach that stage for the sake of refugees. A compassionate and empathetic politics which listens to voters’ concerns and carries out its humanitarian duties is extremely compatible.

A politics reaffirming the value of citizenship, common good, solidarity and mutual obligation can bind people together in mixed communities and ensure that different identities and cultural expressions need not necessarily result in social tensions.

The second threat to liberal democracy is one both leftists and conservatives can agree upon at least as a problem, which is Islamism. The past twenty years has seen western societies repeatedly attacked by Islamist extremists. Politicians and journalists have explored the factors behind extremism but seldom found an argument that makes sense with too much coherence. But, what is unquestionable is that Islamism is causing anxiety within many societies and presents a dangerous threat to basic British values of liberty, tolerance, democracy, human rights and rule of law. A reluctant to criticize a strand of the religion which applies a literalist interpretation of its tenets has allowed the far-right and Islamic extremists to feed off each other. On the left we have regularly made excuses for those radicalized by Islamism and then watched as evidence has repeatedly debunked these claims. Arguments of western imperialism should fall flat given how many young British Muslims were radicalized by both the Syrian conflict but also the appeal of the Caliphate. It would be a fallacy to suggest that religion itself is at fault here or the only reason, but that many young Muslims did not see Britain as their home and community, that they did not feel a sense of attachment but rather exclusion is undoubtedly a factor behind why Islamism is too dangerous to ignore. In the dystopian caliphate, their identity is central to society and their life has purpose and meaning. It is on us to find solutions to stop the few becoming radicalized by Islamist propaganda. This is a battle of integration and values, that requires fighting whether Islamism had a violent edge or not.

By Rabbil Sikdar

The post Threats to Liberal Democracy appeared first on Faith Matters.

Categories: Caliphate, Liberal Democracy, Opinions, Orban, refugees, White Nationalist

Three arrested over alleged racially aggravated public order offences at Wembley

Three men were arrested on suspicion of “racially aggravated public order offences” at Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between Tottenham and Chelsea at Wembley, the Metropolitan Police said.

The Press Association understands an alleged offence resulting in the arrest of a 17-year-old male was anti-Semitic. The arrest was made at around 7.40pm, 20 minutes prior to kick-off.

The Met Police’s Football Unit added that two further arrests were made for similar alleged offences.

A statement from the Met Police’s Football Unit on Twitter read: “That’s it for tonight for @SpursOfficial v @ChelseaFC I can report that three males aged 17yrs 20yrs & 23yrs were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences. A fourth male was arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs.”

Tottenham and Chelsea cautioned supporters to behave prior to the match, after recent incidents of discriminatory behaviour.

Last January, Chelsea launched the ‘Say No to Anti-Semitism’ campaign and in 2010 joined with anti-discrimination group Kick It Out to “try and rid the game of the Y-word”.

However, the waters are muddied by the fact Tottenham supporters use the Y-word in large numbers at matches.

Last week, the World Jewish Congress and the Board of Deputies of British Jews urged Spurs to take a stand against its use. Yet the club maintains the term is not meant to cause offence.

Chelsea supporters’ groups issued reminders on social media asking fans to be on their best behaviour, using the hashtag ChelseaTogether.

A chant of ‘Yids’ was heard in the second minute, but it appeared muted, with more Spurs fans opting to join in further singing of a song incorporating the word in the West Stand after 16 minutes.

Blues fans have been under the spotlight in recent weeks after a number of high-profile incidents, including a derogatory chant about Spurs supporters that featured alleged anti-Semitic language at a Europa League match in Hungary last month.

And a Spurs fan was banned and fined for throwing a banana skin at Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the north London derby late last year.

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Categories: Chelsea, MET Police's Football Unit, News, Racially aggravated, racially aggravated offences, Tottenham