The Pat Condell fanbois have been telling me that I have been thoroughly refuted by Anne Marie Waters, so of course I looked, and was a little appalled. A lot of Brits seem to be afflicted with Dear Muslima syndrome, and she’s got it bad.
He began by calling Pat a “racist cretin”, thereby devaluing the once-powerful word racist even further than it already has been by people like him.
I’ve heard so many variations on this theme, over and over again. Recognizing that racism runs deeper than just the obvious is not devaluing it; it is opening your eyes to the entirety of the problem. If we insist that anything short of calling all black people “niggers” and organizing lynching parties is not racism, what are you going to call the bigotry that leads to people trashing CVs from people named Lashinda? The ones who swear at Sikhs because they’re Muslims? The ones who organize political campaigns to evict brown-skinned people from the country (by entirely legal means, of course!) because they’re all genital-mutilating jihad-preaching Islamicists?
I focused largely on Condell’s bizarre ranting against feminists, and Waters continues in the same vein. Condell said that
…they turn a blind eye to religiously endorsed wife-beating, forced marriage, honour killing, genital mutilation, organised rape gangs, sharia courts that treat women as less than fully human, and little girls forced to dress like nuns.
Waters responds by parsing the words ever more finely.
At no point did Condell state that “progressive western feminists” have “no problem” with the horrors listed above, but that the majority of them remain silent and do absolutely nothing about it. Simultaneously, all over Twitter you will find campaigns to stop Tesco/Asda/Whoever from stocking magazines that might contain a picture of a woman’s breasts.
Condell’s question is a good one, and I wouldn’t mind an answer either – where are all those feminists on matters concerning Islam?
Ah. Condell didn’t say they had “no problem” with those acts, he was saying they do “absolutely nothing about it”! What a vast and significant difference. My apologies. I should have just used Condell’s words directly — oh, I did, embedding his video and quoting directly — with no commentary at all. I should be just shilling for him, I guess.
I appreciate the selective reading by Waters, though. She asks where are all those feminists on matters concerning Islam…didn’t I list a bunch? Yes, I did.
I’m looking around at my circle of progressive feminists — is it Taslima? Maryam? Ophelia? Sikivu? Heina? He seems to be flinging about wild accusations with no basis in fact here; it’s hard to even imagine a woman not deeply indoctrinated into Islam who would excuse murdering other women for infidelity, for instance.
Waters tries to support her claim that feminists are happy to let Islamic violence against women slide by listing lots of examples of feminists pursuing other problems than Sharia law. She wrote to the Campaign Against Domestic Violence about when they were going to start their specific campaign against Sharia approved domestic violence; they didn’t reply. This is clearly a sign that they have a gigantic loophole in place to tolerate spousal abuse by Muslim men — or that they didn’t feel obligated to answer the nutter who’s demanding special attention be paid to one kind of domestic violence, when they’re obviously doing all they can to fight all of it. When a woman is being beaten, we shouldn’t focus on the color of the hands doing the beating, but rather on just stopping it.
Then she complains that the high profile story of Nigella Lawson being abused wasn’t also associated with a condemnation of Sharia law.
Women’s Aid, an organization that fights domestic violence, doesn’t have an official condemnation of Islamic violence.
The Fawcett Society, which works for women’s rights, doesn’t have anything to say about Sharia law, either.
The Liberal Democrats and Labour parties don’t condemn Sharia-based sexism, they just condemn plain ol’ sexism. How dare they fail to single out one kind of sexism for special targeting?
That’s really the gist of her whole case. She sneers at feminists who are working to end violence against women because they aren’t focusing narrowly enough on her obsession that Islam is the most important source of this evil. What are they supposed to do? Give thuggish white Britons a free pass while they deal with thuggish Muslim Britons? Or simply focus on the problem, rather than the ethnic status of some of the individuals causing the problem?
I think Condell does acknowledge that Muslim women are the ones who suffer, it is Myers who doesn’t. He added “You know that backward, ugly attitude? Islam didn’t invent it. We’ve got plenty of it to go around in the western world as well”.
This is a gross insult to every single suffering woman in every single Islamic state on the planet.
Yes, there is misogyny and violence against women in the west but to compare it to what women face in Islamic states demonstrates total ignorance, and is a crass belittlement of the true horror of life for females under sharia law.
Oh, really? I assure you, I also oppose female genital mutilation, I think Sharia courts should not be recognized as legitimate legal entities, and that the oppression of women in Islamic countries is horrific and is far more extreme than it is in the US or UK. I also think Islam is a nightmarish religion, as are all the Abrahamic patriarchical mythologies. Get rid of them all.
But how shall we get rid of them? Deport all their proponents? Make laws that single out certain religious beliefs as criminal? Treat immigrants and people of recognizable racial groups as suspect?
I favor education, secularizing, and setting a good example. The Muslim citizens of the US and UK are exactly that, citizens, and deserve the same rights and protections as the paler residents of those countries, and most importantly, also deserve the same opportunities. You want those Muslim immigrants to be full participants in your society? Stop treating them as an underclass.
I don’t want laws saying “it is illegal to beat your wife if you are Muslim.” I want laws saying “it is illegal to beat your spouse,” period. I don’t want specific proscriptions against halal meat, I want laws that guarantee humane slaughtering methods, period. I don’t want laws condemning the poor educations students receive in Islamic madrassas, I want requirements that every child get a respectable secular education. Period.
And when I see godless, secular people working to build a better world, I want them to recognize all abuses, not just the ones by “foreigners”. That Muslim women in Somalia are suffering greatly doesn’t mean we should ignore Christian women in Somalia. We should also pay attention to the Quiverfull movement and religious corruption of education and the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There are a million problems in the world, why should everyone drop all concern for all of the others and pay attention to only the ones Anne Marie Waters and Pat Condell and Pamela Geller think are important?
Shall we tell Doctors Without Borders to stop what they are doing because it isn’t addressing the Muslim Problem? Shall I stop teaching at my university because most of my students are of German, Scandinavian, and Indian descent, with scarcely a Muslim among them? If I take the time to help a student learn about molecular biology while a woman is being raped in India, am I a moral monster? How can Ophelia Benson write about the horrific death of Savita Halappanavar when she wasn’t even Muslim? Catholic abuses must be ignored right now because there are Islamic abuses — and atheist abuses must be treated as nonexistent. Drop everything, people, any positive action you take to improve your community that doesn’t involve specifically hating Muslims is going to be read by a gang of bigots as detracting from dealing with the Most Important Problem in the Universe!
And how can you deny that Anne Marie Waters is the best judge of the relative importance of problems when she can say something like this with a straight face?
When women in west face violence, the law – though imperfect – tends to be on their side.
Right. Tell that to Marissa Alexander. Let her rot in jail while we all team up to defeat Islam right now.