A Tale Of Two States : Azhar Ahmed and Scott McHugh

Posted: 13th March 2012 in Blog
Tags: , Azhar Ahmed, Civil Liberties, Freedom, protest, , Scott McHugh

No one should be under any illusion regarding the increasingly oppressive nature of the UK state. The creeping criminalization of previously legal protest action has been seen countless times recently; students protesting against tuition fees and the politically-motivated sentences handed down to those convicted of last summer’s riots being just two of the most obvious examples.

Things have taken a very sinister and outrageous turn, though, with the arrest of nineteen year old Azhar Ahmed, who is due to appear before Dewsbury Magistrates on March 20th. It is alleged the youth recently posted the following comments on his Facebook page: “People gassin about the deaths of soldiers! What about the innocent familys who have been brutally killed.. The women who have been raped.. The children who have been sliced up..! Your enemy’s were the Taliban not innocent harmless familys. All soldiers should DIE & go to HELL! THE LOWLIFE FOKKIN SCUM! gotta problem go cry at your soliders grave & wish him hell because that where he is going..”

Strong words, to be sure, and undoubtedly offensive and upsetting to many, not least the bereaved families of serving soldiers. However, we’ll gloss over the tragic irony of his comments being lent substance by the rampage of a US serviceman, last Sunday, which resulted in the deaths of sixteen civilians, including nine children and three women. An irony further compounded by his comments apparently being motivated by what he felt was an imbalance in the coverage of casualties in Afghanistan. With blanket coverage given to the six recently killed British soldiers compared to that given to Afghan civlian casualties. It seems he at least has a point, however uncomfortable some might find his choice of words…

But that aside, the real concern here is the offence with which West Yorkshire Police have charged him, that of committing a “racially aggravated public order offence”.  It’s difficult to see how his words, as reported, constitute racism in any way. Instead, significantly and worryingly, his comments amount to an overtly political statement. So; it seems we have a state which now deploys the flimsiest of legislation to silence political dissent. Set in the context of vicious austerity measures and the increasingly totalitarian methods used to suppress and quell the resulting protests, this marks a new and very serious attack on civil liberties and personal freedom.

However, don’t despair. It’s not all bad news. It seems we also have another state in operation. One which works in parallel to the one experienced by the unfortunate teenager. Under that state it appears perfectly acceptable for serving soldiers and their friends to post the most noxious and racist filth on Facebook without, thus far, incurring any sanctions.

On March 12th, one Scott McHugh, who appears to be a serving soldier, posted on his Facebook wall, in response to Ahmed’s comments, “Azhar ahmed you sick horrible twisted paki bastard, how can you say that about our soldiers!” McHugh was joined by several of his friends, some of whom commented as follows…

Leighanne Gillott: ” He’s disgusting and should be fucking hanged!! He won’t get away with it, locked up or not somebody will get him, he will get what he deserves!!x”

Lee Crisculo: ”Fucking sick twat burn his eyes out smelly fukka”

Helen Massey Gordge:  ”Cheeky smelly pakki cunt wants tying to a tree n shooting …Smelly fukker..Lock him up n throw the key away ..Grrrhhhh….SKUM…!!”

Robbie Joedys Sampler: ” He’s nothing he’s gunner die veryy soon”

Danielle Lufc Harker: ”Dirty smelly greasy bastard needs fuking torturing the dirty paki bastard!!”

The comments were subsequently removed and it appears as though someone reported McHugh to Facebook administrators, as his defiant rejoinder, and that of a friend, seem to suggest…

Scott McHugh: “some body else had just reported my comment who ever it is Get back on ya Camel and f**k off!

Danny Wheeler: “probably a paki shagger lad fuck em there shitbags for not admitting who it is!”

Were all this not bad enough, try this on for size  https://www.facebook.com/AzharAhmedScum

Welcome to justice and democracy, UK style. Right about now, I doubt I’m the only one with a grim smile, fearing for the future while hearing  Joe Strummer intoning, ‘Know Your Rights’.

  1. Ross says:

    Whilst Azhar Ahmed is a moron, Scott McHugh is just as big of a moron. His and his friends racist and unpleasant comments are uncalled for. Racism well and truly alive in this country I see, and from a serving british soldier too.

  2. Daniel says:

    All the fools who disagree with him are the peolpe who believe the UK media. They think a UK or american soldiers life is more important than an iraq’e or afghan. Remember the british and americans are the invaders here.

  3. Mick Wall says:

    I’m so steeped in my own day to day struggle I wouldn’t have known any of this if you hadn’t written this Harry, so huge thanks for opening my eyes brother.

  4. William Osler says:

    Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

    A long time ago my father told me about speackers corner… That is a place where any man can rant and rave without any fear… Those who do speak there in Hyde park risk attracting an audience or repelling them.. And the mark of te speaker is that if nobody is willing to listen then you are surely talking to yourself. I am not British and in your country people hold sacred the right to speak your mind… What has happened to your country..? Please think about it… You let middle class idiots with silver spoons in their mouths run your country instead of the wise and the just… When will King Arthur return to boot out king Johns that rule now… Viva la revolution English!!!!

  5. Jim says:

    Scott McHugh should be reported to the police, the man is not fit to serve in the British Army. Also I think if Azhar Ahmed is being taken to court then so should all the other people who made nasty racist and threats against him

    You can report Internet based offenses on this form online it only takes 2 mins


  6. Andy says:

    Here is a screenshot of what Scott McHugh and his racist friends said, some of whom are serving soldiers…


    this is the facebook where the comments were made, which is now hidden.

    report them on here


  7. Alan Dente says:

    I can’t really see how the comments he made were even that bad. I mean, he didn’t sound particularly intelligent, and he was obviously very angry when he wrote them, but plenty of the observation (women/kids brutalised) is accurate, and bear in mind that this was written on his own facebook, not on a page set up for war dead or whatever.

    The only thing that is questionable is how he smears all service personnel with the same accusation, which is an error that would be better countered by debate rather than the long reach of the law.

    What a bizarre decision to arrest him. There’s nothing racist in that statement. Someone has messed up somewhere along the line! There’s more racist stuff in the tabloid press every week…

  8. Andy says:

    Azhar said nothing as bad as these edl members said on facebook about the dead civilians in Afghanistan, but they seem to get away with nasty racist comments, so why is Azhar being treated differently?

    example here

    • Andy says:

      I dont think it was the nature of the comment you seem to forget that there are 6 greiving familys here, it was the timing of the comment

  9. Martin Short says:

    I can’t honestly say that I am suprised by this.
    There is an ongoing political movement in this country which seems to be geared entirely towards the promotion of war and conflict as a “Good Thing”. The constant reference to serving soldiers as “Heroes” really winds me up. Check out the dictionary definition of Hero – it isn’t a squaddie who happens to be in the wrong place (sent by his government) at the wrong time (there is NO right time to invade another’s country) and get’s blown up by people trying to expel the invader from their land. What a hero REALLY is I will leave you to decide but if you need help read the citations which accompany the awarding of the George Cross, and even the Victoria Cross – Heroes are the exception not the rule.
    When we have people in charge of this country who can stand up to the American bully and say “No, we will not support your imperialistic ambitions”, then that will be the day this country can hold it’s head up proudly on the World satge once again.
    The prosecution of this boy for comments he made on his own Facebook page (and the non-prosecution of the low-lifes who posted the disgusting responses on theirs) is a sign that the justice system in this country is now nothing more than a political tool being used to beat down opposition to government policy by the ordinary people.
    Time to re-read Orwell’s 1984 I suggest.

  10. Andy says:

    Some more nasty stuff posted by Scott McHugh. I think it’s time someone contacted his regiment (which is in yorkshire) this man is not fit for any purpose.

    be advised some of his comments are very disturbing

    • Andy says:

      His regiment was not in yorkshire its a yorkshire regiment which could be in blackpool,cyprus or warminster

  11. Andy says:

    Facebook dedicated to our friend Scott McHugh, makes you proud to be a solider don’t it


  12. David Harwood says:

    The mistakes of the past are being repeated at an alarming rate, this week we have seen the repeat of the massacre of Mai Lai by an american soldier & now the criminalisation of groups disagreeing with government policy

  13. tim lovejoy says:

    You brits do understand that 1984 was a satire, not a how to manual?

    And martin short made me laugh: “…of this country who can stand up to the American bully and say “No, we will not support your imperialistic ambitions”,
    400 years of farking the people of the planet on every continent for the glory and pursestrings of the empire is a habit that you cant blame on the yanks. Actually using imperialistic ambitions was brilliant sarcasm in this case.

    Harwood: ever read up on the sexual abuse=rape stories that plague the places where american bases (the Okinawa one is the best know one) are located?
    There is between 700-1000 US bases in 150-175 countries around the world and the yanks and brits have one rule: you cant have our soldiers. They can rape minors and kill families but you have no say in anything afterwards.

    I thought the whole Giggs banging his brothers wife and using those gag orders to block twitter was hilariously creepy as it was to most of the planet who got to know about super injunctions but this is another level of WTF?!?!

  14. fred says:

    is this not illegal? publishing peoples names without permission????

  15. Jenna says:

    I am not in any way condoning what Scott McHugh said, however I do feel that when you are going through the pain of loosing a close friend or family member if another persons comment is blatantly put forward like Azhar Ahmeds was people are going to be defensive. I too lost a friend in Afghanistan like Scott and when I saw the message posted by Azhar it made me feel sick. Ok so that’s his freedom of speech but he definitely put it at the wrong time and worded it the wrong way! He was wrong to say that when so many people are hurting and while Scott should have taken a light approach sometimes it’s hard to think before you speak when you are angry. I do not believe he deserves to be discharged from the army for his comment as people need to remember he lost his friends and he’s going to do what he sees fit to defend them and there memories, whether that is right or wrong!
    Please do not pounce on my opinion, freedom of speech and all that.
    RIP to all the soldiers doing what they felt was right for their country. I do not think that should be forgotten!

  16. Amber says:

    totally agree with harry, its pathetic that his getting charged for racial abuse, when he said nothing which was racist. he has a good point just when about it in the wrong way. those soliders know the risk when there going to these countrys, when there joining the army that the may lose there life. but they take that risk and bravo to them. but those innocent children, what choice did they have to be killed and rape. but no does the government care? hardly. they should just butt out of other countrys problems. the just like to assist america to overtake so they can get petrol! all over money and petrol all them innocent people dying. they say karmas a bitch and i hope it hits them soon. but yeh its a really fustrating topic how they go on and on about how the soliders shouldnt be forgetton they are heros, no they are not! they no when they do this job they may be killed more importantly that they will be killing innocent people and when they are willing to do this then they are sick! no one forces you to join the army. its your fucking choice. imagine libya, afghanistian soliders coming here and killing your children, raping your wifes and all the world cares about is they couple of soilders tht were killed in this process! would you be pissed off? yes you fucking would. uk is no longer a place for different racial groups to voice there opinion. if you want to stay here you have to be fucking quiet NO FUCKING JUSTICE ANYMORE!!!!!!!!

  17. Soph says:

    Isnt posting scotts name on here illegal if he hasnt given permission. I personally dont think Scott has done any wrong at all, i know the guy and he has worked along side the men that have lost their lives. That Azhar was saying all soldiers should die and accusing them of raping afghan women which isnt true. he should be locked up for what he said hes an animal. Scott wrote what he did because he was hurt, his closest friends died and i bet anyone that had a friend or family member that was killed because of a certain person/people would be angry and slag people off too! no one can deny that.

  18. Mr Sad says:

    Soph, you are so naive, I’m not sure where to even start. Posting somebody’s name online is not illegal. Every manner of atrocity has been carried out in Afghanistan, including rape and murder, so probably best get your head out of the sand on that one. Your buddy Scott (who is employed to serve our countries armed forces) has stated clearly how he wants to murder ‘towel heads’, and uses frequent racist language, yet you seem to think that Azhar is the one who needs ‘locking up’. If this is the case, then Scott needs locking up just as much, otherwise your argument would appear to revolve around the skin colour of the people involved. I know many people in the army, and most of them have lost somebody close to them, and witnessed many horrors. None of them have used it as an excuse to peddle racism, hatred and jingoism. Scott is a vile hatemongering thug, and it chills my blood to know that he was given a gun and sent off to be in a land where he has no respect for the people.

  19. broken shaman says:

    No. It’s not illegal to publish a name without permission.

    Get real people. It’s called freedom of speech. Just like Scott and his pals are able to call anyone who disagrees with them a paki, paki lover, paki shagger, camel rider, turban wearer, cornershop owner etc…

    If people don’t want their comments exposed on blogs, perhaps they should be a bit more careful before getting the typing finger out?

    Have to say though, it’s a real pity we are represented by out and out racists in Afghanistan, while the Govt is apparently trying to win hearts and minds. Kinda makes you understand why it’s so easy to recruit terrorists, with so much readily available examples of abuse from the western world.

  20. Anna says:

    Wow. I saw the story about Ahmed and thought there must be more to this, sounds a bit limp to arrest a teenager for some Facebook comments, and hey ho what do you know.

    I am afraid to say that whilst obviously not all soldiers are moronic racists, and I say this knowing plenty of them ranging from their early twenties to late thirties, I am not suprised by the comments made by McHugh in the slightest.

    This back story deserves more attention and the double standards should be exposed.

  21. shell says:

    scott doesnt even work for the army anymore…. and hasnt done for the past couple of months, hes just a citizen same as anyone else ! loads of people have their opinions and scotts is targeted due to him being part of the army…. which he isnt .

  22. disgusted says:

    I am disgusted with that not only have these boys had their names pulished weather it be with or without permission but humlated in the public eye! While people are sat saying how much scott is out of order what they don’t realise is that young boys is probaby being terriorised by all kinds of people! Yes he has said some harsh comments but its freedom of speech! We do not live in the dark ages anymore! This boy has lost close friends due to an attack he has a right to be angry and have his say but this artical you are having your say about has probably put this boy in danger!

  23. Andy says:

    @Jenna, He has been making racist comments dating back to last year, this is not an isolated incident and has nought to do with Azhar, so i would stop using that as an excuse. He stated last year that he takes joy in killing people for fun and not for queen and country. He is the type of solider that brings shame on the work good soldiers do, he makes their job a little bit harder, the sooner he is kicked out the better.

  24. shell says:

    it pisses me off that scotts a 19 year old lad and a really nice lad at that, he was in the army and worked besides all these lads,he lost his friends, his close friends… so obviously his reaction is not going to be a good one, he doesnt deserve all the stick hes been getting, the lads still grieving…. and he was fighting for our country… ! hes been getting death threats and numerous friend requests on facebook and after whats happened he has alot to deal with, yes his comments was racist but look at the other hundreds of people whos had something to say about azhar, why arnt they being victimised and bullied? its a pointless war and people are dying because of it, from both sides and everyone whos lost someone close is going to react that way… im disgusted in what people are saying… and think if scott can learn to think before he speaks so should all of you… !!

  25. John Scotts says:

    It is a sad event, I am telling you, and very dangerous too. Americans are the most hated nation in the world now, leave Muslims but many other people from different white-skin, for that matter, hate Americans. It is not because Americans are bad people but their politicians and biased media have done a tremendous damage to their good image.

    Now, if you go back to history with an analytical eye, you will be shocked to see that ten years ago, people wanted to come to U.K, there was no race problem, there was harmony and love among all foreigners/emigrants and British people. Since U.K started supporting USA, blindly, on Wars and let her troops enter the foreign soil, things started changing. Now if you do a survey of foreign countries, you will be shocked to see the fall down in the ratio of people who want to come to U.K. specially, talented people who are and were the backbone of our economy. We have become so narrow minded and impatient that now being a white British if I say something right in support of any emigrant my own British people will start taunting me. Come on, what has happened to our famous good character? We are a nation of a good name and character. We were famous as peace loving people. We used to welcome people with a sincere smile.

    Now, things are getting worse, because we cannot throw out all emigrants specially these so called PAKIS. Go to your NHS and see whats the nationaity of the best doctors, go to your economical strucutre and see who is supporting it. And what will we do with these people who are born here? You are pushing them to be your slaves but long those days are gone. You will have a strong reaction, which is increasing with event like this one. And our peaceful homeland will become a hell. We should think about the day when eventually USA will see what Russia saw because of his war-ventures. And then we will be left alone to face the music from the people who we are hurting. I can see a very tough time coming ahead…

  26. aqil says:

    Now here we can see that if human is to make the laws then they follow their low desires and then they twist them as the reality changes. So do the humans have ability to make laws?

  27. Andy says:

    @Shell, that is because unlike all the other people who had something to say about Azhar, Scott is a solider with a lot of responsibility and some of the stuff he said was very disturbing. I worry about a guy who says he takes joy in killing people including children and women. Many of of his comments date back over the course of 4 months, so bringing up the Azhar story is pointless, all it did was highlight Scott McHugh’s previous comments. Scotty boy broke the law and hopefully he will face the music. You can defend him as much as you want, the damage is done.

  28. MDN says:

    This article is now redundant. McHugh’s has been discharged from the Armed Forces.

  29. Andy says:

    He wasnt discharged for his racist comment though, he was discharged last week for something else. The Yorkshire Regiment doesn’t have to deal with the issue, but the police and the courts will have to, the issue isnt redundant until he is up in front of judge like Azhar.

  30. Itsme says:

    He made those racist remarks because the 5 of the 6 soldiers who died were his best friends. I’m sure if your friends died then someone started saying shit about them you’d be angry too.

    • Sema says:

      if my friends died and they were fighting or on duty, i wouldnt spout racist filth.
      stop trying to sugar coat it. there is no excuse for racism. what he said was wrong. what they’ve both said was wrong.

  31. P J Cawkwell says:

    The views expressed by Azhar Ahmed weren’t racially offensive, from what I saw they were generally abusive/offensive to HM Forces’ and the work they do after a tragic incident which saw Afghanistan civilians killed.

    That is fact.

    The views expressed by Scott McHugh, Ben Wilson and Danny Harrison were racially abusive and, like Mr Ahmed’s comments, were posted in a public area for people to see.

    People have become offended by both sets of comments and reported these to the police.

    There is a massive difference between what Mr McHugh and Mr Ahmed posted. Mr Ahmed never threatened to kill anyone, for exmaple, “towel heads”, nor, to my knowledge, did he use racially offensive words such as “Paki”. What Mr Ahmed did was to abuse someone in a way that was strongly worded, borderline but not over the top. He said “i wish you all british soliders could “fokkin die.” That’s not racially offensive is it?

    If I was in the HM Forces and I said that I was going to another country, a sovereign state, to kill people, that is terrorism as your intention is to cause terror amongst the general populous. Mr Ahmed never said this was his intention.

    That is fact.

    What has happened to the soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan/Northern Ireland is deeply traumatic for their families, but it’s a predictably dangerous situation and watching the Prime Minister read out the list of dead every Wednesday at PMQ’s is a very sad and upsetting event for everyone, including British Muslims, they don’t want their school mates to be killed/blown up in another country, chasing oil/former CIA operative.

    However, Mr McHugh needs to try and make sense of why people are angry about what he said…he is fighting for HRH Queen Elizabeth and he has said, as an official representative of our Monarch, that he is going to commit murder in another country whilst on official business as a member of the Armed Forces. That could possibly be a Breach of the Geneva Convention. If it isn’t an actual breach then it could certainly be a breach of the general spirit of the Code. That is massively different to venting genuine anger/upset/frustration about a soldier shooting women and children in a random attack.

    Nobody deserves to die, not soldiers, civilians, children, women or rebel fighters. They are dying in vain.

    All this racism, hate and fighting is a waste of time.

    Nobody deserves to die.

    Rest In Peace

  32. Andy says:

    @Itsme sorry mate, but he made those remarks last year and has made many more since, don’t use the death of 6 soldiers to excuse his racism. As i understand it he was discharged last week for something else and also is now at the police station, as posted by his friend on facebook. The guy is a liability and the army don’t need his sort ruining their reputation.

  33. Becky says:

    I think your all sick blaming scott , if that other lad didn’t make the comment then scott wouldn’t be a target u need to grow up bet everyone on this site has made a nasty comment to another race so don’t act all innocent now! Grow up and forget about it ! & he isn’t even in Army any more so need to get all the facts before shaming his name!

  34. Peacekeeper says:

    Why are people crying over Scott? He is a blatant racist! And so are all the friends of his who have made bad comments. Azhar made himself look bad, but he also told the truth: Innocent people have died because of troops. FACT.

    We can all hope the mentality Scott has, doesn’t make him do something STUPID abroad.

    As a Britishman, I can say that such people don’t deserve to be in the army, nevermind standing up for Britain.

  35. Peacekeeper says:

    Moral of the story folks?

    Stop being so stupid and be tolerant of eachother. Or karma will come and bite you in the ass.

  36. Sacko says:

    I’ll answer in one of my stream of consciousness rambles, things that come to mind as i read it.

    Azhar Ahmed is a silly young man, full of idealistic and no doubt a bit of nationalistic fervour, doubtless egged on by his equally testosterone fuelled mates. He wants to be in a big gang so he can be slapped on the back by his peers. He should have had more sense.

    Goes double for those who replied.

    US servicemen goes on rampage. Insane civilian serial killers do that from time to time in the USA, so that it happens in the army in a war zone is not that surprising. Dehumanise and train people to kill for a nation and what do you really expect?

    Goes double for those in the taliban.

    Were Azhar’s remarks, racist? Not really. Well a bit. Should he be arrested and charged? Well hang on a bit.

    Should those who threatened to kill the ‘paki bastard’ be arrested and charged. Yes. But only if he is too. Otherwise you don’t merely stoke the fire of racism and BNPness, you pour the contents of an oil refinery on, bury it all a mile deep in firelighters, dry straw and coal, float the lot onto a lake of propane and then send a blind man out on a raft to juggle flaming torches. ANYONE making any kind of remark like that should be dealt with be he black, white, asian, or green with polka dots. There should be a statutory penalty for it.

    Is this becoming a police state? Are people being arrested for saying anti-state things? I don’t think so. This incident happened in an area with a large asian population and I daresay a lot of the police are asians themselves. Azhar should not have said it.
    If the people who reacted are not charged it is a big mistake and another raft is loaded and Stevie Wonder is lighting his torches.

    You can publically call for an end to the war and demonstrate in the street without fear of arrest. You can say anti-monarchist things without fear of arrest. You can call for revolution without fear of arrest. So we are not, as we speak, a police state. In other countries you can do none of the above. Political capital should not be made over this incident.

    Having said that, the police have always been and will always be officious and stupid. It goes with the territory. A uniform and someone to shout at gives many people wood.
    The average copper is not by and large, the brightest star in the firmament. few in any position of authority are, councils, MPs, police, car park attendants, managers, nightclub bouncers etc etc etc.

    Muddle and inefficiency are mankind’s only hope of freedom. Embrace it.

    The state has always and will always put property and money ahead of people. It does not really care about you. Why people lick it’s arse is beyond me.
    Kill for britain or kill for Allah, two sides of a crappy coin fished out of a gents urinal piss trough. People matter more. Fuck all nationalism, fuck all flags, fuck all politicians. We should all join hands. Or at least try to tolerate each other. The next door neighbour may be a muslim with green hair and seventeen kids but as long as she keeps her music down, who cares?

    Having said that, the world can, according to David attenborough, support a mere 1.8 billion living the lifestyle we live in the west. Volunteers to downgrade their lifestyle to that approximating a third world country form an orderly queue.

    Freedom of speech is fine as long as you remember that with freedom comes responsibility. You are free to walk down golders green high street in a nazi uniform if you really want but I wouldn’t risk it. But some idiot will always think such stuff is clever. Which is why we need laws that must be applied without prejudice to control it.

    Just thoughts. Feel free to destroy at will.

  37. James says:

    Its funny how its so difficult to get in the Army at the moment which is what im currently in the process of doing, then someone like Scott and his racist friends have served or are serving.
    Yes the Army is primarily there for conventional warfighting but its also there for peacekeeping and humanitarian aid and racism is not part of any of these categories.
    Honestly its made me think twice about the kind of people i would be serving alongside and what morals these people have, i don’t automatically think the whole British Army is racist but it definitely worries me how these sort of people get in and what are there real intentions.