Taking The Myth – 16 Feb Edition

This week on Taking The Myth, Stephen Knight discusses the big topics such as: Tommy Robinson on The Rubin Report, Richard Dawkins’s health and the latest bout of Evolution denial and smearing. And of course, The ASLAN Awards.

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12 comments

  • I appreciate your attempt at sticking to the middle (on the fence) however you didn’t quite hit the mark. I did with Tommy what I do with everyone before I support or ignore them (including Dave Rubin) I watch every available bit of video and writing on a person. I don’t believe you did your research thoroughly, or you were attempting to cover your own rear end.

    Re: Dave Rubin
    You will find Dave received more support than hate for his interview with Tommy. There are many many accounts email, Twitter, Facebook etc that are fraudulent. They are individuals who creat multiple social media identities with the soul purpose of attacking Tommy and anyone who follows him or dares to comment about him. Example @BritishGalLucy is actually a fella named @Junayed_ . If you look at the Tweet & Retweet section of @BritishGalLucy ‘s profile you will see that it is he/she who is the one doctoring the Tommy tweets and spamming them to all you mention Tommy. Poor Dave unfortunately decided to respond to @BritishGalLucy at which point he was quickly informed of who/what this was. So do not believe the photo-shopped retweets etc, and I wouldn’t suggest believe that the group of people who hate him are far larger than those who support him.

    Re: EDL -> Pegida + Tommy = Racist
    He is not racist. Again watch every single available video and writing to understand. EDL was not put together properly, Tommy was young and dumb and couldn’t handle babysitting thousands of followers as much as he tried. But, whether it be EDL or Pegida he has only ever come after Islam (NOT a race). He is and always has been very tight with the black community…Sikhs, Hindus etc etc etc. Even during the EDL there was a Gay division, a Jewish division etc. So you can even call him a bigot per say. He even had an ex-Muslim Pakistani at the Pegida Birmingham March. The only thing he has ever been after is Islam for the pain it causes the world. NOT Muslims. He will be the first to admit that yes he doesn’t trust many Muslims because he tests them, he is introduced to many who are supposedly “moderate”, and when he asks them about apostasy, shariah, blasphemy/freedom of speech the response is rarely what Western/Secular ears wish to hear. Have you read his book? You should to understand.
    But the main thing is, can you imagine how tedious and annoying it would be to have to preface Muslim with “not all” every time you spoke or wrote about an incident? In his mind it should be self evident whom he is referencing.

    There are people in the Muslim/ex-Muslim world who have made a career (paid to speak or government funded programs) out of discussing Islam, it’s faults and heinous influence on the world. For this they get attacked and threatened by, I suppose I should call them Fundamentalist Muslims, so they feel to get in their good books they too should attack someone these Fundamentalist Muslims detest. THEN they can say… See See, I hate him too, we’re on the same side! Now please stop threatening and deplatforming me like you do him! ….

    The truth is those Muslim/Ex-Muslims and Tommy Robinson are on the same mission, freedom from Islam. But where he will remain honorable and take the beatings, not throw anyone under a bus to save his own skin… these Muslims/Ex-Muslims will throw anyone under a bus depending on who’s trending that day.

    Do not underestimate Tommy Robinson, or his followers. If people like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris can be labeled Islamophobe and racist for speaking out against Islam despite their credentials, why would Tommy (a regular working class bloke) be any different.

    Do your research properly…perhaps you’ll climb off that uncomfortable fence when you do.

    • Stephen Knight

      That was an incredibly long rant that didn’t attempt to address, or contradict a single thing I said about Tommy. You did however make an attempt to read my mind, in regards to motivations, which isn’t a particularly honest way to engage people. Tommy isn’t without flaws. I think my comments were balanced and true. If you think otherwise, feel free to quote back to me what I got wrong

      • It would have been a far longer rant had I hit every single point you mentioned. I simply elaborated and shed light on a few points that you are not the first to bring up, but they seem to be consistently passed around by those who attack him or sit on the fence. I appreciate your podcast, and your willingness to discuss him and his mission, but as I already mentioned above, I wish these few items would finally be cleared up and put to rest.

        1. The number of people who actually oppose his views vs those who support him even if partially or at a distance.
        2. Twitter and other social media trolls with multiple accounts spamming and doctoring tweets and images.
        3. Quite a bit of evidence that he is NOT actually racist although if Muslims are considered a race these days then he would admit that he is wary of them because after questioning their views many turn out not as moderate as we would hope.
        4. The idea that he has to preface Muslims with “not all” every single time or else it comes across as if he is labeling in the broad sense.
        5. Everyone who opposes Islam is pegged as racist or bigoted, what makes Tommy different from the rest?
        6. Logically he doesn’t sit around for hours on end searching out what he tweets. It’s forwarded to him. Perhaps he should take time to check sources but much of what he tweets is various international news articles.
        Etc.

        The point is, you mentioned all these topics and then just kind of squirmed saying Mmmm I dunno. Neither here nor there really. I was on the fence too with the Mmmm I dunno’s…but then I researched the heck out of him and finally got off the fence.
        And yes, he’s not without his flaws, I mentioned that in my initial rant. But for a working class lad, he does his best and is getting better as years go on.

        P.S Please excuse any previous spelling errors. I was multitasking projects along with typing the comment while listening to your podcast.

        • Stephen Knight

          Anna,

          I’m still unable to see you hit a single point I mentioned. The fair suggestion of quoting back my erroneous points appears to have been ignored in favour of arguing against more things I never said. I’d like you to try to understand (as we’ll see) how tedious and time consuming it is to clear up distortions of your views. At the end of it, we won’t have advanced what could be a valuable chat on Tommy, but we will only have cleared up that ‘I didn’t say that”

          1. The number of people who actually oppose his views vs those who support him even if partially or at a distance.

          What did I say that contradicts this? I clearly stated Tommy has a huge following and influence, and used that point to state he is a legitimate political force. I did however say from a media perspective that his reputation is toxic. This is something Tommy himself said at the start of his discussion with Rubin. To be clear, Tommy has staggering levels of support. There is no doubt about it. His public reputation in main stream media circles is still toxic however.

          2. Twitter and other social media trolls with multiple accounts spamming and doctoring tweets and images.

          I never said anything about this. I simply referenced a tweet AND said it might be ‘doctored’.

          3. Quite a bit of evidence that he is NOT actually racist although if Muslims are considered a race these days then he would admit that he is wary of them because after questioning their views many turn out not as moderate as we would hope.

          I never once said that I thought he was racist. I actually said I’d never seen him say anything racist and that the fact that people really struggle to prove that he is may suggest that the racism isn’t there.

          4. The idea that he has to preface Muslims with “not all” every single time or else it comes across as if he is labelling in the broad sense.

          I never said that either. I picked him up on making a distinction between British and Muslims, which is still problematic. I even said whenever someone does pick him up on potential generalisations, he responds with credible/understandable clarifications

          5. Everyone who opposes Islam is pegged as racist or bigoted, what makes Tommy different from the rest?

          I never said Tommy was racist or bigoted. I understand that anyone who opposes Islam publicly is treated this way.

          6. Logically he doesn’t sit around for hours on end searching out what he tweets. It’s forwarded to him. Perhaps he should take time to check sources but much of what he tweets is various international news articles.
          Etc.

          Given we both agree he has a substantial following, he absolutely has a responsibility to have better judgement regarding the information he spreads. Especially if such information could foster hatred.
          I appreciate your points, but I think we’re closer to being on the same page than you realise. That’s why I would please ask you (again) to quote back any erroneous points I’ve made, so we can address what I’ve actually said, because I don’t recognise my views in your criticism.

          Thanks

          • Perhaps the intention was misread. From what you were saying it seemed that the reason you weren’t sure of him was due to what you’ve seen and what people say about him. Whether or not it was factual. My point was to bring up those all too common issues, give a bit of background on what I’ve learned in my own research and hope others (not just yourself) do further research to either cement or dispel those unfortunately all too common talking points about Tommy.

            It’s not that I assumed that you believed it all true. It’s more so that you brought up many of the talking points his critics normally do and neither confirmed nor dispelled them, not to mention make perfectly clear that they’re all allegations and everyone must dig deep to find out the truth.

            I apologize, but I just felt that it would have been refreshing to have someone clearly point out the allegations and clearly point out that they are that, and if not dig into it yourself, then to at least encourage people to search out the truth for themselves before making any decisions and further perpetuating the stigma around him.

            I would prefer the search for truth encouraged more often rather than allegations listed followed by a “…but I dunno”. They only thing that sticks in the unknowing mind is the allegations rather than the “…but I dunno”.

            We are quite a bit on the same page I agree and apologize if you felt attacked by me. Perhaps it’s due to the research I have done where I heard these allegations brought up so frequently but have yet to hear anyone confirm or dispel them let alone broadly encourage people to search out the truth themselves.

          • Stephen Knight

            No need to apologise, but thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to comment on this and sharing some info with me.

      • So sorry, one more item… in his tweet he stated he would personally deport all “migrants” that have come over this past year. You mentioned that you thought that was a bit heartless of him to say as these are people in need of help. However, if you put it in the context of him being one of those in the forefront to differentiate between migrants and refugees and government reports have documented that actually 60% of the people who have come over are NOT refugees, they are economic migrants then you may see his tweet in a different light. He has no ill will towards refugees, only the migrants riding their coat tales.

        Tommy Robinson is not as scary and hate-filled as some believe him to be.

        • Stephen Knight

          I certainly don’t think Tommy is scary, or hate-filled and I agree with you on that point. I often think peoples’ perception of him is a caricature. I know to instantly dismiss anyone who cries ‘neo-nazi fascist’ at him, for example. But this just goes on to prove one of my points about Tommy not being the best communicator. This is particularly concerning for someone who commands this level of influence. My reading of his tweet is a fair one, based on what he actually said. Yours is based on a reading of what you assume he thinks/means – rather than what he said.

          • And again, I don’t believe the problem with regards to the deportation of migrants tweet was about communication but more to the point that people conflate migrant with refugee. If he stated he would deport everyone who came over in the past year THAT would be a communication issue. It may be a problem with the mindset of today’s Western society. There are two general groups these days, those who make the clear distinction between migrant and refugee and those who muddle them both into one worthy of our help package. The camp you’re in will decide on how you read a tweet like that. To those who naturally make the distinction between the two, it is difficult to understand why they are then labeled racist, bigoted or intolerant. In their minds the true refugees are having a harder time going through the system because governments are tied up with dealing with the 60% strictly migrant influx. In their mind it is those who conflate the two who lack empathy for the plight of those poor refugees.

            The world is divided I’m afraid.

    • “a regular working class bloke”

      This is probably the clearest sign that you are not thinking clearly enough when it comes to Tommy Robinson. He may have at one time been “a regular working class bloke”, but that is simply not true today. Find better heroes.

  • It seems Tommy Robinson has evolved in regard to his politics, and has listened to his critics. I recognized some Quilliam influence in his Rubin interview, for instance. Like you I don’t quite know what to make of him. However I now understand where he comes from, and why he is the man he is. The Luton story affected me very much.

  • Two interesting articles with very differing aspects of the man – both seem thoughtful though

    What’s it like to be Britain’s most hated man? Ask Tommy Robinson
    By Jamie Bartlett
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/12140524/What-happens-if-you-express-a-negative-view-of-Islam-Ask-Tommy-Robinson.html

    Enemies not Allies: The far right
    http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Enemies-not-Allies-web-version1.pdf

What do you think? Leave some comments!