Digital media has changed the face of how we share ‘news’ , achieving a seemingly limitless reach. Now anyone can slap ‘Journalist’ or ‘Social Commentator’ in their Twitter bio and away they go. It may even earn you an invite to the telly studio as a talking head if you build a significant following.
Perhaps your special interest is the plight of the Palestinians, and that’s the drum you want to bang wherever you can. More power to you. I would have one simple piece of advice however: choose who you empower on this topic very carefully. Take this Tweet from some guy for instance:
Thanks to released video footage, there can be no remaining doubt that Maryam Namazie was subjected to intimidation and general thuggish behaviour during her Goldsmiths University talk by members of The Islamic Society (ISOC). It’s now also clear that ISOC lied about what happened too.
Bizarrely, Goldsmiths Feminist Society then came out not in support of the minority female whom male ISOC bullies attempted to silence, but in support of the aggressors themselves. This catastrophic failure to reason had many asking: “Is it possible to be more morally confused than this?”
As if mistaking this rhetorical incredulity for a challenge, Goldsmiths LGBT Society released a statement in support of ISOC’s thuggish Islamists too. Amazingly, they did this after watching the video footage.
A few days ago I wrote about Goldsmiths Islamic Society’s (ISOC) attempts to have Maryam Namazie disinvited from a talk arranged by the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (ASH). The ‘reasons’ put forward by ISOC were the usual collection of smears and hyperbole bolstered by co-opting the language of certain regressive principles – namely bleating that their ‘safe space’ had been violated.
Despite all their bluster on social media, no official complaint was received from the student union and Maryam Namazie’s talk went ahead as planned. I previously accused ISOC of attempting to enforce Islamic blasphemy laws on campus, rather than having sincere concerns about ‘safe spaces’, and this latest bout of behaviour seems to confirm this beyond doubt.
Back in September, I wrote about Warwick University Student Union’s decision to disinvite Maryam Namazie from a speaking engagement. Outrage ensued on social media, not to mention a few high profile personalities and news outlets condemning the decision. Happily it was reversed amid public pressure and Maryam Namazie finally got the opportunity to speak.
Maryam Namazie is also due to speak at Goldsmiths University this very evening, which inspired this public objection from the Goldsmiths Islamic Society on their Facebook Page:
Let me treat you to a preview of the sort of conversation that will be permeating workplaces, schools and social networks in the upcoming weeks:
Person 1: “Oh my god, did you see the Coca-Cola advert last night?”
Person 2: “Yes! It’s now Christmas!”
Person 1: “Yes, I know!! Because of the Coca-Cola advert last night”.
Well, of course we shouldn’t rely on ‘The Lad Bible’ for sensible commentary on world events. They are a click-baiting social media enterprise with a penchant for taking other people’s content without permission or attribution. Worse still, they threaten bloggers with legal action for pointing out as much.
However, they do have a substantial following. At the time of writing this, they have 1.5 million followers on Twitter and just under 11 million ‘likes’ on Facebook. They just tweeted out this:
Given I possess more than a few brain cells, I’ve never been a fan of ‘Lad culture’, and I have even less patience for ignorance of this kind.
Sure, this is trivial in the grand scheme of things, but it also serves as a reminder. Despite how much progress has been made in humanistic circles, nonbelievers as a minority are still considered somewhat ‘evil’ in mainstream circles. Take a moment if you will to consider that the individual behind this post grasped for a suitable pejorative to describe a terrorist murderer and settled on ‘Godless’.
The insult aside, those responsible for these atrocities were some of the most godly people on the planet. I’m not sure what else they would need to do to in order to convince a sensible person of their sincerity.
Perhaps I’ve misread The Lad Bible, and they were simply conveying what nonbelievers have known for some time: everyone is Godless.
Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.