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Oct 11 2013

With stooges of the West

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.

 

 

5 comments

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  1. 1
    brucegee1962

    I’m trying to translate this. I think it boils down to “If you dare attack Islam for its misogyny and thuggery, behold! I bear the shield of anti-colonialism! Nothing our side can do can be wrong, because colonialism is bad! Take that, Westerners!”

  2. 2
    steve oberski

    Not to exculpate the west for their part in exacerbating tribal tensions between various Muslim sects but I naively thought that the 1400 year old Sunni versus Shia conflict has resulted in far more Muslim deaths than the west could ever achieve.

  3. 3
    C. Mason Taylor

    I’m sorry, but I think everyone here is putting a *lot* of words in Sofia Ahmed’s mouth. I think Ahmed is pretty clearly just saying that Malala and her story are being usurped by people with agendas much bigger (and not always good, and not always peaceful, and sometimes rather bellicose and fear mongering) than her own. She argues nowhere for the Taliban, or the oppression of women anywhere, for any reason. Everyone here would surely agree that, for example, Apocalypto is clearly a racist movie in context. Isn’t there an argument to be made that western media’s laser focus on barbaric things that happen in Pakistan and its neighboring countries serves, at times, a very similar function?

  4. 4
    zibble

    @3 C. Mason
    You’re significantly reducing a great deal of her essay. Frankly, it meanders all over the place, so it’s easy to find just one sensible sounding thing to hone in on.

    But actually read what she’s saying. She’s saying that Malala being shot was more the fault of the US than the people who shot her. She shows no understanding that “the West” isn’t a single homogenous blob – she doesn’t understand the difference between neoconservatism and liberalism.

    She sounds incredibly like our right-wing hacks; she doesn’t understand nuance, she sees ethnic allegiance as trumping universal human decency, she complains that liberals aren’t tolerant of her euphemistically-described “alternative” opinions, and ends by accusing an institution of an absurd agenda based on nothing but her own assumptions.

  5. 5
    johnthedrunkard

    You can’t choose where the significance of X will lead.

    Any honest reporting about Islam’s history of aggression and violence WILL be treated as ammunition by, for example, Christian whackos like Robert Spencer.

    That doesn’t invalidate single unpopular fact. Nor are the evils of 19th centuray European imperialism diminshed by noting that they are scarecly worse than the previous milennium of Muslim imperialism.

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