What the Cathy Newman mosque fiasco tells us about the left and social media mobs

After overwhelmingly negative stories about Islam and South Asians recently, with the Paris shootings, ISIS and the Rotherham scandal, many mosques in the UK chose to host a ‘Visit my mosque’ open day, where people could come and look around their local mosque. This is a nice idea, aimed at increasing understanding and promoting the decent majority of Muslims. Sadly, things did not go according to plan. Channel 4 journalist and Telegraph columnist, Cathy Newman, tweeted to a horrified audience that she had been ‘ushered out’ of a mosque in Streatham, despite being ‘respectfully dressed’. Naturally, and quite rightly if this were true, people were outraged, and there were articles in The Daily Mail, Telegraph etc.

However, people quickly began to raise doubts about Cathy’s version of events. It soon transpired that in fact she had gone to a mosque which was not taking part in the open day, and she was meant to go to one 15 minutes away where her film crew were waiting. Okay, a mix-up perhaps, no big deal. Except yesterday CCTV footage emerged completely contradicting Cathy’s version of events. She had not been ushered out at all, but rather directed by a Muslim man away from the mosque after entering and removing her shoes. According to him, he was directing her to a neighbouring church, confused that she should be coming here to pray. She then leaves the mosque alone with no further confrontation.

Oh dear, Cathy. To make things worse, the mosque then received numerous threats of violence, including death threats, the first since they opened in 1978, according to spokesman, Aslam Ijaz. In addition, determined to shoehorn in ‘the patriarchy’ somewhere, Cathy had claimed she thought the mosque was ‘men-only’. But in fact it transpires the mosque was one of ‘the first in the area’ to have sections for both men and women. Obviously researching doesn’t matter to Cathy, as we all know she can ‘smell the sexism a mile off’ even when it’s not there, so it makes perfect sense to her to just put it down to misogyny in order to further her agenda.

So far, we’ve seen a pretty shameful story, but what is most interesting is the reaction, or rather lack of reaction, of Twitter. Usually the site is the watering hole of liberals’ own brand of bigotry and groupthink, with keyboard warriors determined to root out the merest intimation of perceived misogyny or racism and subject its perpetrator to public shame and disgrace; there was no such reaction in this case. There were some tweets from, mainly Islamic, individuals, who were rightly very insulted at these lies which unjustly fuelled anti-Islamic sentiments, but a quick analysis shows that tweets containing #CathyNewmanLies and #CathyResign were over 230,000 fewer in number than those with ‘Cardiff’, the bottom trend at the time. They reached a pitiful 3,500 approx in total.

I don’t know the figures for outrages caused by the scientist who embodied everything that is wrong with men by wearing a shirt, Dapper Laughs or even Benedict Cumberbatch after his ‘coloured’ remarks, but I’m pretty sure they were far higher than this. So why has Cathy gotten away so lightly?

Very simple. She fits the criteria that ‘liberals’ like. She is (ostensibly) on the ‘left’, she’s an ‘outspoken’ feminist, female and middle-class. She can therefore do no wrong. Excuses such as ‘it was a misunderstanding’ or ‘we need to hear her side of the story’ which would have you lumped in with the worst of humanity if you tried to apply them to a right-winger, a man who has been declared misogynistic or even Katie Hopkins are lavishly used to try and absolve her of any guilt. The left has effectively closed ranks because Cathy is ‘like us’.

Sadly, there are issues minority women face that are criminally ignored by white feminists. However, Cathy has chosen to ignore them completely, and instead manufacture outrage as part of her war against ‘the patriarchy’. Well, I’m afraid she has chosen the wrong battleground here to fight this issue, and has only further exposed the problems of much of the modern feminist movement and left in doing so.

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The Condition of the Left in England

'A grotesque mixture of Enlightenment Liberalism, One-Nation Conservatism and Socialism.' Skeptic and linguaphile.

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