Sunday 27 September 2009

Mail on Sunday interviews Muslim woman, eventhough they have already decided she's lying

Today, the Mail on Sunday has given the 'other side of the story' in the case of Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang - the couple being prosecuted under public order laws following an exchange with a Muslim guest at their hotel.

Last week the Mail on Sunday - in its story and editorial - very firmly sided with the Vogelenzangs, and Littlejohn followed suit in his Tuesday column, despite all of them admitting they didn't know what was said.

But obviously the Muslim, being a Muslim, wasn't to be believed.

Now they have reported some statements by sixty-year old Ericka Tazi:

'I am no fanatic, as people have tried to make me out to be...

I am a Warrington girl through and through. I loved The Beatles and all the things an ordinary English girl enjoys. I used to go to the Cavern Club. I was brought up a staunch Catholic and only turned to Islam about a year ago'.

Which is weird because the impression given last week was that this was some extremist immigrant. And then a little more on the incident itself:

'I have embraced the religion and always try to wear the hijab. It gives me peace and satisfies me spiritually.'

Mrs Tazi said when she first went to the Bounty House Hotel she decided not to wear the hijab because she did not want to stand out. But during her treatment for the debilitating illness fibromyalgia she decided to follow her beliefs.

She said: 'It was the last morning, and I decided to wear what I was comfortable in. I went downstairs and was utterly shocked by the reaction of the hotel owners. They became nasty and all but called me a terrorist.'

Of course, we still don't know exactly what was said. The couple's spokesman reject Tazi's version, claiming they:

deny saying or implying that Mrs Tazi was a terrorist.

The problem with the reaction of the Mail and Littlejohn is that it gives the impression it doesn't really matter what happened - they took against the Muslim, because she was a Muslim. And that implies you can say whatever you want about Muslims, and they'll defend your right to free speech.

But if you are a Muslim exercising your right to free speech - as in Luton - you're not to be defended in the same way.

Then there is a more revealing quote still from Tazi:

'Since it hit the newspapers, I have been too afraid to go out. All sorts of Right-wing groups are commenting on their websites.

'I am really afraid. I just can't understand it. There seems to be so much hatred out there.'

If you Google the name 'Vogelenzang' you can see for yourself this is true. The EDL have it as the main news story on their homepage under the headline:

It is official, you will now be arrested for debating or questioning Islam!

The BNP reported on the story too, writing:

Britain’s plunge into a fully fledged Islamic state has been underlined again...The heavy-handed police action has once again highlighted the state’s subservience to the Islamification process.

Whatever happens in the case hardly matters. The Mail newspapers have let this story run for a week before giving the other side of the story and it has taken root as another mythical 'Muslim take-over of Britain' story.

But the personal angle is the even more damning. If Mrs Tazi is 'really afraid' and 'too scared to go out' because of the coverage then the Mail on Sunday, the Mail and Littlejohn should be ashamed.

If only they knew how to be.


  1. You don't seem to understand. That wasn't the "other side", in fact, Tazi and the Vogelenzangs tell the exact same story.

    Note her remarks, as quoted:
    "They said..."
    "They all but called me..."

    That is, both sides agree, the Vogelenzangs only spoke to her, nothing else.

    It would have been "the other side of the story" if Tazi had said something like "they followed me into my home and shouted at me for ten minutes while I begged them to leave." But that isn't there. Both sides agree completely on what happened: Christians spoke to a Muslim, and said things the Muslim didn't believe.

    The only difference is, once side considers that to be a crime.

  2. Part of my point with this post is that it took the MoS a week to give any coverage to the Mrs Tazi or her point of view. She wasn't even named in the original story and this is part of the Mail's agenda.

    But I think it is you who doesn't understand. Your interpretation of these two articles is very questionable.

    The Vogelenzangs are said to have engaged in a 'reasonable discussion about religion'.

    Tazi says she was 'utterly shocked by the reaction of the hotel owners. They became nasty and all but called me a terrorist.'

    I can't see how you think that is both sides agreeing exactly on what happened.


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