LGBT+ Storm on Jonathan McLatchie’s Chess Board: Newcastle University Chess League Team Kicks Off Team Player for Suggesting  LGBT+ Movement is “Perverse”

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!).

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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).

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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):

  1. 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?
  2. 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+?
  3. 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.

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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.

Jonathan McLatchie Chris, how do you square your views on this topic with your self-identification as a Christian?

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!

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Categories: Islam

15 replies

  1. Yahya, are you aware that I absolutely do not think “Muslims in Britain are a fifth column waiting to take over via terrorism and eventually kill Christians”? I also think there is no evidence for sharia-no-go-zones in Europe and have publicly stated as much.

    Jonathan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan,

      The comments in the Church in Middleborough have not been recanted by you, nor has the offending video been removed or edited to reflect your rejection of such a belief.

      As I recall, you either deny having made such comments, or claim you were taken out of context. Yet now, we see that when faced with these concerns privately, you “recognised” your mistake and would not advocate such a conclusion.

      If only you can do so publicly as Yahya has stated, then you’d be considered having set the record straight. But you haven’t. What was the result of this? You had the Newcastle Muslims collaborating with the London Hyde Park Muslims condemning your mocking and dehumanising of Br. Aqil, which heavily implied racism.

      This is despite inviting Aqil yourself and agreeing to not let the Christian speaker behave in an unruly manner. In the end you can say I’m wrong and Yahya is wrong as well, but when you have Br. Aqil, and two sets of Muslims from Newcastle and London coming to the same conclusions as we had, then that should tell you something.

      Regards,
      Ijaz.

      Like

    • Mclitchy, it is time for you to repent.

      1Samuel 15:28-29- 28. And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you, today; and has given it to your fellow who is better than you. 29. And also, the Strength of Israel will neither lie nor repent, for He is not a man to repent.”

      Job 10:4-7-4. Do You have eyes of flesh, or do You see as a man sees? 5. Are Your days like the days of a mortal, or are Your years like the days of a man, 6. that You should search for my iniquity and seek my sin? 7. It is in Your knowledge that I will not be condemned, but no one can save [me] from Your hand.

      God is not a man mclitChy, repent now!!!

      Like

  2. As discussed previous Jonathan, I am 100% aware you do not believe there are Muslim no go zones in Europe now – you were asked to review your initial claims and you recanted on such. Appreciated.

    As for fifth column stuff – your comments in the church in the North East were tantamount to that. We have discussed it before. If you want to retract those bizarre claims of 3 stages of Jihad that David Wood propagates I’d be happy to note that too.

    Those episodes are brought up really for Chris and Michael in the hope of getting them to ask whether homophobia outweighs islamophobia in university student bodies. I am hoping it will get a discussion going or at the least inspire Muslims to be more active and confident like the LGBT activists

    PS Will be looking to add some balance to a YouTube video circulating shortly to help be fair to you

    Oh and Jonathan, it’s not against the law to say thanks – you won’t get chucked off any chess team if you do (well not around these parts) 🙂

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  3. Firstly let me stress the difference between a society and a team. Jonathan has not been removed from the chess society, but from the team that competes in the area chess league under the name “Newcastle University”. Removing him from the society would be a strictly punitive measure, and there is a proper process for doing it. Deselecting him from the team on the other hand, is something we have a responsibility to do if it becomes clear that he is not a suitable person to represent the University. There is a thriving LGBT+ community at Newcastle, and to label their sexual identity a “perverse idea” in front of his several thousand followers is to flatly oppose one of the University’s fundamental, non-negotiable values. Therefore, although he may attend internal society meetings, he may not *represent* the University in external competition.

    Secondly, the first thing I did when I noticed Jonathan’s post was to speak to Michael about it. The LGBT+ Society may have offered me moral support, but it was not their lobbying or that of any wider LGBT+ movement that prompted us to review the post.

    “1. 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?”

    The chess team WAS aware of these comments. I listened to Jonathan’s Middlesbrough talk (most of it at 1.5x speed) and the last 5 minutes of it concerned me, so I quizzed him about it after a match in October. Specifically, I put it to him that he was suggesting all Muslims in Britain, including those in the chess society, were lacking in agency – they were part of the invasion plot whether they liked it or not. Without sharing too much detail of a private conversation, he said that wasn’t a conclusion he would ever agree with. My recommendation to Michael (which he was of course free to ignore) was that Jonathan had acknowledged the error of his apparent Muslim-bashing and the matter could be dropped.

    “2. 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+?”

    It was certainly met with questions, but if I recall correctly Jonathan wrote a blog post backing down from that claim and attributing it to an out-of-context quote from a single police officer, and his attitude when I questioned him was much the same.

    “3. 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?”

    Not really. Freedom of association. Barack Obama’s old pastor said some pretty unhinged stuff too. If Jonathan has repeated or endorsed any of it, we clearly have a problem, but we would be on very thin ice if we tried to hold Jonathan responsible for things his associates have done or said.

    Overall, I’ve found Jonathan to be far more cautious and nuanced when talking about Islam than about LGBT+. His attitude towards his previous bold statements on Islam was nothing like the “I stand behind the above post 100%” that we saw from him yesterday. The fact that Michael and I nevertheless entertained the possibility of deselecting him from the team over his comments about Islam, should he fail to give a satisfactory explanation of them, I think is evidence that we do take Islamophobia seriously.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chris, I really appreciate the fact you took time to respond. Thanks.

      Just for the record the amount of nagging we had to do just to get Jonathan to relent from the “sharia no go zone” claim was tremendous. I was personally worn out by it. However, the fruit was there as he did actually pull up one of his colleagues (the pastor who doesn’t want Muslim service staff) when he was suggesting there were no go zones in Europe.

      As for the theory he espoused in the Middlesbrough church whicj ultimately leads to the suggestion Muslims are a fifth column, it has never been publicly denounced. I’d love it if he would do such.

      However Chris, this post is not designed to be an inquisition of Jonathan – I do feel his wording was unwise on the LGBT movement but it does seem drastic to kick him off the team for that. It will inevitably stifle conservative religious folk from expressing opinions that are based on their respective traditions. Not everybody agrees with gay marriage – not all gay people agree with it.

      There has to be some wiggle room and some charity when religious folks aren’t subtle or clear enough when expressing views.

      Also, it would be interesting to know how Christians would exegete 1 Corinthians 6:9 or Romans 1:26-27 to allow for views contrary to Traditional views ( as expressed by Jonathan)

      Like

    • “it would be interesting to know how Christians would exegete 1 Corinthians 6:9 or Romans 1:26-27 to allow for views contrary to Traditional views ( as expressed by Jonathan)”

      There are a range of moves non-trad Christians usuallly make:

      Paul was not critiquing the loving gay relationships we know today

      Paul was condemning gay sex but he was wrong just as he was wrong in his sexist views about women

      Paul was condemning male prostitution and pederasty

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Chris,

      Thank you for commenting. As Yahya has stated, Jonathan has not publicly recanted his statements from the Church in Middleborough, referring to Muslims as both a fifth column and like cancer or a virus. His video with those comments are still on his YouTube channel, he’s not removed or even edited the video. It remains as is. Denouncing it to you personally does not solve the issue for everyone else. I hope you understand just how offensive those statements were and are.

      I hope you’ve also seen this video which has been circulating as of two days now by Muslim groups from Newcastle, Birmingham and London:

      1. Aqil’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsFx6KoGU8c

      2. Syed’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb-hUl76sSM

      3. EFDawah: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOF2iJMmz_o

      Would love your thoughts on him laughing while the Muslim’s physical appearance was mocked and his complying with “muzzling” the Muslim. As far as I’m aware, there is a massive Muslim collective anger with his statements and behaviour towards Muslims.

      Regards,
      Ijaz.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Iyaz – yes I do. I found a Post-It the other day on which I’d noted down the words

      2nd stage = “defensive jihad one component of which is terrorism”??

      If Jonathan were saying publicly that ordinary Muslims, like those in the chess society, were accomplices in a plot to impose shari’a law on non-Muslims in Britain – which is what I think the implication of his video is – that would have been grounds to kick him out of the team, the society and possibly the university.

      I think if there were a video of my conversation with Jonathan, it would shift the public understanding of his attitude to Islam a bit. I can’t say any more than that about our private conversation.

      If I were Jonathan’s PR manager I would have made him take the video down and go all over the Internet apologising for it. Because otherwise a Muslim teammate could have Googled him and gotten the wrong idea. And I told him that.

      When the British Muslim outcry over the video seems to be limited to one blog post, you can see why it’s not top of his to-do list.

      Yahya – calling LGBT+ rights perverse ideas is drastic. Why should fundamentalists have a monopoly on drastic action? I make no apologies for being intolerant of intolerance. You’re not achieving a net increase of tolerance unless you’re at least as intolerant of intolerant people as they are of LGBT+ people. Thou shalt not outsource thine intolerance. I’m going to get that embroidered on my tea towel.

      Like

    • I’ve watched the video now (all 3 copies!) and I’m sorry to say it really comes across as astroturfing. Sam is the one who says “you scare me with your face”, and uses the word “muzzle”. Jonathan seems not to understand what Sam means by “muzzle him” at first, and then when he does, actually *corrects* Sam’s choice of word: “Aqil is currently muted”. “You scare me with your face” was an unexpected change of tone from Sam and a transgression of conversational norms. Comedians use both of those things to provoke semi-involuntary laughter.

      Without knowing the relationships between Jonathan, Sam and Aqil, you might call Jonathan’s reaction harsh, but anti-Muslim? If Sam had said “You scare me with your Muslim face”, or even “You scare me with your big beard”, then laughing at it might have had a more sinister motive. It would still have reflected far worse on Sam than on Jonathan, though.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Iyaz – yes I do. I found a Post-It the other day on which I’d noted down the words

    2nd stage = “defensive jihad one component of which is terrorism”??

    If Jonathan were saying publicly that ordinary Muslims, like those in the chess society, were accomplices in a plot to impose shari’a law on non-Muslims in Britain – which is what I think the implication of his video is – that would have been grounds to kick him out of the team, the society and possibly the university.

    I think if there were a video of my conversation with Jonathan, it would shift the public understanding of his attitude to Islam a bit. I can’t say any more than that about our private conversation.

    If I were Jonathan’s PR manager I would have made him take the video down and go all over the Internet apologising for it. Because otherwise a Muslim teammate could have Googled him and gotten the wrong idea. And I told him that.

    When the British Muslim outcry over the video seems to be limited to one blog post, you can see why it’s not top of his to-do list.

    Yahya – calling LGBT+ rights perverse ideas is drastic. Why should fundamentalists have a monopoly on drastic action? I make no apologies for being intolerant of intolerance. You’re not achieving a net increase of tolerance unless you’re at least as intolerant of intolerant people as they are of LGBT+ people. Thou shalt not outsource thine intolerance. I’m going to get that embroidered on my tea towel.

    Like

  5. Chris, I just want to thank you on behalf of Muslims for actually taking the issue of Islamophobia seriously – seriously enough to talk to and investigate one of your members. And a big thanks for openly decaring you take Islamophobia seriously. I appreciate that.Trust me, we need all the support we can get for this cause – many Muslims are snoozing on the job!

    Just so you know – there are hardly any British Muslim apologetics blogs out there and Jonathan’s profile is not that large even within apologetics so that would explain why only one or two blogs reported his problematic comments – on top of that these comments were made at the tail end of an hour long presentation which was in reality a local church event in Middlesbrough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • People don’t like watching hour-and-a-half-long videos. Surely if you want to make a wider audience aware of the comments – and why would Jonathan object to a wider audience for his comments? – then step 1 is to transcribe them into bloggable form?

      Q: “[inaudible] growing in the UK?”
      “JMc: I think it’s growing. I’m not acquainted with the statistics off the top of my head, but certainly from my observations it’s growing. The Islamic society at the university, indeed I think every university I’ve attended, the Islamic society’s been bigger than the Christian Union. So Islam’s certainly on the rise and I think it will have greater and greater influence.

      “There *are* shari’a courts in the UK… France has a bigger problem with Islam at the moment… in Islam [sic] there are so-called no-go zones where the police aren’t allowed to enter and they’re governed by shari’a law, and these no-go zones are expanding, which is essentially tantamount to inviting a virus into your civilisation, which is not… it’s basically inviting a cancer into your civilisation which is going to expand, because the Muslim birth rates are very very high.

      “And so… Islam is the fastest-growing religion but not because of conversion, it’s more to do with the birth rates. If you actually look at the statistics I think you can make a convincing argument that it’s more to do with birth rates than conversion.”

      Q: “Can you comment on your understanding of the Islamic principle of deception?”
      JMc: “Yeah, taqiya is the Arabic term. Now taqiya is found in the Qur’an in Sura 3:28, let me just read that to you… turn in your Qur’ans… [laughter] It’s also I think in Sura 16:106 if I’m not mistaken.

      “Okay, this is what Sura 3:28 says: “The believers must not take the disbelievers as friends instead of believers, and whoever does that has no relation with Allah whatsoever, unless you do so as a protective measure in order to save yourself from them. Allah warns you of himself, for unto Allah is the return.”

      “In other words, don’t take Christians, don’t take non-Muslims as your friends in preference to believers, unless you’re doing so as a protective measure. Taqiya has been practised historically more by Shi’a than by Sunni, the reason for that is that they’ve been in the minority rather than the majority, and so… in Christianity if someone points a gun at your head and says “Are you a Christian?” you’re supposed to say yes, you’re a Christian, and die for Christ. Whereas in Islam, you’re permitted to deny that you’re a Muslim, and say that “I’m not a Muslim” and be deceptive. If your true intentions being known would bring disrepute or danger to you or the Muslim community, then yes, you are permitted to lie and deceive about your affiliations.

      “In fact there’s a text in Al-Tabari’s history, where Muhammed is invited to the house of his uncle Abu Talib. Abu Talib was his uncle who raised him after the death of his grandfather and his father, his father died when he was just an infant and then he was raised by his grandfather for a while, and then he was raised by his uncle Abu Talib. And Abu Talib is the leader of his clan, the Banu Hashim clan, which is one of the clans in the Qureysh tribe. The Qureysh are a group of Meccans that persecuted Muhammed during the years 610 and 622, before he flees to Medina – it’s then called Yathrib and is then renamed Medina. And he’s invited for talks of truce with the Qureysh, to the house of Abu Talib. And he says to the people… they tell him to stop denouncing their gods, and they’ll leave him to his god. And he says that he wants to invite them to a better way, a way by which they will rule over the non-Arabs and all of Arabia will submit to them. And they ask him “what is this way?” and says by uttering… he talks about the shahada, that there is no god worthy of worshipping except Allah.

      “Now, behind closed… in public, in Mecca, like Sura 109 for example, Sura 109 [inaudible] quick, it’s only a few verses, we can read the whole chapter. It’s one of the last chapters. It says “With the name of Allah the all-merciful and the very merciful, say O disbelievers: I do not worship that which you worship, nor do you worship the one whom I worship, and neither am I going to worship that which you have worshipped, nor will you worship the one whom I worship. For you is your faith, and for me my faith.”

      “So that’s his public message. Yet behind closed doors, he’s saying to the Qureysh, “why don’t you join me, and we will”… he’s in the minority at this point, so he’s living peacefully and proclaiming this message of peace and tolerance, he says to the Qureysh behind closed doors: “why don’t you join me, and together all of Arabia will submit to us, and we will rule over the non-Arabs?” who are not threatening him at that point.

      “So that’s Islam’s doctrine of deception.

      “Jihad seems to progress in several… in three stages. You start with stealth jihad, where it is… you proclaim a message of peace and tolerance.

      “Then when you have a substantive, a more substantial number, you move on to defensive jihad, one component of which is terrorism.

      “And then finally you have offensive jihad where you have the minority [sic], and then you oppress and subjugate non-Muslims.

      “And I defy anyone to tell me one country that has a Muslim majority that does not subjugate non-Muslims.”

      Like

    • Jonathan has hinted that he would take a red pen to certain bits of that speech if he could. I would be very interested to know exactly what parts, what statements, he would apply the red pen to. Would he in fact stand behind all of the facts and the supporting logic but draw different conclusions from them?

      Like

  6. Mr. Heathcliff,

    It’s McLatchie not Mclitchy.

    Ijaz, I don’t think one can say that video you linked to “heavily implies racism”

    —————————————-

    Note to other readers: There are plenty of discussion areas other than Jonathan (everybody jumping on him isn’t going to do much good) such as whether social media comments/post sharing of that nature warrants being precluded from representing a university, does British society view Islamophobia less severely than anti-semitism and homophobia as well as discussing ways in which Muslims can learn from Jews and the LGBT community in activism to raise awareness of Islamophobia.

    I recall reading 20% of British Muslim females fear for their safety in Britain.

    Like

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