Peter Tatchell wants to know.

Why is much of the left and the liberal media ignoring the struggle for democracy and women’s rights in Iran?…Sunday’s demonstration was the latest in a series. It was called in solidarity with five women activists who are on trial after they staged a peaceful rally last June against Islamic laws that discriminate against women – in particular the sexist laws on polygamy and child custody. The five activists in the dock are Nusheen Ahmadi Khorasani, Parvin Ardalan, Sussan Tahmasebi, Shahla Entesari and Fariba Davoodi Mohajer. For holding a peaceful protest, they are charged with endangering national security, propaganda against the state, and taking part in an illegal gathering…The liberal western media – including The Guardian – has mostly failed to report these women’s protests and their bloody suppression. The left, too, ignores the heroic struggle of the women of Iran. Misogyny and police brutality are not okay in Britain, but apparently acceptable in Tehran. Why the double standards?

Why indeed? Absence of mind? Distance? More pressing concerns? Or something more sinister.

There are several interesting comments there too, worth sorting through the usual CisF deluge. This one for instance –

I work in human rights advocacy and have become appalled at the manner in which elements across the entire spectrum of the left have become hostile to universal human rights. Those who condemn homophobia in Saudi Arabia are silenced, those who speak out for Muslims who convert to Christianity and face prison or death are condemned, those who challenge violently misogynistic laws and practices in Pakistan or Afghanistsan are dismissed. The ethical core of the left is being rotted by moral relativism. It is a woeful and tragic spectacle.

I’m not sure it is exactly moral relativism, at least not in a broad sense. It’s more like geographico-politico relativism, or that combined with a mistaken idea of politeness – it’s not good manners to criticize other countries or cultures – even if segments of those countries are busy campaigning against manifest gross injustice and would love our solidarity and support.

There’s also a fair amount of sinister nonsense (or sinister balls, as they used to call it around the NS) about Maryam Namazie, and ‘the mainstream organisations of British Muslims’ meaning the MCB, and all this does is encourage fascists and racists – in short, sinister balls of the kind that demonstrates exactly the kind of stupidity Tatchell is asking about. Know the enemy.

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