Paris, France To Sue Fox News For Being Fox News

from the you'll-get-used-to-them dept

I was told a long time ago that you can really get to know people in times of crises. Adversity doesn’t make a person, it reveals that person. Insert another cliche about this stuff here. The point is that when things get dire, people revert to who they are at their most basic. In America, for instance, the home of the brave and the land of the free suddenly became the home of the surveilled and the land of security theater after 9/11. France’s recent experience with the plague of Islamic extremism has revealed ups, but has also revealed them to be not nearly so in favor of free speech as they like to claim when it comes to speech they don’t like. That trend appears to be continuing as Paris, France claims they are going to file a lawsuit against Fox News for making laughably ridiculous claims about so-called “Muslim-only” communities in the city.

Fox News ran multiple reports describing areas of Paris (and England) that were governed by Sharia law and off-limits to non-Muslims. The network has since apologized for making “regrettable errors on air regarding the Muslim population in Europe—particularly with regard to England and France.”

“This applies especially to discussions of so-called ‘no-go zones,’ areas where non-Muslims allegedly aren’t allowed in, and police supposedly won’t go,” anchor Julie Banderas said in one on-air apology. “To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country, and no credible information to support the assertion there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion.”

Oh, Paris. So naive. A cable news organization fear-mongering their way through a horrifically inaccurate report where the facts are fiction isn’t something to get upset about. As best as I can tell, that’s the entire point of cable news. Truth doesn’t fill a twenty-four hour news cycle, after all. Beyond that, what are they going to sue for? Inaccurate reporting that has since been corrected on-air? If that was grounds for a lawsuit, the lawsuits against cable news networks would be ongoing through eternity.

Even listening to the city’s officials doesn’t make this seem any less petty.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is planning to sue Fox News for its inaccurate reports on Muslim “no go zones,” she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“When we’re insulted, and when we’ve had an image, then I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed,” Hidalgo told Amanpour in an interview. “The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced.”

Think about this for just a moment. Filing a lawsuit against someone for the crime of insulting your honor doesn’t sound like it could come from a proponent of free speech, does it? The very thing that was attacked in France is now being attacked by France, though obviously with litigious weapons instead of firearms. This isn’t to suggest any moral equivalence between the two, of course, only that free speech is one of those areas where you’re either for or against. Being for something with qualifications means you’re not for it at all. And, fortunately for Fox News, the freedom of speech includes the freedom to be idiotically wrong.

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Comments on “Paris, France To Sue Fox News For Being Fox News”

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126 Comments
Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

There’s that saying about ignoring anything said before “however” or “but” that applies.

Either you’re for free speech, or you’re not. The answer to speech that is wrong is not a lawsuit, it is more speech.

Fox News can say whatever the heck it wants to. And everyone else is free to say how wrong Fox News is about whatever idiotic thing they just said – as is happening already in this case.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“False speech shouldn’t be allowed, but the problem is who gets to decide what is “false speech”?”

I think claims about a city that are clearly lies to anyone who’s set foot within 1000 miles of the place would be easily provable without needing to go into “who watches the watchers” territory.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Quite possibly. Fox tends to have 3 separate groups of people working to spread their stories – those who believe them, those who debunk them and those who mock them and their viewers for being such morons. This guarantees them a certain amount of coverage – which unfortunately probably leads them to act in a certain way to get the free coverage from the second two groups.

Most other networks (US and otherwise) don’t have the clear bias or tendency to do outright idiotic things, so don’t get noticed as much.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Not sure the angle, but false advertisting is where I would like it to go.”

Here’s the angle that makes sense to me: fraud. The are selling a product that they claim is journalism. For something to be considered journalism, it must not contain intentional untruths. When a “news” organization lies in its reports, then it is engaging in fraud.

JP Jones (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Unfortunately you’d have to find conclusive evidence that it was actually intentional. Cable news networks, for all their faults, have backed themselves into a corner that pretty much ensures common mistakes.

Right now news channels compete to see who can get a story “first.” It’s all about rapid reporting, and also sensational reporting. This encourages news networks to show stories that will grab attention and do it as soon as possible.

Guess what? As speed increases, accuracy tends to decrease. And when you have a bias towards the sensational rather than the mundane (and most events in the world are mundane) this tends to skew the accuracy even more. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that cable news networks have horrible accuracy and are usually biased. Heck there’s numerous comedy shows dedicated to pointing out where they fail.

I think it would be extremely difficult to prove they were intentionally lying, especially since they probably weren’t. Through their “conservative” (in the political version of the word) lens, and at a rapid pace, it’s likely they were fully convinced that their BS was true at the time. Once they were debunked (because the research came after the story, as usual) they issued a retraction.

Sure, the retraction is largely useless. Heck, I’m still listening to my family explain how Obama went to Hawaii and forced a couple to cancel their wedding so he could play golf. It’s wrong (or at least incredibly skewed) but such is shoot-from-the-hip reporting. But I doubt you’ll see much traction on this in court.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

OUCH
johann, your comments are consistently good-to-great, BUT, you’ve dropped the ball on this one, in that it HAS BEEN adjudicated (i think -if i’m remembering correctly- in the trial where the fox news reporters had done actual, real, useful reporting on BGH in milk, and they were suing fox for firing them over TRUE REPORTING; and the judge ‘found’ that FALSE REPORTING was NOT ‘illegal’, or a sort of fraud, it was simply -you know- infotainment) that so-called ‘news’ orgs are NOT held to any kind of ‘true/false’ standards…

BG1 says:

Oh, Please

As if there aren’t places in the US where some ethnicity or other isn’t wanted and there’s an unwritten rule for certain people to stay out.

Just another Fox bashing story. The real news is that there isn’t any news here. Anyone who has been to Paris or London knows that there are heavy ethnic minority sections of the city that most non-ethnics would do well to stay out of.

Stupid article.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Oh, Please

“As if there aren’t places in the US where some ethnicity or other isn’t wanted and there’s an unwritten rule for certain people to stay out.”

Yes, but many people dislike whites-only policies.

That is what you were referring to right? How whites steer non-whites into ghettos, gerrymander districts to enforce quasi-official segregation, get all uppity when people complain about cop-on-not-white murder, and so on?

If that’s not what you are referring to… ummmm, citation, please.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Oh, Please

6 of one & a half dozen of another.

Every race on the planet is just as racist as the next. The entire animal kingdom is biological proof of that. Sure there will be exceptions… but throwing those up to have discourse is childish and ignorant.

People by default afraid of what they do not understand and will easily become antagonistic to it. This is the very reason that multiculturalism does not and will never work.

Go around the world… racism, bigotry, the dregs, slums, favela’s, ghetto’s, hovels, shit shacks, and dirt shacks all house the worst of humanity the same as every palace, castle, penthouse, beachfront, and mansion. to varying degrees and locations every race has suffered at the hands of another races bigotry.

Your racism against white people is no different than white people’s racism against non-whites. People are going to group up and will choose arbitrary lines to draw on the map. People will fight over their damn sports teams.

You are part of the problem… not the solution. Please stop eating the shit your master knocks off the table and into your bowl.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Oh, Please

No, you are over complicating a relatively simple issue.

The reason why we like to ‘pretend’ that they are complicated is because once we are honest about things, we are then able to see our own vices and evil reflected in others. Humanity hates nothing more than for their wrongs to be revealed. We all keep secrets and lie to each other because we know, for a fact KNOW, that others will be assail us with their bigotry. We form groups to co-miserate with each other in hopes of comfort… we flee from our ignorance and bigotry doing this.

Geo vs Geo, Politic vs Politic, Color vs Color its all the same. We hate it when the other side reveals our hypocrisies and soon we shall war. The Cycle has never ended and the frozen fear that lurks in everyone’s heart gives birth to more of the same.

Until people unshackle themselves from their dogma and prejudices we will be locked in this cycle until something capable of wiping up all out shows up.

Every evil agenda has tricks to advance their ideas. Is a white person born somewhere in Africa but immigrates to America an “African-American”? Why are Russians not Asian? Why would the term “White Power” be inherently racist while terms such as “Black Power” and “La Raza” are not? The media at large plays us all for the fools we willingly make ourselves to be. The Politicians like Bush and Obama feed on the stupidity that has entrenched America to the point that the only way back to a Nation of Liberty sadly appears to be paved in fresh red blood. All the while our bigotries are drummed up against each other to a feverish pitch as liberties are removed and spirits broken and the once free slaves are enslaved again by their VERY OWN DOING!!!

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Oh, Please

Look carefully at the article – this is not about race this is about religion.

Islam is not a race – there are muslims of every race and in every race where there are muslims there are also Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, atheists and agnostics.

Now the original Fox report was really really wildly exaggerated but something a bit like it does exist on a small scale and is certainly an aspiration of some muslims.

see http://www.secularism.org.uk/blog/2012/03/the-rise-of-sharia-in-the-west

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Oh, Please

“Look carefully at the article – this is not about race this is about religion.”

We use terms like religion, race, politics… they all devolve to one thing “excuses”. People in power use these excuses to talk people into donning their shackles. Asking people with forked tongues to give up their liberty for scraps from the table. Once the people where those shackles they are dirty pawns of their politics, or their religion, or their race… call it what you want. But at the end of the day… someone wants more than their fair share… and they sit and scheme in the dark for their excuses to get it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Oh, Please


We use terms like religion, race, politics… they all devolve to one thing

They are not all the same. You can choose your religion and your politics. You cannot choose your race.

This fact is what makes racism so objectionable.

That is why we must never confuse criticism of a set of religious or political opinions with racism.

If we do that then it enables obnoxious political programs to hide behind a convenient smokescreen.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Oh, Please

Actually, when you regularly ‘mistake’ anyone with a certain ‘look’ or ‘skin tone’ as being part of a particular religion, then yes, racism is very much part of the mix.

Similarly, if you mix in certain national identities (studied in Indonesia – must be a [secret] Muslim!) then that is bringing racism in.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Oh, Please

Actually, when you regularly ‘mistake’ anyone with a certain ‘look’ or ‘skin tone’ as being part of a particular religion, then yes, racism is very much part of the mix.

And when you don’t then it isn’t.

And when you regularly mistake legitimate criticism of a set of beliefs that form the basis of a nasty totalitarian political program for racism then you cannot hope to oppose that program effectively.

My sympathies are with the current victims of that program. These are people of the same race as the perpetrators but who have preserved their original religion in the face of 1400 years of persecution.

The attacks that have been suffered in the west (even 9/11) are mere pinpricks compared to what these people have been through.

Please see http://www.voiceofthecopts.org/

Alien Rebel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Oh, Please

Lawsuits over speech are a bad idea. I’m hopeful though, that if FOX continues on its current trajectory they’ll ultimately be forced to hand over their choice seating at press events to Comedy Central. Sorry, Heraldo, real reporters coming through, . .

Off on a tangent, my ultimate fantasy would be to witness John Oliver get SCOTUS press credentials.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I would guess they might also fall under the category of inciting hate crimes under European laws. It’s illegal to deny the holocaust in a lot of European countries, because of the racism and propaganda involved in those false claims.

This story is built along similar motives, except promoting bigotry and racism towards Muslims instead of Jews.

Coyne Tibbets (profile) says:

Fox: Lawsuit magnet

Not a surprise, that they’re being sued for this.

What is a surprise is that they haven’t been sued before this. One case escapes me at the moment, but the other one…

The one where the Fox affiliate changed the chant for the protest group, was very malicious. Absence of malice wouldn’t protect them in that case, and I really hoped the organizers of the demonstration would sue on behalf of all the participants.

Basically, Fox (and it’s affiliates) is getting so sloppy with its advocacy that it’s turning into a lawsuit magnet.

sorrykb (profile) says:

A cable news organization fear-mongering their way through a horrifically inaccurate report where the facts are fiction isn’t something to get upset about. As best as I can tell, that’s the entire point of cable news.

The fact that it’s normal doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be upset. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised, but that’s no reason not to be angry.

Dan J. (profile) says:

Moral equivalence?

The very thing that was attacked in France is now being attacked by France, though obviously with litigious weapons instead of firearms. This isn’t to suggest any moral equivalence between the two, of course, only that free speech is one of those areas where you’re either for or against.

Why wouldn’t you suggest a moral equivalence? In both cases, the assailant uses force to impose silence on the victim, justified by the claim that they’re specially privileged in being authorized to use said force. One claims a special disposition from a deity, the other is a member of a group (government) which they claim has special disposition. Granted, one tends to use deadly force a bit quicker but I’d call that a difference in degree of application, not a fundamental difference in kind.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: The greatest force wins.

Regardless of whatever other justification, be it nationality or faith or just cause, might prevails in the natural order. The duty of a state is to enforce its own monopoly on might, thus imposing a universal set of rules for all who live in its domain.

Ideally, those rules will be fair and present a modicum of equality to all, but often they are not. But it is not the will of God that imposes law, but the biggest hammer (or most hammers — whatever prevents anyone else from brandishing their hammer).

The hammer doesn’t care about morality. All morality does is determine if some people who agree with that morality like the terms in which the hammer is used.

In this case, the hammer only likes certain kinds of speech and has no respect for speech with which it disagrees. It can call it free speech all it wants, but since the hammer is being used on people for speaking, it’s not free speech.

The hammer has to choose to let everyone speak without prosecution before there is actual free speech.

Anonymous Coward says:

France’s recent experience with the plague of Islamic extremism has revealed ups, but has also revealed them to be not nearly so in favor of free speech as they like to claim when it comes to speech they don’t like.

The current wave in France extends much further than to just the arrest of a solitary comedian.

French Rein In Speech Backing Acts of Terror”, by Doreen Carvajal and Alan Cowell, New York Times, Jan 15, 2015

 . . . All told, up to 100 people are under investigation for making or posting comments that support or try to justify terrorism, according to Cédric Cabut, a prosecutor in Bourgoin-Jallieu, in the east of France. The French news media have reported about cases in Paris, Toulouse, Nice, Strasbourg, Orléans and elsewhere in France. . . .

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: NO GO zones

So has France devolved to a confederacy or an alliance with its own counties?

How do these zones still have power or plumbing or any other infrastructure?

How do these zones still get commodities without massive tariffs?

There’s an old rule of republics and nations that goes like this: “My house, my rules.” Does France not have sufficient military resources to enforce its own monopoly of force?

(Granted, we still have counties in Utah where polygyny is the accepted norm, and that’s because the influence of the Fundamentalist Mormons is expansive enough to control the local government and infrastructure. They also just sit there and tolerate it when the feds occasionally come in and make an example of a family.)

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: NO GO zones

There are places in Michigan like this.

Really? Where?

A few years ago I was a satellite TV installer and worked all over SE Michigan. I’ve traveled pretty much all of lower Michigan and most of the UP throughout my life.

Sure, there are areas where crime is more prevalent and you need to be a bit more alert, but I wouldn’t call them “no go areas” and I’ve never seen anywhere in Michigan that the police are afraid to patrol.

John Nemesh (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 NO GO zones

I bet you also never went into a “zone” where the State Laws were suspended and “Sharia Law” was enforced by religious police, either!

I don’t know how some fools can defend Fox’s lies! Bending the truth is one thing, but these guys twist it like a pretzel and salt it with a sprinkle of hate speech and then have the GALL to call it “News”!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

the freedom of speech includes the freedom to be idiotically wrong.

But it does not include the freedom to maliciously spread falsehoods…

Oh, naturally it does not. Thus, the Catholic Inquisition’s injunction against Galileo Galilei——

to abstain completely from teaching or defending this doctrine and opinion or from discussing it… to abandon completely… the opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the earth moves, and henceforth not to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: The Church was NEVER an advocate of freedom of speech.

Every concession that the Church ever made (that being the Roman Catholic Church) has been by force of consequence, usually when the rest of the world found the Church’s position absurd and unpalatable.

From they beginning, the Church was resistant to the dissemination of information to the laity. Knowledge was their own prevue, and the duty of commoners was blind obedience.

Freedom of Speech comes from an era where the people are supposed to be empowered to conduct and govern themselves, primarily because we cannot trust anyone else to justly govern. Hence the need for dissenting opinions to be heard, even when offensive. (They always are.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The Church was NEVER an advocate of freedom of speech.

Every concession that the Church ever made…

Vatican defends Pope after punch remark”, by Greg Botelho and Daniel Burke, CNN, Jan 16, 2015

 . . . The Vatican later responded to a CNN question about the “punch” remark specifically.

In an email, Vatican spokesman Thomas Rosica told CNN that “the Pope’s expression is in no way intended to be interpreted” as somehow justifying last week’s violence, and he pointed out that “the Pope has spoken out clearly against the terror and violence that occurred in Paris and in other parts of the world.” . . .

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

A lot of myth and nonsense is talked about Galileo.

It is simply not true that the church blindly opposed the heliocentric theory and persecuted anyone who proposed it.

From wikipedia:

In 1533, Johann Widmanstetter, secretary to Pope Clement VII, explained Copernicus’ heliocentric system to the Pope and two cardinals. The Pope was so pleased that he gave Widmanstetter a valuable gift

So heliocentrism had ben widely debated in the church and widely approved for 80 years before the Galileo incident.

The problem with Galileo was that he wrote a book in which the a foolish character was made to argue against heliocentrism and some of the things he said made that character identifiable with the Pope.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Galileo as an example of free speech.

…Heliocentrism had [been] widely debated in the church and widely approved for 80 years before the Galileo incident.

Except that didn’t stop the sentence on Galileo to prevent him from writing about or discussing Copernican theory. Of course, the Church was such a big entity that it took centuries for a chain of neurons to fire from the fingertips to the brain and back again. So maybe the pope didn’t know he knew he had long since accepted heliocentrism.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Der should be a lawr!

If we’re going to regulate free speech at all, there should be a way for us to regulate alleged sources of factual information so as they have to actually be accurate. Kinda like our protections from libel and false advertising.

If we’re not going to regulate free speech (or do so minimally). I want us to be teaching our kindergarteners that people lie and that includes billboards and newspapers and the nice cop who claims to only want to direct traffic and rescue cats. And the president and the mayor and even me the teacher telling you this right now. Trust no one, chillums. Trust no one.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

It can

Truth doesn’t fill a twenty-four hour news cycle, after all.

Only because they choose not to fill it with truth. There’s certainly enough truth that is important enough to tell everyone about to fill a 24 hour news cycle. The problem is that the vast majority of it isn’t salacious or frightening, and therefore won’t boost ratings.

If that was grounds for a lawsuit, the lawsuits against cable news networks would be ongoing through eternity.

We can but dream…

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Not in the rest of the world

Their even-handedness does tend to get readers of the Daily Fail and the like in a frothing rage occasionally, so there’s that.

But, of course, that’s the problem with modern news cycles. Why broadcast the truth when lies are more entertaining? News and entertainment should be separate things. The BBC has things like Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week if you really need to be entertained by the news – keep it out of the actual news broadcasts.

John Nemesh (profile) says:

Free speech DOES have limits!

Even in the US, the 1st Amendment does not give you the right to libel and slander. It does not give you the right to yell “Fire!” in a theater (unless there really IS a fire, of course).

Paris has EVERY right to sue Fox News. They put forth an erroneous statement that is considered libelous. They INTENTIONALLY put out BAD NEWS, devoid of ANY facts, and this news reflected poorly on a number of cities that were mentioned. All Paris has to do is show that those comments caused MATERIAL HARM (which is tough, but they can probably do it), and they will win the case.

I believe that everyone has a right to spew whatever lies they want, but when those lies MATERIALLY and negatively impact someone else, that’s where your rights END!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Free speech DOES have limits!

It does not give you the right to yell “Fire!” in a theater…

Three Generations of a Hackneyed Apologia for Censorship Are Enough”, by Ken White, Popehat, Sept 19, 2012

Holmes’ Full-Throated Approval For Suppression of Wartime Dissent

Holmes’ famous quote comes in the context of a series of early 1919 Supreme Court decisions in which he endorsed government censorship of wartime dissent — dissent that is now clearly protected by subsequent First Amendment authority.

The three cases in question arose from socialist criticism of conscription during World War One. . . .

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Free speech DOES have limits!

Even in the US, the 1st Amendment does not give you the right to libel and slander. It does not give you the right to yell “Fire!” in a theater (unless there really IS a fire, of course).

Hackneyed and wrong:

https://www.popehat.com/2012/09/19/three-generations-of-a-hackneyed-apologia-for-censorship-are-enough/

Anonymous Coward says:

I call what fox did inciting violence…….imagine a massive tragedy and a massive emotional public, what would a speech like that have done, they were playing the odds that people were emotional enough to cheerlead this and justify in their own minds the unlawfull manipulation a massive media company has on the minds of many, well that last bit is my take on it, not necassarily what everyone is thinking…………they risked a bet in being inciters and succeding, and the most punishment they ever get is them voluntarilly give a shallow apology………..i dont think this is about freespeech personally in what ive so far read, i see it about unjustly telling x amount of individuals a lie…………x being proportionate to being how much harm they’ve done……….and most certainly not limited to fox………if anything should be in any sort of curicular, the dangers of masse manipulation should be one of them, what better way to prepare them for the “real world”

John Nemesh (profile) says:

Re: Re:

They are promoting their agenda of fear and xenophobia…which on it’s own is wholly out of line with the principles America was founded on. They are making Muslims the “boogeyman” that everyone needs to fear, and which “honest, hardworking Americans” need to push out of our country. This particular assertion that Islam is “taking over” cities in Europe is designed to do nothing less than undermine the credibility of the governments of the EU and get “red blooded” (read “red voting”) Americans to get angry and demand that everyone who is slightly different from their ideal (white skinned) to be deported. It’s disgusting in the extreme that some choose to defend this.

cypherspace (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

They’ve represented foreigners in US courts in lawsuits challenging torture, the drone program, etc. Wouldn’t be much of a legal stretch for them to challenge a lawsuit bought by a foreigner when there are 1st Amendment issues at play for the defendant – I’m assuming any case against Fox News would be bought in US jurisdiction.

Nic says:

I’m of the belief false news should be punishable. What Fox News did borders on libel and that’s not protected speech. They retracted their statements on this so that’s at least that but I believe a fine should be in order for cases like this (I know, I know, Supreme Court has ruled in favor of news organizations lying, doesn’t mean I agree with them)

victor says:

No Go Zones nothing new

A Paris mayor and the Liberal media for some reason are accusing fox news of making up “no go zones” which french and liberal media outlets have been reporting on since 2002 where muslims rule over 150 areas by sharia law in france which the police wont dare enter without heavy reinforcement. Hmmm….

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: No Go Zones are real

Hint: if you’re reading something in the Daily Fail, it’s usually either outright made up, or the truth is stretched to such ridiculous extremes that they might as well be. Fortunately, they usually bury the truth in the last couple of paragraphs to prevent the rest of us having to search around to far to debunk them.

In this case, no, some dickhead preacher putting stickers on lampposts does not mean that they’re actually enforced, legally or culturally:

“Yesterday the leader of Waltham Forest Council, Chris Robbins, said: ‘As soon as we heard about these posters we worked over the weekend to take them all down.”

“People should not get the wrong idea about our borough because a handful of small-minded idiots, who do not live here, decide to deface our streets with ridiculous posters.”

In other words, some stickers were put up by some assholes passing through, the council took them down again. Our freedom is surely at peril! Please…

Do you have anything other than an easily debunked article from 4 years ago from a source known for lying to its readers?

usul_of_arakis (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No Go Zones are real

Quote from the first link doesn’t support

“Before you get your backs up, let me inform you that the word sharia is mentioned only 3 times in the Quran, where it means moral and ethical guidance. Observant Muslims implement the moral and ethical guidelines of sharia in their life governing strictly PERSONAL religious matters such as diet, fasting, charity, prayer, pre-nuptial agreements, birth etc. without any side-effects because A, they are not forcing it in the public sphere and B) they are not using it as a parallel legal system in a non-Muslim environment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 No Go Zones are real

The author of that link is a devout Muslim.

In the section you quote he has identified the problem as being a particular sect of Islam (Wahhabism) rather than the religion as a whole.

That is what you would expect from such a source – he is distancing his own particular beliefs from the problem – but he agrees that there is a problem.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 No Go Zones are real

“However he agrees that there are people doing this”

Indeed. “This” being “looking after their own” and “practising their own sect’s religious rules in an area outside of where it’s normally practised”. Which is something that many ethnic and religious groups do.

Where in this is the proof that “no go zones” specifically to protect Muslims are commonplace as per the original claim? I don’t see it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No Go Zones are real

So, no primary studies or official data, just blogs and third party claims? OK, let’s have a look anyway.

1. National Secular Society – seems to be a fairly rational source, so congrats on not just linking to an immediately laughable source this time. The speech itself is littered with silly hyperbole, but at least the central premise of the actual article is not an outright lie like your last link.

However, I can’t see anything in that article that suggests anything regarding “No Go Zones are real”. I do see a problem with fundamental Muslim groups taking the law into their own hands among their own people, and rejecting the influence of local law enforcement. But this seems to be more a case of Muslims “looking after their own” and not going outside for help, rather than a place police fear to tread. There’s many groups – Christian and otherwise – you can say the same about. There was a bad area in the town I grew up where nobody wanted to go, but it was the council estate where the local (mostly white) thugs and criminal elements lived, not the part of town where the Pakistanis had moved in. What’s changed apart from the creed and ethnicity of the people?

Interesting article, but I fail to see how it proves anything.

2. Oh dear.

“Faith Freedom International accepts articles that are related to Islam. We do not publish articles in favor or against any other religion.”

This appears to be some Islamophobic blog, littered with bloggers from the rabidly right-wing American blogosphere, so not objective. The article is about Europe but directly quotes UKIP and Breitbart as if they’re reliable sources, fails to go into any detail and refuses to link to primary sources. I doubt the author of that article has ever set foot in Europe, let alone exposed himself to real facts. On top of that, the article isn’t really saying anything, except repeating some known xenophobes verbatim.

Even less credibility than the Daily Mail, I’m afraid.

This is all you have? We can go on all day, but I need data. Facts. Evidence. Do you know what these are?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 No Go Zones are real

But this seems to be more a case of Muslims “looking after their own” and not going outside for help, rather than a place police fear to tread. There’s many groups – Christian and otherwise – you can say the same about.

I think you are going to have to supply some evidence for that last one.

Also when “looking after their own” includes honour killings, forced marriages and FGM then it isn’t something you can just dismiss.

This appears to be some Islamophobic blog, littered with bloggers from the rabidly right-wing American blogosphere, so not objective.

Well I am definitely not right wing – quite the opposite – and that is one reason why I find islam a worry. Make no mistake islam is the most right wing political movement going at present and if even the American right finds it distasteful that just makes it a bigger concern.

FFI is run by an ex-muslim and while many of the contributors seem to be american right wingers there are also many people of other political persuasions contributing – for example :

http://www.globalone.tv/profile/EricAllenBell/

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 No Go Zones are real

“I think you are going to have to supply some evidence for that last one.”

For what? The fact that ethnic and religious minorities often have their own insular communities that don’t involve outside law enforcement if they can help it? I thought this was quite obvious. To give an extreme example:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-15280776

Does that mean we should fear and ostracise all Africans, or is it not scary because “Islam” isn’t mentioned as the offending religion?

“Also when “looking after their own” includes honour killings, forced marriages and FGM then it isn’t something you can just dismiss.”

Nor does it mean that they are particularly widespread or have created “no go” areas for local citizens and law enforcement.

Do these problems exist? Yes. Are they to the extend that the known liars and exaggerated claims in your links claim? No. Unless you have actual evidence to the contrary.

“Well I am definitely not right wing – quite the opposite – and that is one reason why I find islam a worry.”

I apologise if I made an incorrect assumption – the “right wing” comment was aimed at your choice of material, not you personally. Why is it you worry, and why does “Islam” worry you, rather than just the more fundamental aspects and the sects that commit these kinds of acts (which is not all sects)?

“FFI is run by an ex-muslim”

So, presumably he has some posts with first-hand experience to provide, no? Otherwise, there’s little instant credibility to be had there. People who have exited from a faith are often the most rabidly, obnoxiously and one-sided against it (see anti-theist comments from ex-Christians, for example – there may be truth but it’s often not balanced).

Either way, I do notice that it’s third hand comments you’re posting rather than any real facts. Even if FFI is a more reliable source than it first appears, there’s no first hand evidence available in what you linked to.

“while many of the contributors seem to be american right wingers there are also many people of other political persuasions contributing”

Regardless, the link you posted was an American right-winger quoting known xenophobes with no corroborating evidence. His credentials are suspect, as are those of the people he quoted. Hell, he doesn’t even provide a link to any of his quotes, so who knows if they were actually said and in what context, even if the source was trustworthy (and, believe me, Nigel Farage is not trustworthy)? If you have a link to a similar claim from the ex-Muslim owner of the blog, please provide it, else his credentials aren’t really relevant.

I also can’t help but notice that of the 3 links you’ve provided so far to “prove” the situation in the UK, two are from foreigners who may never have visited the country, let alone examined first hand evidence, and the first was debunked merely by reading it to the end.

I ask again, do you have any actual evidence for the claim being discussed? I’d suggest you stick to sources more toward the NSS link than the other two, but I’m unconvinced (FYI, I have decades of experience of life in the country we’re discussing, so I can recognise distortion when I see it).

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 No Go Zones are real

So, just to recap:

You said “no go zones are real”. When challenged to prove this, you provide several links. Your first link, despite what’s claimed in the headline, actually disproves the concept. The second, while more credible, actually says nothing of the sort. The third is written by a right wing anti-Islam blogger who unquestioningly repeats the words of known racists and xenophobes with no context.

Your defence for this is somewhere between “it’s real just believe me” and “the guy who runs one of the sites used to be Muslim so anything written there must be true”.

Where are your links from people with evidence – preferable those actually in the UK with first hand accounts and not bloggers the other side of the world with an axe to grind? You’re making the claim – surely you have better evidence than this? I don’t want to call you a liar, but you’re not backing up your own claim with anything resembling reality.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 No Go Zones are real

Hey, a potentially reliable source that appears to have something to do with the issue being discussed! Thanks, Richard, if only that other guy was as honest.

I can’t watch the video while I’m at work, so I’ll try to remember over the weekend. However, I do notice that the description does state that there’s right wing racist groups doing essentially the same thing (Britain First is a splinter group of the notorious BNP).

Personally, I’d consider anywhere “patrolled” by these ignorant thugs as much a “no go area” as anywhere patrolled by Muslims trying to keep their own in line, but at least we’re getting somewhere close to there being a nugget of truth being proven in AC’s original statement – and it only took 3 days and the dismantling of several proven lies to get there!

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 No Go Zones are real

You will find that the video focuses mostly on the (supposedly “Christian”) counter patrols. I don’t know why they call them Christian – they don’t seem to have much in common with Christianity and don’t even claim to be Christian much of the time.

However it does provide enough hard evidence to support the only claim I made which was that

“something a bit like it does exist on a small scale and is certainly an aspiration of some muslims.”

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No Go Zones are real

Hint: if you’re reading something in the Daily Fail, it’s usually either outright made up, or the truth is stretched to such ridiculous extremes that they might as well be.

Depends on the issue. I have often found the Daily Mail to be really good on a number of the issues around copyright and the extradition of hackers from the UK to the US.

Don’t make the mistake of rubbishing something purely because of the source.

Hint – you don’t approve when others do it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 No Go Zones are real

“Depends on the issue.”

True. But, their habit of openly and obviously lying on some issues makes them a less than reliable source, even on issues where they are usually more balanced.

“Hint – you don’t approve when others do it.”

If it’s done for the correct reasons, I do.

That is, if someone were to say “I don’t trust the BBC because they go to so many pains to appear neutral that they reject some more extreme viewpoints that deserve examination”, then fair enough. I can disagree that they do this, or question what “extremist” actually means in this context, but I can accept that POV and provide another source. If they say “The BBC are leftist communist and ooga-booga!”, that’s not a valid reason, and I’d question the honesty of the person I’m talking to since their viewpoint is so skewed from reality.

I have many examples of failure of the Mail to report accurately on issues to show why I do not trust them. Especially on these kinds of issues. If someone can show me why they are a trustworthy sources, I’d be happy to re-evaluate them, but given that the article linked is yet another example of an outright lie, proven within the article itself? Not a valid source.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Well, first, WorldNetDaily isn’t anything remotely close to a reliable source. Nonetheless, the article that you’ve linked to to imply that the Fox story was correct includes this statement from Fox itself:

To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country … and no credible information to support the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion

So no, it doesn’t appear to be the case that there is more to this story. What WND is citing to say there is is the fact that the French government has compiled and published a list of high crime areas. That’s an entirely different thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Go France go! Fox has a right to free speech and it exercised that right. There was no prior restraint, so there is no problem. Now, Fox News motherf*cking lied through its goddamn teeth, and for that it’s about time they were held accountable.

Triple ditto the people who lie about global warming, claiming all kinds of ‘facts’ and insisting it’s a conspiracy on the part of scientists motivated by (research!!! haw.. haw.. haw.. haw..) money. In this case FoxNews’ and Forbes’ and the WSJ’s and other conservative media outlets’ distortions on this emergency actually threaten civilization no less than if they had silos of nuclear bombs and were attempting to set them off.

You’re free to say what the hell ever you want, including shout ‘no fire’ in a crowded burning theater as is the case with the global warming emergency, and you know what? civilization is free to make you pay for the damage you caused by your speech.

That’s called ‘accountability’.

Rudyard Holmbast says:

CNN made basically the same exact claims as Fox News. But hey, this was just Fox News being Fox News. Good thing this blog reported on it, because we sure could use some hard-hitting, clever and, most of all, original reporting on how horrible Fox News is. You could make such ground-breaking stories a regular. You can also add a section containing “JON STEWART DESTROYS[X]” videos. Those can go next to your “the FCC is totally fucking awesome” net-neutrality “stories”.

Nop (profile) says:

“Being for something with qualifications means you’re not for it at all.”
Oh please. As much as I love this site, I despise those kinds of black & white, absolutist arguments. Translate this particular one into any other context, & it’s obvious how childish it is, for example, saying: “I’m for sex, but against rape” is obvious common sense, & doesn’t mean that I’m lying when I say I’m in favour of sex.
Only spoiled children & Libertardians (but I repeat myself) think that absolute Freedom of Speech is an unalloyed good.

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