Nick Cohen’s BBC show, “The silence of the liberals”

“We are watching the astonishing spectacle of non-Muslims telling actual Muslims that they’re anti-Muslim bigots”

  —Nick Cohen (11:06 in the show)

 

I’ve often spoken how the American Left and its feminist wing largely ignore the misogyny and oppression of women in Muslim countries of the Middle East. The main reason, of course, is that Muslims are considered “people of color”, which apparently trumps the rights of those having two X chromosomes. But another excuse is that “we should deal with women’s problems closer to home and not those in distant countries.”

That excuse, however, doesn’t apply in the UK, where endemic Muslim communities also practice oppression—not just of women, but of gays, apostates, and atheists. And that’s in the West.  And as in the US, the UK Left shies away from addressing Muslim sexism and misogyny. In this BBC Radio 4 show, Observer columnist Nick Cohen, whose Leftist credentials are impeccable (read his books here and here), exposes the UK Left’s neglect of homophobia and endemic sexism among their countries’ Mulsims, as well as the Left’s lack of support for Muslim reformers like Maajid Nawaz and ex-Muslim reformers like Maryam Namazie.

Here’s the BBC’s summary:

 Observer columnist and writer Nick Cohen thinks mainstream liberal culture and left-wing politicians are failing to help progressive Muslims who want to fight inequalities endorsed by culture and religion in their their communities. He calls this the “racism of the anti-racist”.

Forty years ago, Edward Said coined the term “Orientalism” to condemn the West’s patronising representations of the “exotic” East, whose inhabitants were too irrational to handle the freedoms Americans and Europeans enjoyed.

In this programme, Nick Cohen examines evidence that this old colonial condescension is re-emerging in 2018, He interviews frustrated Muslims tackling discrimination – Muslims who feel betrayed by the Liberal left who, they say, should be their natural allies in their campaigning for women’s rights and tackling discrimination such as homophobia in Muslim communities.

In this authored documentary, Nick draws from the experiences of a range of organisations and progressive Muslim individuals – Tell Mama which supports victims of anti-Muslim hate crime, Maryam Namazie from One Law for All campaigning for women’s rights against Islamic Sharia law and Jewish Beth din courts, and Amina Lone who says her outspoken views including a campaign against young girls wearing the hijab in school led to her losing her seat as a Manchester city councillor. The local Labour party failed to re-select her, blaming her attendance record.

Tell Mama founder Fiyaz Mugal’s said that those who’raised their head above the parapet to speak out were intimidated and threatened, not only by the white far right but also by Islamist extremists, while Maajid Nawaz founder of counter-extremism organisation Quilliam was on a Jihadist’s hit list.

As Peter Tatchell notes in the show, the failure of the British Left to support Muslims reformers fighting for basic human rights has denied those Lefists the moral authority to be an effective force in British politics. Somehow, intersectionalism doesn’t intersect when the oppressed groups are a. women and b. Muslims.

Click on the screenshot to go to the 28-minute show:

h/t: Grania

14 Comments

  1. glen1davidson
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Equality’s great, but let’s not get carried away…

    Glen Davidson

  2. GBJames
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    sub

  3. Diki
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    TBF he does touch on some part of the problem being the Labour Party itsef. Rather than being driven by regressive leftism they’re being instrumental and counting the potential votes they can lose if local clan leaders (and there’s no other word I can use) become upset by their policies.

    • Posted March 11, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      I fear you are right; and if you are right, this means suspension of democracy for an indefinite period.

  4. Posted March 6, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Excellent work from Nick Cohen.

    It could also be mentioned as a footnote that it’s pretty much the leftists who are silent about Islamic bigotry, sexism and human rights abuses are often the same ones who are yammering about the stridency of Dawkins, Harris, Coyne and (still!) Hitchens. The latter of course have spent the previous dozen or so years promoting exactly the same people who Nick Cohen was interviewing here.

  5. adamsmith1922
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    At last

  6. Malcolm
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    It is very sad how pathetic the left are and this article just shows why no one takes them seriously as they are really more bigoted in general than those they oppose. As long as they support oppression like this why would anyone listen?

  7. Rich Sanderson
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    It was a good programme to listen to, but it was nothing new to me. I’m all to aware of the regressive left’s harassment, and betrayal of ex-Muslims and progressive Muslims.

    You only have to looks at the likes of PZ Myers and his baboons, who do nothing but enable and lay pipes for Islamists, with their aggression towards Muslim reformers such as Maajid Nawaz.

    If you enable Islamic fascists, then you are a fascist, and that is my view of the likes of PZ et al, who shit all over liberals and reformers.

  8. Posted March 6, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    The Labour Party are finally losing women voters. If it’s not their silence on Islamist misogyny, it’s their support for the gender recognition act.

  9. Posted March 6, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I agree that there is condescension in the view that many leftists take of “exotic” cultures. As the saying goes, it’s the bigotry of low expectations.

  10. Diane G.
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    sub

  11. Morsgotha
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Slightly off topic PCC(E); the bbc is currently airing a series of short films written by and staring the official website’s sweetheart(tm).

    You can find the relevant details here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09sz12j

  12. Barbara Shepard
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Listened to this programme on radio 4 today
    How true. It is impossible to raise issues that contradiction the party line with Labour supporters without raising
    accusations or fears about the propaganda of extreme right racism.
    Way back in the early 1990s I did a masters in Women’s Studies in Bradford. Women’s Rights in the local Muslim community was a taboo subject for discussion because it was deemed to be racist. The reteric was more focused on Muslims gaining power in local government. End of

  13. Barbara Shepard
    Posted March 7, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Listened to this programme on radio 4 today
    How true. It is impossible to raise issues that contradiction the party line with Labour supporters without raising
    accusations or fears about the propaganda of extreme right racism.
    Way back in the early 1990s I did a masters in Women’s Studies in Bradford. Women’s Rights in the local Muslim community was a taboo subject for discussion because it was deemed to be racist. The reteric was more focused on Muslims gaining power in local government. End of


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