Right-wing blog Guido Fawkes faces backlash for 'Islamophobic post'

Right-wing blog Guido Fawkes faces backlash for 'Islamophobic post'
UK political blog Guido Fawkes made comments in a social media post that many regard as blatantly Islamophobic.
3 min read
16 February, 2024
Political blogger Paul Staines from the Guido Fawkes website has garnered controversy for his post on X that was deemed Islamophobic [Getty]

British right-wing news blog Guido Fawkes has come under fire for a social media post that has since been slammed for promoting anti-Muslim rhetoric

The site was founded in and has been run by political writer Paul Staines since 2004, focusing on British political scandals from a self-described right-wing "libertarian" standpoint. 

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson once referenced the infamous blog as the dung on the rosebush of politics.

On 14 February, the Guido Fawkes account responded on X to divisions within the UK Labour Party on the war on Gaza in a now deleted tweet. 

"The thing that nobody says yet we all know, is that the Labour Party have chosen to seek unsophisticated Muslim community support for numerical reasons at the expense of sophisticated Jewish support," the post read. 

This led to a series of online backlash against the tweet and called for the blogger to take immediate action. 

"Let's not walk on eggshells: Guido Fawkes is a straight up racist. Will Rishi Sunak confirm that he will instruct Tory Ministers no longer to brief Guido Fawkes? Or is he selectively tolerant of racism?" Good Law Project’s director Jo Maugham wrote in a post on X. 

"Even when pretending to care about Jewish people, the right can't help to use us, at a time of surging antisemitism, as a political football for their Islamophobic ends," Amos Schonfield, deputy director of the Jewish racial equality group HIAS+ JCORE, said in a separate post. 

"We're not going to let the likes of Guido Fawkes divide us."

Chris Doyle, director of The Council for Arab British Understanding (CAABU), has also claimed that Guido Fawkes’ comments were similar to other widely-held derogatory stereotypes about Arab and Muslims.

"There is a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment going on. We see politicians also make such sentiments. If we were to make such comments about other communities - if he reversed it and said, ‘unsophisticated Jewish community’ versus ‘sophisticated Muslim community’- he’d probably be out of a job," he told The New Arab

"Nobody would be getting with him. So, there’s a double standard."

The CAABU director said Muslim and Arab voices were disenfranchised long before the current war on Gaza, while Islamophobia and racial discrimination has exponentially increased post-9/11

He said that the international response to the Gaza war is a defining example of how Arabs and Muslims have been consistently dehumanised and called for "equal respect" of all people suffering. 

"Palestinians are not humanised- they’re not seen as fathers, mothers, wives and children with aspirations and ambitions just like us. They’re not presented as humans in the way that others are," he said. 

"You can contrast that with Ukrainians and what they’ve had to suffer as a consequence of the Russian invasion, where their stories were far more humanised. It really is a major issue."

Doyle has implored Staines to take full accountability for the use of divisive language in the tweet. 

"I don’t think there has been any apology at all from Mr. Staines. I believe he has deleted his tweet but he should be probably apologising. He should be doing that and more," he said. 

"He should be committed to take a course about Islamophobia. He should not be allowed to get away with this scot-free without holding up his hand and giving a very heartfelt apology. 

"He should be really trying to understand why such tweets were so highly offensive and stirring things up at a time of very delicate intercommunal relations. It’s also thoroughly irresponsible."

Guido Fawkes declined The New Arab's request for comment.