I’m writing this in a hurry before leaving for an all-day conference in Dublin Castle about the UN Human Rights Council. Atheist Ireland will be addressing a pre-session meeting of the Council in Geneva in March, where we will again be defending the human rights of atheists and minority faith members in Ireland.
While we are doing that, the online smears against me and Atheist Ireland reached Bizarro-world level this morning, with my email including a link to a blog post titled: “Michael Nugent (Atheist Ireland) supports trans-misogynistic hate speech”.
So now I can add trans-misogynistic hate speech supporter to the earlier smears of using dog whistle homophobia to support misogyny, being actually homophobic, supporting and providing a haven for rapists, allowing feminists to hijack Atheist Ireland, being sexist and misogynistic, supporting feminists who are bullying people, being racist, a Fascist/Nazi/Neo-Nazi/Nazi sympathiser, an admirer of the pre-1990 Soviet Union, an Islamophobe, a creepy xenophobe, a champion of horrible people, a monster, an Irish wanker, a demented fuckwit, actually crazy, and to top it all, an allegation that people like me supported the Pedophile Information Exchange.
Here’s the context of the latest smear. I’ll address the substance later. On Wednesday Jane Donnelly and I were at a conference in Limerick about inter-belief dialogue, at which Atheist Ireland, the Evangelical Alliance of Ireland and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Ireland continued our historic joint support for secularism in Ireland.
We returned to Dublin late, and I stayed up most of the night getting the video of the conference online. After a couple of hours sleep, I spent most of yesterday finalising our speech to the UN Human Rights Council with Jane, and liaising with Ashling O’Brien who is organising Aron Ra’s trip to Dublin at the start of March. All of this is voluntary work. None of us get paid.
I went to bed early yesterday evening, as Jane and I had another human rights conference to attend today. I woke a few hours later and checked my mail, to find what I thought was a reasonable email from Aidan Rowe asking me to check comments on my blog that she said supported anti-trans hate speech.
I spent an hour on the phone discussing this with Jane, talking through the entire 250 comment thread and its various interrelated discussions. We found some comments that linked to a website that contained allegations of harassment and rape by named people, and I deleted comments discussing those links.
With regard to Aidan’s allegation that some comments promoted trans hate speech, we both concluded that such an allegation required more serious reflection than an instant response while tired. So I emailed Aidan, asked her for more details, and said I would look over the comments this evening after today’s human rights conference. I then put our statement to the UN Human Rights Council online, and went to bed again.
I woke this morning with my email including a link to a blog post titled: “Michael Nugent (Atheist Ireland) supports trans-misogynistic hate speech”. I initially thought it was somebody trolling, until I was reminded what real trolling is.
Also in my email was an unrelated blog comment by somebody else that began: “I will fuck your dead wife in the ass,” and continued in similar vein to refer favourably to Hezbollah and the IRA and less favourably to Richard Dawkins.
Ah, the joys of working voluntarily for an ethical secular society. Now, I have to leave for today’s human rights conference.
Finally for now, I would like to thank Ashling O’Brien for publishing this analysis of the allegations against me:
And I would like to thank Max Krzyzanowski for publishing this on his Facebook page:
“While I cannot claim to be familiar with his every utterance, I have followed Peter Tatchell’s career in public life since the 1980’s, and I can say that he is one of those rare individuals who consistently and clearly articulated principles of equality and human rights, advocating for every identity in the LGBTQIA+ rainbow to be equal before the law. Any accusation of transphobia or racism is to my mind, implausible in the highest degree and must be substantiated immediately or withdrawn and apologised for.
There is a parallel happening here in Ireland with veteran peace campaigner, human rights advocate and LGBTQIA+ equality campaigner, Michael Nugent. From abroad and within Ireland, Michael has been subjected to online attacks accusing him of defending rapists, being a neo-nazi, homophobia and online bullying. Not a shred of evidence is offered in support of these accusations, yet the claims are not withdrawn. The only defence that is offered for these attacks is that they fall under the rubric of “honest opinion”.
It is time that those who cloak themselves in the mantle of righteous anger be forced to confront their vanity and their folly.”