Not one woman »« Imagine a world

Mehdi Hasan tells other people to stay classy

Mehdi Hasan has really gone into overdrive lately in his public jeering and sniping at people he dislikes – or maybe he’s always like this, I ignore him most of the time so I don’t know. Anyway he’s doing a lot of it. It’s very reactionary right-wing stuff, which for some reason finds a home in more or less left-wing outlets. Why is that? Why do people on the left persist in thinking that the most reactionary Muslims or even Islamists are the ones they should be giving a megaphone?

meh

Mehdi Hasan @mehdirhasan

“Baroness Warsi, Faith Minister, Dismisses Richard Dawkins As A ‘Secular Fundamentalist”

(The quotation marks are a nice touch; he probably wrote that himself, since he’s an editor there. The quotation marks make it look more impersonal.)

meh2

He’s A ‘Secular Fundamentalist’
Baroness Warsi has denounced atheist academic Richard Dawkins as a “secular fundamentalist”, as she spoke about tackling Islamophobia. During a wide-ranging interview with the Huffington Post UK, the…

meh3

Mehdi Hasan @mehdirhasan

Guy who smears for a living is now screaming ‘smear’ at anyone who questions his credentials as a ‘Muslims’ or ‘extremism’ expert. Funny.

Baroness Warsi questioned Maajid Nawaz’s credentials. So he now retweets people calling her a ‘corrupt South Asian’. #stayclassy

Baroness Warsi: extremism policy shouldn’t be influenced by “ex-extremists” who “created problem in the first place”: http://m.huffpost.com/uk/entry/5036065?1396104864 …

Horrible man, yet the BBC and the Huffington Post UK and the New Statesman can’t get enough of him. Why? Why the attraction to religious bullies as long as they’re not of the local established religion? Why do they like him? Why do they talk so much to him and so comparatively little to Maryam? I will never understand this.

Comments

  1. says

    This guy’s brutal. Mo Ansar is even worse, and he seems to consistently pop up in these debates.

    “Why the attraction to religious bullies as long as they’re not of the local established religion? Why do they like him? Why do they talk so much to him and so comparatively little to Maryam? I will never understand this.”

    Agreed. I’ve been wondering this. Perhaps since Maryam is not a Muslim, but there exist many Muslims who are honest, good people who spend their time criticizing fundamentalists rather than making excuses for them. Nawaz is one. Ghaffar Hussain, also of Quillam. Tarek Fatah, Raquel Saraswati. These people are serious about fixing problems within the Muslim community and are driven by a commitment to human rights. They are the faces of liberal Islam, not Hasan or Ansar, despite what the liberal media would have you believe.

  2. permanentwiltingpoint says

    If I were very cynical about this, I’d say they like him because they like what he says; and can get away with liking it, because he’s not one of the local established religion. Thus, taking him to task is islamophobia, giving him a platform is multiculturalism, and they can endorse points of view that would be much heavier criticised if coming from a right-wing reactionary who doesn’t happen to be a Muslim.

    Or maybe it’s just because there’s a positive feedback between self-righteousness and self-promotion, so that types like Hasan just naturally float up in most systems.

  3. atheistblog says

    To be fair Dawkins is an ignorant when it comes to Anthropology, History.
    When you say oxford has more Noble prize than entire Muslim population or countries combine is not just stupid comparison, but totally ignorant.
    If someone tell you why decimal number system did not originate in the Europe, Europeans are idiots because gun powder was invented in Europe and water sanitation, supply systems was not first originated in Europe so Europeans were idiots is totally nonsense. Only those who understands sociology and human civilization would shout like that, Dawkins often does that. He should just stick to Biology.
    Muslims are terrorist because of islam should explain why there were no mass suicide muslim terrorism against west not a millennium but 50 years before.
    Religion is not cause of anything, it just unites people of similar community, that’s all it does, and people should not credit religion than it deserves. Religion is neither the cause of good nor bad, but bonds people. That’s all it does. Morality never originated from religions.
    Just like fanatic religious apologetics Dawkins is ignorant about lot of things. He should start studying Anthropology, especially Cultural Anthropology.
    Ophelia Benson.

  4. says

    Oh, I know, and he will insist on making simplistic pseudo-witty announcements on Twitter. It’s not that I think he’s beyond criticism; far from it. But Mehdi Hasan’s agenda is very transparent, and very obnoxious.

  5. dmcclean says

    “Why do people on the left persist in thinking that the most reactionary Muslims or even Islamists are the ones they should be giving a megaphone?”

    Ratings. Eyeballs. Drama. Whatever you want to call it.

  6. Dunc says

    Why do they like him?

    He’s an Oxford PPE graduate, which makes him one of the “in” crowd. The political and media establishment is incredibly cliquish, and he’s in the clique.

    I would, however, have to argue that when you refer to “more or less left-wing outlets”, there should be a great deal of emphasis on “less”… The New Statesman and The Guardian are only “left-wing” in comparison to the absurdly right-wing general tenor of the rest of the media.

    Why do they talk so much to him and so comparatively little to Maryam?

    She’s actually left wing, and therefore completely outside the acceptable sphere of political discourse. And she didn’t even go to Cambridge, never mind Oxford. She might as well be a Martian.

  7. Amy Clare says

    One of my boyfriend’s proudest moments: getting told to ‘go away’ by Mehdi Hasan on Twitter. ;)

  8. G Wilson says

    He’s always like this. In the UK, this kind of “journalist” is what we have instead of talk radio bigots.

  9. kbplayer says

    “Baroness Warsi: extremism policy shouldn’t be influenced by “ex-extremists” who “created problem in the first place”

    What a stupid comment that is. “Squire Partridge will not be influenced by new gamekeeper Trapper’s ideas on poaching because Trapper used to be a poacher.”

  10. Lee says

    I’m unclear as to whether this post (and/or Hasan) is somehow sympathising with Warsi, whose employment of the term ‘secular fundamentalist’ testifies to her idiocy. Is it ‘reactionary right-wing stuff’ to quote her on Dawkins? It’s not clear to me whether Hasan is endorsing her here, or not.

  11. johnthedrunkard says

    I think it’s a Cold War holdover. The day that Nasser went to the Russians for aid, every ‘progressive’ in the West became an instant Pan-Arabist or Palestinian Nationalist. Never mind that the two positions are mutually exclusive.

    The hysterical, ravening hatred of Israel has put supposed leftists in bed with every far-right whacko of the last 50 plus years.

  12. says

    Amy – I’ve elicited some hostile responses from Mehdi Hasan on Twitter too. #proud :)

    Dunc – ah, I didn’t know that. Interesting. Know who else did PPE at Oxford? Hitchens.

  13. says

    ‘Know who else did PPE at Oxford? Hitchens.’

    … whom Warsi would predictably label a ‘secular fundamentalist’, because she appears not to understand the distinction between atheism and secularism (or it suits her purpose not to).

    What’s the relevance?

  14. says

    The relevance is slightly tangential, except that I think for all his controversiality Hitchens also had quite a bit of in-crowd advantage, and some of the corresponding mindset. Gents sitting around the club of an evening agreeing on how unfunny women are doncha know chiz chiz.

  15. says

    You drove me to back to my copy of Arguably in order to re-read ‘Why Women Aren’t Funny’ – which seems to me more disparaging of men…?

    But back to your post… do I misread you, or are you criticising Hasan for sniping at Warsi? Yet his HuffPost piece on her seems quite, err, kind to her. Or is he using her as a conduit for his snipes at others?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>