Sofia Ahmed, activist, student, and aspiring journalist, takes to the Huffington Post UK to explain why watching people applauding Malala Yousafzai makes her want to puke.
The sight of white men in suits applauding and gushing at Malala Yusufzai’s speech at the United Nations, the media frenzy and vociferous support on social media was nauseating for me. Not because I deny Malala the right to campaign for what she does.
That’s very generous of her, isn’t it.
It was more due to the sickening double-standards at play and the thought that while she was being lauded hundreds of other Muslim girls were being blown up, raped and bombed into oblivion because of those very men sitting with her that day.
During the period of time that Malala addressed the UN, hundreds of Muslim girls were being blown up, raped and bombed into oblivion by “white” military forces? I don’t think that’s true.
So it was refreshing to see that there were some commentators out there who have the moral courage to look beyond the PR stunts and tactics and analyse the deeper motivations behind this entire charade. However, there does seem to be a systematic attempt at stifling debate on this matter, with stooges of the West trying to use petty tactics, straw man arguments and accusations of “jealousy” in order to curb diversity of opinion.
One comment piece that struck me as particularly nefarious was Tehmina Kazi’s (British Muslims For Secular Democracy) for the Huffington Post UK. It was the most self righteous and sanctimonious load of drivel I have ever had the misfortune to read.
I knew before I even began to read it that essentially it was not a defence of Malala at all – it was quite obviously a thinly-veiled attempt to degrade those who refuse to fall into line and stand in defence of Western imperialism and those who help to impose a universal liberal agenda.
Ah yes that terrible “universal liberal agenda” – the one that opposes any kind of imperialism and that defends universal human rights; what a terrible agenda. It’s so much better to have purely local rights, like the right to be married off by one’s father at age 9, the right to be kept out of school, the right to be whipped for refusing to wear a hijab or a burqa.
When I tried to offer my comments and criticisms of Tehmina’s piece on the Facebook page for BMSD, those great bastions of all things “liberal” and “democratic” chose to censor me and curb my fundamental right of freedom of speech by removing my comments and blocking me from the page within minutes of my first post. Kazi also went on to personally contact at least one news outlet in order to ask them not to print anything I submit.
I am not surprised by Tehmina’s tactics and attempts at shutting down debate. Ordinary Muslims who may have alternative views have been progressively marginalised and shouted down by these purveyors of a particular brand of Islam tinged with a Eurocentric fundamentalism.
A Eurocentric fundamentalism – what’s that when it’s at home? Belief in universal human rights and secular government, perhaps? The opposite of fundamentalism?
Tehmina and her ilk have one goal, and that is providing ideological support to the advancement of colonial interests and Western tyranny. Her article is not about the defence of Malala, it is about defending the privileges and opportunities of the elite.
I can’t help hoping Sofia Ahmed fails in her aspiration to become a journalist, at least unless she learns a good deal first.