Jonathan Mclatchie, a student at Newcastle University, just had the chess board removed from under his nose by being kicked off the university’s chess team due to yesterday’s Facebook post critcising the LGBT+ movement.
I can’t say I support kicking Jonathan McLatchie off Newcastle Uni’s chess team (and nope, I’m not one of Jonathan’s little evangelical Christian buddies – far from it!).
A few observations for Muslims to think about:
Be careful as to what you share or post on your social media!
You’re seeing the fruits of years of collective activism and lobbying on the part of the LGBT+ movement here. It’s an open secret evangelical Christians in Europe generally dare not have a head-on-collision with that movement. It’s in stark contrast with their attitude towards Muslims in Europe – it seems they actively seek to oppose Muslims and Islam in Europe. The same Evangelicals, in Europe, can be antagonistic and aggressive in their activism against Muslims and Islam: think about the campaigns Christian groups have set up to openly oppose the building of mosques, the marching and demonstrations in Muslim areas in towns and cities across the UK by groups claiming to be Christian groups (Britain First) and think about the provocative propaganda Christian polemicists put forward in their publications and internet media about Muslims. There’s a reason for this, Muslims in Europe are the easier target (and by the way of deduction, the evangelicals aren’t exactly the bravest in constantly going for the weaker group).
Jonathan Mclatchie put his head above the parapet, albeit in what he may have thought to be his echo chamber, and he saw more than a few chess pieces thrown his way.
I’ve noted Michael Knight making mention of Jonathan’s views on other religions so I’m not sure as to how familiar Michael is with Jonathan’s views on other religions but my question to Michael would be that of consistency. Is Islamophobia being treated the same as Homophobia within universities and general society?
I’m not attacking Michael, I’m just trying to use this opportunity to perhaps get people thinking more about Islamophobia too. Many Muslims may not have the confidence to talk about Islamophobia as openly as the LGBT+ communities talk about Homophobia but I personally see all three cases below to be more worthy of concern for a group representing a British university than Jonathan’s recent FB post (others may not agree):
- Jonathan has, in the past effectively taught, Muslims in Britain are a fifth column waiting to take over via terrorism and eventually kill Christians. If your chess group was aware of these comments would Jonathan have been reconsidered for the team?
- Jonathan has propagated the hoax of Muslim “sharia-no-go-zones” in Europe – would this have been met with the same condemnation as that of his FB post on LGBT+?
- Jonathan’s evangelical colleague has said he doesn’t want a Muslim bus driver, doctor, taxi drover etc and a Christian TV channel and blog he is associated with portrays Muslims as potential terrorists etc.. Although this is an issue of association, would you have considered this problematic?
My experience has been that comments deemed Islamophobic are viewed less weightier than comments deemed homophobic. Awareness of this disparity is needed.
I do think Jonathan was naive here – the word “perverse” being used for LGBT+ people may have given the impression he was calling anybody inclined to same-sex-attraction “perverse”. I don’t think that is what was happening here to be fair to Jonathan McLatchie:
Jonathan McLatchie We must also distinguish between homosexuality as defined as a sexual orientation (which there is nothing wrong with in itself) and homosexuality as defined by the practice.
Jonathan McLatchie Is celebration of the LGBT lifestyle now a requirement for playing for the University chess team?
Chris Goodall Only if by “celebration” you mean “not calling it a perverse idea or reposting an article that calls it disordered, based on a toxic philosophy, and a symptom of a decaying culture”. Yes, not doing that is a requirement.
I think it is clear, the act of homosexuality is not allowed in the Bible so it would be considered perverse in that sense. I know many Westernised Christians have compromised on matters such as marriage after divorce (as mentioned by Dr Robert Gagnon) as well as what we’d call everyday experiences in the West such as interactions between unmarried heterosexual couples but for the evangelical the reality is their movement is a weak movement and they may have acknowledged the horse has bolted on those other issues – some of them are determined to try to keep their horse (or their knight!) on this one.
I would counsel Jonathan to watch out for Paul Williams’ talk on homosexuality and Islam – he’s got a little more worldly wisdom so you may learn a better approach and phraseology vis-a-vis the LGBT+ movement in Britain.
In the meantime, I’d be interested to see if Michael Knight and/or Chris Goodall would consider Islamophobic social media posts to be a concern they’d oppose as vociferously as that of comments deemed to be homophobic.
Come on Muslims, let’s get a pawn promotion here. Learn from our Jewish friends and the folks in the LGBT+ movement, let’s push to get Islamophobia to be less tolerated to the extent folks are chucked off chess teams for social media posts that are considered Islamophobic. It means YOU have to be more active!