Posts Tagged ‘Islam’
“Obscene Outfit” says Mélenchon.
Birmingham Metropolitan College was similarly cowed and had to reverse a directive forbidding students from covering their faces. One hooded lady crowdsourced a protest against the college. Some overexcited student union members, Muslim objectors and online petitioners have forced a U-turn. Shabana Mahmood, MP for Ladywood, Birmingham, welcomed the capitulation. Happy days. Muslim women can now to go to courts and college in shrouds.
That all-covering gown, that headscarf, that face mask – all affirm and reinforce the belief that women are a hazard to men and society. These are unacceptable, iniquitous values, enforced violently by Taliban, Saudi and Iranian oppressors. They have no place in our country.
In this passionate and well argued piece Alibhai Brown continues,
None of our sacred texts command us to cover our faces. Some branches of Islam do not even require head coverings. These are manmade injunctions followed by unquestioning women. We are directed always to accept the rules of the countries we live in and their institutions, as long as they are reasonable. For security, justice, travel, education and health identification is vital. Why should these women be exempt? We Muslims are already unfairly thought of as the enemy within. Niqabs make us appear more alien, more dangerous and suspicious. If it is a provocation for Ku Klux Klan to cover up so they can’t be recognised, it is for Muslims too.
This is a struggle between the light of the faith and dark forces here and also in Islamic countries. The clothes symbolize an attempted takeover of the religion just when believers are looking for liberty, autonomy, democracy and gender equality. Malala Yousafzai doesn’t hide her determined face. Nor do our female Muslim MPs and peers or civil rights lawyers.
So why do we get this gang announcing in Socialist Worker, the following,
Students celebrate beating Birmingham college niqab ban
The successful campaign in Birmingham should serve as a warning to college bosses everywhere – students will not allow their Muslim friends to be scapegoated.
‘Islamophobia’ Watch has joined the fray.
Bob Pitt is, amongst his usual forth, particularly exercised over a Tory MP’s Twitter comments,
Pitt and the SWP would have heart attacks if they were on the French left.
This is what Jean Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the Front de gauche, and their presidential candidate, said on the Face veil (during the 2010 debate on French laws in 2010).
Full veil: Mélenchon “for a general ban”
The chairman of the Left Party (PG), Jean-Luc Mélenchon has called for a total ban of the full veil in the Figaro.
According to him, the restriction prohibiting the wearing of the full veil in public services alone is “an incredible cowardice.”
He added that the law “must be of universal application.”
In more detail Jean Luc Mélenchon set out his position (2010) on his Blog.
Why is he wearing the full veil degrading for women? Firstly, because it is obscene. It reduces the wearer to the status of sexual potential prey. As it is not proposed to blind men, it is designed to hide the object of desire from natural desires of all those watching. It’s worth noting how it is insulting to men who are deemed as being that are predatory and obsessed. In any case, the fully veiled woman bears a humiliating statement of that she has the status of property of another. is attached to the veiled woman.
A human being can not be the property of another. This is contrary to the human rights principle, that all are born free and equal in rights.
Mélenchon wanted a law that would not just ban the full face veil in public places but for legislation to guarantee ” it would give “ l’obligation de mixité des lieux publics et services publics.” – the obligation to have women and men together in all public places and services. That is, to refuse all demands for single sex treatment.
Mélenchon has done far more defending French Muslims and “métsisage’ (cultural mixing) than the likes of the British Islamophiles.d.
What passes for defending Muslim women’s rights for the SWP and Bob Pitt, is deeply misguided.
Some liberal-minded people may think that people can do what they like (Harry’s Place), a way of presenting the issue is profoundly misleading terms.
The face veil is there to maintain the wearer’s ‘purity’ and to treat others as ‘unclean’ because they do not have the modest dress that their interpretation of a religion demands.
This is to accept the installation of a group of people with what are close to a racist form of religious intolerance inside public institutions.
This is not about ‘choice’ but a right to demand the restriction of choice.
Let us be clear: there is no right to be oppressed.
The face veil is dramatically opposed to the progressive goal of “métsisage’ (cultural mixing).
An important place where there should be taking place, in education, has become a battle field, pitting progressives against those from the extreme-right and the Islamists, who oppose this.
The full face veil is as Yasmin Alibhai Brown says, a reflection of “unacceptable, iniquitous values, enforced violently by Taliban, Saudi and Iranian oppressors.”
More than 500 Algérians ate and drank in public in the “ville rebelle” of Tizi Ouzou. © FAROUK BATICHE / AFP
Algiers 4.8.13: About 300 people in a restive northern region of Algeria joined a public lunch on Saturday during Ramadan to protest against what they say is persecution of people who refuse to observe the religious fast.
The protest lunch was highly unusual for North Africa, where people can be arrested for not fasting during the Muslim holy month.
It was held as a demonstration against the decision of security forces to question three young people who were eating outside last week last week in the Kabylie region during the 18-hour daily fasting period.
We called this gathering to denounce the inquisition and persecution of citizens who, because of their beliefs, refuse to observe the fast,” said Bouaziz Ait Chebib, head of the local Kabylie Autonomy Movement.
The Berbers of the Kabylie are known for a more secular outlook in general than Algeria’s majority Arabs, and they have had a historically tense relationship with Algeria’s government.
In previous years, Kabylie residents who refused to fast during the month of Ramadan faced charges of “acting against Islam”.
The lunch in Tizi-Ouzou, about 100 kilometres from Algiers, was not contested by either local Islamists or authorities.
Le Point adds,
A mostly young male audience, supplied with bottles of water, juice, bread, cigarettes and even beer was addressed by the President of the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylia (MAK) , Bouaziz Ait Chebib, claimed that the Kabyles has an “ancestral attachment” to ”freedom of conscience”.
Civil society and opposition parties have denounced what they called the “creeping Islamization” of Algeria, which they say has grown with the Arab Spring, which saw the coming to power of Islamists in several countries.
Wadjda: Joyous and Free.
Wadjda is pioneering film by Saudi Arabia’s first female director, Haifaa Al-Mansour. She is also the first person to shoot a full-length feature in the country itself.
The picture is wonderful. It also raises serious political and cultural issues.
Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) is a 10-year-old. She is referred to in reviews as ”sparky” and “rebellious” and, somewhat patronisingly, a “sweet scamp”.
She reminded me of Marjane Satrap in Persepolis - someone with the humour and wit to stand up for herself against the dead hand of religious pressure.
In that film Marji faced the power of Khomeni’s Iranian Islamists.
In Wadjda the heroine has to live with the Saudi educational system and the male-dominated world of orthodox Islam.
The latter appears in the trap her mother is caught in: a life dependent on the good will of her husband, a daily commute provided by a Pakistani driver who speaks broken Arabic, and her fears about him searching for another wife.
For her daughter we see the continuous surveillance of her dress, and the sudden appearance of the religious police when Wadjda is seen playing around with a boy.
The scenario revolves around Wadja’s efforts to buy a bicycle.
Bikes are, naturally, not seen as suitable for modest women.
Listening to “satanic” rock music she plots to raise the cash. But selling football team colour bracelets does not get her far.
Her efforts also get ensnared by her pious head mistress – whose constant enforcement of the Islamic ‘modesty’ codes go against the fibre of the young rebel.
Wadjda hears that winning a Qur’an knowledge and recital competition could deliver her the money.
She suddenly becomes pious and sets out for victory.
As her project gets underway there are plenty of moments with a political message.
With an admiring friend, a young boy, they pass a celebration of a suicide bomber’s death. He remarks that the martyr will be enjoying 72 virgins in paradise.
Wadjda looks at him wryly and says,”Does that mean I’ll get 72 bicycles in heaven?”
It’s hard not to relate the film to recent discussion about multiculturalism.
It is the right thing to defend plural cultural identities, and, specifically, groups targeted by the Church and King mob of the English Defence League.
But do we want to defend those who wish to introduce a moral police like that of Saudi Arabia?
The curriculum followed by Wadjda is present in this country, in Saudi linked schools – right up to their textbooks. It’s hard not to imagine that the religious policing that goes with it is not present.
Wadjda shows how women can be joyous and free.
Like the Iranian film by Jafar Panahi Offside it expresses the universal hopes for human freedom.
And it does so beautifully.
On Wednesday in the afternoon I had another visit from the Police about Jimas.
It turns out that they are no longer making their false claims about Tendance Coatesy.
That is, firstly, their assertion that have ‘met’ them, and that secondly, that I am behind the ‘Usual Suspects’ – somebody writing unpleasant E-Mails to various local figures about them.
I was able to explain to the Police that I as a left-wing secularist have political differences with Jimas.
I suggested that their joint march with the EDL demonstrated better than anything else good reasons my doubts, as an anti-racist and anti-fascist, about them.
That evening there was am Ipswich public meeting of Hope Not Hate.
At the start a member of the SWP announced that he had “invited” Jimas to come along to explain their walk with the EDL.
The SWP declared that Jimas now accepted that their initiative had been a “tactical” error.
While we were waiting to begin Jimas leader Manwar Ali, accused the Blog Tendance Coatesy of “sectarianism” – a term perhaps he had heard from the SWP.
A Riverside View says, accurately, that their statement can be summarised as
Jimas’ intention was not to support the EDL and they did it for three reasons.
1, To show condolences and respect for Drummer Lee Rigby.
2, To show solidarity with the British people and the armed forces.
3, Challenge all extremists.
He also said
“We are all British and we are Muslims”
“It might have been a great mistake.”
There was also a lot at the end about Jimas’ religious beliefs.
They did not appreciate it when I cited a comment on an Islamic Forum which I said I agreed with.
That the EDL were regarded by most people in the UK a racists that they would have nothing to do with.
I indicated that saying they “might” have been wrong was the not the same as saying they “had” been wrong.
Manwar Ali approached me as we breaking into two groups.
He wanted to shake hands.
Which we did.
He then seemed to want to have further contract – blithely disregarding the fact (as I pointed out) that he had made claims about me which he now admitted were false.
Indeed which – I would add – had resulted in the Police visiting me and asking lots of questions about my Blog.
Still Manwar Ali did show that he disliked this Blog by launching, abruptly, into a tirade about its “lies”, before stopping.
This, which some might regard as a political motive (he disagrees with the Tendance’s political opinions) for making a malicious complaint, is not however the principal issue.
Have Jimas explained away their action?
Was it just a, as the SWP think, a “tactical” mistake?
This strongly indicates that the answer is no – that the offence is very great.
5 Pillarz reports,
Muslims in Ipswich, however, were not so supportive of the JIMAS initiative. Speaking to worshipers of Shah Jalal Masjid in Ipswich, many voiced their discontent.
Medical student, Mohammed Nazrul said: “How could JIMAS walk in unity with the EDL, when the same EDL calls for Muslims to be violently attacked, demand us to be deported and mock the principles of our religion?”
Local businessman Joinal Miah said: “What happened in Woolwich was wrong and not from Islam. But to march with the EDL who have nothing but pure hatred for Islam is going a step too far.
“Condemning the Woolwich murder is one thing, but ignoring foreign policy and then referring to British troops as ‘our troops’ is another.
“I would question Manwar Ali if such statements are even allowed in Islam, considering the same British soldiers are responsible for the plight of the Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. Who exactly is he trying to please?”
The last sentence makes a very good point.
Who are Jimas trying to please?
Apart from the SWP, who seem eager to work with Jimas, it is unlikely that their action has been forgotten by other left-wing political activists.
We consider the EDL to be a bunch of racist thugs. While their principal target is Muslims we know full well that they loathe other ethnic groups, minorities of all kinds, migrant workers, and….the left. On all of these subjects it is not hard to find their virulent expressions of hatred.
Jimas is small group. It pulled this stunt for a variety of reasons, some, it has been suggested, less honourable than a desire to bring people together.
Jimas is a minority missionary movement. It is likely that they will become even more of a minority in the future.