How we deal with people who we do not like is a major problem in the age of growing social media. You may not like them because you believe or know them to be liars – take the Twitter account I got suspended for it’s hate speech which claimed ‘200 million Muslims in India were on the brink of ethnic genocide.’ (Leave to one side that religion and ethnicity are two different things and faiths focussed on conversion cannot have ethnic limitations by definition).
The same Twitter account claimed the tensions in Leicester were due to ‘Hindutva ethno-fascists’ . Twitter suspended the account on my report because it broke Twitter’s (and society’s) ‘hateful conduct rule’. They will have to remove the hateful content to have their account restored.
The account is owned by MEND @medncommunity, and the claim “Empowering British Muslims across the UK to tackle Islamophobia by getting involved in media & politics. Visit our website to volunteer with MEND!” and their URL is mend.org.uk
Now their goals are laudable – to tackle Islamaphobia, and more Muslims in politics. But they are through their actions providing hateful content according to Twitter.
They are useful idiots for Islamaphobes. By writing in such hateful terms, they are inciting hatred and so banned by Twitter – or at least forced to remove this content. They have become useful idiots for their enemies.
They are not the only ones. Take this week Jeremy Clarkson writing such horrible things about the Duchess of Sussex that Clarkson’s own daughter disowned her father’s comments. Clarkson was "dreaming of the day when [Meghan] is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps…at her."
The hatred Clarkson, and people like Piers Morgan, show to Meghan means they’ve just proved her case. That the media indeed hated her. Their hate made them useful idiots for their ‘enemy’.
The lesson? Do not through your hatred become a useful idiot for your enemy. How did the British depart as friends of the Indians? Because Gandhiji never, even after Jallianwala bhag, hated the British.
So what is the correct approach? Your response must be morally superior. In Gandhiji’s case, non-violence. Actually, in everyone’s case - non-violence.
Once you fail that test, it does not matter where the truth lies, whether Duchess was right or wrong. Nuance is lost. You’ve proven her right. MEND proved right those who oppose their hate.
MEND is not a problem for Hindus. It’s a problem for Muslims. Because by writing such hateful things they reinforce the worst beliefs in society that they seek to disprove. That is what useful idiots do. They are traitors to their own cause. Hate speech and extremism always leads to people being useful idiot traitors to the cause they claim to support.
I do not dislike MEND because of their lies about Leicester or India or Hindus or that they wish to infiltrate the media to spread them. I hate them because they set back the genuine case against Islamaphobia. A worthy cause.
Extremism doesn’t help any cause. It makes you a traitor to your own cause.