BT shuts down ‘anti-Semitic’ Catholic website

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BT HAS banned a religious website critical of extremist Jews that it has hosted for four years following a campaign from a group of MPs claimed it was anti-Semitic.

It is understood to be the first time that a website in Britain has been shut down under such circumstances.

The website,, takes an inflammatory stance over extreme sections of Judaism that reject non-Jewish races.

The website editor, Timothy Johnson from Sheffield, a radical Catholic, told the

” the action highlights a growing campaign against critics of the actions of extremist Jews and is a breach of free debate in a free society”

Sunday Herald last night he was the subject of a "smear" campaign. He and his supporters say the action highlights a growing campaign against critics of the actions of extremist Jews and is a breach of free debate in a free society.

The site was shut after John Mann, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Committee on anti-Semitism, raised an early day motion supported by other MPs, including Glenda Jackson and Labour MP for Livingston Jim Devine.

Mann says the website is "vile and anti-Semitic" and "seeks to inspire hate against the Jewish community amongst others".

He complained to BT subsidiary Plusnet, which hosts the site, about the content, saying the site had "anti-Semitism on every page".

BT passes all internet traffic through a service called Cleanfeed, which uses data provided by the Internet Watch Foundation - a non-profit, non-government-affiliated organisation - to identify illegal content such as indecent photographs of children and racist and criminally obscene material.

But the site's content has not caused any issue for BT until now.

Although IWF's blacklist causes content to be censored even if it has not been found to be illegal by a court of law, IWF director of communications Sarah Robertson claimed in December that the IWF is opposed to the censorship of legal content.

BT would not discuss the specifics of why it had closed Catholic Voice now, but confirmed it was the result of the complaint.

Mann said: "Those who are writing, commissioning and uploading vile hate speech should face the full force of the law."

In his letter to Plusnet, he said: "The website that I understand is hosted through your organisation has been brought to my attention. It is deeply offensive in content - racist, anti-Semitic and discriminatory - and therefore in violation of your own hosting policy."

He complained in particular about two statements on the websites. The first - "To call Jesus a Jew is blasphemy" - was the heading for an explosive theological essay on Christ's origins.

Mr Johnson says the second - "Jews are followers of Satan" - has never appeared on the site.

Though not mentioned by either BT or Mann, the website more recently defended Richard Williamson, the Catholic bishop who questions whether millions of Jews died in Nazi gas chambers.

It is now understood Johnson is looking to find a host in another country, having accused BT of "hounding" the site off the internet.

He said the action underlines growing concern that critics of radical Jews in the 21st century - highlighted in the Israel-Hamas conflict - are being dismissed as fascists, tapping into a fear of Nazism.

He believes the actions raise concerns about civil liberties and the free discussion of controversial and provocative subjects on the internet. continues here

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