Category Archives: censorship

Anglican Group Intimidates Another Blogger

This is a guest post by Stuart

The blogging world has been ablaze in recent days relating to the revelation that the Anglican Vicar Stephen Sizer involved the police in an online dispute with a young messianic Christian blogger (Seismic Shock).

Stephen Sizer is a public figure and a renowned anti-Zionist and Seismic Shock analysed his written work and lectures, on his blog. It would seem that Seismic Shock has himself become the victim of an  intimidation campaign as a result of this activity.

I  was very disturbed by the involvement of the police and the subsequent intimidation that Joseph Weissman (aka Seismic Shock) had received, and so I blogged about this here and here.

Although the blogging world has been buzzing with this news (now referred to as SizerGate), the Anglican Church seems to have been remarkably silent, I imagine that perhaps this news has passed them by unnoticed, or perhaps there are other reasons. There were however, some notable exceptions:-

VirtueOnline

Anglican Samizdat

Episcopalian

Here are a couple of Christians who also covered this:-

Calvin Smith

The Church of Jesus Christ

As for me, I had decided to blog no further on this issue, as it had reached the mainstream media from the blogging world, for example:-

BBC

Guardian

Jewish Chronicle

Spectator

I haven’t blogged much over the last couple of days and the simple reason is, that I have been unnerved and a little shocked by accusational emails, sent to me from a certain quarter of the conservative evangelical Anglican church. I have been advised today that an Anglican group wishes to sever ties with me and no longer want me to work with them, on an upcoming project, on a voluntary basis. I can only assume this is because I haven’t toed the party line.

It has become very apparent to me that Stephen Sizer is heavily involved in, and very influential within, this Anglican group. I’m not going to name them, but it is fairly easy to deduce Stephen Sizer’s Anglican connections online. Every comment I have received has been done privately, through email and never publicly. Here is one example:-

I have discovered from your site that you have been instrumental in what I can only regard as a hate campaign.  I was horrified to read the list of people who have taken up this war cry.

My comments on another blog have even been noted and an email sent to me, to warn me off.

So far I have been accused of: organising a lynch mob, witch hunt, hate campaign, making a song and dance, making things awkward for an Anglican group affiliated with Sizer, of being culpable of terrorising, of dishing out persecution, of consorting with the ‘wrong types’, and told that I should ‘draw a veil’ over any of Sizer’s theology that I may have an issue with, and so on. I think you get the picture.

The issue of theology is to me now moot, as my main concern is freedom of speech and the involvement of the strong arm of the law in an attempt to intimidate and censor a blogger.

I’m posting this now, to bring this in to the open. There would certainly appear to me, to be some who would wish to censor me on this issue and I am tired of private emails of an Ad Hominem nature, that simply attack me and do not even address the issues and facts at hand.

I have been advised to Google Sizer and find out for myself that Sizer is an ‘expert’ on Israel and has actually visited the country a number of times and has even produced a number of books. This advice came with the admittance that this is a topic on which they know very little!

I have even been accused of being partly responsible for the very reason that the police were called in on this issue in the first place, even though the incident happened last November and I only blogged about this for the first time, over the last few days.

Christians must not attempt to censor one another, or attempt to censor the non-Christian world, as this only causes further exposure and an inevitable backlash. Please do check out the Streisand effect.

We cannot (and should not) demand a platform for freedom of speech for ourselves and then attempt to silence our critics.

Here are a couple of links relating to this issue and freedom of speech online.

Index of Censorship

Online Journalism

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Seismic Shock video

If you feel so inclined, why not re-post this video on your blog to stand up for freedom of speech!

Posted by Modernity – reposted so far by eChurch, John Gray, Z-Word, The Poor Mouth, Sedgemore and IsraelWhat.

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Anthony McRoy and the National Front

Brett on Harry’s Place writes:

So, the former National Front activist re-emerges as an evangelical Christian theologian with a specialty in ‘anti-Zionism’ and Islamist ‘resistance’ movements who attends a conference in Iran that is backed by the Holocaust denier in chief, President Ahmadinejad.

Read it all.

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Jewish Chronicle on Seismic Shock

From the Jewish Chronicle:

Dr Anthony McRoy, a lecturer on Islam and former National Front member, also complained that comments made about him on the blog, which was run from a Leeds University computer, were an incitement to violence.

Mr Weissman, a messianic Jew, said he had been at home in Leeds one Sunday morning at the end of last year, when police arrived at the door.

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A Serious Allegation by Dr Anthony McRoy

Cross-posted on Harry’s Place.

Dr Anthony McRoy has explained why he agreed with Rev. Sizer to ask the police to talk to me – the police visit to my house last November being at both men’s request. McRoy writes:

This brings me to the point of my agreeing to the police talking to Mr Weissman. His comments about me – misrepresenting me as a supporter of Al-Qaida – placed me and my wife and children in physical danger. My children came across Weissman’s comments once when surfing the web. Imagine if there had another major Al-Qaida operation against the UK like 7/7. What if people were killed – and then people in my neighbourhood, or pupils at my children’s school, surfing the web, came across Weissman’s falsehood that I supported Al-Qaida. In the fear and outrage following such an incident, my family could have become the targets of revengeful violence.

I’d like to take a step back.

This is the paragraph which I believe Dr McRoy is referring to:

Meet Dr Anthony McRoy, lecturer at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology. Seismic Shock has already criticised McRoy for his praise of Hezbollah, and now examines his apparent admiration for Al Qaida, and terrorist leaders Osama Bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The rest of the article consists of a number of sourced quotes from articles written by Dr McRoy which I found disturbing and deplorable. In particular, I found this article from the Muslim Weekly on the “legacy” of Al Qaeda’s Abu Musab Al Zarqawi deeply problematic. In the piece, Dr McRoy compares the ‘martyr’ to Che Guevara, and concludes:

“The next time ‘martyrs’ attack London, or even New York, the people to blame will not only be the mujahideen themselves, nor even just Al-Qaida, but the Neo-Cons and their British lackeys whose deceit and aggression in Iraq allowed Al-Qaida to regroup, win new members and supporters, and gain immediate experience of fighting US security forces in order to both recruit and train the next wave of would-be martyrs to penetrate America and carry-out the next 9/11 or 7/7. Indeed, 10/11 and 8/7 when they happen may well be the greatest legacy of Zarqawi.”

I did not say that Dr McRoy supported Al Qaida. My impression was that he “apparently admired” Zarqawi’s cleverness, compared him to an iconic Left wing revolutionary, and concluded with a condemnation of the “lackeys” who were fighting against him. I strongly disagreed with the argument and tone of that controversial piece, and said so, just as hundreds of commenters do on the Guardian website, every day.

Dr McRoy also criticises my take on his paper given at a messianic Khomeinist conference in Iran, entitled “The solace of the savior and Hezbollah’s victory: belief in the Mahdi and Jesus as an encouragement to resistance”. That conference “enjoys the enthusiastic backing of President Ahmadinejad. He was the introductory speaker”.

Dr McRoy now says:

At the conference I attended, all the Muslims were excited about the outcome of the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict that year. Since the subject of the conference is Mahdism and Messianic expectation, I thought it appropriate to examine the role of Mahdist expectation in the history of Hezbollah, and compare and contrast it with Messianic expectation in Christianity. The linking theme was Justice, since Muslim expectations of the Mahdi are that he will ‘fill the world with justice and equity’. Naturally, after offering an academic description (not endorsement) of this in Shi’ism and more expressly in the Iranian Revolution and Hezbollah, I looked at the Christian approach to Justice – and the means to achieve it – obviously, one that was non-violent.

Frankly, I would have thought it ridiculous that anyone would assume that I somehow believed in Islamic eschatology, especially as it influenced Khomeinist ideas.

I do not think that this was a ridiculous assumption at all.

There were a number of passages in that paper that worried me. You can read them here. In summary, it seemed to me that Dr McRoy was drawing a provocative – and contentious – parallel between Jesus’s suffering at the hands of Roman and Jewish authorities, the martyrdom of Hussein, and the Hezbollah’s inspiration by the Mahdi to fight Israel:

Just as the Mahdi will avenge the blood of Hussein with the blood of Oppressors, so the Lebanese avenged the blood of their sons and daughters with the blood of Israeli soldiers.

[…]

Hezbollah also used one of its own special types of resistance against the Zionist enemy that is the suicide attacks. These attacks dealt great losses to the enemy on all thinkable levels such as militarily and mentally. The attacks also raised the moral [i.e. morale] across the whole Islamic nation.

[…]

Thus, we can truly say that Hezbollah’s victory over the Israeli bombardment in 2006 was the Triumphant Jihad of the Mahdi. The fact of the Mahdi’s inspiration of Hezbollah’s jihad was hidden from the eyes of the Israelis.

[…]

[L]ike Hussein, Jesus was cruelly murdered by His religious opponents, suffering scourging (Mark 15:15) and Crucifixion at the hands of the pagan Romans (Mark 15:24), incited by the Jewish priesthood (John 19:6).

It worries me that McRoy thinks that here he is merely expressing a dispassionate academic opinion. He must surely have had some idea of how these ideas would be interpreted by his audience in the Islamic Republic of Iran. I also find it odd that McRoy will criticise the apocalyptic drive of Christian Zionism whilst having nothing but kind words for the similarly apocalyptic drive of Khomeinist Islam.

My final criticism of Dr McRoy is one which, at the time, I thought was fair. I now would like to withdraw it for reasons I explain below.

I think that Dr McRoy, in the past, has tended to tell his audiences what he thinks that they want him to hear. In one post, I compared and contrasted a talk to Cheam Baptist Church with his paper in Iran, and concluded:

Anthony McRoy says different things to different audiences, and thinks that, whilst he should tell other people to preach the Christian message to Muslims, when he himself addresses a Muslim audience, the most important thing to talk about is resistance to Israel.

There is evidence of this approach in the paper in Iran, in theChe/”Lackeys” article about Zarqawi in the Muslim Weekly, and in anotherarticle which originally appeared in the Muslim Weekly, in which he Dr McRoy says of Ahmadinejad:

Those meeting Ahmadinejad commented how intelligent, humble, charismatic, and charming he was. Surprisingly, the US delegates seemed especially taken with him. Personally, I tend to be cautious of all politicians whatever their nationality, but I could why he worries America – not because of the nuclear issue, but because he is such a contrasting alternative for people in the region to the corrupt, self-interested pro-US despots that litter the Muslim world. Recent polls in the region show that Ahmadinejad is vastly popular. The Sunni Arab delegates lauded him. Certainly, it was wise of Bush to decline Ahmadinejad’s offer a debate. Those who remember the way George Galloway wiped the floor with Senator Coleman will have an idea of what would happen.

Not a word of criticism of the man: only praise for his talents.

Dr McRoy now says in response:

I remember writing a parallel article for Evangelicals Now (which Mr Weissman saw fit NOT to reproduce) where I elaborated on this, expressing disappointment that Ahmadinejad did not address the Embassy hostage issue. Please note that I did NOT say that I found him ‘intelligent, humble, charismatic, and charming’ -rather that was the reaction of others. I then made a descriptive analogy of his ability and manner in answering questions to explain why it would not have been a good idea for Bush to have debated him – but note that I said that Blair could have done so. Acknowledging someone’s debating ability and manner is NOT the same as endorsing his policies.

He makes my point. The article for Evangelicals Now criticises Ahmadinejad, but the one for Muslim Weekly does not.

I now want to explain why I think that my criticism of Dr McRoy is no longer fair. Dr McRoy reveals:

Last year I was interviewed – not so much as a Christian, but as an academic expert – by Iran-based Press TV on the three revolutions in world history – the French, Russian and Iranian. When I addressed the latter, I was asked whether the revolution had been true to its roots. I answered that the Khomenists got what they wanted, but not the leftists, or secular democrats. Moreover, I observed that religious minorities – Jews, Christians Zoroastrians – were all excluded from political office, apart from dedicated seats in the Majlis (Parliament), and that Christian converts from Islam had often either been executed or ‘mysteriously’ disappeared only to turn-up dead. I also referred to the mistreatment of the Bahais.

I then stated that if Iran wanted to improve its relations with the West it would have to redress these issues – and again, I highlighted that people in the West, whatever their religious opinions, or how secular or even atheists they are, will never accept that a person should be killed because he changed his religion. I was recently interviewed by an Iranian state channel on the revolution, where I largely repeated these points, especially the on the killing of converts. Hardly a case of supporting Iranian policy – nor of failing to say to Iranians what I say to Western audiences. I did not compromise my message to one degree. Needless to say, Mr Weissman never referred to this on his website – perhaps he didn’t know. If he had contacted me in the normal way, I could have told him.

That was a very admirable and brave thing for Dr McRoy to have done. I would hope that, in a similar situation, I would have the courage to enter the lion’s den, and to argue against the wicked policies of the Islamic Republic on PressTV. It contrasts impressively with the approach that so upset me in the Muslim Weekly articles, and in the Mahdi conference in Iran. I am not surprised that Dr McRoy now cannot get a visa to enter Iran.

However, I have an open blog. Anybody can read it, and anybody can post on it. Dr McRoy could have posted the story of his courageous performance on PressTV at any time. I would have immediately have published it, and I would have revised my opinion of him.

Instead, he called the police.

Dr McRoy – did you really believe that a short article critiquing your Zarqawi comment piece endangered your family’s safety? You are a man who has now criticized the Islamic Republic of Iran, on its own television channel. Iran sponsors both Hezbollah and Hamas. Surely they present a greater danger than the mere possibility that a classmate of your children might misunderstand my comments on a website?

By contrast with your performance on PressTV, your decision to send the police round to tell me to delete my blog was not a brave response at all.

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“One more reference to me and you will be reported” & the Power of Twitter

At Modernity.

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Israeli military man claims Stephen Sizer hired him to harass me & set up blog about me; calls me “Son of Penises” in Hebrew

Following accusations of cyber-bullying against myself, I am concerned about the abuse I received from Mordechai haCohen – a man endorsed by Sizer (http://stephensizer.blogspot.com/2008/11/meet-real-mordechai.html), who wrote about haCohen in November 2008.

Meet Mordechai ‘Motkhe’ Cohen, a Messianic believer who has recently joined Christ Church family and is teaching me some Hebrew. Motkhe is not to be confused with another Mordechai who is not so impressed with me.

Mordechai writes on my blog in September 2009:

https://seismicshock.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/seismic-shock-one-year-on/#comment-958

“One year on, and yet you have not given your name out to you avid readers. Shmuck, you have real chutzpah to attack a man in words and via the web, when this man has offered many times to meet with you.

We could have come to Leeds Uni to meet with you, There is several Rabbis in the area who would have given us court space.

It wasnt that hard to retrack your eletronic footsteps once i had access to the mails you had sent someone else.

Give your real name to people, and stop using the Name Mordechai, as a Mordechai, and as a Jew whom believes in Christ, and one who wears Tallis and Tefillin each day apart from Shabbiz and High Holidays, i find you not only small in name, but also in nature, as only a small man would attack and not allow himself to be shown.

And yes the Name Mordechai does mean Small man.

you are nothing other than a Ben Zaynim“ [son of penises]

It turns out Mordechai haCohen works for Stephen Sizer:  https://seismicshock.wordpress.com/2009/09/17/seismic-shock-one-year-on/#comment-961

Anonymity, is not the right of those who are slandering someones name, This person, who has said that he is jewish should know the Laws of Lashon Hora. As for being a stalker, i was hired to find the root of where these emails were coming from, a failed student of The University of Leeds, The police have his details, All i say is If and i do mean IF YOU ARE JEWISH, have the Chutzpah to give your real name.”

He even set up a blog about me to harass and intimidate me (in which he claims to be a ‘Reb’ and an ex-military man), as you can see here: http://motkhehacohen.wordpress.com/2009/03/02/mordechai-the-maverick/

Mordechai- The Little Man in Hebrew,

Did you think by moving web page that we would not find you,

You have comitted Lashon Hora against a Holy and Upright man,

You have stated that this man in Anti-semetic, well i find that rather confusing, as i am a jew, a messianic jew at that, if this man was against my people, would he have one working in his church, being a part of the church family, i think not,

I think as the name you are using, you are a little man, i have offered to be w ith you at the Bet Din in Finchley Roadm London so you may air your views against the Dr Rev Sizer, but you refuse, you still continue to committ Lashon Hora, well this is my blog for you and all others who are following you slander and diatribe against a Very Holy man,

Yes i would rather sit down with terroists and talk about a way forward in Yisrayl, rather than having mothers sons killed, havin funerals, and more tension in our home lands, Yes i would sit down with Hamas, and yes i would sit with Iran and talk with them about a peacefull solution other than going to war.

I have seen war and it is not a nice place to be, i am a former military man, and war is not the way forward, but talking and praying only then may we make progress to solving the hatred and death that surrounds the Middle east, But with your comments, you are just trying to stir up hatred for a man who trys to calm things down,

A man who would rather use the bible than a Galil rifle.

You have my email address

And remember wehat i said to you, remove the plank from your own eye before you remove the speck from your brothers

 

Reb Mordechai ben Reb Yaccov Hacohen

I feel harassed and intimidated, and would be justified in calling the police and reporting harassment according to Rev Sizer’s logic, would I not?

According to Mordechai haCohen, Stephen Sizer paid someone to set up a blog about me specifically, who went on to insult me as a “Ben Zaynim” (son of penises?) in Rev Sizer’s pay.

Should I call the cops too?

UPDATE:

Aslan comments:

 

 

Seems like Motke really is quite a troubled and sad character and Sizer has quite unethically used him for his purposes(Messianic Jew on Messianic Jew!) He is a British citizen and ex-Marine that was also according to his claim, in the IDF, his wife was tragically killed in a road accident and he understandably has not coped well, he chose the road and became homless.

See last para of page 4 in this ex-Marines newsletter: http://209.85.129.132/search?q=cache:GxJ6HpXYsfYJ:www.rmacol.co.uk/pdfs/NewsletterFeb09.pdf+biography+of+mordecai+Cohen+virginia+waters&cd=3&hl=iw&ct=clnk&gl=il&client=firefox-a

 

 

 

Homeless Royal
From Tony Davie:
I write to let you know about the welfare of former PO3437N Marine Mordechai Cohen. It was reported
to me as the welfare officer of the Basingstoke Branch of the RMA that Mordechai was living rough in
the churchyard at Virginia Water, Surrey. As I am also a SSAFA caseworker I arranged for him to be
visited by a representative in the area. His is a very sad story as apparently he was riding his motorcycle
through Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey when he was involved in a road traffic accident. His wife,
the pillion passenger, was killed. He was pensioned form the Corps severely disabled and took to the
road and has been living rough ever since. He does not want any help and refuses to be housed. He has
told me that he will be leaving the area shortly and will be making for Exeter, on foot. If anyone does
come across him please could you extend the hand of friendship and let me know.

How bizarre, and how sad.

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