Faisal Gazi

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Faisal Gazi's profile picture from The Guardian website

Faisal G. Gazi (born 14 April 1968) is an IT consultant from Woodford in North-West London who comments on Islam and secularism. He claims to hold liberal views, saying that he writes in support of ‘liberal democracy, pluralism, human rights and universal values’ and ‘against the growing culture of religious supremacism.’ [1] In May 2009 he co-founded The Spittoon, a blog closely aligned with the pro-war blog Harry's Place, the government backed think-tank the Quilliam Foundation and the neoconservative think-tank the Centre for Social Cohesion.

Contents

Personal background

Faisal was born in Bangladesh and brought up in Liverpool, Dhaka and London. He studied civil engineering in Leeds University...He has lived and worked in various countries in jobs varying from editor to project manager to van driver. He currently works in London as a software architect for a financial corporation. [1]

Political views and influences

According to his own account Gazi has a background on the left. He says he was 'politicised' at Leeds University after 'coming into contact with the writings of George Orwell, Christopher Hitchens and Vladmir Nabokov' and that he 'was involved with the politics of anti-racism and the far-left in the 1980s, followed by associations with Islamic mysticism, anarchism and rave music.' [1] He has echoed the Israeli right's claims that the activists murdered by Israeli forces on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla were 'linked to terrorism'. As evidence he quotes the hardline Zionist Barry Rubin and a report in Rupert Murdoch's The Times which itself relies on such sources as the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre, unnamed 'Israeli security sources', the controversial French politician Jean-Louis Bruguière, and a '2006 report by the Danish Institute for International Studies' (without telling readers that the report is actually written by notorious Israel lobby terrorologist Evan Kohlmann, and it relies solely on the testimony of Bruguière)[2][3][4]. He has also described the invasion of Iraq as a 'vile and illegal war'.[5] However, like Christopher Hitchens and several other former British leftists, Gazi has developed affiliations with neoconservatives and attacked political Islam and multiculturalism as a threat to 'pluralism' and 'universal values'. [6] In the ‘Why I Write’ section of Gazi's FULL FAT MOCHA blog (see below) he stated:

I write on a range of issues related to politics, secularism and religious identity. I take a strong line against religious fundamentalism, political Islam, Multiculturalism and restrictions on free speech.

I write as a British person who happens to be Muslim, not as a Muslim person who happens to be British.

I write in support of the principles of liberal democracy, pluralism, human rights and universal values.

I write in support of the secular state though not necessarily a secularised society. Individuals have the right to practice their faith and derive succour from their religious beliefs.

I write against the advancing encroachment of religious identity politics when it opposes or harms the collective welfare of civil society. [7]

Blogs and other writings

In March 2009 Gazi set up the blog FULL FAT MOCHA at http://faisalgazi.wordpress.com. His first posting was on 30 March, but the blog appears to have been abandoned a month later, shortly before he established The Spittoon with Houriya Ahmed, a researcher at the neoconservative Centre for Social Cohesion. Gazi posted The Spittoon’s first post introducing the blog on 10 May 2009, [8] and during its first month was the blog’s most prolific contributor. [9] Prior to setting up The Spittoon, Gazi also had two articles published on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free website. [10]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 PDF Copy of Drishtipat Writers' Collective, ‘About the Writers’ Collective’, <http://dpwriters.wordpress.com/about/>, created 19 August 2009
  2. Faisal's comment on 'The Other Muslims', The Spittoon, 15 July 2010 at 1:47 PM
  3. Barry Rubin, What really happened on the Mavi Marmara, The Rubin Report (blog), 14 July 2010
  4. Alexander Christie-Miller and James Hider, Turkish charity that sent aid convoy to Gaza ‘has links to terrorism’, The Times, 3 June 2010
  5. Faisal Gazi, 'The mythical Muslim, Full Fat Mocha (blog), 30 March 2009
  6. PDF Copy of Drishtipat Writers' Collective, ‘About the Writers’ Collective’, <http://dpwriters.wordpress.com/about/>, created 19 August 2009; PDF Copy of FULL FAT MOCHA, The weblog of Faisal Gazi, ‘Why I write’, <http://faisalgazi.wordpress.com/about/>, created 19 August 2009
  7. PDF Copy of FULL FAT MOCHA, The weblog of Faisal Gazi, ‘Why I write’, <http://faisalgazi.wordpress.com/about/>, created 19 August 2009
  8. Faisal, 'Welcome to the Spittoon', The Spittoon, 10 May 2009
  9. see ‘Analysis of output (May 2009)’ on The Spittoon page
  10. Faisal Gazi, ‘The first Muslim secularist’, Guardian.co.uk, 9 April 2009; Faisal Gazi, ‘Britain since the Fatwa’, Guardian.co.uk, 14 April 2009
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