Tomorrow it will be people who march in the streets

Julie Bindel talked to some secular feminist women in Paris about the current situation.

The Left has allowed its tendency to blame the West for everything to offer a justification for terrorism as resistance to colonialism, imperialism and capitalism. As a lifelong feminist, and firmly of the Left, I have long been bitterly disappointed with those who supposedly campaign for women’s rights yet capitulate to Islamofascist men. Such women, in the UK, France and other European countries, have given their support to Sharia courts, the wearing of the full-face veil, arranged marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), and gender segregation in public places. Supporting traditional Islam flies in the face of feminism, and even of basic equality between men and women.

Ana Pak is an Iranian secular feminist who works with refugees arriving in France from Iran, Afghanistan and Syria. Pak grew up during Khomeini’s rule. “The word Islamophobic comes from 1979 when [Ayatollah] Khomeini came to power and women went to the streets and marched to be free of the veil,” she says. “Khomeini and the Islamists obliged them to wear the veil, and that’s when they started calling these women Islamophobic.”

Pak had to leave Iran for France because of the whole secular feminist thing – that’s not what Khomeini had in mind.

Having escaped prison, she expected to be able to continue her anti-Islam activism in the democratic, secular country of her exile. “I was shocked to find that the French Left was capitulating to the Islamists, and that I was soon labelled as Islamophobic for resisting its doctrine. I have never stopped working against or fighting Islamists, in Iran first of all, and then in France. In Iran I was involved with the Left, but the Left has lost its raison d’être. Now the Left use the same words that the Islamists have used in their own campaign.”

Pak was dismayed by the reaction of some French citizens to the Charlie Hebdo attacks. “Immediately following the attacks at Charlie Hebdo I went in the evening with some feminist friends to the Place de la République, where we assembled to support the people who were killed. Two of my friends had banners with typical feminist slogans, like ‘No to the veil’ and ‘No extremism’, but the French people that were already there asked them to remove them because they could cause offence.”

This was immediately after the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo.

“After the Hebdo killings, a common reaction was to blame the journalists who ‘dared’ to criticise Islam, saying they were guilty of blasphemy. Now Islamists are killing those who drink wine and who go to concerts. Tomorrow it will be people who march in the streets. Islamists are taking power in France, and what they want once they are in power is to achieve absolute submission.”

Those who use the history of French colonialism to justify the massacres are misguided, she says. “Islamists have taken power in Iran against Iranians, in Syria against the Christians, in France against those who go out and drink wine. So the people who blame colonialism are wrong.”

I want to know Ana Pak.

There’s a lot more: read on.

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