The British Humanist Association’s debate on Islam in a Secular Europe reminded me of yet another BBC* sponsored programme.
Every ‘Muslim’ on the panel claimed to represent ‘Muslims’ worldwide as if there are no differences of opinion amongst Muslims or those labelled as such. They had no trouble excusing and trivialising Sharia law, the burka, child veiling, sex apartheid [Maleiha Malik even spoke of fatwa shopping as if women’s desperation to secure justice is a joke].
They deemed universal rights and secularism western concepts and asked for people to mind their own business quoting Shirin Ebadi no less.
And no matter how many times you said your opposition was with Islamism and a defence in fact of Muslims, they still branded you a racist and took on a form of victim status in order to help pave the way for reaction.
Humeira Iqtida (author of Secularising Islamists) and Maleiha Malik (professor of law) are textbook cases of this sort of strategy; Aina Khan (Sharia lawyer) is another example.
Frankly, give me an Islamist any day. At least they are honest.
Algerian sociologist and founder of Women Living Under Muslims Laws Marieme Hélie-Lucas rightly says Islamists always start with women, which is part of their broader agenda, because many (including the likes of Humeira, Malieha and Aina) are always prepared to trade women’s rights. Malieha says no one is being stoned as if denial of women’s rights in the family is any less scandalous.
Sadly for them, though, there are still many of us – Muslims and non – who are unwilling to make such a trade and who continue to give precedence to real live human beings rather than religion and medievalism.
* Known as Ayatollah BBC in Iran for its support of some form or other of Islamism.