Board probe into deputy’s ‘Is­lam­o­pho­bia’

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY BEN WEICH

THE BOARD of Deputies has pledged an “ur­gent and de­tailed case re­view” into one of its deputies who has ex­pressed what have been de­scribed as “Is­lam­o­pho­bic” and “anti-Arab” views.

The JC has seen tweets shared by Roslyn Pine, who stood un­suc­cess­fully to be vice-pres­i­dent of the Board in last month’s elec­tions, de­scrib­ing Mus­lims as “the vilest of an­i­mals”, as well as one de­scrib­ing Arabs as “so evil”.

She also retweeted a mes­sage de­scrib­ing Arab mi­grants to Eu­rope as “an invading army”.

The JC un­der­stands her ac­count, @RoslynPine, was sus­pended by Twit­ter in Novem­ber 2017. Mrs Pine ad­mit­ted run­ning the ac­count but de­nied own­er­ship of an­other ac­count, @Pine_Roslyn, which was also sus­pended.

She de­nied es­tab­lish­ing a third ac­count, @toscas­bacci, which shares anti-Mus­lim mes­sages and tweets sup­port­ing far-right fig­ures such as Tommy Robin­son. The ac­count fea­tures the same pro­file im­age as one al­legedly pre­vi­ously used by Mrs Pine on her What­sApp ac­count.

She de­nied it was her ac­count on the mes­sag­ing ser­vice.

Mrs Pine is cur­rently a deputy for Finch­ley United Sy­n­a­gogue and pre­vi­ously rep­re­sented North Sal­ford Sy­n­a­gogue in Manch­ester.

Speak­ing to the JC, she de­fended her right to hold “views against Is­lam”, deny­ing it was Is­lam­o­pho­bic to do so.

Mrs Pine added: “There is no such word as Is­lam­o­pho­bic. ‘Is­lam­o­pho­bia’ is try­ing to shut down crit­i­cism of Is­lam. I de­test the creed of Is­lam and I’m en­ti­tled to say it.

“I have an is­sue with Mus­lims and Arabs who want to kill us, who want to de­stroy Is­rael. And that is an Is­lamic fun­da­men­tal if you know any­thing about what the Ko­ran is.

“I have views that of­fend peo­ple. That is what a free so­ci­ety is. To crit­i­cise a re­li­gion — in­clud­ing Ju­daism — I have no prob­lem with that. In a free so­ci­ety you should be able to crit­i­cise a body of ideas.”

New Board of Deputies pres­i­dent Marie van der Zyl has or­dered a re­port on Mrs Pine from the in­ter­nal com­mit­tee re­spon­si­ble for breaches of its code of con­duct. Mrs van der Zyl said: “I will not tol­er­ate any anti-Mus­lim ha­tred what­so­ever. Ir­re­spec­tive

Roslyn Pine of this par­tic­u­lar case, I have also asked for a com­plete list of the sanc­tions avail­able to us and rec­om­men­da­tions for whether these are suf­fi­cient.

“I have asked that this be on my desk by no later than the end of next week.

“As a com­mu­nity that has faced more than our fair share of prej­u­dice, we need to be crys­tal clear on this and lead the fight to de­feat it.”

Pre­vi­ous in­ter­nal re­ports into Mrs Pine’s con­duct — as well as no­tices that com­plaints have been lodged against her — were not cir­cu­lated among deputies ahead of the elec­tion.

A fel­low deputy, who wished to re­main anony­mous, de­scribed Mrs Pine’s con­duct as “very prob­lem­atic”, adding that she had fre­quently used “racist, xeno­pho­bic and Is­lam­o­pho­bic lan­guage”. The deputy added: “She is a very proud per­son and she doesn’t want to change her views or tone down any­thing she says.

“It doesn’t show a good side of the Board to younger deputies. She has treated peo­ple in an of­fen­sive man­ner, and her lan­guage has also been quite vi­o­lent.”

An­other deputy told the JC that Mrs Pine had not been re­moved as a deputy be­cause the Board op­er­ated “like an old-time sy­n­a­gogue where prob­lems are hid­den or brushed un­der the car­pet”.

Mrs Pine has been the sub­ject of a num­ber of for­mal com­plaints from fel­low deputies.

In May 2016 the Board’s con­sti­tu­tion com­mit­tee ruled she had com­mit­ted mul­ti­ple breaches of its code of con­duct af­ter jok­ing that Mar­got Wall­ström, the Swedish For­eign Min­is­ter, was “too old to be raped” dur­ing a meet­ing of the Board’s in­ter­na­tional di­vi­sion.

In her de­fence, she as­serted the com­ment “was not in­tended as a joke”, but rather to high­light the Swedish gov­ern­ment’s “reck­less aban­don­ment of the wel­fare of its cit­i­zens” in the face of “misog­y­nis­tic be­hav­iour of young im­mi­grant males”.

The com­mit­tee found Mrs Pine’s lan­guage was “highly of­fen­sive and in­ap­pro­pri­ate”. It rec­om­mended she be re­ported to her con­stituency and re­quired her to apol­o­gise to mem­bers of the in­ter­na­tional di­vi­sion.

An­other com­mit­tee in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in the same month, found she had used “un­ac­cept­ably in­tem­per­ate and highly of­fen­sive” lan­guage to­wards mem­bers of a com­mu­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion.

She was or­dered to apol­o­gise to the com­plainant but her re­fusal to do so led to a three-month ban from speak­ing at meet­ings.

Nei­ther de­tails of the case, nor the pun­ish­ment, were made pub­lic.

On an­other oc­ca­sion, Mrs Pine lodged a com­plaint against a deputy, but the com­mit­tee con­cluded that her views “in­cite oth­ers to ag­gres­sive

re­sponses”.

I have an is­sue with Mus­lims who want to kill us, to de­stroy Is­rael’

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