Peter Neumann, if you wanted to apologise, you should’ve done it last week when I flagged your first expression of Islamophobia and disrespect. That was your window. It closed the moment you disregarded the Islamophobia then, even while so many others pointed it out to you.
This isn’t about “tone.” Tone is saying “gimme apples” instead of “may I have apples, please.” This is a serious and unequivocal display of Islamophobia. Your “tone” isn’t off—you’ve displayed several serious acts of discrimination and harassment.
You admit here I think the killing is heinous; it was never about the content of my tweet. Well, it it wasn’t about my thoughts on Nice, then it could only be about you. This is about power. You obviously hated being caught for your Islamophobia when I questioned you last week, and you decided last night to provoke a response.
You knew—wittingly or not—that I’m under additional scrutiny as a Muslim critical on matters of terrorism. You know about the field of egg shells Muslims must navigate on this subject and, with your power and privilege, you attempted to use this field against me. Maybe you were hoping for a wrong step. So you tagged me and my university all night. You needed me to say something—anything—about Nice. Because if I open my mouth, I make myself vulnerable.
Unlike you though, I keep my manners. I learned to thrive in the suffocation of my own silence. I take inspiration from the Prophet Mohammed (sas) who showed immense patience in the face of abuse. If a young Muslim academic acted like you did last night, even for an instant, they would never get hired.
Your only protection is your privilege. I doubt you’re sorry, I suspect you just hate being caught. You were so blinded by your privilege, you lost all sight of the lines you crossed. I live my life surrounded by lines you can’t even see when your eyes are open.
We need institutional changes, not performative apologies. You should not even be close to teaching anyone on hate/extremism, let alone anything related to racism (i.e. Far Right).
This message is for all the Muslims and minority academics who never get a fair shake with the likes of you—the man who was so quick to get me in trouble with my employer. This is against the racism endemic in counter-terrorism and everyone like you.
This message is for all the Muslim youth across the West vilified for the things they said but didn’t mean. They never get a chance to apologise. They can never delete their histories.
This message is against anyone like you who thinks their performative centrism (“oh I research/hate the Far-Right too”) is an immediate protection against accusations of racism.
I will file complaints and mobilise against your racism and Islamophobia. Kings must give a formal and satisfactorily institutional statement to your abuse. I want to see people like you stripped of the power to abuse Muslims like you did last night.
You’re not a colleague. You embody the racism of an alleged post-racial world. You’re everything wrong with counter-terrorism. You’re a walking poster-boy for the racism of liberal centrists.
Your racism showed at the slightest provocation. Your insecurity and desperation made you dig your own hole.
This was the initial thread which prompted it all: