Michael Savage: “I’m a Great Supporter of Organised Religion”

Michael Savage, speaking on BBC Radio 5 on June 02:

I’ve supported the five major religions for the last fifteen years on the radio. I was talking about the great religions, including Islam, beginning in 1994. I’m a great supporter of organised religion.

Savage, of course, claims that his anti-Islam comments have quoted out of context, and that the recent much-publicised ban on his entry into the UK has put his life in danger. In fact, if I were Savage I’d more worried about an attack of apoplexy finishing me off:

Much of what he spits out in these extracts (compiled by a fan, apparently) has not  featured in the British debate over the ban; his Radio 5 interviewer does not seem to have been aware of these statements. At 3:20 there is a direct exhortation for listeners to approach Muslims in public places in order to express their contempt and hate.

A very good profile on Savage appeared in Salon in 2004. And it should be noted that despite Savage’s free speech posturing, his son – who has appeared on stage with him and shares his views – is currently waving lawyers around in attempt to shut down open discussion of his own activities.

Sunday Times Article on Luton Tensions

The Sunday Times has an article recent events in Luton (blogged by me numerous times),  including the revelation that the town’s Sikh mayor was assaulted in March by a white youth as a protest against Islamic extremism:

Kier [McElroy] ran up to him and fly-kicked him in the back. Councillor Lakhbir Singh, the mayor of Luton, a Sikh by faith, not in fact a Muslim at all, stumbled and fell forward, putting out his hands to stop himself falling. Kier turned around and, before the police could do anything, he ran through them and was away…In the weeks preceding Kier’s arrest, for some unexplained reason, the assault on the mayor was kept a secret and the mayor himself kept under wraps. He would not talk to me for this article, and I only found out about the attack through a contact in the town after Kier had been charged.

There’s also an interview with Sayful Islam, the Muslim extremist whose notorious protest against a military parade in the town spurred McElroy to action. Laughably, we’re told that he claims that

…he knew that people would be upset by the protests and tried to have a low-key presence, out of harm’s way.

We also meet Mikey Birch (probably a pseudonym), the young man who (along with a certain Wayne King) runs United People of Luton:

…Birch said he had no affiliations with a far-right party, but he did say that if the BNP were in charge at the town hall, Luton would not be so biased towards Muslims. “I’m not being racist, but…”, he said, “…I don’t want my kids being Islamified. I don’t want them forcing their religion on us.”

He was concerned about the number of Muslim councillors in Luton, and thought it was wrong that the extremists had been allowed to protest when their own marches were being prevented or curtailed. “Have Al-Muhajiroun or Al-Qaeda infiltrated the council? That’s what people are saying.” It was Birch who told me that people had talked of storming the town hall in protest.

Also making an appearance is, inevitably, Paul Ray:

Among the would-be march organisers was a white man called Paul Ray who didn’t even live in Luton. He runs Lionheart, a blog in which he appears to believe he is re-fighting the medieval crusades, the good Christian against the Muslim hordes. He’s currently bailed on suspicion of inciting racial hatred. A man who had no shame about giving his name and address wrote to the local paper, The Luton News, asking, rhetorically, what he was going to do about Muslims demonstrating and attacking “our troops”. His donation to the BNP, he told readers, was in the post.

This is unfortunately a bit ambiguous. Is the man who wrote to the Luton News Ray or someone else? If it’s someone else, why are the sentences juxtaposed? If is is Ray, why suddenly bring in “A man”? Ray has in the past made a number of comments in support of the BNP (which is why he lost the support of American conservatives last year), but he has also tried to keep a bit of distance from the party.

Ray’s reaction to the Times article is predicably hyperbolic:

Journalist David James Smith is what can only be described as a disgusting and sorry example of a British man…His article stenches of the white Liberal upper class who know absolutely nothing about the reality of life on the streets of Britain where these Islamic ghettos now reside…when the pen is in the hands of these diseased, upper-class Liberals they do not want to know the truth, all they care about is beating lower-class English people up to reinforce their misguided ideal of British society upon their readers…He calls me a ‘white man’ in a derogatory racist term, as if being a ‘white man’ makes me a racist…The whole body of his article is pro Sayful Islam propoganda…You would think they were both friends.

Etc, etc. The reference to the Crusades particularly annoyed him:

As a Christian, I do have history to look back on to understand, relate with, and make sense of what is unfolding around me now in the 21st Century in relation to Islam’s religious Jihad. Islamic terror, hatred and Holy War is nothing new, and if it had not been for the Crusades then the freedom we enjoy in Europe would have gone long ago and we would now be living supressed under sharia law, in an Islamic State… Throughout the article he does not make mention once about Moslems like Sayful Islam being a part of the continuation of 1400 years of Jihad, just that I believe I am re-fighting the Crusades.

Ray has a special fondness for bombastic video montages about Crusaders – he gives us two examples here, sourced from fellow-enthusiasts. There’s a whole belligerent subculture on Youtube devoted to this kind of thing, and he’d probably get on well with Theodore Shoebat. However, Ray’s Christianity is not well-informed – he thinks the phrase “turn the other cheek” refers to those who ignored the injured man in the parable of the Good Samaritan, and he does not attend a place of worship.

This is the second time lately that Ray has been dismayed by press coverage – a couple of weeks ago his ire was directed (“The journalist is a TRAITOR!!!”) at the Daily Mail