Hardly a week goes by without receiving an email from a right-winger about how boat people, greenies, Muslims, Aborigines (or any non-White, non-Liberal extremist) is undermining the entire fabric of Australia and the God fearing Western world.
I usually press delete after reading two words of their crap.
This one I read:
In May 2010 Tohseef Shah spray-painted a British War Memorial with “Islam will dominate Osama”.
He was fined £50 and walked free from court.
In November 2010 Emdadur Choudhury burned a Poppy during the 2 minutes silence.
He too was fined £50 and walked free from court.
Last week in a Portsmouth Court two men were sentenced to 6 months in prison for painting a Poppy on a mosque [refer picture above].
Pass this on, if you think it’s a disgrace.
I know you will without question.
It certainly would be a disgrace – if it were true. It turns out to be just more right-wing bullshit. It has been circulating vigorously via social media websites for over three years despite being a hoax. Yes, a hoax.
Here’s what really happened:
The specific stories mentioned in the message are mostly true (but the fines have been mixed up). Tohseef Shah was fined £500 in compensation, £85 court costs and two year conditional discharge for spray painting a memorial statue and Emdadur Choudhury was fined £50 for setting alight a poppy, and finally it is also true that two men have been imprisoned for 12 months for spray painting a mosque. The two men, Steven James Vasey, 32, and 24-year-old Anthony Donald Smith were convicted in Durham this month.
At first glance, one may justifiably feel angry at this apparent injustice which makes the British justice system appear soft on racial crimes committed by minorities. But as with all brief and racially charged messages circulating the Internet, it does not really tell the whole story.
Firstly, the two men sentenced for 12 months not only defaced a mosque but additionally put a brick through a window of an Asian run business and spray painted two other properties ran by Asians, and by the defendents own admission their actions were racially motivated and planned in advance – this in contrast to Tohseef Shah who`s actions were deemed to be political. Racially motivated crimes often receive heftier sentences and despite, for example, Emdadur Choudhurys crime of poppy burning being more controversial, strictly in the eyes of the law, the two men from Durham committed a more heinous crime.
Sentencing is based on many different factors, especially including the severity of the crime and the judge handing the sentence and of course there will be what many percieve to be lighter sentences and heavier sentences given for what appear to be similar crimes of similar severity. However if you think that lighter sentences seem to be reserved for people who are of Asian descent you would be wrong, because a message like this will duly omit the numerous accounts of racial hatred aimed towards Muslims that have not been met with a custodial sentence, such as the case of Wayne Havercroft who was only fined for leaving a pigs head outside a proposed location for a mosque and a spray painted sign saying “No Mosque here. EDL” – or the Sunderland man who was only fined for spray painting a mosque.
This message has picked three – albeit true – stories because they fit the overall meaning the message attempts to convey – hatred towards what the message creator believes to be a racially corrupt/soft justice system. Whilst one could reasonally argue that the two men from Durham did receive a significantly harsher sentence than both the men in the other two stories, it should be noted that these are just three stories and does not necessarily accurately reflect the way the British justice system convicts people of differing faiths.
I have seen similar articles on this (and other sites) exposing and denouncing right-wing bullshit, and noticed that the authors of the particular articles have been condemned for publicising the right-wing propaganda. The authors have made the claim that they are merely attempting to set the record straight. If there is nobody willing to do so, then this rubbish will continue to fill our in-boxes and social media sites unchallenged.
So if this email finds its way to you – you can do what I did – reply with a nice little note saying it’s a load of crap.
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