I Forgive Jonathan McLatchie
Recently I demonstrated that Jonathan McLatchie plagiarized in his recent debate with our esteemed Br. Yusuf Ismail.
The two videos published on the issue have gathered more views than the debate itself ever will, I haven’t even factored in the views it got on Facebook when several other Muslims uploaded it either. The point being, that I just wanted to provide some context for what I’ll say in this article. A person could respond in a lot of ways to allegations of plagiarism, it’s part of fair criticism when one is in the interfaith-apologetics field. People analyse your statements, double check your references, these are expected things to happen when you debate because this isn’t a game. You’re calling people to change their entire worldview, base their salvation on what you are saying, so you expect debaters to put their best, most accurate and honest foot forward.
Jonathan responded in three ways to my pointing out his plagiarism. Firstly, he accused me of plagiarising from Rabbi Tovia Singer in a now deleted comment on Facebook. He later on removed that comment after I asked him for proof, evidently he misheard a comment from Dr. James White on Muslims in the UK (which by itself is also unproven). I’m neither from, nor have I been to the UK. To be clear, he didn’t apologize for the lie, he just deleted it as he did with his comments about Br. Mansur recently. Secondly, he then posted a status referring to me as deceptive and then allowed copious amounts of insults to be posted about me from some Paltalk friends he has who are aligned with Sam Shamoun. That’s neither unexpected or interesting, at this point it’s sort of expected behaviour from those people.
Thirdly, he lashed out and posted an unverified photo of a Facebook comment where I apparently insulted David Wood. I’m not really sure what he was expecting? I read the comment thread where his verification process basically entailed asking (and I’m paraphrasing here), “is that Ijaz’s Facebook profile from last year in the photo? By golly, that must mean he actually said it!” He’s apparently unaware that anyone could create false photos from Facebook using someone’s profile picture, it’s something fairly common. It also turns out, when questioned for evidence that I actually posted it…that the only person who claimed to have seen when I did post it…was a person who had blocked me roughly two years ago on Facebook (effectively predating the date on the alleged photo altogether), in fact…that same witness boasted in another post of Jonathan’s that he had blocked me and that his Facebook experience was peaceful for that very reason. Lying, is not their forte to say the least. That person is Robert Wells. He also happens to be the person who threatened my life when I used to interact with him on Paltalk:
So, do I fault Jonathan for not doing proper checks before “exposing” me? Yes, I do. Do I fault him for trusting the testimony of someone who blocked me on Facebook and threatened to kill me? Yes, I do. Will I respond in like? No. See, I happen to forgive Jonathan because I understand how much my two videos about his plagiarism may have affected him. I definitely understand how embarrassing it must’ve been, and so I can understand why he lashed out. On the other hand, this isn’t a tit for tat game. I criticize him fairly when it comes to his apologetics and Islamo-political claims, I criticize him fairly when he slanders my colleagues like Br. Mansur and Br. Hamza. His reaction however, was not something related to any of those areas of interest, his lashing out was personal and I do not respond to personal attacks.
So, while I am disappointed in his behaviour, I’m sorry Jonathan, but I’m not interested. Perhaps when you can learn to meaningfully interact with my publications and videos, I’ll gladly respond, but when you go low, I’ll go high. I forgive you.
“Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant.” – Qur’an 7:199.
and God knows best.