Politics & Current Affairs

Get Your Face Out for The Lads

burqas-or-bikinis-l-fq9zzdJim’s not keen on the burka. He thinks – the verb ‘thinks’ is used very loosely here, you understand –  and I quote: “ I have nothing against Muslim religion but feel wearing burka is very wrong it is demeaning of women.”

His attitude toward the burqa is most instructive. One that seems to be shared by a number of non-Muslim, white anglo-saxon men.

For example, one was most amused to see a number of anti-burka posts on the Facebook page of a rugby club. Again, these paragons of radical feminism, as rugby clubs are wont to be, were greatly offended by the oppression of their sisters in struggle that the burqa, clearly, represented. I’m sure we can all take comfort, not least campaigners against the sexual harassment of women, that in between rousing beer-fuelled choruses of ‘get your tits out for the lads’  that stout fellows in rugby clubs nationwide are doing their bit for female emancipation.

Similarly, the cream of British manhood I observed outside a hostelry in Kingston, recently, would surely have earned tears of gratitude from oppressed women everywhere – Muslim and non-Muslim alike – with their oh-so post-modern take on a traditional expression of female solidarity. Clutching pints and sporting red faces as a burku-adorned woman hurried by, these delightful specimens chanted, ‘get your face out, get your face out, get your face out for the lads.’

Equally, those implacable opponents of Islam, and that faith’s suppression of its female adherents, in the English Defence League (or what’s left of it) see no contradiction in boasting a membership comprising rapists and child abusers.

Britain First, too, while standing valiantly against the misogyny and sexism of the Islamic faith would be offended if the anti-women antics of its leader were pointed out. After all, it would be churlish to mention that the most fundamental aspect of women’s freedom would be the freedom to control their own bodies, sexuality and fertility. So intimidating and harassing women outside abortion clinics is fine as long as it’s BF Fuhrer Paul Golding doing so and not those dodgy brown Muslim types.

Yes, even the most right-wing troglodyte seems compelled to channel their inner Julie Bindel when it comes to the burqa. It’s not Islamophobia, though, is it? No, perish the thought. Nor racism, either. Of course not; they’re not racist but…

Men are men all over the world, though. And one thing a religious lunatic, of whatever faith, has in common with his white, Western, secular counterpart is a desire to control women. The song remains the same; men telling women what they can and can’t wear. Men telling rape victims that they asked for it because of the length of their skirts and then telling Muslim women that their traditional garb is an offensive symbol of reactionary oppression. White western men defending page 3 topless models because it’s ‘their choice, innit?’ but denying even the possibility that Muslim women can decide to make an entirely different choice. Patriarchal white men critiquing their daughters’ outfits for a night on the town, while railing against poor downtrodden Muslim women forced into covering up by controlling fundamentalist nutters.

The emancipation of women is not best achieved by states imposing bans on what women may or may not wear. Still less will it be won by racist, sexist men covering their Islamophobia with a wafer-thin veneer of ‘feminism.’

Don’t you just love the smell of hypocrisy that floats in on the breeze whenever Islam becomes the topic of conversation?

Politics & Current Affairs

Je Suis Muslim!

hasan's picPhoto by Hasan Hamid.

David Cameron has turned up the heat in the West’s near quarter-century ideological offensive against Muslims.

The Independent reports today that there are to be tougher measures aimed at those Muslims who “…fail to oppose Islamist extremism.” The paper quotes the Prime Minister thus: “People who say, ‘Well, of course I don’t support terrorism. But a caliphate is that such a bad idea?’ Or people who say, ‘Do you know what? Christians and Muslims, we can’t really live together. And suicide bombing [is] alright in Israel, even if it’s not alright in America. “These are unacceptable views. We’ve got to call them out and confront them,” said Mr Cameron. “We’ve got to defeat the narrative of extremism, even when it’s not connected to the violence.”

Of course, the reader will search in vain for similar measures aimed at other faith groups or religions. Demands for white Christian communities to condemn Anders Breivik’s mass-murdering rampage on Utøya were not so much thin on the ground as entirely absent. Indeed, we could reasonably say that Breivik was a direct result of the West’s campaign of politicised Islamophobia. It would be perfectly fair to say, in fact, that Breivik had become’ radicalised.’

It is now a cliché that any acts of violence by individual Muslims or groups of Muslims are automatically designated acts of ‘terrorism.’ Equally, any lynchings, shootings – or fire-bombing of churches favoured by black people by white extremists – are never terrorism; the perpetrators are invariably ‘loners’ who are ‘disturbed’ or suffering from other unnamed mental illnesses. Ditto the white teenagers who shoot up US schools and slaughter children on a depressingly regular basis.

Similarly, the revelation of a paedophile ring comprising predominantly, or exclusively, Muslim men prompts fevered and hysterical commendations of Muslim ‘culture’ (as if Islam is some sort of homogenised group-mind directing the activities of its 1.6 billion adherents) and media commentators endlessly ponder what it is about ‘their’ culture and traditions that predisposes Muslims to child abuse.

The hypocrisy is sickening. There is now, beyond any reasonable doubt, evidence that an establishment paedophile ring has functioned for decades at the heart of British society, involving high-ranking politicians, entertainers and other VIPS. These would be white non-Muslim men, of course. Jimmy Saville alone probably raped and abused more children than every child-abusing follower of Islam in  the UK combined. And we know that Saville was facilitated by scores of other worthies; establishment pals who knew of his activities. As is well known he was a friend and confidant of and to no less a pillar of the white British establishment than Prince Charles…

We can only await the academics, journalists and politicians launching enquires and studies into what it is about white Western Christian culture that produces a desire to rape kids and, if the disturbing anecdotal evidence is to be believed, kill them.

But Christianity, Western neoliberalism, US imperialism can never be the cause of innocent lives lost. Muslims, on the other hand, are guilty until proven innocent.

Cynical political expediency on behalf of the US and its proxies, especially post-911, is the heart of the tsunami of Islamophobia that continues to sweep Europe and the United States. But at home in the UK it’s easily expedited by the legacy of empire and all that that entailed; invasion, genocide, land and resource-theft on an industrial scale and the racist division between them – brown-skinned savages of a psychopathic bloodthirsty bent – and us – enlightened civilised superior white folks.  Who cares about the historical evidence? Islam’s centuries-old civilisation that gifted the world so much in the fields of science, the arts and philosophy? Instead, Richard Dawkins sneering at the alleged paucity of Muslims with degrees.

It’s the sort of mindset that even allows patrician privileged white men to draw a distinction between the methods that they deploy to massacre people and those utilised by ‘them.’ As evidenced by Cameron who, in the same article, referenced “suicide bombs in Israel.” Suicide bombs, clearly, are the sort of despicable tactic beloved of evil Islamic basket-cases while, as anyone knows, a decent white chap will at least have the courtesy of launching napalm, missiles and white phosphorous onto children from the comparative safety of 40,000 feet.

It’s tempting to finish an article like this with the expected condemnation of IS/ISIS/ISIL, call it what you will (although this writer prefers the term Daesh), and to draw a distinction between them and the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims. But that isn’t going to happen. No one should feel compelled to condemn such an outfit; it should be taken as a given.

Instead, let’s offer the PM the best advice for the most effective way of heading off the ‘radicalisation’ of Britain’s Muslims; stop the bombing and invasion of Muslim lands. Stop arming Israel and, instead, condemn the continuing Zionist apartheid and slaughter of the Palestinians.

In the current climate we should all stand up and declare: Je Suis Muslim!