London UKIP MEP Gerard Batten has gone on the offensive after a week’s ban from micro-blogging site Twitter for calling Islam a “death cult”, doubling down on his original remarks.
An outspoken critic of radical Islam, Batten was banned on the 26th by Twitter after he wrote about Muslims being the greatest threat to other Muslims because of a long history of internecine sectarian violence.
The tweet for which he was banned was in response to another Twitter user and read: “Muslims kill each other for being the wrong kind of Muslim more than they kill infidels. It’s a death cult.”
My twitter account was suspended recently because I said 'Islam was a death cult'. Well I am back now, and Islam is still a death cult.
— Gerard Batten MEP (@GerardBattenMEP) October 3, 2017
Speaking to Breitbart London during the UKIP conference during his ban, Batten said he had written to Twitter to explain his remarks and demand his account be reinstated, but that he had received no response.
In his first tweet after seeing the ban lifted, Batten was unapologetic, doubling down on his previous remarks and stating: “My twitter account was suspended recently because I said ‘Islam was a death cult’. Well I am back now, and Islam is still a death cult.”
Making his point more fully in the letter to Twitter seen by Breitbart London, Batten explained: “What I have said regarding ‘Muslims killing other Muslims more than they kill Infidels’ is merely a matter of accepted fact… exemplified by the Shia v Sunni conflict for the last 1,400 years, and many other internal Islamic feuds.”
“Regarding my statement that Islam is a ‘death cult’, this is a matter of my opinion, and one shared by many others, and it is based on my interpretation of the Koran and historical facts over the last 1,400 years. It is fair comment.”
“Which part of those factual statements would people argue with?” UK Independence Party (UKIP)’s Gerard Batten tells Emily Maitlis he stands by his comments on Islam…
Posted by BBC Newsnight on Monday, 8 May 2017
Batten also pointed out the account which had reported his to the site’s administrators appeared to be a bot account creating vast amounts of tweets — “19,000 since last July” — and operating with the purpose of “identifying, complaining about, and removing postings it does not approve of”.
While the original Tweet had been deleted in the course of getting his account back, Batten emphasised to Breitbart London this week that his latest tweets showed he had not withdrawn the statement. Noting the latest tweet had been viewed hundreds of thousands of times and had netted him over 2,000 new followers in just 24 hours, Batten remarked: “it just goes to show people are paying attention.”
Hitting out at Twitter’s policies and reffering to his appearance on BBC’s Newsnight programme in which he discused his view on Islam, Batten told Breitbart London: “They’ve suspended me for something I’ve said on national TV… why would they censor something that’s been on the BBC?”
The action to temporarily ban the London Member of the European Parliament is only the latest in a line of outspoken critics of Islam silenced on the platform in recent months. Breitbart London Editor in Chief Raheem Kassam was suspended in July, just days after he announced the forthcoming publication of his new book No Go Zones: How Sharia Law Is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You.
Former Muslim, Anti-FGM Campaigner Shazia Hobbs Suspended from Twitter
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 4, 2017
Speaking shortly after the ban, Kassam said: “It is incredibly conveniently timed for Twitter to suspend my account, after I just announced my book on No Go Zones. It’s almost as if there are people who don’t want the truth about what’s going on in America and Europe to come to light.”
Breitbart London reported on another such ban in September, when former Muslim and anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner Shazia Hobbs was silenced. Speaking to Breitbart, she said: “It’s absolutely disgusting… There was no reason given. Twitter would not tell me what tweets were in violation of their rules. They said it was because of ‘harassment’.
“All I tweet about is the rape of Pakistani children by Pakistani men.”