UPDATE 8:34 01/07/2016:
Since publishing this piece I have received explicit threats of cyber attacks from the far right. Screenshot below:
UPDATE 8:34 01/07/2016:
UPDATE 22:39 06/07/2016:
Who is Ann Marie Waters?
Ann Marie Waters with Tommy Robinson (Pegida UK, formerly of the English Defence League and British National Party)
The links in this section document the evolution of Waters’ involvement in the far-right, dating back to 2013. She founded Sharia Watch in April 2014 and joined UKIP in May 2014. On the 4th January 2016 she was named as one of a three-person leadership team of Pegida UK, along with former British National Party and English Defence League member Tommy Robinson, and Paul Weston at the organisation’s relaunch.
“In her speech, Waters linked Islam to child abuse, saying (16:08) ‘it’s all linked to Islam’, which she characterised as a dangerous ‘ideology’ being ‘appeased’, adding (17:45): ‘it is exactly the same appeasement that is allowing young girls to be raped in Britain, it’s got nothing to do with race, it’s got to do with the fact that we will not confront the misogyny at the very, very heart of this religion’.”
“Sharia Watch states that it works ‘to document the advancement of sharia law in Britain’. But much of its output attacks Islam in its entirety. Its articles range from the absurd (a conspiracy theory suggesting that halal meat is funding terrorism) to the deeply offensive, such as a piece entitled ‘Shariah and child abuse – is there a connection?‘, claiming that sharia law ‘stems from the justification of acts of physical and sexual violence of one man some 1,400 years ago.’
Articles appearing on its site include one written by Sam Solomon, a key player in the UK’s anti-Muslim scene, and a guest post by Alan Craig of the right-wing Christian People’s Alliance, who campaigned against the building of a new mosque in East London. Despite these connections, and the fact that the activities of Sharia Watch UK have strong echoes of the English Defence League’s ‘creeping Sharia’ discourse and the hysteria in the US over the so-called ‘Ground Zero mosque‘ it has been granted a veneer of respectability by some.”
Ann Marie Waters and Atheist Ireland
Michael Nugent (chair of Atheist Ireland) appears on a panel alongside Ann Marie Waters at the World Atheist Convention.
Waters appears on a list of “women speakers worth listening to” compiled and published by Michael Nugent on his website.
Ann Marie Waters profiled by Atheist Ireland in their newsletter.
Ann Marie Waters speaking at the Atheist-Ireland organised Empowering Women Through Secularism conference, on a panel that also featured Atheist Ireland Human Rights Officer Jane Donnelly.
Ann Marie Waters is described as an “Irish campaigner for equality” in two locations in a piece written by Michael Nugent, published 5 months after she joined UKIP.
Ann Marie Waters appears (on behalf of Sharia Watch) as a signatory of Atheist Ireland’s open letter concerning Ireland’s blasphemy law.
Recent statements on Pegida
In a piece containing zero criticism of Pegida, Michael Nugent comes out in opposition to the militant antifascist mobilisation against the organisation, which successfully prevented their demonstration from taking place.
An official statement by Atheist Ireland claims that Pegida violence is carried out by “the minority of violent people who attend the anti-immigration events of Pegida throughout Europe”.