As we know, much of the Left (the “nonliberal” or “authoritarian” or “regressive” Left) has made concessions to illiberalism. When a religion whose members are mostly “people of color,” like, Islam, then it’s considered judicious to ignore the oppressive beliefs of that religion: homophobia, misogyny, censorship, demonization and calls for the murder of cartoonists, nonbelivers and apostates, corporal punishment, and so on. In other words, when pigmentation conflicts with oppression, this part of the Left favors pigmentation. The color of one’s skin takes precedence over the content of one’s character.
Here is a case in point. A 17-year-old Muslim girl was filmed with a cellphone “twerking” (dancing in a provocative manner while wiggling the butt) in the streets of Birmingham. The film was put on YouTube; have a look (it may disappear soon):
Guess what happened?
Yep, you’re right. She was vilified. As News.com.au reports:
Footage of her dancing was later uploaded online, and attracted a barrage of hateful comments.
One wrote: “That’s so disrespectful is you are wearing hijab you are representing Islam respect dignity so how to act like a fool that is a big disrespect.”
Another said: “Truly disgusting.
“Some people don’t understand the meaning of the veil.”
One even said she “needs to be killed”.
The “hijab” comment shows what we all know: it’s not just an “empowering” article of clothing, but a symbol of oppression—something that, when you wear it, mandates that you must behave in a certain way.
The comments also included these: “F*****g s**t someone give me her address I will kill her”. Another man seconded: “Stupid b****h needs to be killed”. It’s not clear how many of these comments came from Britain versus Muslim-majority countries, but given that many were in English, they certainly reflect the sentiments of some British Muslims.
Of course to avoid vilification or even murder, the twerking girl had to express contrition in public. From News.com.au:
She later gave an emotional interview to Muslim YouTube star Ali Dawah.
The teenager, who has not been named, told him during a phone interview: “To all the girls that wear hijab and wear abayah, I’m sorry for disrespecting it.
“I’ve learnt from my mistake.
“It’s gone viral and I’m just hurt, I just want everybody to leave it alone and keep everything away, I don’t want it to be how it was and I am not going to do anything like that again.
“I am sorry for disrespecting it and thank you to all of you that helped, it’s up to Allah to judge, at the end of the day I will be judged for it, not you guys.”
She also says that she has “problems”, “didn’t think straight,” and was suffering from depression that began when she was 13. No wonder she was depressed, growing up in a culture like that!
Dawah’s Video of Shame and Contrition is below; the girl’s groveling and apologies begin at 5:29, accompanied by her crying, and it’s ineffably sad. To his credit, Dawah rejects the vilification heaped on the girl, and says the video should be taken down, but he also heavily criticizes her behavior, calling it “really bad,” “inappropriate,” “sinful”, and even “the work of the devil.” He offers to put the girl in touch with “some good sisters in Birmingham” to help her. (Read: to make sure she henceforth stays in line.)
Dawah’s job here is to reinforce the standards of sharia law, and he and his co-broadcaster blame music as being partly responsible for the girl’s “grave sin”. As he says, “This is why music is harm. . . it’s the work of [inaudible, but probably the Muslim Satan].” But they express hope that the girl will shape up, get married and “wear niqab.” Niqab! (That’s a face covering, in case you’ve forgotten).
The two guys, for all their pretend compassion, are really trying to keep women in line and recommend appropriate rehabilitation. They are—and I say this without irony—instruments of the Muslim patriarchy. They’re young, but when they grow up they’ll enforce the same oppression that this woman experienced—and in Britain!
Maajid Nawaz on LBC radio (“Leading Britain’s Conversation”) didn’t pull any punches. He’s a Muslim, but abhors these threats and calls out feminists for not joining him (click on the screenshot to go to his 3½-minute video.)
Part of the transcript, which you can see here:
“What happened next [after the video was posted] is chilling. It will freeze the blood within your very body. Amid threats in YouTube comment threads, such as ‘effing, swear word, someone give me her address I will kill her’ and ‘stupid, swear word, needs to be killed’, the young girl was dragged onto a page by a pair of religious fundamentalists, who at first posted a picture in disgust at her dancing, and in a recorded audio, was forced into an online repentance.
“A public, tearful, apology, repentance and retraction, merely for dancing. Welcome to the United Kingdom in 2017. We may have just witnessed our first online religious fundamentalist inquisition.
“Initiated, conducted, and concluded, all online. And the worst part of this? Is it happened a couple of days before International Women’s Day, and you’d be forgiven for not having heard of it.
“Not a single global, nor national, feminist movement adopted this as a cause. Not a single mainstream, left wing nor liberal, media outlet reported on this.
“And I am wondering whether feminists are too busy picking first world fights while neglecting the minorities within minority communities. Like women within Muslim communities, who face a triple threat, who are discriminated from three different directions.
“One for being people of colour. Two, for being women within patriarchal communities that tell them they can’t work, or they can’t leave the home, or they have to submit to arranged marriages, or FGM, or any other form of oppression.
“And three, because they are Muslim, they’re also suspected by the outside world. The triple threat that women within Muslim communities face is heavy as a burden.
“And I think feminists are too busy picking first world fights while under their noses, within their own country, things like this are happening.”
Nawaz is of course correct; you won’t find mention of this incident in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Jezebel, or Everyday Feminism. No, those sites are devoted to glorifying the hijab, the very symbol of this kind of oppression (see here and here, for instance). You’ll find this news only on the conservative websites and British tabloids, like the Sun, the Daily Fail, Breitbart and Heat Street. Such is the unholy agreement between true liberals and bigoted conservatives. But even conservatives can be right about things, even if for the wrong reasons.
Some people say, “There’s no such thing as the Regressive Left. It’s a fiction—a strawman.” It isn’t. The Regressive Left are those who refuse to condemn the oppression of women when it’s done by Muslims. That’s regressive by any definition, for it takes us back to the bad old days when women were considered second-class citizens and their opportunities were limited. You would think that feminists, especially in Britain, would decry this kind of oppression: amidst their own struggles and protestations of victimhood, that they could spare a word or two for their Muslim sisters. If a woman can wear what she wants, shouldn’t she be able to dance if she wants? And if she does, she shouldn’t get death threats, shouldn’t be vilified, shouldn’t be forced to apologize in tears and promise to repent. Isn’t that behavior that feminists should call out? But we know why they don’t.
One person who did is Maryam Namazie, spokesperson for Iran Solidarity, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.