As I have said repeatedly on this blog and elsewhere, I am no fan of the so-called BBC. I see no other group of people that has done more to poison political debate over the past twenty years than the corrupt denizens of Jimmy Savile House. Whilst loudly proclaiming their progressivism, the so-called BBC continue to be funded by what is effectively a poll tax and are in bed with some of the most unpleasant and far right misogynists, homophobes and anti-Semites in Britain today.
Nick Cohen, a columnist for the Observer newspaper I have praised before, is to be commended for a programme he presented on Radio 4 which he provocatively called ‘The Silence of the Liberals.’ I have made a few comments below but I would urge everyone to listen to Cohen’s excoriation of the “deepest silence” he finds amongst Western ‘liberals’ who for reasons best known to themselves have allied with the Islamist hard right to defend the inequality suffered by women in Islamic ‘communities’ in the UK, “inequalities that would never be accepted if white women had to endure them.”
Forty years ago, Edward Said (a man I have no time for and whose views I do not support) coined the term ‘Orientalism.’ This is the patronising view that non-Westerners are not developed enough or not rational enough to enjoy the same human rights and democratic liberties as Europeans and Americans. To the racist apostles of identity politics who infest the internet, the only true Muslim is an angry, bearded fanatic flanked by his silent, burka-clad wife (or wives). Cohen rightly class this “the racism of low expectations.”
Amina Lone, a Labour city councillor says that “liberal and progressive Muslims are not putting their heads above the parapet because they are scared.” This is Britain in 2018 we are talking about. Lone has been deselected by her local Labour Party for daring to lead a campaign against little girls being forced to wear hijabs at school. She has received scant support for her ideas because “white feminists see it as not their problem.”
Maajid Nawaz, founder of the counter-extremism organisation Quilliam, defines ‘Islamism’ as the desire to impose any interpretation of Islam on the whole of society; he rejects this because it is theocracy not democracy. Nawaz defines ‘Jihadism’ as violence used to impose Islamism. For this, he has been denounced as an ‘Islamophobe’ by the Southern Poverty Law Centre. As Cohen remarks…
“We are watching the astonishing spectacle of non-Muslims telling actual Muslims that they are anti-Muslim bigots.”
The hypocrisy and double standards that refuses to criticise powerful countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia for their misogyny and homophobia, quite apart from their crushing of all and any dissent, is denounced by veteran gay rights activist, Peter Tatchell. The strangeness of the modern Left is demonstrated by the experiences of Maryam Namazie, a woman who campaigns against both Muslim Sharia courts and Jewish Beth Din courts because they discriminate against women. When Namazie spoke at Goldsmith’s, she was subjected to intimidation and disruption from the university’s Islamic Society. And the Feminist Society at Goldsmiths supported the Islamic Society! That violent, male, far right theocrats are preferred by self-proclaimed feminists to a person like Maryam Namazie – female, a person of colour, an immigrant to these shores, an atheist and a feminist – is evidence of the topsy-turvy times in which we live.
The growing power of the religious right in the UK must be alarming to anyone with a passing knowledge of history and current affairs. In Pakistan and Bangladesh anyone who dares to criticise Islam is subject to accusations of ‘blasphemy,’ an entirely victimless crime. In more secular Britain, ‘Islamophobia’ is the preferred accusation of the Islamist hard right. But the same, violent, dictatorial mindset is behind both these accusations.
Again, don’t take my word for it. Please listen to Cohen’s brave and informative documentary. The link can be found in the second paragraph of this post.