Following on from claims in the latest New Statesman that George Galloway had converted to Islam ten years ago, the maverick Bradford West MP is apparently threatening to sue the magazine.

The controversy over Galloway’s faith stems from the Bradford West by-election, in which leaflets were distributed strongly implying that he was more Muslim than Labour’s candidate Imran Hussain.

In a curiously specific rebuttal statement, in which gorgeous George patronises interviewer Jemima Khan as a “schoolgirl”, he denies he had taken part in a conversion ceremony in Kilburn — but does not deny he is a Muslim:

“The opening paragraph of Jemima Khan’s piece … is totally untrue. Moreover I told her it was fallacious when she put it to me. I have never attended any such ceremony in Kilburn, Karachi or Kathmandu. It is simply and categorically untrue.”

Leaving Galloway watchers barely enough time to microwave their popcorn, the Staggers hit back:

“It is notable that Galloway does not deny being a Muslim convert – and he did not deny it when it was put to him at the time of the interview, which is on tape. Contrary to his press release, nor did he deny that the ceremony took place when it was put to him during the interview. This is also on tape.”

But Sunday Express Whitehall editor and seasoned east end reporter Ted Jeory can recall speeches in which his religion was invoked — but this time it was Catholicism!

“I’m racking my brains on this, but I’m fairly sure George, when he was MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, used to refer to his Catholicism in his speeches.”

Indeed, this audio clip appears to show him identifying himself as Catholic as recently as 2010:

“God knows who is a Muslim” — but does George Galloway?

  1. Does it make a difference what religion he is…? Isn’t one of the benefits of our multicultural society that doesn’t matter what religion you are, especially with regards to how well you perform at your job?

  2. Peter Thompson says:

    Tom is right. It makes no difference what religion Galloway follows, he will be useless. Why do you think the constituents of Bethnal Green and Bow got rid of him at the last General Election?

  3. Why can’t people see through him? He is such a self serving waste of time. Just go back to his time at War on Want!

  4. Why does ‘God knows who is a Muslim’ imply he is saying he’s a Muslim? I think it’s fairly obvious George Galloway isn’t a Muslim, and as far as I know he hasn’t claimed to be.

    The “god knows…” comment seem to be an appeal to a tenet of Isalmic faith that says ultimately only God can judge people for their faith, and he seems to be implying that he practices what he does hoping that it will please God.

    These ridiculous smear campaigns have got to stop.

  5. Im not a fan of Galloway by any stretch, but he will simply say that when he says “yes” in that clip, he is merely inviting the other man to speak, rather than answering he question – which people can choose to believe or not, but it’s a legitimate interpretation given the ambiguity of the answer.

  6. If George ‘Two Wives’ Galloway thinks it is ‘defamatory to be described as a Muslim, then he must be an islamophobe. Repulsive, racist man.

  7. Why should it matter if he is or isn’t a Muslim?

    As far as I can see he speaks on issues that I am interested in and says things I agree with. Beyond that he can be as vainglorious as he chooses, dress up as cats, or appear in lycra. I don’t care. I’ve never met him and likely never will; he’s never stood anywhere I’ve lived.

    What matters is the policies and the views.

    Yet everytime his name comes up the same criticims comes out everytime and they are never backed up. Just like Aaronovitch on Question Time who simply resorted to abuse without recourse to facts – another comfortable middle class journalist running his mouth off.

    If Galloway is so despicable, show me the evidence. I’m not here to defend him, though no doubt some bright spark will decide that they know my intentions better than I myself. I see someone in the media who may or may not be an unpleasant man saying things I agree with: his views on the war in Afghanistan/Iraq, social justice, his revulsion toward the likes of Littlejohn, Gaunt and Mackenzie and the rags they write for. Is this all a carefully contrived act? Is he satan in disguise? It all seems to come down to the same cheap shots levelled in discussions without provocation and without evidence. I’m more than willing to concede that Galloway is arrogant and propbably a little bit narcissistic, but then who wouldn’t be when they are in the public eye (right or wrongly) and a target for one section of the media relentlessly.

    I dare someone, anyone, to answer this. I’m not a muslim, nor a catholic (I’m staunchly atheist), nor do i have a problem with the beliefs of others. He won an election and it seems legitimate to me. Why them should I hate the guy?

  8. Of course George Galloway knows what religion he is. It is YOU, and the morons at The New Statesman, who don’t know what religion Galloway is. Galloway has been successful because the Labour Party sold its own supporters down the river, your attempts to smear him now are completely missing the point, which is that people voted for him in full knowledge of all his failings, because those voters objectively analysed how the failings of Labour are FAR WORSE

    It is Political Scrapbook who are damaging the Left by trying to undermine its ONLY recent electoral success

  9. Michael Goodier says:

    I’m disappointed to see articles like this on PS, I though you guys promoted the left, or is that support only limited to the Labour Party? Not that I am a huge Galloway fan, but I thought PS had more integrity, or have you so ran out of material that you are reduced to posting cheap smears like this?

  10. lefties, listen up!

    when someone employs religious discourse for political gain in a way that comes across as inauthentic, it’s ok to question it and hold them to account!

    cf. cameron, griffin, and now… galloway.

  11. @Harry: Well said.

    @Michael: As referred to in the piece, Galloway’s supporters distributed material which attacked a Muslim candidate for drinking alcohol, while heavily implying that Galloway was a Muslim — to his manifest electoral benefit.

    How is this a “cheap smear”? Please explain why this is not a legitimate topic.

  12. Yes indeed the George Galloway supporters are out in force here. Especially the imbecile known as “ghost whistler.”

    You write “Why should it matter if he is or isn’t a Muslim?.” Of course it matters if he chooses not to acknowledge his faith or hide it or evade the truth because he’s there in the public domain asking to be voted in by the general public and if that’s the case then he should declare that fact when asked of him. And of course it matters because his position is always so pro Muslim cause. By not acknowledging it, it is he who is deceitful and turning it into a political matter.

    He already peppers his speeches with inshallah bringing religion into the public domain discourse and is so for any Muslim cause that long ago he gave up any impartiality in any sane debate regarding the latter.

    Secondly his dirty campaign publicly smearing his political opponent by claiming he drinks alchol which is a huge taint on another individuals character and social position especially concerning Islam shows how ruthless his supporters and he is in exploiting any situation for maximum effect no matter what the repercussions.

    So I am afraid it is Mr Galloway that uses religion to ruthlessly gain power and his faith is a critical part of that in defaming another individual telling his audience “God knows who is a better Muslim.”

    And Aaronovitch resorted to abuse on Question Time you claim? You were watching the same program as the rest of us? If anyone was abusive it had to be the arrogant and patronising Galloway as usual in his bruising style. What offends you of course is the fact that Aaronovitch comprehensively went toe to toe with the insulting Galloway and levelled him. Oh and why bring class into this? Whats that got to do with it?

    You write “I’m not here to defend him, though no doubt some bright spark will decide that they know my intentions better than I myself.” Haven’t you made that clear by what you have stated? Or did you not proof read what you had written?

    He stood for votes here in Scotland and got absolutely trounced limping last. Again seeking the Muslim vote and talking about Palestine to raise the tempo to gain currency with Muslim voters. Disgusting beast of a man. Thats why he trailed it to Bradford to seek his fortune there after Muslim voters rejected him here.

  13. Sue R claims that Galloway is an islamophobe, which is clearly ridiculous. It is obvious that Muslims are the only people he cares about. Even if he were islamophobic that would not make him racist as Islam is not a race.

  14. Yashi Garda Nassa says:

    The fact remains George Gallaway is indeed a real comrade n freedom vocal fighter. His religion is a secondary issue, so lets give him some breathing space to continue his tele crusade.

  15. Galloway is commended for his fight against the mainstream media and hypocritical politicians. But he knows the popular perception about Islam in the world. Its irrelevant to many how different the reality of Islam “might” be. The fear is in the air and everywhere. Therefore, if Galloway wants to be a politician, he better fess up. It is indeed important to people to know if he professes the muslim faith. Apparently he does after seeing the many videos of him worshiping and praising Muhammad. Yet, he has also stated he is catholic. I have to wonder if he is even religious at all. But I will say this. I am banking on the idea that he is either Muslim or Atheist. Because of his anger and crazy behavior. All in all, he certainly needs to be watched out for. People need to be skeptical of him until he realizes that supporters need to know.

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