Leave? Of course you can’t leave

The forces of progressivism cover themselves in glory again.

Labour (PvdA) has been trying to muzzle a young PvdA member who is fighting for the rights and safety of Muslim apostates. An internal memo shows that the party fears the campaign of Ehsan Jami will cause it electoral damage and enrage Muslims.

The party fears the campaign of Ehsan Jami to protect the rights and safety of people who don’t want to be Muslims will enrage Muslims, and therefore they try to silence it or adjust it or make it not quite so – er. Because…because a ‘community’ has every right to prevent people from leaving their ‘community’ and therefore people who do leave or try to leave should have no rights and no safety. Is that it? So if you’re a Baptist, you have to stay a Baptist; if you’re a Tory, you don’t get to stop being a Tory; if you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’re not allowed to grow out of it. Is that it? No; but that is it when it comes to ‘Muslim apostates’; and a left-wing party is trying to prevent one of its members from improving the situation. It (apparently) wants Muslims to go on being forced to be Muslims for life whether they want to or not; it wants Muslims alone among the peoples of the earth to have zero choice of beliefs and allegiances; it wants Muslims and only Muslims to be permanently trapped in a religion that will kill them rather than let them simply unjoin. A pretty drastic abridgement of freedom, yet the PvdA doesn’t want it messed with. Well, solidarity forever, that’s all I can say.

Jami announced in May he was setting up a Committee for Ex-Muslims. The committee wants to break the taboo on lapsing from the Islamic faith. The 22 year old Jami, himself an apostate of Islam, says many Muslims do not dare to renounce Islam for fear of reprisals, including death. Jami…will launch the committee officially in September with an international press conference. He says he has already had hundreds of e-mails from Muslims from throughout the world who support him.

Well yeah but those are the wrong kind of Muslims, the ones who believe people should be able to decide for themselves, the ones who are all freedom-loving and Westernized and inauthentic, so who cares what they think, what matters is what the community thinks.

Jami is supported by philosopher and political commentator Afshin Ellian. NRC Handelsblad quoted MP Wolfsen as saying that Ellian has “a very anti-Islam agenda.” But apart from Ellian, who is an Iranian refugee, Jami is “almost exclusively surrounding himself with whites”, which is unwise, Terstal’s email states.

Well yeah. One non-white who is really a white because of having a very anti-Islam agenda, and all the rest are whites, therefore – well I don’t need to spell it out, do I.

Terstall acknowledged in a reaction that his intervention was to some extend dubious, but necessary in the party’s interests. “I do not want to rein in Jami’s enthusiasm, but he must be effective. There are words that he uses that act like a red rag to a bull in the Muslim community, which already has little self-confidence.”

I knew the community would turn up eventually, if I waited long enough; and there it is – all lacking self-confidence, poor thing, so therefore we mustn’t say that people should be able to leave a religion if they want to without being threatened or killed.

Jami said yesterday…that he is not surprised that his party is trying to ‘guide’ him. “It is typical of the PvdA. They do not seem to be able to deal well with this sort of question.” Jami compares his situation with that of the meanwhile world-famous Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who switched from PvdA to the conservatives (VVD) at the beginning of her career because she was not allowed by PvdA to speak freely about the emancipation of Islamic women. Jami is however for now refusing to leave the PvdA and will carry on with his committee. “I want to change the party from inside.”

It sounds as if the party needs it.

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