Archive for Spike Johnson

Joshua Haddow: Hate the Thought of Muslims Being Near You? Call Mosquebusters

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2012 by loonwatch

We did an article on the ridiculous organization known as the Mosquebusters not too long ago. They have since changed their name to the less sexy, Law and Freedom Foundation. Their whole purpose is to use the UK equivalent of zoning laws to protest Mosque construction.

Below Vice.com interviewed director Spike Johnson went undercover and caught a lot of their extremism and loonieness:

HATE THE THOUGHT OF MUSLIMS BEING NEAR YOU? CALL MOSQUEBUSTERS

by Joshua Haddow (Vice.com)

Ever heard of Mosquebusters? It was the original nom de guerre of a gang of jerks who have vowed to help British Islamophobes oppose any plans the Muslims might have to erect big, fat mosques in their particular enclave of Albion.

But Mosquebusters don’t do this by turning at up building sites when all that’s left to do is put the crown on the minaret, or by driving bulldozers menacingly around mostly-Islamic neighbourhoods at night. They use planning permission, or rather they support anyone who wants to protest when planning permission is granted for mosques to be built. They’ve been really, really successful at it, too, citing things like a non-regulation number of parking spaces to baffle mosque planners into bureaucratic failure.

In an attempt to dent Mosquebusters’ 100 percent win rate, last year Spike Johnson (who went to the gypsy eviction at Dale Farm for us last year) spent a day working undercover with the organisation, which has now changed its name to the more corporate-friendly Law and Freedom Foundation. I spoke to Spike about his time with this secretive cabal of white-collar bigots.

VICE: Hey Spike, how are you? 
Spike: Hey, I’m good thanks.

How did you discover Mosquebusters?
I started looking at extremism for a story. On the EDL website, they have links to all kinds of pseudo-racist things. One of them was an advert asking for people to do volunteer work for Mosquebusters, but it’s gone now – at some point, they just began to shut down all their websites.

So do they still exist?
Oh, they still exist, definitely. They’re using the new name now: the Law and Freedom Foundation. It’s run by the same guys and it’s the same company.

So you applied as a volunteer to try to get access to them?
Yep. Gavin Boby – who runs Mosquebusters – was interviewing me. I was going to accompany him to court hearings and video the proceedings. He was beginning to get a lot of attention and wanted video evidence of things. To start with, I had access for maybe 24 hours and he sent me all of their instructions on how to do what they do and all of that crap. But then he figured out who I was and he shut me down.

So they try to keep what they do secret, despite a logo with a cartoon Abu Hamza on it and a name like “Mosquebusters”?
Yeah.

Is any of what they do illegal?
No, it’s all completely legal. I just think they realised that the majority of the population frown upon what they do.

You used the word “insidious” in your original investigation into what Mosquebusters do. What do you think is more damaging to the Muslim community – Islamophobes using bureaucracy to quash plans for mosques, or EDL numbskulls shouting insults at them in the street?
The former, for sure. And they realise it as well. You know, they’re not stamping their feet, they’re not waving flags. They’re being a bit quiet and cerebral about it. They realise that in order to make a change they have to go about these things from kind of a lateral route.

What did the members of the EDL that you spoke to think of Mosquebusters?
I went to a few rallies and the guys on the street don’t really know about Mosquebusters. Lately, I think Gavin Boby has been trying to distance himself from the EDL. The Mosquebusters don’t want that kind of publicity, they want to keep really quiet behind the scenes.

Did you speak to any of the everyday Islamophobes who’d used Mosquebusters’ petitions to complain about a mosque being built?
Yeah. I followed the case of this mosque that some Muslims were trying to build in West London. The people making the complaints against it sent Mosquebusters’ pre-written petition to the council.

Continue reading at Vice.com…

Foreign Policy: Mosquebusters

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2012 by loonwatch

Excellent piece by Spike Johnson exposing the “Mosquebusters.” Their strategy is to stop the building of all mosques using zoning laws, etc. Looks like the Islamophobic argument about “taqiyya” in reverse:

Mosquebusters

by Spike Johnson

LONDON — It is winter, the middle of December, and I find myself making an odd phone call. Pacing around my living room, I kick at the carpet as I dial the number.

“Hello?” I say.

“There’s no time,” the man on the other end of the line answers immediately. His name is Gavin Boby. We have e-mailed before, but I introduce myself again, explaining my background: education, photography and video experience, that sort of thing.

Boby’s tone is measured and businesslike. “It sounds like you have skills that could be of use. Muslims are very bad losers,” he says matter-of-factly. He’d like me to act as a witness, he tells me, videotaping his court appearances and searching the Internet for “targets.” The conversation is taking me into uncomfortable territory; my voice wavers, and I begin to flounder. Boby doesn’t notice. “I’ll send you instructions on how we work,” he says and hangs up. I have just become a Mosquebuster.

The Mosquebusters, or the Law and Freedom Foundation as they’re officially known, are part of a new wave of anti-Islamic campaigners in England with links to more established anti-immigrant groups such as England Is Ours and Stop Islamisation of Europe. Like many of these groups, the Mosquebusters fear that traditional British culture, laws, and values will disappear with the changing face of Britain and worry that extremist interpretations of sections of the Koran urge Muslims to kill non-believers and take slaves.

Until mid-February, the Mosquebusters advertised for volunteers, under a campaign called “No More Mosques,” on the website of the ultra-nationalist English Defence League (EDL), a group that organizes anti-Islamic street marches that often decend into brawls, riots, and arrests. The EDL and other anti-Islamic groups have no problem convincing their members to parade in public yelling insults like “Muslim bombers off our streets!” and “Allah is a pedophile!,” but the Mosquebusters have a quieter, perhaps more insidious approach: In offices and city halls, they are crafting legal cases against mosque construction applications across the country. It’s a war against Islam, but one that often resembles a bureaucratic turf battle more than a clash of civilizations.

Mosquebusters leader Boby, known as The Lawman, is careful to draw the distinction between religion and race. “It is primarily about the division between Islamic and non-Islamic society, and the lawless violence at the heart of Islamic doctrine and practice,” he says in his manifesto. Boby dressesconservatively, with a black suit, white button-down shirt, and pastel neck tie, done up tight. He is clean shaven, his brown hair cropped close, and his small eyes squint behind wire-framed glasses. He has the look of a typical middle-aged businessman. And most of the time, he is.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., he runs a planning application company in Bristol, in western of England. He is a qualified barrister with undergraduate and graduate law degrees. But what Boby really wants is “an army of people, about 500 across the country,” as he says in one of his online motivational videos. As I watched the recording from my flat in East London, while digesting one of his instructional e-mails on bureaucratic mosque-busting, Boby leaned closer to the camera, maintaining eye contact: “It is very important that mosques are stopped.” (Read the rest)