OPINION: Sick death threat will not stop me speaking out against antisemitism

OPINION: Sick death threat will not stop me speaking out against antisemitism

Jewish News columnist Maajid Nawaz urges right-minded Britons – Muslims, Jews and everyone else – to stand together against the racist cowards who aim to intimidate.

Maajid Nawaz
Hateful death threat sent to Maajid Nawaz online, calling him a 'Zionist Jew'.
Hateful death threat sent to Maajid Nawaz online, calling him a 'Zionist Jew'.

On Sunday, a hard drive of Labour Party emails and a confidential database revealed how the party has been interfering in, delaying or otherwise completely ignoring hundreds of internal complaints of antisemitism

On the day this news broke, I dedicated an hour on my LBC show to debate the topic, declaring as I have done for months now that I believe the Labour Party to have descended into institutional antisemitism. This time though, something dark and twisted occurred.

As the debate heated up, I was sent a horrific death threat via our LBC text messaging service, live on air. I caution readers that the threat is disturbing, graphic and cruel. Nevertheless, I will go on to reproduce it here, for reasons that I will go on to explain.

Before that, it is worth recapping the sheer scale of Labour’s abject failure in addressing the complaints of antisemitism raised. Astonishingly, members who were investigated for posting comments online such as “Heil Hitler”, “F*** the Jews” and “Jews are the problem” have not been expelled.

The confidential spreadsheet revealed how 454 of 863 complaints remain unresolved, including 250 that remain totally untouched. Fewer than 30 members were expelled.

As a result, Labour’s Jewish affiliate has passed an almost unanimous no-confidence motion in Corbyn.

Natural then, for a political talk radio host to want to debate this scandal. Except that’s not how extremists work. They seek to silence instead of reflect, and they seek to instil fear instead of hope. With that, here is the violent message that was sent to me:

Maajid Nawaz, you are a Zionist jew! You filled us with great Anger! You are a Zionist Jewish superamacist (sic) and Zionist jewish terrorist and posing as a pakistani, you will be silenced! The swords are sharpened and the guns loaded, you interupt (sic) the truthful callers and call their truth misinformation, you are trained to misinform and confuse, you have Satanic attitude! You are deeply rotten! You will be smashed with a hammer on the head! you laugh like a hyena! You are a hyena!”

I am a deep believer in sunlight being the best disinfectant. The reproduction of this message is necessary to place in full view the poisonous atmosphere our political culture has plummeted to.

Only in this way, when repeated time after time, will those who remain in total denial wake up to the cesspit of views that float around the modern left, and pass as ‘support for Palestine’.

Only by repeatedly exposing the antisemitism critics of Labour receive regularly will the tired old disingenuous trope that ‘criticising Israel is not anti-Semitic’ (as if anyone serious claims it is) give way to a more serious attempt at understanding the concerns our Jewish communities and others – for I am a liberal Muslim, not a Jew – are raising.

Antisemitic hate crimes have been rising year-on-year over the course of the past decade. As non-Jewish minorities like me are now facing similar treatment at the hands of these same antisemites, will others among the so-called progressive left finally recognise the monster they’ve unleashed?

Let us not pretend that this sort of language does not deter and scare people, preventing free and fair speech, stifling thought and censoring democratic debate.

This cowardly threat will not deter me from speaking up in defence of our minority communities across the board – just as I did last month when I was violently attacked with a weapon by a white racist in London.

So let me make this absolutely clear: you, the sender(s) of this text, are a bunch of antisemitic cowards. We right minded Britons: Muslims, Jews and everyone else standing together, will defeat you.

Just as this nation defeated the scourge of antisemitism the last time it reared its ugly head on our continent.

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