Saturday, January 9, 2010

What Say You, Yvonne Ridley?

by Gary Fouse

Yvonne Ridley

I have written previously about Yvonne Ridley, British journalist who became a radical convert to Islam after her detention by the Taliban while trying to cover the allied invasion of Afghanistan after 9-11. She came to UCI to speak a couple of years back. On that occasion, she spoke in humorous terms about her Taliban captors, whom she described as sort of curmudgeonly, but harmless characters, who eventually released her although or perhaps because she drove them crazy- in her words. Of course, she never mentioned the executions in the soccer stadiums of the women who had committed adultery. In the wake of the recent protests in Iran and the Viva Palestina fiasco in Egypt and Gaza, I have thought again about this woman. You see, aside from being a fierce opponent of Israel and overall radical, Ridley has also been employed by Press-TV, the Iranian English-language press organ, which has been giving such sympathetic coverage to the George Galloway/Viva Palestina convoy. Since Ms Ridley has read my blog and once sent in a nastygram comment to something I had written, I thought she might like to answer a couple of questions in light of recent events.

Ms Ridley, what is your reaction to the death of the Egyptian policeman, who was killed by Gazans at the Rafah border crossing as they were awaiting Sir George's arrival? I noted that your reporter colleagues at Press TV neglected to ask Sir George anything about that policeman when he arrived at Heathrow Airport.

But more importantly, do you support the Iranian government crackdown on Iranians protesting in the streets? What about the people shot down in the streets?

What about the tortures and the hangings? What about the hangings of homosexuals in Iran?

What do you think about the persecution of members of the Bah'ai faith in Iran? When I say persecution, I mean arrests, torture, murder, and rape.

That is the Iranian government you work for, Ms Ridley. What say you?

And while we are at it, would you care to comment about those Taliban soccer stadium executions of women during their rule in Afghanistan?

What say you, Yvonne Ridley?


  1. I too worked for PressTV - shortly after they began broadcasts. I stayed with them for little under a year.

    What many of us believed at the time was a brave and worthy new venture, an alternate source of news from a troubled region, PressTV ultimately deteriorated into a vehicle for some of the most outrageous propaganda - an Iranian version of Fox News.

    You might be surprised to learn, however, that "Gorgeous" George Galloway and Yvonne Ridley are held in contempt by all but a few of the rank and file members of staff at PressTV.

    It is sometimes hard to fathom what their own personal agenda's are - but they are certainly not rooted in any 'socialist' or 'liberal' idealism.

    When Galloway and Ridley visited Tehran in 2008 they avoided any direct contact with the few remaining foreigners working there, and refused to be drawn into conversation on any of the points you have mentioned.

    Many of the newsroom staff were 'forced' to attend a function where Galloway was the keynote speaker. When they returned to the office they were highly vocal in their disgust at what they described as a "despicable" man.

    When I personally challenged the management over their callous disregard for the safety of our correspondents in war zones, and the flagrant abuse of Iran's own labour laws in the treatment of their local staff - I was told in no uncertain terms to "be careful" of my actions.

    When I tried to recruit Galloway and Ridley to the cause, they ignored my emails and almost immediately 'unfriended' me from their Facebook contacts.

    I hope your post does receive a response from Ridley - and Galloway. I am as keen to learn their positions on these issues as you doubtless are.

  2. It is a shame that the useful idiot does not realize that as soon as she is not useful to them they would dispose of her without even thinking--especially because of her big mouth and irritating ways.

  3. Mr Gelkin,

    Thank you for your response and personal insight into Press TV, Galloway and Ridley. For your own personal information, I had a run-in with Galloway on May 21 2009 at Univ of California-Irvine when he came to speak in support of Viva Palestina. During the Q&A, I related to him several (individual) chants spoken at anti-Israel rallies across N America during the Gaza fighting ("Long-live Hitler", "Jews go back to the ovens", etc.) Galloway called me a liar. What he apparently didn't know was that all of these incidents were on YouTube as I susbsequently posted on my blog (fousesquawk).

    I regard Galloway as a despicable character.

    Obviously, we do not agree on Fox News, but that is a topic for a different discussion.

  4. Two things describe Ms Ridley's pathology: Stockholm syndrome and selective amnesia.

  5. I used to work with yvonne ridley and I can safely say that from the first time I had met her I had got a very cold feeling from her. She was the only person that I didn't enjoy working with, everyone else was a delight. I'm the kind of person that easily likes almost anybody I meet, she is one person I happily avoid.

  6. Good people are those that help other ethical, people regardless of what religion or race they may be of. Yvonne Ridley only supports extremists that have only hate for people that don't agree with their views.

  7. Before you attack Islam, study its principles and read Quraan ... U will find that it is the religion of peace ...

    what Iranian did is not related to Islam at all ... We dont cosider them Muslims ...

    There is a huge difference between the true Islam and faked Islam that Iranian do ..

    Did U think why Yvonne Ridley became a Muslim despite that she was kidnaped by Muslims !!!
    The answer because she saw the true Islam .

    Please dont make a judge before U see the true Islam .

    thank U,

  8. There is no attack on islam or any other religion in the article or in any of the comments. Don't try to turn this into a religious debate.

  9. Hi Gary. I couldn't find the comment by yvonne ridley that you're referring to, but you should consider suing her. On another site she resorts to swearing and name calling to someone that just expressed their opinion (obviously unless it was someone pretending to be her)