1 Nov 2009

Out of Place - Fabrications and smears against Peter Tatchell

'Tatchell has “collaborated with the extreme right” and “participated
with several racist and fascist groups.” Not true. I have fought the
far-right for four decades and been a victim of violent attacks by
neo-Nazis because of my defence of black, Muslim, Jewish and LGBT
people.'


Just had this from Peter who I have known since the late 1980s and has been a stout critique of all kinds of prejudice, he is certainly under attack from bigots at the moment and we need to stand with him.

Peter Tatchell writes:

The book Out Of Place contains a chapter - Gay Imperialism: Gender and
Sexuality Discourse in the 'War on Terror' - by Jin Haritaworn,
Tamsila Tauqir and Esra Erdem. It was published by Raw Nerve Books in
2008.

The authors make highly defamatory, libellous and untrue allegations
against me. This goes beyond criticism and involves outright lies and
fabrications. Criticism is fine. Untruths are not.

The authors’ friends and supporters are now spreading further smears.

They accuse me of “censoring” Out Of Place. This is untrue.

They claim that I forced the book to be withdrawn from sale and
resulted in the publisher’s declaring it to be “Out of Print.” This
is untrue.

The real censorship is by my critics. They are posting entirely false
allegations, often on closed lists that do not allow me to post my
side of the story.

I have not suppressed the book, Out of Place, or forced it out of print.
The book was listed as “Out of Print” before I contacted the
publishers and challenged the lies and falsehoods written about me.

The book was not withdrawn on my account. It had already gone out of
print before I approached the publishers.

I did not use the libel laws. This is another lie.

When I presented the publishers with evidence that refuted the
accusations against me in Out of Place, they agreed to publish this
apology:

http://www.rawnervebooks.co.uk/Peter_Tatchell.pdf

I never asked for Out of Place to be taken out of print. I have no
objection to it being reprinted, providing it does not include the
lies and fabrications about me. I have made this clear to Raw Nerve
Books.

Academics are supposed to adhere to the highest standards of facts,
truth and of evidence-based assertions, with proper footnoting and
sourcing for what they write. The authors of the chapter that defames
me did not do this. They made claims that are untrue and for which
there is no evidence. They provided no footnotes or sources for their
outrageous false allegations. They are guilty of poor research, shoddy
scholarship and desertion of academic standards.

Jin Haritaworn, Tamsila Tauqir and Esra Erdem suggest that I am
anti-Muslim. This is pure fiction. I have campaigned against
fundamentalist Muslims (in nthe same way that I have campaigned
against fundamentalist Christians), not against Muslim people in
general. I have always made this distinction very clear.

The authors explicitly claim or implicitly insinuate the following:

Tatchell has “claimed the role of liberator and expert about Muslim
gays and lesbians.” Not true. I have never made such a claim or
adopted such a role.

Tatchell is Islamophobic and is “part of the Islamophobia industry.”
Not true. I have defended many Muslim victims of injustice and
condemned anti-Muslim prejudice.

Tatchell is racist and has engaged in “racial” politics. Not true. I
have a 40-year record of anti-racist and anti-apartheid campaigning.

Tatchell has described “Muslims as Nazis” and made the equation
“Muslim=Nazi” and “Muslim=Evil.” Not true. I have never attacked
Muslims in general – only fundamentalists who oppose democracy,
equality and human rights.

Tatchell has “collaborated with the extreme right” and “participated
with several racist and fascist groups.” Not true. I have fought the
far-right for four decades and been a victim of violent attacks by
neo-Nazis because of my defence of black, Muslim, Jewish and LGBT
people.

It is utterly shameful for any authors, let alone academics, to
abandon honesty, truth and integrity, in order to misrepresent and lie
about other people in order to wage petty, sectarian political wars.

We should fight real oppressors and not pick fights with, and publish
false allegations against, other progressive people.

Sectarian attacks undermine the struggle for human rights, social
justice, peace and anti-imperialism.

For me, the sole issue is that this book printed lies. I have no
objection to people criticising me, but making untrue allegations and
smearing fellow comrades is shameful and has no place in progressive
politics.

All my articles, speeches and news releases are archived on my
website. You can view them here:

www.petertatchell.net

I invite anyone to find evidence that I am Islamophobic, racist or a
supporter of imperialist wars or the “war on terror.” Take a look at
the totality of my campaigns since 1967. Even if you disagree with a
particular campaign or article, please judge me on my overall record.

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