Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hatred of Women, Jews and Indians plus Others

I once mentioned before in a blog the visceral hatred towards myself as a Western hawaji I experienced while studying Arabic at King Abdul-Aziz University back in the mid-seventies in Jidda, Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden was studying there at the time and once by chance I spotted exiled ethnic cleanser and devout Muslim Idi Amin, the "Last King of Scotland" in the street near the Queens Building.

Long ago, I vaguely remember a very long and very drunken conversation with Christopher Hitchens years afterward during a boozy lunch that lasted til sunset---Pakistanis were the subject and Hitch was angry about President Zia, who had hanged President Bhutto, his predecessor, whom Hitchens had some acquaintance with. Or his daughter, Benazir, I forget.

Watching Christiane Amanpour's CNN program on British Muslims, I was struck by the same visceral hatred by British Muslim leaders that I had experienced in a more silent way decades before, by Pakistani Arabic students in Jidda. I was not surprised that Christopher mentioned her shocking expose and he has much to say about the hatred toward women the CNN program allowed to be seen.

In his Slate article, Hitchens lambasts the fatuous New York Times for its various takes on the terror-bomb attempts in England and Scotland, then launches into his particular brand of high dudgeon:
Only at the tail end of the [NYT] coverage was it admitted that a car bomb might have been parked outside a club in Piccadilly because it was "ladies night" and that this explosion might have been designed to lure people into to the street, the better to be burned and shredded by the succeeding explosion from the second car-borne cargo of gasoline and nails. Since we have known since 2004 that a near-identical attack on a club called the Ministry of Sound was proposed in just these terms, on the grounds that dead "slags" or "sluts" would be regretted by nobody, a certain amount of trouble might have been saved by assuming the obvious. The murderers did not just want body parts in general but female body parts in particular.

Not that that should interest the ardently pro-feminist NYT. He goes on:
I suppose that some people might want to shy away from this conclusion for whatever reason, but they cannot have been among the viewers of British Channel 4's recent Undercover Mosque, or among those who watched Sunday's report from Christiane Amanpour on CNN's Special Investigations Unit. On these shows, the British Muslim fanatics came right out with their program. Straight into the camera, leading figures like Anjem Choudary spoke of their love for Osama Bin Laden and their explicit rejection of any definition of Islam as a religion of peace. On tape or in person, mullahs in prominent British mosques called for the killing of Indians and Jews.

Or the NYT's large Jewish readership.
Liberal reluctance to confront this sheer horror is the result, I think, of a deep reticence about some furtive concept of "race." It is subconsciously assumed that a critique of political Islam is an attack on people with brown skins. One notes in passing that any such concession implicitly denies or negates Islam's claim to be a universal religion. Indeed, some of its own exponents certainly do speak as if they think of it as a tribal property. And, at any rate, in practice, so it is. The fascistic subculture that has taken root in Britain and that lives by violence and hatred is composed of two main elements. One is a refugee phenomenon, made up of shady exiles from the Middle East and Asia who are exploiting London's traditional hospitality, and one is the projection of an immigrant group that has its origins in a particularly backward and reactionary part of Pakistan.

He might also have mentioned that confronting "this sheer horror" is what President George W. Bush has been advocating, and the Bush Derangement Syndrome prevailing among liberals does not allow him to be correct in his judgment on the GWOT.
To the shame-faced white-liberal refusal to confront these facts, one might counterpose a few observations. The first is that we were warned for years of the danger, by Britons also of Asian descent such as Hanif Kureishi, Monica Ali, and Salman Rushdie. They knew what the village mullahs looked like and sounded like, and they said as much. Not long ago, I was introduced to Nadeem Aslam, whose book Maps for Lost Lovers is highly recommended. He understands the awful price of arranged marriages, dowry, veiling, and the other means by which the feudal arrangements of rural Pakistan have been transplanted to parts of London and Yorkshire. "In some families in my street," he writes to me, "the grandparents, parents, and the children are all first cousins—it's been going on for generations and so the effects of the inbreeding are quite pronounced by now." By his estimate and others, a minority of no more than 11 percent is responsible for more than 70 percent of the birth defects in Yorkshire. When a leading socialist member of Parliament, Ann Cryer, drew attention to this appalling state of affairs in her own constituency, she was promptly accused of—well, you can guess what she was accused of. The dumb word Islamophobia, uncritically employed by Christiane Amanpour in her otherwise powerful documentary, was the least of it. Meanwhile, an extreme self-destructive clannishness, which is itself "phobic" in respect to all outsiders, becomes the constituency for the preachings of a cult of death. I mention this because, if there is an "ethnic" dimension to the Islamist question, then in this case at least it is the responsibility of the Islamists themselves.

After noting that all religions are repressive sexually to some degree, Hitchens says
In Britain, in the 21st century, there are now honor killings, forced marriages, clerically mandated wife-beatings, incest in all but name, and the adoption of apparel for females that one cannot be sure is chosen by them but which is claimed as an issue of (of all things) free expression. This would be bad enough on its own and if it were confined to the Muslim "community" alone. But, of course, such a toxin cannot be confined, and the votaries of theocracy now claim the God-given right to slaughter females at random for nothing more than their perceived immodesty. The least we can do, confronted by such radical evil, is to look it in the eye (something it strives to avoid) and call it by its right name. For a start, it is the female victims of this tyranny who are "disenfranchised," while something rather worse than "disenfranchisement" awaits those who dare to disagree.

In America, I've noticed recently that the "liberals" in network television like to ridicule white males for being, as Tina Fey put it on 30 Rock, "mouth-breathing slack-jaw Appalachians." That's because Bush's support among rural white males is very high.

And yet they overlook the violent reactionary nature of Islamists---who openly advocate arranged marriages, honor killings, inbreeding and the ethnic cleansing of Jews, Indians, and the destruction of Buddhist historical monuments in Afghanistan---because in the liberal liturgy, they have somehow been repressed and are "people of color."

Worse, they openly ridicule coverage of the London and Glasgow attempts as "hysterical" and one particularly goofy interview between Keith Olbermann and Larry Johnson where Olbermann ominously noted that every terrorist incident "drives up Bush's approval in the ratings."

Thank goodness for Amanpour and sane journalists who ignore Johnson, who is repeating his famous "nothing's going to happen" mantra of July 2001 when he said that all the
hoopla about a coming terrorist event was hype. The Washington Post has an article today noting that the CIA, despite Johnson's optimism, is expecting attacks on the template that recent US and British attempts, ridiculed for being technically unsuccessful or nipped in the bud as at Fort Dix, are going to proliferate as more franchise outlets of Al Qaeda spread virulent reactionary doctrine among otherwise placid law-abiding Muslims.

And overlooked in the news out of Britain was the murder in Yemen by Al Qaeda of seven Spanish tourists in Marib by a suicide bomber who rammed their guarded convoy. I visited Marib back in the day, and it was robbers and highwaymen and sellers of fake archeological artifacts that one had to fear, not politicized religious suicidal maniacs.

Nowadays, we complain about airport delays---I dropped wife and daughter off at West Palm Beach International yesterday and our SUV was waved to the side of the entry road and searched for suspicious materials---nothing but a barking Bichon Frise was found. A small price to pay for keeping the terror-mongers at bay.

1 comment :

El Rider said...

"(A) minority of no more than 11 percent is responsible for more than 70 percent of the birth defects in Yorkshire." Kind of brings a new meaning to Tina Fey's "mouth-breathing slack-jaw Appalachians." doesn't it? After spending decades looking down their "collective" noses at the southern part of the US; some of the food, many of the local customs, all of the religious beliefs (all of which they would be utterly enthralled with anywhere else in the world), etc. When faced with a force that makes the Hatfields and the McCoys look like children at play