■ Peter Tatchell
LONDON, January 16, 2005
– A leading member of George Galloway’s Respect Party, Adam Yosef, has
urged violence against gay activist and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
He has denounced Tatchell as a “hate-mongerer”, listing him as one of
Britain’s top three “Hate-Filled Bigots”. The other two bigots Yosef names
are Nick Griffin of the British Nationalist Party and Muslim fundamentalist
cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed.
The astonishing attack was made by Adam Yosef in his column in the Asian
weekly entertainment newspaper, Desi Xpress, on 6-12 January 2006 (copy
His article advises readers to violently attack Tatchell, stating that he
“needs a good slap in the face”.
In a naked appeal to homophobia and xenophobia, Yosef goes on to urge
Australian-born Tatchell and his “queer campaign army” to “pack their bent
bags and head back to Australia”.
Mr Yosef has a history of homophobic outbursts in Desi Xpress. In a
December issue of the newspaper (Issue 42), he ridiculed same-sex civil
partnerships: “Hmmm...gay weddings... Gay people and commitment? I don’t
think so... They’ll be shagg*ng the neighbours before they even cut the
cake. Bad idea I’m afraid. Great way of evading tax though...”
As well as being a prominent member of Galloway’s Respect party, Yosef has
done press and PR work for Respect leaders like Salma Yaqoob and Dr Mohammed
Dr Naseem is also Home Affairs spokesperson for the Islamic Party of
Britain, which advocates the death penalty for homosexuality and the banning
of gay organisations. Mr Yosef is a leading light in the Stop The War
Movement, and has worked with the Socialist Workers Party.
“This is a new low for members of Respect and the Stop the War Coalition,”
said Aaron Saeed, Muslim Affairs spokesperson for the gay human rights group
“Equating an anti-racist like Peter Tatchell with a racist like Nick Griffin
is sick. It shows the dishonesty and opportunism that now characterises
George Galloway’s Respect party,” continued Mr Saeed in a lengthy statement.
“Peter has been involved in almost every anti-racist campaign for 35 years,
and he was active in the anti-apartheid movement for 20 years.
“Inciting violence against Peter is not only brings shame and dishonour to
Respect, it is also a criminal offence.
“Telling Peter to get back to Australia echoes the racist, xenophobic
language of the BNP. They are always telling Asian people to ‘go back where
you came from’.
“The insult concerning Peter's ‘bent bags’ is unabashed homophobia,” he
“Taken together, the headlines, content and tone of Mr Yosef's article is
likely to stir up hatred against Tatchell and put him at risk of violent
“There is not a shred of evidence to suggest that Peter is ‘hate-filled’ or
a ‘bigot’. On the contrary, his human rights work involves challenging
hatred, prejudice, discrimination and violence against all communities.
“Peter has a long and proud record of defending the Asian and Muslim
communities against prejudice and racism. He was actively involved in Rock
Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League.
“We call on Respect and the Stop The War Coalition to condemn Adam Yosef’s
incitement to homophobia, violence and xenophobia, and to expel him from
their organizations,” Mr Saeed challenged.
“There can be no place in a progressive movement for people who encourage
homophobia, violence and xenophobia.
“We urge Desi Xpress to publish a full apology to Peter Tatchell and to
carry an interview with him about his work for universal human rights.
“Yosef freelances for BBC Online and BBC Birmingham. We hope the BBC will
cease employing him. His encouragement of homophobia, violence and
xenophobia is incompatible with the BBC’s commitment to equality and
“There is a clear conflict interest over what Yosef has written,” he
continued. “The main reason he appears to have attacked Tatchell is because
Tatchell has criticised Yosef’s party, Respect, over its links with Dr
Naseem, who is one of Yosef's former clients.
“There is a clear conflict interest over what Yosef has written. It appears
the main reason he has attacked Tatchell is because Tatchell has criticised
Respect, over its links with Dr Naseem, who is one of Yosef’s
“This violates journalistic ethics, whereby writers are supposed to declare
“Moreover, Yosef is wrong to say that Peter Tatchell ‘believes the likes of
George Galloway and Salma Yaqoob are homophobes.’ Peter has never made any
such claim. It is dishonest and mischievous for Mr Yosef to make these false
allegations,” concluded Mr Saeed.
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