Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Feminism

Far Right to Get Involved with Islamists in Birmingham School Protests against LGBT Equality?

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Brag or True?

Farrow is involved with CitizensGo,

CitizenGO is an advocacy group founded in MadridSpain, in 2013 by HazteOir.

The foundation promotes petitions in 50 countries, including petitions defending Christian and Catholic causes, and those opposing same-sex marriage, abortion,and euthanasia.

There is a precedent for a link between far-right anti-gender equality ideology  and the protests in Birmingham.

There have been alliances of Traditionalist (far-right) Catholics and Conservative (far-Right) Muslims in France on the issue of Gender Equality teaching.

La “théorie du genre” à l’école: vers un front uni entre musulmans conservateurs et extrême droite?

In 2014 France saw a wave of pupils being withdrawn from school where a new programme of gender equality was taught.

One of the linchpins of the movement was Farida Belghoul, close to the essayist Alain Soral (a convicted Holocaust denier) and his organisation Equality and Reconciliation. This brought into clear view an alliance, which was known for some time ago, between a part of the extreme right in the broad sense, Catholic fundamentalist or not, and some very conservative Muslims, generally on the periphery of the Muslim Brotherhood.

These are the kind of rumours propagated (and still are).

dispensé dans le premier degré, cet enseignement favoriserait la légalisation de la pédophilie, impliquerait l’apprentissage de la masturbation et de ‘l’amour anal’ dès l’école maternelle.

how to  sex education from the first years at primary school, this teaching that would promote the legalisation of paedophilia, imply learning how to masturbate and ‘anal love’ from kindergarten.

Looking at the campaigning site Stop RSE, (Stop RSE was set up in 2018 as a resource for parents and carers in the UK to inform and support families concerned about the mandatory introduction of Relationship Education and Relationship & Sex Education into all schools across England from September 2020) we find this, articles  based on long-standing alt-right/conservative conspiracy theories about the “sexual revolution”  ‘cultural Marxism’ and ‘feminism’

History of the Sexual Revolution

“If you want to destroy any nation without war, make adultery or nudity common in the young generation.”

Salahuddin Ayyubi (12th Century )

Quotes from articles in this section:

 “The philosophy behind this new compulsory sex education agenda can be traced back to the sexual revolution, which had its heyday in the 1960s, and is influenced by various social and political movements. Ideologies from Marxism, radical feminism and gender theory have all contributed to this new sexual ideology. They have intertwined with the thought of various protagonists, the most notable being Alfred Kinsey, who is seen as the master architect of sexuality education as it is now being taught.”

“The Frankfurt School combined Marxist thought with psychoanalytical theory as believed people were socially and economically as well as sexually repressed. Religion, the family, marriage, heterosexuality and gender hierarchies, were all viewed as part of the problem. Key members include Max Horkheimer, Theodor, Adorno, Erich Froerber. ”

Marcuse was a German-American philosopher, sociologist and political theorist. He was a key member of the Frankfurt School and had the most direct influence on the sexual revolution. He was nicknamed the “Father of the New Left.” And for many young radicals of the time, Marcuse’s ‘Eros and Civilisation,’ published in 1955, formed the cornerstone of the sexual revolution.

He wrote excessively on sexual liberation and based his ideas on Freud’s theory of ‘polymorphous perversity’, which asserted that children were sexual from birth and receive sexual pleasure from all parts of their body until society represses them. However, whilst Freud believed sexual urges needed to be suppressed for the function of society, Marcuse thought that due to the level of affluence and civilization that society had reached, it could withstand the release of sexual passion. He espoused a sexual utopia based on sexual freedom and promoted individuals to fulfil their perverse sexual fantasies on the basis that such fantasies were grounded in childlike innocence.”

Then this:

And this,

Birmingham LGBT row parents vow to continue school protests

Protesters against LGBT teaching at a Birmingham primary school have vowed to continue their opposition despite being banned from gathering outside the gates.

Birmingham City Council pursued the legal action after months of demonstrations outside Anderton Park Primary School.

The school shut early before half-term due to escalating action.

The council said it sought the urgent injunction after the risk to children became “too serious to tolerate”.

It said the behaviour of demonstrators was “increasingly unacceptable”.

On Monday, parent Rosie Afsar, speaking on behalf of the protesters, said: “We will challenge the injunction in court. We will not be silenced.”

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Written by Andrew Coates

June 5, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Campaign by Religious Bullies Against Sexual Equality Education Reaches a Crisis Point.

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Parents, children and protestors demonstrate against the lessons about gay relationships, which teaches children about LGBT rights at the Anderton Park Primary School, Birmingham

Religious Bullies Try to Stop Equality.

This was on Sky News this morning:

Teachers ‘in tears’ at school gates as row over LGBT classes worsens

The former chief prosecutor for North West England tells Sky News that “outside agents” are responsible for inflamed tension

Sally Lockwood, North of England correspondent.

Mediation between parents and staff over the issue of relationships education at a Birmingham primary school has stalled.

Nazir Afzal who is in charge of steering talks between the council, parents and teachers, told Sky News that six weeks of discussions have been unsuccessful.

He claimed staff at Anderton Park Primary School are at risk and frequently break down in tears because of hostility at the school gates – with protests taking place against teaching children about same-sex relationships.

Mr Afzal, a former chief prosecutor for North West England, said: “I can’t think of any other way to get people round a table again than to speak to you and Sky.

“I’ve looked at the curriculum, there is nothing in the curriculum that is LGBT specific. There is nothing about gay sex.

I’ve seen people walking around outside of that school with stuff that they have downloaded from the internet suggesting this is on the curriculum.

“This is what’s being taught to their children. It’s a lie. And this is what I’m dealing with.”

It is important to note that the movement, called Stop RSE (relationships and sex education)  is not confined to Islamist bigots.

It an equal opportunity bigots’ campaign.

The Stop RSE campaign explains,

There are widespread concerns that the mandatory introduction of RE/RSE into all schools across England, from September 2020, and Wales from 2022, will be used by sex education organisations and LGBTQ+ activists to promote their controversial beliefs to the youngest of children.

There is an international move, backed by international bodies such as the United Nations and by organisations such as the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, to get compulsory sexuality education into all schools worldwide. Their agenda is not to educate children in the biological aspects of reproduction but to teach children that they are sexual beings and have the right on act on their sexual urges with who, what and when they like. There is a concerted effort to undermine parental and religious authority by making school teachers the primary educator of children in all matters of sexuality education, as it has been redefined.

The philosophy behind this new compulsory sex education agenda can be traced back to the sexual revolution, which had its heyday in the 1960s, and is influenced by various social and political movements. Ideologies from Marxism, radical feminism and gender theory have all contributed to this new sexual ideology. They have intertwined with the thought of various protagonists, the most notable being Alfred Kinsey, who is seen as the master architect of sexuality education as it is now being taught.

Their Facebook page promotes this (28th of May), which links paedophilia to RSE education.

Comprehensive Sex Education and the Sexualisation of our Children

“Our children are being assaulted and groomed in the classroom …. according to an FBI definition of grooming*

This lecture at Liberty University Law School makes a connection between traits pedophiles have and early childhood sexuality education is designed to teach in classrooms.

The National Secular Society gave  some background in February,

The National Secular Society has said the government should “not give ground” on relationships and sex education (RSE) in England’s schools after highlighting the bigoted messages of religious anti-RSE campaigners.

An NSS investigation has exclusively revealed that an academic who secured a debate on RSE in parliament has encouraged Muslims to adopt a “psychological” or “mental health” response to same-sex attraction.

In a speech promoting her anti-RSE campaign Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett also said homosexuality results from a lack of “guidance”.

Godfrey-Faussett is playing a key role in the primarily Islam-based Stop RSE campaign, which opposes plans to make RSE teaching compulsory. She also created a petition on the parliament.uk website which demands a parental opt-out from RSE classes.

In her speech about the campaign broadcast online Godfrey-Faussett said many young Muslims were “turning to same sex relationships because they haven’t had the guidance”. She bemoaned the “queering” of the “Muslim community” and said Muslims should “work psychologically or in a mental health capacity” with those experiencing same-sex attraction.

She claimed the government’s move was part of a “totalitarian endeavour to indoctrinate our children in secular ideologies” and criticised “the promotion of the homosexual agenda”.

She also called for “unity” among Muslims, approvingly quoting an imam who said: “While we’re arguing about whether we pray with our hands crossed or our hands by our side, our enemy is actually plotting to cut our hands off.”

Her petition says: “We believe it is the parent’s fundamental right to teach their child RSE topics or to at least decide who teaches them and when and how they are taught. We want the right to opt our children out of RSE when it becomes mandatory.”

Islam though does feature heavily in this campaign,

Downloadable resources which were available on its website until earlier this week included the book Marriage and Morals in Islam. This says: “In the Islamic legal system, homosexuality is a punishable crime against the laws of God. In the case of homosexuality between two males, the active partner is to be lashed a hundred times if he is unmarried and killed if he is married; whereas the passive partner is to be killed regardless of his marital status.

“In the case of two females (i.e. lesbianism), the sinners are to be lashed a hundred times if they are unmarried and stoned to death if they are married.”

he book goes on to say Islam “is not prepared to tolerate any perverted behaviour” and high rates of AIDS show “nature has not accepted” homosexuality “as a normal sexual behaviour”.

It also decries “the moral bankruptcy of the West”, based on some Christian churches’ acceptance of gay relationships.

Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett  is now being investigated.

The Islamist site, 5 Pillars, has come to her support.

Commenting on the letter sent to the council by the NSS, Dr Godfrey-Faussett told the Observer: “I have simply tried to warn people of the underlying liberal secular agenda of RSE and the harm that it may cause children – and is, in fact, already causing based on reports I am receiving from parents.

“It is well known that if you speak out against the secular narrative they will silence you through smear campaigns and getting you struck off professionally.”

More on this individual:

 

It does not take much effort to find worse, like this American cheerleader, Muslim Skeptic (sic).

Keep It Up! UK Muslims Shut Down LGBT Propaganda at Four Schools

There is no equivalence between sodomite fetishism and healthy sexuality between husband and wife after nikah. The former is a depraved act that debases a human being in every way, spreads moral decay, transforms society into a cesspool of degeneracy and base lust (as the Quran describes with Qawm Lut). The latter is the basis of love and mercy between two halves, man and woman, committed to each other, being fruitful with each other in nourishing a family that becomes the building block of a flourishing society as God Almighty intended.

Teaching Muslims LGBT and promoting “LGBT-friendly Islam” is a well known counter-radicalization tactic. These anti-Islam government agencies know that when a Muslim accepts LGBT, he is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from abandoning Islam entirely. This is one of the main reasons they are so insistent that Muslim children get anal sex lessons in elementary school.

By contrast:

Credit where credit is due, even Socialist Worker has this week taken a principled stand on the issue:

Resist the campaign to stop LGBT+ education

The Parkfield protest organisers, such as Ahmed, flaunt their homophobic bigotry whenever they are interviewed. “We do not accept homosexuality as a valid sexual relationship to have,” he said.

“This is about proselytising homosexuality to young children.”

The protests have been joined by conservative Christian and Jewish figures who oppose sex education.

Ahmed always claims that he isn’t homophobic and organisers say they don’t oppose teaching under the Equality Act.

But the Equality Act is weak. It calls only for the curriculum to be “designed to encourage respect for other people” and it does not apply to independent schools, including faith schools.

The Parkfield protesters stress that they call for “dialogue” and “consultation”, but for them that means getting rid of the No Outsiders programme for good.

At best it means watering down the lessons—to teach tolerance of LGBT+ people, but not that it’s possible to be both LGBT+ and Muslim.

Ezra from LGBT+ Muslim organisation Hidayah said, “The protesters at Parkfield talk about consultation. But I don’t think any consultation would make the parents have the lessons.

“There is no way that they would be happy with it because they view any teaching about different relationships or homosexuality as promoting it.”

The lessons should be reinstated.

Latest news:

In France in 2014 a similar movement of bigots united Islamists, ‘Conservative’ Muslims, and hard-line ‘traditionalist’ Catholics and the French far-right:

“Théorie” du genre : quand extrême droite et musulmans conservateurs font alliance.

Théorie du genre : est-on conscient de la mainmise de l’extrême droite ?

Vendredi 24 janvier et lundi 26 janvier 2014… quelques centaines de familles, parmi lesquelles de nombreuses familles musulmanes, n’envoient pas leurs enfants à l’école. Ils protestent contre des cours d’éducation sexuelle donnés à leurs enfants en bas âge.

Une autre lecture des événements devrait être celles-ci : les 24 et 26 janvier 2014, de nombreux musulmans, en retirant leurs enfants de l’école, en apportant du crédit aux rumeurs propagées par les initiateurs des Journées de retrait de l’école (JRE) apportent leurs soutiens aux mouvements d’extrême droite.

 

Tariq Ramadan, still facing Rape Charges, Attends Meeting on Violence Against Women in Saint Denis.

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Still Facing Rape Charges Ramadan Attends Public Meeting on Violence against Women. 

Tariq Ramadan assiste à une conférence sur les violences faites aux femmes

Le Point today.

Tariq Ramadan, toujours mis en examen pour viol dans deux dossiers et sous contrôle judiciaire, a été aperçu hier soir à Saint-Denis lors d’une réunion « contre les violences faites aux femmes au quotidien », en présence de Danièle Obono et de Françoise Vergès. Cette réunion était organisée par Madjid Messaoudène, militant décolonial et conseiller municipal La France insoumise en charge de l’égalité et des droits des femmes à la mairie de Saint-Denis. Des femmes en désaccord avec sa présence ont quitté la salle.

Tariq Ramadan , still indicted for rape in two cases and under judicial supervision (that is, on remand), was seen last night in Saint-Denis during a meeting “against the daily violence women face”, in the presence of Danièle Obono and Françoise Vergès. This meeting was organised by Madjid Messaoudène, decolonial activist and city councilor for La France insoumise responsible for equality and women’s rights  the Saint-Denis Council. Women who disagreed with his presence left the room.

The Mayor of Saint Denis reacted strongly,

His coming into the room as a spectator of the debate is an unacceptable provocation,”  said the mayor of Saint-Denis (French Communist Party) His presence is “totally indecent.

She is reported to have also said,

 His ignoble provocations must stop, ” insisted the mayor, calling Tariq Ramadan to ” respect a minimum of decency by leaving in peace those who fight against violence against women .”

The story is also covered in Libération:

A Saint-Denis, Tariq Ramadan s’invite à une conférence sur les violences faites aux femmes.

The arrogance of the Oxford Don is not just astonishing, it is despicable.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 19, 2019 at 5:52 pm

Yazdis March in Iraq for International Women’s Day: Honour to Nadia Murad!

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ISIS militants overran Nadia Murad’s village in northern Iraq when she was just a high school student. In 2018 the 25-year-old became a joint winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.

She shared the honor with Denis Mukwege, a doctor who has worked to treat thousands of women and girls affected by rape and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Unlike some previous winners of the prestigious award, such as Nelson Mandela or Malala Yousafzai, Murad isn’t a global household name. But she’s become an increasingly high-profile voice. She has used her traumatic experience — kidnapped, enslaved and raped by ISIS fighters — to become an advocate for the Yazidi minority in Iraq and to fight for the rights of women and refugees.

The Nobel committee chair said Murad had “shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.”

CNN. International Women’s Day.

 

Liberated Yazidi women burn their veils as Islamic State crumbles

As she emerged from five years captivity inside the Islamic State, Barfe Khalaf Farho wanted one thing more than anything else: fire.

The 26-year-old Yazidi had been forced to wear a niqab every day of her slavery in the homes of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighters and their wives.

So when she reached the Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) last week the first thing she did was tear off her veil and set it aflame. The Kurdish fighters cheered her on as the black garment twisted in the fire.

Read the, highly recommended, Nadia Murad: The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 8, 2019 at 11:46 am

Spiked Does Funny on the People’s Vote March, Transgenderism, Universal Credit Dependency, and Mansize Wank Tissues.

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Image result for spiked online bias

The Old Ones Are Still the Best.

I like a larf, me.

Spiked is on rare form this week, with top tips like “Bring back the mansize tissues”, Universal credit as an answer to why “many today are so dependent on the state to get by”,  and “Why isn’t transgenderism ‘cultural appropriation’? We chastise white women who have afro hairstyles but cheer men who dress as women.” by Brendan himself.

Not to mention defending the Italian far-right against the Brussels Tyrants.

But this – oh my aching sides! – is surely the best:

The People’s Vote march changed my mind on Brexit. Luke Gittos. 

It was the middle-class, puntastic placards that clinched it for me.

 As we assembled in London’s Mayfair, a working-class Leave voting stronghold, of course, I was blown away by the level of banner bantz.

‘Bears for Brexit’, and was carried by a group of very burly men with beards. I assume they were woodsmen of some kind.

After all, I saw at least 200,000 young people on that march. All we need to do is allow them to vote 87 times each and we will have a majority. That is what I call democracy.

They say this is pretty funny as well:

Luke Gittos is the author of Why Rape Culture is a Dangerous Myth: From Steubenville to Ched Evans.

So why the bleeding fuck do they publish this load of New Age cack that’s there today?

 

Daily life for our forefathers was harsh. The natural world was a brutal environment where life was competitive, callous, ferocious, merciless and short. Like all animals, we faced daily hazards and threats: freezing, drowning, disease, dying of hunger, thirst, and death from predators. This was not David Attenborough’s natural world, a spectacle we can enjoy from the comfort of our heated living rooms on plasma TVs. This was the savage natural world we, like all natural objects, came to exist in; not a Garden of Eden, but a gladiatorial arena ‘steeped in blood’.

Human consciousness, our ability to think abstractly, to develop language and speech, to cooperate and collaborate – in short, our sociality – enabled us to develop the collective imagination and creativity to overcome nature’s limits.

The example of flight illustrates this beautifully. One of the prices we paid for bipedality was that while our arms and hands were freed, they were not wings. Nature ‘forgot’ to give us wings. We could not escape predators by leaping into the air and flying out of harm’s way. Nor could we travel long distances over natural barriers like mountains or rivers. We do not have the size, strength or indeed the appendages to make this possible.

We are able to fly today as individuals because as a society we developed, over centuries, often in the face of a great deal of human scepticism, the knowledge of the materials to manufacture aeroplanes, the expertise to design jet engines and fuels to power them, and the grasp of the laws of aerodynamics. Our ability to fly, once limited by nature, is now a freedom, a new human need as commonplace and safe as walking, and far more impressive than anything conjured up by nature. In overcoming nature’s limitations, mankind has truly shown itself to be collectively ingenious — a species that can fly despite lacking the biological make-up for flight. The expertise developed to achieve this served change far greater than just flight. It helped to push the boundaries of knowledge and expertise in many other areas of human endeavour.

Contrary to the elite narrative, these accomplishments could never have been achieved in isolation from the mass of society, no matter how smart the individuals involved. The elite narrative presents a one-sided story of how innovation works. It mystifies innovation as being solely driven by the experts, while underestimating the critical importance of the many. In reality, experts are not born; they are created by society, through solving the problems confronting society.

Norman Lewis. The Enduring Wisdom.

Tariq Ramadan, admits to “Lying” in defending himself against Rape Allegations.

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Tariq Ramadan” «Désolé pour ma ‘violence’»: Sorry for my ‘violence’.(le Soir)

On the 25th of July prominent figures backed this campaign for Islamist Scholar Tariq Ramandan.

JOURNALISTS, ACADEMICS, FILMMAKERS EXPRESS OUTRAGE AT TARIQ RAMADAN’S UNJUST TREATMENT BY FRENCH JUDICIARY

We wish to remind the country that affirmed the inalienability of human rights and equality, the importance of respecting principles that ensure the integrity of French justice.”

The letter also expresses deep concern with the inhuman treatment that Tariq Ramadan has been subject to at the hands of French justice.

The signatories conclude by asking, “We ask our French friends: should it truly come to this?

They included:

Ken Loach, UK, Dr Norman Finkelstein, USA, Noam Chomsky, USA, Peter Oborne, London, UK, The Rt Revd Dr Rowan Williams, Cambridge, UK, Yvonne Ridley, Scotland, UK, Baroness Uddin, Charles Taylor, Montreal, Canada, Houria Bouteldja, Paris, France, Karen Armstrong, London, UK.

Now Ramadan has changed his story and admitted to lying.

Leading Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, charged with raping two women in France, claimed Monday that he had consensual sex with both of them after previously denying any physical contact.

France 24.

Ramadan, a well-known TV commentator, has strongly denied accusations that he raped the women in hotel rooms as an attempted smear by his opponents.

His lawyer Emmanuel Marsigny said the Swiss academic had changed his account of what happened on the basis of text messages that have emerged between him and his two accusers.

The messages “show that the plaintiffs lied and that the sexual encounters were wanted, consensual and even sought again afterwards”, Marsigny said.

The unearthing of these messages “has allowed him to acknowledge that he had sexual relations” with the women, Marsigny said.

Ramadan, accused of raping the women in 2009 and 2012, has been in custody since February 2.

He previously insisted he had no sexual contact with his two accusers, feminist activist Henda Ayari and a disabled woman known in media reports as “Christelle”.

Ramadan was a professor at Oxford University until he was forced to take leave when the rape allegations surfaced at the height of the “Me Too” movement late  last year.

The married father of four, whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, has repeatedly sought bail arguing that being in prison is making it difficult to treat his multiple sclerosis.

The courts have so far rejected his requests, ruling that he can receive adequate treatment in the prison hospital at Fresnes in the southern Paris suburbs.

Last month a computer expert working on the investigation retrieved 399 text messages between Ramadan and Christelle, whom he is accused of raping in a Lyon hotel room in 2009.

The text messages detailed his violent sexual fantasies ahead of the alleged attack.

Afterwards, the records show that he wrote to her: “I sensed your unease… apologies for my ‘violence’.”

Ramadan previously claimed he was involved in a “game of seduction” with Christelle, online and on the telephone.

But he said their only face-to-face contact was a drink in the hotel bar, describing her as a “compulsive liar”.

Ramadan’s lawyers have also provided details of his exchanges with Ayari, whom he is accused of raping in a Paris hotel in 2012.

The New Straits Times  adds,

Ramadan said he had “relations akin to sex games of the submissive-dominant kind, but always in a consensual and knowing way,” his lawyer said.

“It has been one year now that Mr Ramadan’s defendants have been playing tricks to save his cause. But the truth is that he lied from the beginning of this case by denying he had sexual relations and that it took one year to confess,” Jonas Haddad, a lawyer for the other plantiff, Henda Ayari, told Reuters.

“Will it take him another year to confess the rest?” he said.

Ramadan’s lawyer said a series of text messages found in the two women’s mobile phones showed the relations were consensual. He filed a request for Ramadan, in custody since he was notified of the French investigation on February 2, to be freed.

Written by Andrew Coates

October 23, 2018 at 12:04 pm

Criticising the burqa means lining up with racists – says SWP.

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Defiant woman rips off her black burqa after ISIS were driven away. (Raqqa October. 2017)

The fall out from Boris Johnson’s comments on the Burka continues.

Nobody doubts that they have given the wink to the far-right and legitimised prejudiced diatribes against ‘Muslims’.

But there is also a pro-body veil reaction from some quarters.

Liberal people who (as a Facebook friend in the US remarks) are up in arms about the world imagined in The Handmaid’s Tale. But often the same individuals give weight to the idea that the religious obligations inflicted on women by this interpretation of Islam, are a choice to be celebrated.

There is talk – I thought it remained safely relegated to distant memories of courses on ‘theory’ – about the way it may free the female shape from the ‘male gaze’.

As if Islamic Law is about anything other than the behaviour of the believers in the sight of god enforced through violence if need be.

Not surprisingly the British SWP, with its long history of complicity with Islamism, has bent to this wind.

They are not trying to shout down criticisms of the burqa by linking them to the far-right.

Why criticising the burqa means lining up with racists

Boris Johnson’s attack on the burqa has left some liberals with a problem.

The article begins with this bold assertion:

“when supposed progressives criticise the burqa, it gives more credibility to the more overt Islamophobes.”

It then jumps to this statement,

Some liberals see the burqa as a reflection of sexist ideas.

They assume that women are pushed to cover themselves because female flesh has been deemed dirty or too exciting to men.

Of course there will be some Muslims who think this. But the idea is hardly Islamic—it’s deeply rooted in Western capitalist societies.

So that’s all right then.

Or not.

Think of rape trials where women are told they were “asking for it” because of what they wore. Or the Canadian cop who said that women should “avoid dressing like sluts” to escape sexual assault.

The SWP claims that

Many liberals, and right wingers, claim they want to “liberate” oppressed Muslim women who they assume have been forced to cover up.

Are they alone.

Apparently not:

We should oppose women being forced to wear coverings. And we should stand with the women in Iran who have defied the state and removed their hijabs in public, imprisoned as a result.

This is what the SWP said about these protests (4th of June):

Women are resisting the compulsory wearing of the headscarf—which is another very good thing happening at the same time.

Even women who want to wear it are saying it should be the right of women to choose.

As the left we have to support the women fighting back, and not leave the issue to the pro-imperialist right.

The problem is that the issue grabs attention in the West because it resonates with the Islamophobic representations of Iran.

The issue is being hijacked by Islamophobia by some in the media in the West.

End of story for the SWP until this week.

But its not Islam that’s at fault

But it isn’t true that Islam forces women to cover themselves. Like other religions, Islam suggests that men and women dress “modestly”. What this means is open to interpretation, which is why different Muslim women choose to wear different coverings, or none at all.

Women often say they choose to wear coverings to feel closer to Allah. It’s patronising to assume that every women who wears a hijab, niqab or burka has been told to do so by a man.

So they do it for Allah.

If religion is not a problem what is?

This also treats the main source of oppression facing Muslim women as Muslim men. In fact, the main oppressor of Muslim women is the state.

The state is of course the principal form of oppression for ‘women’: no doubt the ‘state’ has a special function in oppressing women……

Apart from wishing away decades of feminist debate about patriarchy, the family, and the old saying that the “personal is political’,

The confusion reaches its apex in confusing state legislation about the full body veil, ‘forcing’ women to give up the ” veils, headscarves or burqas  with the idea that criticising the burka is to “line up with racists”.

Socialists should defend a woman’s right to choose what she wears. That includes the right to wear a burqa—and the right not to wear one.

Forcing Muslim women to give up wearing veils, headscarves or burqas isn’t liberating, just as encouraging women to wear skimpy clothes isn’t. Instead it’s just another form of judging women on their appearance and dress, and taking control and choice away from them.

Is siding with the legislation, in say France, when it was backed by all the political parties at the time, the same as being on the same side as the ‘far right’?

Is ‘forcing’ people to not wear the oppressive full-body veil the same as “criticism”?

This argument gets nowhere.

Rather than point out that the SEP feels no compunction about lining up with the far-right over Brexit the issue at hand should be taken seriously.

This is a ‘liberal’ view  of a Muslim woman the SWP and others are trying to  shut up.

Boris Has Made it Almost Impossible for Muslims to Critique Veiling.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

In my view, scarves, cloaks and masks symbolise the negation of the female form, female inferiority and menace, and most troublingly, a wilful distancing from other humans in the public space.

One of Britain’s foremost scholars Ziauddin Sardar, has this to say on the controversial subject: “In a total perversion of Qur’anic advice, dressing modestly has been interpreted as dressing like a nun, covered from head to foot, showing only a woman’s face (in some circles only the eyes), wrists and feet.”

Females thus accept the burden of modesty while men do not, though both have this obligation. Millions of Muslim women do not submit to these pressures. One of them, a senior TV producer unloaded her frustrations in an email: “We came here to get away from these oppressive expectations. Britain offered hope, a place where you were protected by the law, could be educated, go out, be free. “You could make your own decisions, strive to be equal to men.

Now this freedom is crumbling away because of a few shouty, veiled women. Our voice remains unheard.”

She is right. Vast numbers of white Britons give us their support when most we need it. They did this week. We Muslims need to give a little too – abandon regressive customs and integrate for the greater good and our survival. With the hard right marching again across Europe, Muslims face an existential threat. This is no time for cultural and religious obstinacy.

These are her views (2015) in more depth:  As a Muslim woman, I see the veil as a rejection of progressive values.

They are much more materialist and historically rooted than airy abstractions about the ‘state’.

Muslim feminists of the past critiqued and repudiated the veil. One of them was a man, Qasim Amin, an Egyptian judge and philosopher, who in 1899 wrote The Liberation of Women.He was the John Stuart Mill of the Arab world. Huda Shaarawi set up the Egyptian women’s union in the early 1920s. One day in 1923, as she disembarked from a train in Cairo, she threw off her veil and claimed her right to be visible. Educated Iranian women started feminist magazines and campaigned against the veil around the same time. These pioneers have been written out of history or are dismissed as western stooges by some contemporary Muslim intellectuals.

After the transformative 60s, Muslim feminists resumed the fight for equality. European rule was over. It was time. The Moroccan academic Fatema Mernissi, Egypt’s Nawal El Saadawi and the Pakistani scholar Riffat Hassan all argued for female emancipation. They rightly saw the veil as a a tool and symbol of oppression and subservience. Mernissi’s Beyond the Veil ( 1975) is a classic text. So too El Saadawi’s The Hidden Face of Eve (1975). But more conservative Islamic tenets have taken over lands, communities, families, heads and hearts.

The promise of this version is a return to certainties and “purity” of belief, a mission backed by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Deobandi revivalists, funded by Arab money, now run more mosques in Britain than any other Muslim subgroup. Women are told not to travel without male relatives, not to work, to be subservient, to veil. This movement began as a reaction against the Indian raj and mutated into a fundamentalist creed. Today their pushback against “cultural imperialism” appeals to many alienated young Muslims. And, in part, it explains the growing popularity of the hijab, jilbab and full veil .

But in the Qur’an, the veil is mostly used metaphorically to describe barriers between good and bad, believers and nonbelievers. In two verses, women are told to lower their gaze, and to cover their private parts and bosoms. Men are also instructed to lower their gaze, and to dress modestly. One verse commands the women in the prophet’s family to fully veil, partly to protect them from enemies and supplicants.

Sahar Amer, associate professor at the University of North Carolina, has studied these sacred injunctions: “[Nowhere] is the hijab used to describe, let alone prescribe, the necessity for Muslim women to wear a headscarf or any other pieces of clothing often seen covering women in Islamic countries today. Even after reading those passages dealing with the female dress code, one continues to wonder what exactly the hijab is: is it a simple scarf? A purdah? A chador? Or something else? Which parts of the body exactly is it supposed to cover? Just the hair? The hair and neck? The arms? Hands? Feet? Face? Eyes?”

 

All religions cast women as sinners and temptresses. Conservative Islam has revived the slander for our times

 

Veils, in truth, predate Islam. Zoroastrian and Byzantine upper-class ladies wore them to keep aloof from the hoi polloi. When Islam’s armies first reached Persia, they were shocked at this snobbery; then they adopted the custom they loathed; the control of women was hard-wired into their psyches.

All religions cast women as sinners and temptresses. Conservative Islam has revived the slander for our times. Women have to be sequestered or contained lest they raise male lust and cause public disorder. Some young Muslim women argue that veils liberate them from a modern culture that objectifies and sexualises females. That argument is appealing; but if credible, why would so many hijabis dress in tight jeans and clinging tops, and why would so many Muslim women flock to have liposuction or breast enhancements?

It is complicated: veils for me represent both religious arrogance and subjugation; they both desexualise and fervidly sexualise. Women are primarily seen as sexual creatures whose hair and bodies incite desire and disorder in the public space. The claim that veils protect women from lasciviousness and disrespect carries an element of self-deception. I have been at graduation ceremonies where shrouded female students have refused to shake the hand of the chancellor. Veiled women have provoked confrontations over their right to wear veils, in courts, at schools and in colleges and workplaces. But I regard their victories as a rejection of social compromise.

Written by Andrew Coates

August 21, 2018 at 12:15 pm