While 'debunking' a historian, this alt-right commentator got owned again

Josh Withey@josh_withey
Thursday 27 July 2017 10:15
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Picture:(YouTube screengrab)

History is a complex and wondrous thing, and it's always wise to get your facts straight before you make sweeping statements.

Earlier this week Paul Joseph Watson, a right-wing YouTuber and editor-at-large for the website Infowars, got noticeably upset when a historian pointed out that the Roman empire was more diverse than he believed it had been.

The twitter-storm in a teacup was formed after Watson had watched a BBC educational YouTube video for seven to 11-year-olds on what life was like in Roman Britain.

In the animated short, certain characters were depicted as being black. This alleged 'historical inaccuracy' angered the YouTuber and lead to this tweet.

A historian later replied that the Roman Empire was actually "ethnically diverse by design," and made a series of very interesting points. You can read the whole thread here.

In response to the historian's Twitter thread, which quickly went viral, Watson proceeded to make a YouTube video 'debunking' the whole thing and blaming the BBC's animation choices on 'political correctness'.

Throwing up images from various sources of ancient Rome, Watson points out the number of white people depicted and the absence of black people.

While doing this he also uses a number of derogatory terms, including:

Yeah, a lot of honkies in that painting.

Picture: YouTube screengrab(YouTube screengrab)

At the tail end of the rambling monologue, Watson suggests sequels to the BBC educational video, including an "insight into how British women lived during the Victorian era," while displaying a picture of women wearing niqab, burqa and hijab.

It was a point he previously made in this tweet.

Unfortunately for Watson he was once again eerily close to a nugget of truth.

One Twitter user helpfully pointed out that Muslims began openly practising their faith in London from the 16th century onward, while the first mosque was built in 1889 (the latter half of the Victorian era).

The mosque Twitter user Otto English is referring to, is the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking and was the first purpose built mosque in England at the time.

Picture: YouTube screengrab(YouTube screengrab)

The mosque's official website says it was built in 1889 by Dr Gottleib Wilhelm Leitner and "has the honour of being listed as a historical Grade 2 building".

And according to Exploring Surrey's Past, Queen Victoria's Indian servants and her Indian secretary, Abdul Karim, used the mosque when the Queen visited Windsor Castle.

It continues:

Initially a small number of Muslims, students and visiting dignitaries, used the Mosque but following Leitner’s death in 1899, the Mosque closed.

The Mosque later re-opened and remains in use to this day.

As this is a fairly under reported chapter of British religious history, a short cartoon on Muslims in the Victorian era would be actually be quite informative and probably quite an interesting watch.

Great idea Paul.

More: Alt-right commentator claims Romans weren't ethnically diverse, gets owned by actual historian

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