Thinking Anglicans

more about that attack

This item relates to the earlier report here.

Changing Attitude has published Report on contents of syringe used in attack on Davis Mac-Iyalla. Note: the text of this article has been amended.

The report itself can be seen at Original report on contents of syringe used in attack on Davis Mac-Iyalla.

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Leonardo Ricardo
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Leonardo Ricardo

What attack? What syringe? Whatever.

Bishop Kwashi thinks there is no reason to believe there was an attack but even if there was an attack there are probably lots of folks who are angry enough to beat up lgbt leaders at the Anglican Church of Nigeria….in addition +Kwashi and the Anglican church “loves” all citizens of Nigeria but thinks lgbt Anglicans ought be arrested for gathering in public if they do exist.

(or someth’n like that)

Peter Ould
Guest

I think you’ll find that the form has been mistranslated and misunderstood.

Pluralist
Guest

Erika Baker has had placed on my blog a multi-signed Open Letter to GAFCON. Date 11 April it appears here now:

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2008/04/open-letter-to-gafcon.html

Presumably comments add to the signatures.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Peter

I was personally responsible for organising the translation. It was carried out in England by a qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, London, and proofread by another qualified member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
There is no possibility of mistranslation.

Ann Marie Nicklin
Guest

Peter,

Maybe after such a comment you could clarify how it has been mistranslated and misunderstood rather than making such a sweeping statement without explaining the basis. The statement as it stands begs to be ignored.

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

Alan Harrison
Guest
Alan Harrison

Peter Ould wrote:
“I think you’ll find that the form has been mistranslated and misunderstood.”

I think Peter’s half correct. The translation of the form seems OK, but the opening comment by Colin Coward seems based on a misunderstanding. The form says the SUSPECTED content was a poison but the resultant test was negative – no drug found.

Be that as it may, stabbing somebody with a hypodermic is criminal behaviour of the worst kind, even if the intention was merely to frighten Mr Mac Iyalla, and even worse if the content was some organic substance intended to infect him.

Tony B
Guest
Tony B

Did anybody bother reading the report before releasing it? Funny stuff.

Caelius Spinator
Guest
Caelius Spinator

My French isn’t spectacular, but I basically agree with Peter Ould’s assessment. What it doesn’t tell me is for what they were testing. There are a lot of poisonous drugs and no general chemical tests.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Just for once, wouldn’t it be refreshing if the homophobic lobby actually showed some concern for the victim rather than trying to prove him wrong?

Bit too much to ask for, though, given their hating/self-hating mindset.

Pluralist
Guest

It’s pretty obvious why you would have a syringe full of nothing much that looks like full of something nasty – to frighten, to threaten. In the UK there are controls over replica guns, partly because some can be made into the real thing and partly because they do a job on their own. Faced with one you don’t even know that it’s a gamble. In any case such an item as a syringe is still nasty, dirty, and still full of the intended symbolism.

anglicanbarnabas
Guest
anglicanbarnabas

The report very clearly says no drugs were found. Zero..

This is laughable. Why not publish the truth on this matter rather than continue the misinformation?

robroy
Guest
robroy

I am confused. I went back to the original account: “The unnamed leader, who was the director of the Port Harcourt chapter of Changing Attitude Nigeria, said a man approached him while the congregation sang a hymn, asking him to speak with him outside. He said he was then attacked with slapping, punching, kicking, and spitting by a group of six men.” There is no mention of any syringe. When did a syringe attack come into play? I certainly would have mentioned it if I were attacked with a syringe in a country where HIV rate is very high.

Chad Wohlers
Guest
Chad Wohlers

“What it doesn’t tell me is for what they were testing. There are a lot of poisonous drugs and no general chemical tests.” Exactly. As someone who used to manage an environmental testing lab, I can tell you there is no one simple test for all drugs. When you have no idea what might be in the sample, testing for “everything” is very time-consuming and very, very expensive. They would need at a minimum a GC / Mass Spec in Togo, plus running several methods on the sample to rule out most drugs. It’s highly doubtful that they did all… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

You’re right, the report does not mention what they were testing for.
All it says is that they suspected poison and that they could not find any evidence for it.

Why should it be funny that Changing Attitude published this? It happens to be the truth.

It does not change the fact that Davis was attacked and that the police clearly took this seriously enough to investigate and report. All it says is that there were unable to identify the substance someone tried to inject him with.

Does anyone here think that makes it ok and proves anything negative about Davis?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Robroy

The syringe was part of an attack on Davis Mac-Iyalla, and not connected with the attack on the Director of CAN Port Harcourt.
The relevant news item on the CA website is:

http://www.changingattitude.org.uk/news/newsitem.asp?id=352

Anglicanbarnabas,
I’m not sure I understand why you suspect misinformation. By whom and for what reason?

Peter Ould
Guest

Robroy, This analysis is connected to the alleged attack on Davis in Togo. All that I have highlighted is that the commentary put on the report by Coward was incorrect. The police scientific report does NOT say that the syringe contained a poisonous substance. It says that the syringe was tested to detect WHETHER it had a poisonous substance and those tests came back negative. It is therefore incorrect to state that the police in Togo believe that the syringe contained poison. A simple chromatogram would have indicated whether a detectable poison was probably present. There is NO indication in… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Peter
I agree, and I had already posted a comment along those lines on the “Archbishop Kwashi responds to Changing Attitude” thread.

I would like to stress, though, that Colin was unlikely to have been deliberately misleading. The truth is quite obvious, after all.

Colin Coward
Guest

I was in the USA at a meeting of the Chicago Consultation when the report was published, and was getting conflicting advice about the meaning of the report. I have now revised the page on the CA web site. Davis verbally reported to me that the police tested for drugs, specifically for heroin and cocaine. The report names testing for drugs, on the suspicion that the subtstance was a poison. It concludes that the drug search was negative. I am not clear whether poison and drug mean the same thing in the report, which contributed to my confusion. The conservative… Read more »

robroy
Guest
robroy

Thank you for the clarification, Erika. I did not realize that there are two alleged attacks on Mr Mac-iyalla. Looking further at the Advocate account, we have: “Those who attacked me were well-informed about us, so I suspect an insider or one of the leaders of our Anglican church have hands in this attack.” How offensive is that? The attackers were “well informed” so naturally they had to be Church of Nigeria designated thugs and that ABp Akinola is to be held personally responsible??? Smear campaign is a very apt descriptor. It is sad that ABp Williams lent his name… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

robroy

As Colin Coward has already explained, there were two attacks, on two separate human beings. One was on Davis in (francophone) Togo, the other was on the (unnamed) person from Port Harcourt, in Nigeria.

I think it should be clear to anyone by now that the attack on Davis did really happen. It would be nice if people could stop using the word “alleged” in respect of that aspect of the matter, at least.

Malcolm+
Guest

So, for the sake of argument, let us assume that no one has even been rude to Davis Mac-Iyalla, let alone threatened him or attacked him. Does that invalidate the open letter which is only tangentially connected? Does it mean that there is no reason for GAFCON leaders to be mindful the language that they use when discussing this issue? Does it mean that there is no possibility at all that any GAFCON leader has ever used inciteful language? Why is it that the “conservatives” have so much trouble saying “violence against gays is bad, and language that might incite… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

And I think it should also be clear to anyone with a brain cell or two that using negative terms and teaching negative things about a group of people creates an unfavourable culture where violence against them is more likely.

But the conservatives don;t care about that – as their responses here and elsewhere show only too well. Basically, they think its more important to spread their ‘truth’ than ensure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen.

I think that displays their real thoughts on the matter more than adequately.

Peter Ould
Guest

Colin,

You need to update your webpage to indicate that you changed your report today (22nd April) as it still reads 20th April. If you don’t, the more petty minded will assume you’re trying to cover up the fact that you changed your report (especially as the page HAS got a “last updated” explicit reference).

Colin Coward
Guest

Robroy, those who attacked Davis in Togo and who sent me threatening texts were well informed about both of us. They managed to track Davis down in Togo. They have paid great attention to the Changing Attitude web site. What is the motive for this obsession with Davis and myself? That’s the question I keep asking. Who would want to threaten us and attack Davis? The only body with any kind of motive is the Church of Nigeria. Davis is right – those who attacked him were well informed. There is no proof that any senior figure in the Church… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“How offensive is that? The attackers were “well informed” so naturally they had to be Church of Nigeria designated thugs and that ABp Akinola is to be held personally responsible???” Offensive? Maybe. Not balanced, I agree. But if you had lost your job because your church discovered you’re gay and ensured your employer knows, if you had to flee into exile because of it, and if you have since experienced a concentrated campaign of slander against you from your church… if you have spent months fighting against a proposed law that would have criminalised your family for speaking to you… Read more »

Dan
Guest
Dan

Colin Coward writes above: CA has never claimed that the Church of Nigeria was directly responsible for any attack on Davis or anyone else.
And yet, this was the introduction to the release about the “poisonous” syringe and the phone threats: “The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has stepped up its campaign against Changing Attitude Nigeria (CAN) and England. Davis Mac-Iyalla, Director of CAN, received a text message threatening his life on Holy Saturday, 22 March.” The two statements appear to be contradictory and I wonder of Colin Coward would care to resolve that discrepancy.

Colin Coward
Guest

Dan, it’s so goood that you have so much time to examine forensically every statement and press release that Changing Attitude issues. I am very happy that we have become so important to you and many, many other people. The people sending the threats to Davis and myself associated themselves with the Church of Nigeria. That’s why I make the connection. The threats are a separate matter from the syringe and physical attack on Davis. I am sure you will want to challenge me on this distinction. I am sure you will do anything but admit that the Church of… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

Enough of the side show. Whether or not Davis was attacked is irrelevant to the issue. The open letter was not about the attack on Davis. The open letter never claimed that Peter Akinola “put out a hit” on Davis. The open letter DID ask GAFCON leaders to be mindful of their language and to avoid using language which would serve to incite violence against homosexuals. This is, for the record, entirely in keeping with Lambeth 1998 1.10, which did, after all, run more than one clause. So, Peter, Dan, Robroy, Barnabas et al, please humour me. Do you believe… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

But the Church of Nigeria is running a campaign against Davis and CA. Much of which has been expressed by its spokesperson here (Tunde)

obadiahslope
Guest
obadiahslope

Here’s a link to Gafcon leader Peter Jensen making it clear that his views on Homosexuality includes opposing violence against gays, a few days ago: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23545127-12377,00.html
As you can see he goes out of his way to make that point to the journalist.
He has previously made it clear that he opposes language attributed to other Gafcon leaders.

robroy
Guest
robroy

I really do not see how the conversants here cannot see that the letter sent by the CA folks is not offensive in its so very poorly veiled implication that ABp Akinola and the rest of the GS primates are responsible on the attacks on Mr Mac-Iyalla. The Advocate article implied it. Rev Coward has even stated that ABp Akinola is indirectly responsible for them. If I condemn adultery, am I responsible for some guy who shoots his wife and her lover when the cuckold catches them in a sexual tryst? Should the GS primates be required to allow CA… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Obadiahslope wrote: “Here’s a link to Gafcon leader Peter Jensen making it clear that his views on Homosexuality includes opposing violence against gays, a few days ago – As you can see he goes out of his way to make that point to the journalist. He has previously made it clear that he opposes language attributed to other Gafcon leaders.” Peter Ould wrote: “But to be honest, the way this syringe scientific record was reported by Colin Coward was misleading, which is not a helpful thing to do in the current climate.” Isn’t it you and Robroy and Dan and… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

Robroy appears not to understand that public statements help to contribute to a negative culture where people are seen as less value and easy targets.
Akinola is certainly guilty of these, and his support for repressive legislation underlines his position.
The problem is conservative religion itself. It is intrinsically homophobic. Thus, its practitioners cannot see the link between violence and their poisonous and prejudiced religion. There really is no meeting of minds here – the only way forward must be to oppose conservative religion and to seek to move forward without its malign influence.

Colin Coward
Guest

Robroy says that gs clergy are much more biblically grounded than their western counterparts. I disagree. We read scripture differently, but the varying traditions within which we read scripture are historically orthodox in their variety. I am also deeply biblically grounded. Might I expect an apology from Robyroy for a remark which I find deeply offensive, challenging the roots of my faith?

Colin Coward
Guest

Is the Church of Nigeria directly or indirectly implicated in the attack on Davis Mac-Iyalla, the attack on the Port Harcourt leader and the death threats issued against Davis and myself. I have been honest in saying no, there is no direct connection, but there is an indirect connection. When Robroy write that ‘we’ (including GAFCON leaders?) see homosexuality as abhorrent and repugnant, he makes the point. This is abusive language which has a direct connection to the incitement of hatred. But I don’t need to rest my case on Robroy’s language. I’m reluctant to reintroduce Tunde Popoola to a… Read more »

robroy
Guest
robroy

Colin+, I said: “Who among the reasserters have ever sanctioned violence against homosexuals? Of course we see it [the violence] as abhorrent and repugnant.” This line of questioning as well as the letter from CA are McCarthy-esque: When Senator Joe asked people who had never taken any pro-Communist views whether they renounced communism, he did so to impugn their character and to associate them with Communists in the eyes of the public. Similarly, when CA or Malcolm+ asks for people to renounce violence when they have never sanctioned it but rather have always condemned it, the purpose of the request… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

No, Rob, you say with some of your words that you condemn violence, but then use other words which lead to it by creating a negative culture. Desist, or expect the quite reasonable conclusion that you are inciting hatred.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“Who among the reasserters have ever sanctioned violence against homosexuals? Of course we see it [the violence] as abhorrent and repugnant.”

So how come that in all the threads on TA referring to these attacks, not a single conservative has actually SAID that the attacks are abhorrent and repugnant?

Or does considering violence as abhorrent and repugnant, in principle, mean that it’s ok, in practice, to doubt the victims’ stories and to criticise their supporters for calling for more moderate language?

Unless you show actual support for the victims, what does this theoretical condemnation of violence amount to other than paying lipservices?

Malcolm+
Guest

Colin does Robroy an injustice (unintentionally, I hope). Clearly Robroy was saying that violence against homosexuals was abhorrent and repugnant. Obadiah links us to comments from Peter Jensen in which he agrees that violence against homosexuals is wrong, and refers to other comments from Jensen (not linked) in which he rejects as inappropriate some of the language of other GAFCON leaders. Good on Jensen. Good on him, not only for doing the right thing, but also for being the only one of the GAFCON leaders with the least common sense about communications. If I might offer an observation from my… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest

(cont.) Frankly, Robroy, I would have been quite content to let the story die. I had no particular reason to believe that any poster here was in favour of the deliberate inciting of violence against anybody. Until I watched the desperate attempts to deny that there was even any legitimate issue. Only then did I begin to wonder. So, thank you for setting my mind at ease with that very unequivocal statement. Now, if I really was the sort of McCarthyite you claim, I would do as they do on the more outrageous “conservative” blogs. I’d parse your comment. You… Read more »

obadiahslope
Guest
obadiahslope

Let’s not mistake even the longest thread here or on, for example, Standfirm for a story “having legs”. I am sure that if asked about this story by a reporter, Peter Jensen would decry violence against gays, and take care with his language. As I pointed out he went out of his way to make the point about being against violence. I have not seen any mainstream media reports where gafcon representives have been asked about this issue (I easily miss some that other posters may see living in Australia – have I missed some?) In making the point I… Read more »

robroy
Guest
robroy

I do think that most likely the incidents did occur in some manner. There are some aspects of the reports that don’t pass the sniff test, e.g., the business about the translation of the syringe test being in error despite Erika’s assurance, “There is no possibility of mistranslation.” But I do tire of those who deny that this is not a poorly veiled attempt to vilify the clergy of Nigeria by linking them with the violence when there is no such linkage. There is violence against homosexuals throughout the world. Why the concern for Nigeria? Violence against anyone should be… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Robroy “e.g., the business about the translation of the syringe test being in error despite Erika’s assurance, “There is no possibility of mistranslation” This is a serious allegation. Maybe you can tell me more precisely which aspect of the translation still worries you? If you have any evidence of mistranslation or professional misconduct against linguists involved you would have to take this up with the Chartered Institute of Linguist’s Professional Conduct Committee. Clearly, I can do no more here than to assure you of the standing of the people involved and their professional qualification. As for the linkage with Nigeria….… Read more »

Colin Coward
Guest

I apologise to Robroy for having so totally misread his earlier post in which he used the words abhorrent and repugnant. I was wrong, and I can only plead extreme tiredness. I’m intrigued as to why ‘Robroy’. Is the user of this moniker a fan of Tony Hancock (The Blood Donor) or someone who identifies with a Scotsman once falsely branded and outlaw, imprisoned, and later pardoned? I can assure Robroy there was no intention in the Open Letter to vilify the clergy of Nigeria. The letter did not link anyone with violence. It asked for care in the use… Read more »

robroy
Guest
robroy

“…why doesn’t the church pursue every human being who fails to observe this teaching? Why isn’t the church pursuing young couples who cohabit, widows and widowers who decide to live together, couples who start an affair before a marriage has been dissolved, etc? Why the compulsion to focus on lesbian and gay people?” Amen. I totally agree. A twice divorced, thrice married bishop is a disgrace. Pastoral care to divorced people does not mean you have to make them bishop (or priest).

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

robroy: there are large numbers of divorced and remarried clergy in the C of E, including those working in Conservative Evangelical churches. One of the loudest clerical voices in Oxford Diocese protesting against the appointment of Jeffrey John was a divorced and remarried vicar of such a parish. He is still there: Jeffrey John had to stand down. Fair?

RevJohn
Guest
RevJohn

As a French speaker I am mystified how someone claiming to be a professional translator could have so completely misunderstood what is, after all, a very simple document. Perhaps we might be shown the original item by the translator? But it is all of a piece with CA’s concerted efforts on its website to defame both the Church of Nigeria and the Gafcon leadership by linking them with events in which there is simply no evidence for the allegations and smears made by CA. It is all part of a technique known as “When did you stop beating your wife?”… Read more »

robroy
Guest
robroy

Fr Mark, I absolutely agree that it is the pot calling the kettle black. Jesus was not unclear about divorce and remarriage. “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard.” Our hearts are still hard and divorce and remarriage may truly be the lesser of two evils. However, Paul is not unclear about the qualifications of a Bishop. We have the liberty of being choosy of whom we elevate to that office. They must be “above reproach.” Much of the current problems of the Anglican communion hearken back to our relaxation of rules for divorce and… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Rev John
the scan of the original document and the translation are both on the CA website.

Maybe you could tell me, precisely, what part of this very simple document has been mistranslated and how it should have been translated?

I’m getting a little tired of people making accusations about this translation without providing any evidence.

What further mystifies me is that the document clearly shows that they suspected poison but couldn’t find any.
What kind of cover up is everyone suspecting here?