Ahmed and Aaronovitch

Another interesting pairing. This piece by David Aaronovitch and this one by Ishtiaq Ahmed. They say some parallel things.


When the Muslim theologian was asked to give an example of where the secular concept of human rights might be seen as deficient by other societies, his immediate answer was: ‘Women’s rights.’ Did secularists not understand, he asked, that there were cultures in which women did not want equal rights? ‘How do you know what they want?’ I snapped at him. ‘Have you polled them?’…And this, it seems to me, is what it always boils down to…Why is it that when God speaks through man, he so resolutely demands that women are subordinate?…It is extraordinary how mainstream religions devote themselves to the unequal restraint of women, this restraint acting as the glue that holds their cultures together.

It is, isn’t it. And Ahmed:

This suspicion is confirmed when we remember that the Islamists almost never champion the rights of the exploited and dispossessed and spend most of their time giving vent to anger against the imagined liberation of women. It is alleged to result in laxity of moral standards and thus subversive of Islamic morals.

Women, Dalits, obedience, submission, tradition. It’s important stuff. People who have the whip hand are not always easily persuaded to give it up. And now that they’ve discovered the fine new dodge of calling it Multiculturalism and claiming the victim role themselves – why, their ownership of the whip gets perpetuated a good while longer…

2 Responses to “Ahmed and Aaronovitch”