All that makes rational discussion virtually impossible

Jamie Palmer takes a long hard look at the pro-Islamist left and its shameful behavior to Maryam and other ex-Muslims, secular Muslims, apostates, refuseniks.

And so it was that when ISOC misrepresented the event as an unhappy tale of marginalization and Islamophobia, both the Goldsmiths Feminist Society and the LGBTQ+ Society quickly released statements pledging their support and solidarity with ISOC.

“We support them,” FemSoc soberly declared:

…in condemning the actions of the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society and agree that hosting known islamophobes at our university creates a climate of hatred. 

Two days later, the LGBTQ+ Society came up with this:

We condemn AHS and online supporters for their islamophobic remarks, attitudes, and harassment. If they feel intimidated, we urge them to look at the underpinnings of their ideology. We find that personal and social harm enacted in the name of ‘free speech’ is foul, and detrimental to the wellbeing of students and staff on campus.

In a positively craven gesture, the Goldsmiths Student Union has since written to Namazie requesting that the recording of the event be removed from youtube. (She refused.)

Students, lefty students, siding with theocrats against their opponents and victims. Here’s a newsflash in the form of a generalization: theocracy can never be part of the left. Theocracy is inherently reactionary. Theocracy is all about arbitrary unaccountable power, and the left is all about resisting arbitrary unaccountable power. UK students really need to wake up and figure this out.

The dismal spectacle of radical queer activists, feminists, and sundry other progressives, professing solidarity with Islamists is at once fascinating and enraging. Whatever kind of higher education survives in ISOC’s utopian caliphate, it’s certain that no feminist or LGBTQ+ societies will be permitted to exist.

But for radical university students in the West, their lives of almost unparalleled opportunity, privilege, and comfort are a source of considerable guilt and anxiety. So conspiratorial notions of omnipresent oppression have been contrived against which they oblige themselves to struggle. This idea is supported by claims that liberal democracy is a sham, that objectivity is illusory, and that reason is elitist. And since all that makes rational discussion virtually impossible, debates about ideas are transformed into competing professions of woe, decided by whoever turns out to be subject to the greater degree of structural oppression.

And you know where that leads to? It turns out it leads to circular firing squads, where putative radicals purge their own radical colleagues while the actual oppressors sit back and laugh.

It would be bad enough if university activists were simply indifferent to Islamist ideology and its victims. But when they go out of their way to attack people like Namazie as a bigot and an oppressor, and to dismiss her arguments and experiences as therefore unworthy of consideration, they make the lives of all campaigners against fundamentalism considerably more difficult. Apart from the aggravation caused by having to deal with the abuse and defamation itself, it forces them to fight a war on two fronts.

I have seen Namazie speak a number of times, and on each occasion she has had to waste time explaining the exasperating moral blindness of people whose support for secularism and universal human rights ought to be a foregone conclusion. But those who recoil from politically incorrect music or an infelicitous joke find they have nothing to say about honor-based violence, forced marriage, the execution of gays and apostates, or the veiling, stoning, subjugation, and genital mutilation of women. Afraid to be seen to lend their support to racist and Imperialist ‘narratives’, they instead assuage their guilty consciences by denouncing those whose activism shames their silence.

Fortunately it’s not the whole of the left. Obviously it’s not: Maryam herself is very much of the left. The fight against theocracy is a left-wing fight. But while not the whole it is a dismayingly large fraction.


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