A Lesson In ‘Journalism’ With Ansar and Werleman
You can learn a lot about a person’s agenda and objectivity by how willing they are to share unfavourable claims about their ideological opponents without scrutinising them first.
It’s been a fun day today on that platform of common sense, Twitter.
What he fails to tell you however, is that not only is the footage from 2008, but the Palestinian detainee was shot with a rubber bullet, in the foot. Hardly desirable behaviour I’ll grant you – but it paints a slightly different picture than the one presented by Werleman. As a side note, the soldier responsible was arrested and convicted for his actions – by Israeli authorities.
Hilariously, when questioned about the context and specifics of the clip, CJ confirmed that he hadn’t even bothered to find out. He calls himself a journalist.
Cast your mind back to the time Werleman shared a similar video which he claimed to show ‘Israeli soldiers beating and torturing Palestinian detainees in occupied West Bank’.
Unfortunately for Werleman the soldiers were not Israeli. The detainees were not Palestinian. This wasn’t even the West Bank. This was footage of the Guatemalan army mistreating civilians. It seems nothing has been learned since this humiliating episode.
This brings me to the below meme circulating of a Sam Harris ‘quote’.
Of course, Sam Harris has never said anything like this. It’s entirely fabricated and I would imagine that the creator of the meme knows so too. Depressingly, Harris is no stranger to having his views distorted or just plain invented for him. He has addressed this type of behaviour here.
What’s interesting however is taking note of the people who are willing to amplify this false ‘quote’ without even checking it first and especially how they spin it in service of their own unhealthy obsessions.
Some of you may be familiar with Ashgar Bukhari, founder of the soft-Islamist group the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. He’s the gentleman who claimed that ‘Zionists’ had stole his shoe.
Bukhari shared the Harris meme, spinning it through the prism of his own pet obsession, ‘the Jews’.
Mo Ansar was up next to make a fool of himself. Again. Ansar also refers to himself as a ‘journalist’.
Since Bukhari had already covered ‘the Jews’, it was left to Mo to bizarrely link it to the Quilliam Foundation. This on-going hatred of anti extremist Quilliam and its founder Maajid Nawaz stems purely from the time Nawaz exposed Ansar on national TV. Questioned by Nawaz on whether it was acceptable to remove limbs for theft in an Islamic State, Ansar couldn’t muster the moral clarity to say “no”:
Ansar never quite recovered from this public humiliation and hasn’t been featured on mainstream media for quite some time. Instead he currently shills for Putin’s propaganda machine ‘Russia Today’.
But how did ‘journalist’ Mo Ansar confirm the authenticity of this ‘quote’?
That’s right – someone said they heard him say it. Good enough for this ‘journalist’.
Under increasing pressure to retract the dangerous and fabricated quote, Ansar then doubled down:
We are now told that Harris was alleged to have made these comments at the ‘Beyond Belief 2014 Conference’ and a tweeter is then chastised for not checking the footage of the conference for themselves before doubting Ansar:
Which is interesting. Had Ansar even bothered to check the details, he would have discovered that Harris attended no such event in 2014. ‘Critical thought, much’? indeed.
Just for tweeting about this embarrassing episode, I was added to the long list of people Ansar claims to have reported to the police for ‘anti-Muslim harassment’:
I’m no more guilty of ‘anti-Muslim harassment’ than I am of being a ‘paranoid racist’, as he has previously claimed. These are the bullying cries of a malicious and exposed liar. Ansar being a Muslim is the least interesting thing about him. His dangerous lies however, should be countered at every turn.
He also issued similar threats to anyone who shared this expose on him from Private Eye magazine – so definitely don’t tweet that out whatever you do.
Such is Mo Ansar’s narcissism, that he will be unable to concede that what he has done here is not only unethical, poor ‘journalism’ – but dangerous too. He’s already detracting attention by describing the push back as ‘atheist Islamophobia’ and smearing Harris further.
How many people will come away from this episode with half a story, secure in the perception that Sam Harris has called for the genocide of Muslims? He should retract and offer an apology immediately. But he won’t. That course of action is reserved for those with intelligence and integrity.