Paul Ray’s EDL on Mosques and Churches

Paul Ray has a new video for his branch of the English Defence League (his current association with the main EDL is unclear) advertising an anti-Muslim protest for Manchester next month (see my blog entry here). The video focuses on religion, comparing Rowan Williams to King Saul and promising a new “David generation”. In particular, the video bemoans the conversion of churches into mosques; this was also an issue raised by one of the balaclava-wearing EDL leaders interviewed by Martin Mawyer last month – it was claimed then that churches were being forcibly converted by Muslim councillors.

The reality, of course, is that there are a lot of redundant church buildings, and these end up being used for a variety of purposes. The Victorians built too many large churches (many of which were never filled), there has been a massive decline in churchgoing in the UK in recent years, and transport has made it easier for Anglicans to attend churches outside their parish and for non-conformists to abandon their chapels in favour for larger “mega-churches” on the edge of towns – a process that parallels what’s happened with small shops and supermarkets. Despite his Crusader fetishism and his admiration for Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali (perhaps he could explain to the bishop his views on the word “Paki”?), there is no evidence that Ray goes to church, and he has a confused understanding of the Bible, for instance believing that “turning the other cheek” was the action of the Pharisee in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

The disposal of church buildings to other faiths has been a subject of debate in the Church of England; in 1995 a report was prepared for the General Synod on the subject.

Incidentally, Ray’s video – which rails against “the Arabs” (6:42) – also slips in a reference to the racialist American Renaissance website (7:53).

Bruce God is Dead

Sun Apologises for “Threat to UK Jews” Story; Patrick Mercer MP Backpedals on Jenvey Link

Patrick Mercer MP two years ago: “[Jenvey] and I have done quite a lot of work together, and he is a source of reference for me”

Patrick Mercer MP in September: “My office certainly received information from [Jenvey] but never worked with him. This was a damaging lie.”

January, front page of the Sun:


September, somewhere inside the Sun:

OUR story on January 7 about a ‘hit list’ of top British Jews on the website was based on claims by Glen Jenvey who last week confessed to duping several newspapers and Tory MP Patrick Mercer by fabricating stories about Islamic fundamentalism.

Following Mr Jenvey’s confession, we apologise to for the article which we now accept was inaccurate.

By “following Mr Jenvey’s confession”, they mean “following the publicity given to Mr Jenvey’s confession on BBC Radio last week“. The confession was actually in August; Mercer had announced misgivings about Jenvey in March; and the evidence that the story had been fabricated was first revealed by Tim Ireland in January. The BBC report mentioned in passing that Tim’s blog Bloggerheads had “accused” Jenvey, and that this may have played a role in the confession; however, the only person in the mainstream media to actually give a decent amount of credit to Tim has so far been Hugh Muir of the Guardian. A reporter for Private Eye, by contrast, shamefully used Tim’s research uncredited and declared him to be a “nutter” when he protested.

Meanwhile, Tim has had to deal with a campaign of vicious personal harrassment from Jenvey (which Jenvey has since apologised for), and now further attacks from some jokers who have latched onto the story and are hiding behind pseudonymous IDs.

Muir reports the latest from Mercer:

As 5 Live pointed out, he was foolish enough to use his gravitas to bolster Jenvey’s reputation. “An extremely capable and knowledgeable analyst who needs to be listened to,” he said of Jenvey two years ago. Mercer told us yesterday: “My office certainly received information from him but never worked with him. This was a damaging lie. I have had nothing more to do with Glen Jenvey.”

So why did Mercer tell a news agency that “He [Jenvey] and I have done quite a lot of work together, and he is a sourse of reference for me”?

Tim gives his views of Mercer here.

UPDATE: Tim has now revealed an email proving that Mercer’s office was working with Jenvey in March.

UPDATE 2: The Guardian media section has a piece on the apology, and I get a reference:

Sajid Pandore, a moderator and spokesman for, said: “I would like to pay tribute to two bloggers, Tim Ireland and Richard Bartholomew that made the discovery that it was Glen Jenvey who made the comments themselves and also the Press Complaints Commission for investigating.”

Actually, Tim made the discovery and took the heat – I just did some follow-up and background stuff. The above quote will doubtless be used by Dominic Wightman, a former associate of Jenvey who tried to manipulate Tim and me (and to some extent succeeded) into writing about a third person that Wightman had a grudge against. When Wightman’s deception came to light, he defended himself by suggesting that because Sajid had helped us with tracking some IP addresses, Tim (and to a lesser extent, me) were colluding with Islamic extremists as part of a “Black Red Alliance”.