Auckland University of Technology journalism lecturer Martin Hirst, hasn’t apologised for calling me a “neo-nazi”, but he has altered the offending text. It now reads;
Well, I’ve been outed! Some right-wing dribblejaws* has me lined up in his beady little eyes…
Unfortunately he then goes on to say this;
Mr Loudon has attempted to slander me by claiming friends of my friends have links with the Islamic Brotherhood. So he cannot claim to be the only injured party here.
His attacks on me are offensive and defamatory and designed to intimidate.
Dr Hirst’s journalistic skills have let him down again.
The organisation I referred to was the Egyptian based, crypto Marxist, Muslim Brotherhood.
According to website Intelligence Resource Program
Although officially banned by the Egyptian government since 1954, the Muslim Brothers captured 17 seats in the Egyptian Parliament running as independents; they also hold important offices in professional organizations in Egypt.
Today, a very complex financial network connects the operations of over seventy branches of the Muslim Brothers worldwide.
During the Muslim Brothers’ seventy-plus years of existence, there have been cycles of growth, followed by divisions into factions, including clandestine financial networks, and violent jihad groups, such as al-Jihad and al-Gama’at al-Islamiyya in Egypt, HAMAS in Palestine and mujahideen groups in Afghanistan.
Dr Hirst openly acknowledges that he is a supporter of the radical Marxist grouping, the .
The IST’s links with the Muslim Brotherhood are well known and documented.
I quote from British Trotskyist Blog Lenin’s Tomb, reporting on a 2006 conference in Cairo attended by John Rees, George Galloway, assorted Muslim militants and members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
These conferences are annual events and have been attended for several years by leaders of Dr Hirst’s IST.
Note that John Rees is head of the British , which leads the IST. George Galloway is a RESPECT MP in the British Parliament. RESPECT is led by the SWP and several radical British Muslims.
Galloway was brought to NZ recently by Dr Hirst’s friends in the local IST affiliate, to warn us against the dangers of Islamophobia.
The Cairo Conference: a wonderful vibrant and hectic event… Four years ago both John Rees and George Galloway were invited to speak in conferences in Cairo at the same time. They managed to pull the two together (from London!) and the birth of the Cairo Conference – a meeting of activists from the secular and Muslim worlds – took place.
The speakers list was A List, leaders of Islamic movements, trade unions, and political groups, MPs from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt – oh and Britain. And international antiwar activists from UK, Denmark, Korea and Canada.
After an all-too-large helping of Islamic radicalism, the interesting speakers for this blog were, unsurprisingly John Rees and George Galloway.
John Rees issued a call for unity. “We are here because we are all here. The Muslims, the Nasserites, the socialists and the communists and other nationalists and those who fit into none of those categories. This unity allows this conference to happen.” He went down a storm.
Galloway was in excellent form. Not pandering to some opf the more 2 deminsional rhetoric of the local speakers. He welcomed he election of Hamas but pointed out
“You can’t have a free Palestine without Hamas, but you can’t have a free Palestine with only Hamas”.
He noted that there are non-corrupt people in the PLO and Fateh, and called for uniting with those and getting a broad and radical front against Israel.
Hamas’ Information Minister was uncompromising in his attitude to Israel, stating repeatedly they will not recognise the occupying forces of the state of Israel.
The Iraqi delegation was notable by its absence, unable to obtain documentation from the Egyptian authorities to enter the country. We were handed a letter from the Wahaj El Iraq (Patriotic Forces Rejecting the Occupation) Command: “We received with great pleasure & gratitude your invitation to attend your respectable conference, but we were surprised by a lot of security complications and requirements in order to get the visa… Which represent a kind of disapproval (in a diplomatic way).”
The Cairo conference is now being run in conjunction with the Cairo Social Forum… We’ve discussed everything from peasant politics and problems to ‘Arab Communities Abroad’. ‘Art, Power and Resistance’, ‘The Myths of Zionism’ and ‘Different Governments, Same Torture’ were all on the agenda.
The Myths of Zionism meeting introduced by John Rose was fantastic, with Muslim Brotherhood members discussing with Jewish people the meaning and intent of Zionism
The movement here is growing in strength, number and confidence. Socialists are now selling papers in public after being underground for many years (the second edition of Socialist Worker’s sister paper had amazing sales), many present had been imprisoned and some tortured for doing what happens in the UK as a matter of course.
The election of the Muslim Brotherhood MPs last year has opened up space for organising and activity. The Cairo Conference is a place where dissenting voices from Egypt and around the world gather to organise and debate. We are seeing a new era in the resistance in Egypt.
But surely Dr Hirst, holding the responsible position he does would be at pains to distance himself from such radical views?
In January 2006 Australia’s B’nai Brith Anti Defamation Commission published a report by Monash University academic Dr Philip Mendes
“Special Report 31 discusses the phenomenon of an anti-Zionism beyond rational debate. While this is a universal trend, our Report’s author Dr Philip Mendes examines exponents of this viewpoint from the Australian Left.”
According to Dr Mendes;
In late 2004, two Queensland journalists, Martin Hirst and Robert Schutze, penned an attack on the conservative foreign editor of the Australian newspaper, Greg Sheridan.
The purpose of the attack was to discredit Sheridan’s views on the Iraq war, and the associated war on terror. In the middle of this hyperbolic critique, the authors offered the following:
– Israel was guilty of “war crimes by assassinating Palestinian religious and political leaders”
– “Sheridan parrots the absurdity that Israel is the only democracy in the region”
– “Where is the democracy in Israel? On the one hand, Iraq was a dictatorship with limited electoral participation under Saddam Hussein. Compare this with Israel which has a limited parliamentary system under the effective dictatorship of Ariel Sharon. People are regularly beaten, tortured and killed to maintain the Zionist regime.
In reading the article quoted, I picked out this gem from Hirst and Schutze;
Despite Sheridan’s protestations that the ‘war on terror’ is not a war against Islam or a clash of civilizations , his columns in recent years have repeatedly cast the world withina frame of good and evil.
On one level, this reflects the pervasiveness of a post-Cold War terrorism news frame in contemporary mainstream media reporting.
In its moral simplicity, this interpretive prism is reminiscent of the old Cold War news frame, which dramatized superpower rivalries and pitted East against West, or capitalism againstcommunism.
With the ‘reds’ somehow purged from under the bed, bomb-wielding Islamic fundamentalists have emerged as the new scourge of the modern world
Further clues to Dr hirst’s views come from Australian writer Darlene Taylor’s review of Andrew Bolt’s “Still Not Sorry” at Online Opinion Australia’s eJournal of Social and Political Debate
At a forum at the Woodford Folk Festival last December, Dr Martin Hirst revealed himself to be a strident critic of the Iraq War.
Not content to simply oppose the conflict, Hirst declared himself to be on the side of the insurgents. I was reminded of the gruff revolutionary, who managed to upset a few of the pacifists present, when perusing Andrew Bolt’s still not sorry. After all, the book contains many references to Hirst’s ideological comrades such as John Pilger.
Still Not Sorry is a collection of some of Bolt’s Herald Sun articles from the past seven years or so. The volume is arranged thematically, with topics including the environment, Islam, the “stolen generation”, the grants industry and the unweaned arts community possessing sections of their own.
The premise that this nation is usually united, bar the divide “elites” have constructed between themselves and ordinary people, dominates the book, as does the notion that these “elites” (actors and activists and so on) haven’t learned a thing from “failures” like the Republican referendum and the electoral successes of John Howard.
A radical like Hirst epitomises this reality with his declaration that it’d be sad if our service personnel died in Iraq but … well, it wasn’t hard to deduce the rest. How does anyone think they’re going to win over the general public voicing such opinions?
On the comments section on my recent profile of Dr Hirst, he stated;
I’m also disappointed that Mr Louden failed to uncover my alleged anti-semitism. And no, I’m not an anti-semite, but I am an anti-imperialist and therefore against the state of Israel – I am an anti-Zionist. Zionism is the political expression of Israeli expansionism and military power in the middle east.
Oh and before you go off chasing more rabbits down burrows, I do not support terrorism, particularly state terrorism.
Clearly Dr Hirst’s views are similar to those of the IST.
In my opinion those views are extreme to say the least.
Dr Hirst has openly stated that he believes in the overthrow of the state “by force if necessary.“
He has openly called into question the virtue of journalistic objectivity.
Dr Hirst’s comrades in the IST are openly aligned with some of the most militant and violent extremists on the planet.
Is Dr Hirst the right man to guide, train and presumably pass or fail New Zealand’s future journalists?
What do you think?