SU societies are trying to stitch up The Tab
These unfounded and unsubstantiated claims made against The Tab are defamatory and farcical
Earlier this week, the Islamic Society and LGBT Network released a statement which accused The Tab of “attempting to provoke an antagonistic atmosphere between the two groups” in the wake of speeches made on campus by two Islamic speakers, Dr Uthman Lateef and Yusuf Chambers.
Today, Impact Magazine ran an article on the statement and reinforced the accusations that The Tab were deliberately trying to antagonise Islamic Society and the LGBT Network.
This is a farce in so many ways.
Not only is there no evidence provided behind any of these defamatory allegations, this is the sort of reaction which creates a climate where people (not just journalists) feel that they cannot ask questions without being branded inflammatory or racist.
One of the speakers has previously faced criticism for voicing views which could be considered homophobic, so The Tab were perfectly within their rights to question him on this topic.
The Tab has been accused of having an agenda and trying to stir things up. As a matter of fact, we do have an agenda.
Our agenda is to ask people who have previously said that they hate homosexuality whether they are homophobic or not. Our agenda is to have the balls to ask serious questions to controversial people who have public platforms. Our agenda is to do some actual news reporting and not shirk away from the issues or hide behind ludicrous statements with no foundations.
Comically, we have been informed that other student journalists were also there and that they too asked questions of this nature. If that is the case, why does the statement specifically mention The Tab and no-one else? By being unfairly accused of smearing, we are being smeared ourselves. We’re not the first to realise this, either:
Perhaps most laughable of all is the fact that we haven’t even published an article. We are being accused of stirring up controversy, yet we haven’t written anything. They have no idea what angle we intend to write in this article, so how could they know that it would be controversial? This statement and this Impact article have pre-empted a news story from us without having any idea about what we are thinking.
It would have been far more antagonistic if we hadn’t approached the LGBT Network and the Islamic Society for comment. We could have run a story without a balanced viewpoint and without comment from different positions, which would have been infinitely more irresponsible than what we have done.
The Tab wasn’t trying to incite hatred from one side to the other, we simply asked what the LGBT Network thought about someone who had previously voiced controversial statements regarding homosexuality. If we hadn’t, we would have been criticised by the very same people for not seeking balance in the story.
Whether it’s because of the SU’s intense dislike for us, or because we’re not afraid to rock the boat when it needs rocking, The Tab has been unjustly attacked.
Asking the LGBT Network about speakers on campus who are known for having controversial views on homosexuality is completely appropriate and is entirely legitimate. If people want to condemn The Tab and attempt to ruin our reputation for that, then good luck. Not only are these claims defamatory, they are unfounded.
Anyway, have you seen this? People love us.