Aslam ‘leaves’ Guardian

Well, that’s how the headline read. But if you read the first paragraph, you’ll find his contract was actually terminated:

Trainee journalist Dilpazier Aslam had his contract with the Guardian terminated today.
The move followed an internal inquiry into Aslam’s membership of the political organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir.

A statement said: “The Guardian now believes continuing membership of the organisation to be incompatible with his continued employment by the company.”

“Mr Aslam was asked to resign his membership but has chosen not to. The Guardian respects his right to make that decision but has regretfully concluded that it had no option but to terminate Mr Aslam’s contract with the company.”

So he wouldn’t leave gracefully. They had to fire him. Of course this isn’t Aslam’s fault – it’s the fault of right wing US bloggers’ relentlessly ‘targeting’ him:

Rightwing bloggers from the US, where the Guardian has a large online following, were behind the targeting last week of a trainee Guardian journalist who wrote a comment piece which they did not care for about the London bombings.

The story is a demonstration of the way the ‘blogosphere’ can be used to mount obsessively personalised attacks at high speed.

Within hours, Dilpazier Aslam was being accused on the internet of “violence” and belonging to a “terrorist organisation” – both completely untrue charges.

Really now? Then why did the Guardian paper see fit to terminate his contract? Surely us “right wing US bloggers” don’t have that much influence on a European paper, do we?

Wink to Jim Treacher, who brought the second link to my attention.