Scott Long and the fake ‘Muslim’ identity?
‘Zayed Salloum’ invented to praise Long & smear Tatchell?
London - 13 December 2010
Mystery surrounds Scott Long and his ‘Muslim’ supporter and ‘LGBT’ activist, ‘Zayed Salloum.
A sock puppet created either by or for Scott Long?
Evidence suggests that Salloum is a fake online identity invented to praise Long and smear human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell with false allegations.
Salloum’s emails were traced to computers in the New York headquarters of Human Rights Watch (HRW), where Long worked. No one by the name of Zayed Salloum is known to be employed by HRW. Mere coincidence?
Some people have concluded that Zayed Salloum is probably a false identity invented by Scott Long to boost his own standing and to undermine other human rights campaigners - in particular, Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
There may be an innocent explanation but neither Scott Long nor HRW have provided it. The evidence is purely circumstantial but it appears to implicate Long in acts of self-serving deception.
This is the back story:
Until 2010, Scott Long was Director of the LGBT Programme at HRW. From 2005 onwards, he waged a series of vicious personal attacks on Peter Tatchell and US journalist Doug Ireland, including what were later revealed to be false allegations against Tatchell.
Many of Long’s untrue claims concerned Tatchell’s campaign against Iran’s execution of men on charges of homosexuality. He also made allegations of anti-Muslim prejudice against Tatchell, for which there was no evidence.
Zayed Salloum joined the fray. He posted lavish praise of Scott Long and made poisonous, untrue claims against Tatchell on LGBT email lists and other media - and condemned other campaigners who dissented from Long’s analysis and politics.
Salloum gave the impression of not knowing Long and having no association with HRW.
Having a name that sounded Middle Eastern / Arab / Muslim was convenient. It gave Salloum special credibility in some LGBT and human rights circles. He certainly helped boost Scott Long’s reputation.
Long is a white westerner who claims to be an authority on the Middle East and Iran. It was very helpful for him to have an ally who was apparently Muslim and from the Middle East.
The only problem is:
Zayed Salloum suddenly popped up out of nowhere in 2006, solely to praise Long and rubbish Long’s critics. There is no record of him previously posting any other comments on any human rights issue. He then disappeared.
Despite giving the impression of being an LGBT activist, searches reveal no LGBT campaigner by the name of Zayed Salloum.
Moreover, Salloum’s emails emanated from a computer inside Long’s workplace, the HRW headquarters.
An email sent by Zayed Salloum to Queer Jihad on 6 October 2006 states that it was sent from “[22.214.171.124]” This IP address was at the time confirmed as belonging to a computer in HRW’s New York offices, where Long worked.
All this evidence points to the strong possibility that Zayed Salloum is a sock puppet created by or for Scott Long.
When HRW discovered Long’s smears and false allegations against Tatchell in June 2010, Executive Director, Kenneth Roth, issued a public apology to Tatchell and forced Long to also apologise. The apology said sorry for “inappropriate...disparaging...inaccurate...condemnatory...intemperate personal attacks.”
Soon afterwards, Scott Long left HRW.
You can draw your own conclusions.
The UK publisher Routledge has since issued a public apology to Peter Tatchell over “misrepresentations and distortions” and “inaccurate allegations” made by Scott Long in his essay on Iran which it published in its journal Contemporary Politics in March 2009.
Read the apology here: