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Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
|Attacks on Peter Tatchell
I've been asked by Peter Tatchell, who is quite ill, to post this response to some of the attacks on him that are going round the internet. There are some important factual inaccuracies in those attacks which he addresses.
Out of Place - Fabrications against Peter Tatchell
Peter Tatchell writes:
There are many, many false things written about me in the book Out of
Place. There is not a shred of evidence to support its claims.
This issue has nothing to do with censorship. The issue is that this
book printed lies and fabricated quotes. That is why I objected to it.
I have no objection to people criticising me, but fabricating quotes
and smearing fellow comrades is shameful and has no place in
All my articles, speeches and news releases are archived on my
website. You can view them here:
I invite anyone to find evidence that I am Islamophobic, racist or a
supporter of imperialist wars or the “war on terror.” These claims in
Out of Place are total fiction. I have campaigned against these, or
similar, injustices for over 40 years.
I was forced to seek an apology and correction regarding the chapter
in Out of Place because it printed outright lies and made up quotes,
in an apparently malicious bid to defame and discredit me.
The publishers (Raw Nerve Books) were horrified and deeply apologetic.
Hence their full apology which you can read here:
I did not use the libel laws to suppress Out of Place. This is another
lie being spread about me.
The book was already out of print when I drew its falsehoods to the
attention of the publishers. It was not withdrawn because of me.
I have no objection to the other chapters in Out of Place being
reprinted in a new edition, and I made this clear to Raw Nerve Books.
Free speech, which I defend, should not include the right to print
lies that cause other people harm and which seek to pursue sectarian
vendettas and to discredit political opponents. This is what the
chapter in Out of Place did to me.
I would defend any of you if you were defamed with such untruths.
No one should be allowed to falsely claim that someone is a racist and
that they collaborate with fascists, when they are not and do not. Out
of Place should not be allowed to get away with such lies about me -
or anyone else.
I hope you would accept that lies and libel that cause other people
damage (as Out of Place has caused to me) are not legitimate free
You would not like to be falsely accused of attacking Muslim people,
consorting with neo-Nazis and promoting an imperialist agenda, which
is what this book did to me.
IslamaphobiaWatch is not a truthful, honest website. It is run by
political sectarians who use it to defame and discredit people they
see as political enemies. It is full of outright lies against me and
many others, including many progressive, left-wing Muslims,
anti-racists and supporters, like me, of the anti-war movement.
London's former Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has since apologised for
making false allegations of Islamophobia against me.
I count many leading Muslim and black activists among my friends and
political comrades. They know my 40 year record of anti-racist,
anti-war and anti-imperialist campaigning. They are aware that I have
been a fierce defender of Muslim and black communities against state
oppression, including trenchant opposition to the so-called "war on
terror". They would not support me if I had done the things that the
book Out Of Place falsely claims.
I hope this reassures you. Best wishes.
I have known Peter as an activist for almost forty years - we never had anything to do with each other in GLF but you couldn't miss him. I don't always agree with him, or he with me, and we have had fights on various issues, some of which resolved and some of which we didn't.
I will not stand by and see him attacked behind friends-lock without commenting. So, if you are minded to attack him, please defriend me and ask me to defriend you.