Tag Archives: left wing

Muslim Apostates, Betrayed By All Sides

Western culture is generally keen on celebrating courage in the face of adversity; documentaries, films and books inspire audiences with narratives of the underdog overcoming seemingly unbeatable conditions.

Escaping controlling, demoralising environments is of great interest. Former Scientologists are, rightfully, given a large platform, as are former cult members in general. And it wouldn’t cross the mind of the average viewer to start defending Scientology or the FLDS after hearing stories of imprisonment, violence, threats and mind control.

Muslim apostates, however, aren’t shown that level of interest or kindness, at least by proponents of public policies on the left or right, who use them in conversation but ultimately ignore them when it comes to envisaging actual solutions to deal with radical Islam (or Islam in general, to the degree to which it contrasts with secular democracies).

Feminism and the unholy alliance 

As detailed at this engrossing conference, there is increasing frustration and disappointment with those identifying as feminists yet actively participating in the cover-up of female oppression in Muslim communities. Public speakers like Linda Sarsour, one of the organisers of the Women’s March, who decries the “slanderous talk” surrounding Islam and its restrictions, often unwanted, on women’s lives.

When taken out of that religious context, the treatment escapees describe is nothing short of disheartening. Chastisement and vilification for being alone with a man in a room, for allowing three inches of their forearms to show, for having any male friends at all. Threats of disowning, physical violence or even murder, at the sole mention of a potential transgression. Ostracism and threats from their entire community. One’s hymen treated as a precious family asset. That is unimaginable in societies which left that mentality behind hundreds of years ago.

Should a woman from a different background describe growing up in such ways, feminists would be outraged. In this case however, they turn a blind eye, referring to “their culture”, as if the word “they” did not include many forced participants.

Moreover, people like Linda Sarsour dare vilify public speakers who have overcome these difficulties to the extreme, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, as traitors to the religion. “They’re not women; I wish I could take their vaginas away” (paraphrasing). Not only is it distasteful to refer in that way to a victim of FGM – it proves the utter disdain fundamentalists have towards apostates. One would think common sense would stop her from being so venomous, at least publicly, but that is not the case, since apostasy carries a death sentence in Islam.

The hypocritical right

Activists on right or far right often refer to the “barbaric rules and traditions” of Islam, especially to counter the non-issues spouted by western feminists nowadays. They get all descriptive and outraged about it, as if they truly cared outside of wanting to rid their countries of Muslims altogether, including those who are trapped into the religion.

“And they’re bringing that over here”, they cry next, not realising that apostates have a far better chance of breaking away in countries offering them minimal protection, at least, and the choice of being able to live as free individuals. De-conversion and apostasy are indeed much safer in the west.

“This is what they do to girls and women in the Middle East!” they indignantly shout. “Bomb them!” they shout next. You know,  including those abused women and innocent children they care so much about.

Many right-wingers, in the current climate, would give their approval to have all Muslims deported from western countries. Aside from the grotesque idea of uprooting innocent people based on the religion they were born into, which is not even feasible, they don’t spare a thought for those who have a real chance of getting out, a chance they wouldn’t have in a theocracy.

Although not used often enough, there are laws protecting women and apostates from religious violence; in recent years a law was passed against forced marriage, for instance, and the threat of honour killings is taken very seriously. Victims of rape are treated as such, as opposed to being blamed for their assault, which happens in some countries. Merely being in western countries when these traumatic events occur can and does save countless lives.

Also very popular with this camp are Trump’s famous immigration bans, regardless of some people having waited for years on end to emigrate  and having gone though all needed formalities. No thought is spared for the fact that among those wishing to leave will almost definitely be apostates seeking to escape the dangers of living in theocracies, which follow them day and night.

 “Islamophobia” – blasphemy laws again?

Imagine heaving a sigh of relief when finally arriving in a safe country, where you cannot be oppressed for your apostasy, as well as your criticism of your former religion, in this case Islam. Imagine how liberating that must feel.

And five or ten or twenty years later, that wonderful, liberal country starting to cave in to demands from your former persecutors, in efforts to suppress your right to criticise the authoritarian ideology that just might’ve got you killed.

If to the formerly neutral (people only exposed to Islam from a distance) it seems restrictive and uncanny for criticism to be criminalised, imagine how it feels to defectors of Islamic theocracies, to witness the ever-growing power of lobbyists, pushing for what can be construed as blasphemy laws.

Supporting or wanting to ban the veil 

Former Muslim women are very outspoken about that yet nobody in the public arena seems to hear them.

On the one hand, you have progressive leftists claiming women choose to wear it and that right should not be infringed upon by legislators. That, I actually agree with, should those women be absolutely free of constraint and choose to wear it of their own accord, as adults.

On the other hand, you have right-wingers saying any woman covering up (especially her face) is a threat to national security, and therefore simply banning it would solve the problem. Unfortunately it solves jack shit for the women who are forced to wear it – their relatives are so indoctrinated they will probably resort to banning them from going outside altogether.

A moderate approach would be to support those who truly want to wear it according to their own convictions. As adults.

But at the same time admit that there are many, many cases of girls and women being forced to cover up as a matter of family honour. And consider the problems they will face when any such legislation is passed.

Complicated; I know. As life often is.

 

Idealisation – A Plague For Free Thought

Many people today proclaim their healthy scepticism as a guiding principle, constantly reevaluating their views, absorbing more information and trying to be as objective as possible when taking a stance.

Apparently, at least.

When engaging in conversations on social media, I can’t help but notice how many are still enslaved by their biases to the point of rejecting proven facts, denying history and common sense, not to mention displaying double standards, in order to affirm their complete trust in a public figure, political movement or religious figment.

The enamourment of some leftists with Margaret Sanger runs along these lines.

She is praised as a hero for “championing women’s rights”, when her declared agenda was to rid her country of as many “undesirables” as possible (underprivileged, that is).

Rumour has it the left stands for those same people Margaret Sanger despised; the internet is littered with quotes from her books, praising eugenics as an efficient method of reducing the number of the “unfit”. She showed nothing but disdain for them.

However, since she is pushed forward by the religious as some kind of proof that atheists are utilitarian, some atheists have embraced her as a symbol of women’s liberation. That in itself shows they either know nothing about the woman’s actual views and simply propagate memes, or they don’t mind those views that much, despite adhering to the left side of politics, which now campaigns against these exact views today.

Honestly, it’s a mindfuck.

Propaganda in favour of eugenics has not been mere hateful rhetoric; it has had dramatic, life-altering consequences for large numbers of people, who were subjected to forced sterilisation in the US and elsewhere.

There is probably nothing more degrading to a human being than being told they are so unworthy of life that anyone potentially carrying one of their traits must be prevented, by force, from being born.

Nowhere does the elitist part of the left become more evident than in agreeing with or tolerating eugenics. Some commentators infer the measure was meant to reduce impairing conditions; however, it implies considering those singled out inferior by default, and less or not worthy of existing.

And where would one draw the line once the initial line is crossed? What would be acceptable to some?

Sanger didn’t focus on the passing down of “wrong genes” (those causing impairments), but on limiting the number of poor people, not by reducing poverty but by encouraging the poor to stop breeding.

How that can coexist in someone’s mind with seeking equality and social justice, I’ll never understand.

 

 

 

Support For Overnight Deportation: The Ugly Side Of Conservatism

Although the laws affecting undocumented immigrants in the US today were certainly not put in place by Donald Trump, there seems to be a rising tide of calls for anyone with a shoddy immigration status to be thrown out as a matter of principle, conflating them with those who pose a proven security risk. One does not need to be American in order to have an opinion on how this mass exultation sounds; many gleefully envisage an indiscriminate purge, regardless of personal circumstances.

Civilisation quickly degenerates when people are desensitised to needless brutality – whether it is that of Sharia law, ignored by the left, or that of harmless individuals being snatched from their homes and thrown over the fence overnight (leaving them and their families in shock), ignored – and increasingly applauded- by the right.

While admitting it’s at the discretion of an institution to reach a decision, one can simultaneously admit such an act can be downright grotesque.

With the risk of using leftist rhetoric, one cannot say that the public reaction of indifference or delight is not a clear case of dehumanising the other.

By now, contradicting leftists on everything has become so much of a habit even intellectuals can react in Pavlovian fashion to their every stance, even when their approach, for once, can be given credit as humane and rational.

It’s disheartening to see how skeptical or conservative commentators – who are overall more profound nowadays than those on the left – suddenly lose that analytical quality, invoking bureaucracy as a moral absolute, to downplay the impact of cruel actions. Their habit of craftily bringing nuances to light, of analysing every case in-depth, switches to “oh well, it’s the law”, disregarding the human factor altogether.

The fact that some people living in the West in our current year do not have a visceral reaction to this is not a good omen.

Lines are being blurred here; the many shades of grey are being overlooked.

The recently deported Mexican woman who’d been told for years she would most likely be allowed to stay has become a target of ridicule and incrimination as a pawn in a political match. One has to wonder whether a person with a poor grasp of English would understand all the implications of using false information in order to obtain employment. Leaving aside this ill-advised move, she is no murderer, rapist, thug or drug dealer. Her situation is that of many who sought to escape poverty. A person intending to have an actual life of crime would have demonstrated that in two decades. The amount of bile thrown at this woman, who became the target years of frustration were projected on (frustration she did not personally cause) is quite something.

Moreover, crime includes a bureaucratic and a moral component; however the presence of one does not imply that of the other.

Labelling someone a criminal for immigrating out of desperation, without using violence (as it was used for instance in Calais) is a stretch, though the term technically applies.

 

One cannot help but notice how easy it is to refer to the law as immutable when on one end of the political spectrum, while ignoring and breaking other laws put in place by an administration of a different persuasion.

Right-wingers have been unfairly demonised as fascists for years; laws have been put in place to limit their freedom of speech and religion. It’s easy to denounce these laws as unjust, which implies that they are not mandated by some heavenly moral authority and can indeed inflict needless damage. People convicted over Facebook and Twitter posts (victimless “crimes”) are technically criminals as well.

Hence, when discussing other people’s suffering as a result of bureaucratic conundrums, ignoring their general situation, right-wingers are not being objective, as they claim, but subjective. They are choosing which laws to hold as moral absolutes and which laws to disregard altogether.

That is not to say that I believe in borderless utopias – however, some clemency is possible and humane on a case by case basis, instead of petty head-hunting and swift expulsions of people who have already built their lives in a country for decades.

Right-wingers often claim to use their brains as opposed to leftists, who tend to use their feelings in any situation.

Perhaps these should not be mutually exclusive, as the future looks bleak if an uncompromising choice has to be made.

 

Forget politics. We are all human and should try to remain an such.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingloriously Apolitical

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences. (Wikipedia)

Why ingloriously? Well, when one refuses to jump on the bandwagon of a political group but still voices opinions on social issues, they are likely to be sworn at from all directions, whereas normally they would only be targeted by the opposition. For some reason, people feel the need to stick a label on themselves, to get a sense of belonging and backing. And why not, to absolve themselves of any personal responsibility for the world view they are supporting.

So, you’re against demonising economical migrants? You must be a socialist! Commie bastard! You and yours are what’s wrong with this world! Air heads with no sense of practicality! 

So, you don’t think graphic sex-ed should be introduced into primary schools? You must be with the far right! Neo-Nazi bastard! You’d probably love to live in the times when minorities were oppressed!

Public figures I have a lot of respect for have long argued that belonging to groups muddies one’s awareness of the world and imposes conformity on many levels, until an individual is unable to think outside of the party line.

People find themselves rallying for causes they have marginal interest in or little understanding of, at the initiative of party or group leaders, whose sole purpose might even be to lead all members in a different direction or get them to waste their energy in futile ways, having no real impact on their society.

Also, they tend to read publications associated with their political choice, taking the bait on the constant agitation caused by the mainstream media, which leaves people little breathing space between one fit of indignation and another.

In the UK, one way of defining one’s stand is by reading the Daily Mail or the Guardian, aka fascism versus social justice warriors. And fascism this time is no exaggeration. Here is a link to a short test containing ten highly appreciated comments from the Daily Mail and declared far right website Stormfront; see if you can tell where each was taken from. I got half right the first time; less than half the second. We’re talking about the same crowd here.

Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy reading clever discourse on either side on issues I am interested in; I cannot, however, comprehend how someone can censor themselves to completely acquiesce to a ”collective view”. Humour is a good way to deal with the absurdity of extreme attitudes; however, people seem to take politics very seriously nowadays and become Facebook warriors on behalf of groups which don’t represent their interests and couldn’t care less about them.

We’re starting to see the rise of radicalised majorities in so many countries; radicalisation is no longer associated with fringe groups. I am convinced social media and the participation people imagine they have in the public arena are partially to blame for that. Suddenly it’s acceptable to push for the dominance of one ideology or social category to the detriment of all others. Everyone is a fucking warrior nowadays, ”standing up for what they believe in” to the point of swearing at random strangers on the internet.

If you don’t watch TV and don’t take an interest in the local political scene you’re regarded as strange. Some even burst with righteous indignation that you have a duty to get involved, to be socially active. They fail to understand that one’s main duty is to remain sane by not soaking up the poison of hysteria on a daily basis, often over inconsequential matters, to be forgotten the next day.

Running around like a headless chicken trying to spread ideologies you sometimes don’t even understand does not make you sane, a good citizen, a good human being etc. 

Between signing ten petitions and debating twenty people on forums, all while trying to also survive, one has very little time to reflect on the fact that they are letting an abstract concept made up by others define them.

Labelling oneself as left wing nowadays tends to include supporting the following ideas:

  1. Every demand made by a minority is a civil right.
  2. Minorities are oppressed by default, even when they fail to realise it.
  3. When the member or advocate of a minority is criticised, it’s always on the basis of hatred towards their innate characteristics.
  4. Tolerance and intolerance go hand in hand. Provided you’re on the right side.
  5. One must fight for peace and love with all the aggressiveness they’re capable of.
  6. My ancestors were oppressed by your ancestors or vice-versa; we have unfinished business.
  7. Equality means minority privilege.
  8. Gender is  a social construct with no basis in human biology.
  9. Every social program or art form must be ”inclusive” of categories it has nothing to do with.
  10. Causing offence is a crime.

On the other side of the debate we find these brilliant ideas:

  1. All foreigners are intruders and seek to rob your country, even in discrete ways. They are generally not to be trusted.
  2. Whatever is written in the Daily Mail is true. The Daily Mail isn’t just mindless agitation and manipulation.
  3. Mobs calling for mass deportations and pitch fork community actions are legitimate.
  4. Anyone who rejects right wing attitudes is a Marxist.
  5. Hatred of the poor can be efficiently masked by claiming to stand for a meritocracy.
  6. Immigrants will breed Europeans out of existence. At the same time though, how dare native women breed so much without being able to secure a career first. Shame on them. Screw the next generation; who even cares about that.
  7. The poor should be sterilised. Yes, many right wing individuals include that in their discourse, even if toned down.
  8. Everything is outrageous. Being a quintessential finger-pointing dick is OK if one promotes moral values. Morality and kindness needn’t be related.
  9. Far right groups sporting uniforms and berets are Europe’s hope for tomorrow (as opposed to clowns).
  10. Whatever happens in the world, if you dig deep enough, the Jews are behind it (that doesn’t apply to American right wingers, as they generally support Israel).

 

Meanwhile, both orthodoxies tend agree on a few issues:

  1. People must label themselves and others, playing a part in the farcical game of political debates.
  2. There is no middle ground on important issues (such as immigration).
  3. Political doctrines actually mean something, as opposed to being tools of manipulation and control.
  4. There actually is such a thing as genuine cohesion within ideological groups, although history teaches us that even hardcore groups split into factions eventually.
  5. Debating people on social media regarding political issues – or any issues at all – is not a complete waste of time (although it clearly is).
  6. It’s justified for people to hate each other based on labels and beliefs. It’s worth arguing with friends, neighbours and even family over them.
  7. The average individual has a say in the way their country is run and can influence the decisions of the ruling class by campaigning or other actions (even though it is clear enough that they only have power over their own mind and their will is disregarded unless it serves someone else’s purpose).
  8. It’s worth investing emotionally in a party or politician. Someday the right party with the right leader will come along (of course that never, ever happens).

I see people being bullied by peer pressure into taking on a political label and ”getting involved”, at times being shamed for not joining a crowd, as if their life were incomplete without it. If only they could stop for a minute, take some distance and see the whole spectacle for what it really is.