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Quite a divisive figure, not a little brave neither but
"Hirsi Ali is no fundamentalist."
I've become so disenchanted by the state of the left-wing politics at the moment.
Isn't she the one that preaches that Islam is entirely the evil thing that bigots and xenophobes would like to think? Certainly I've only ever seen her stuff posted by people I'd describe as 'right wing', not 'left wing'.
She's a committed Feminist who's appalled by
a) treatment of women in certain Islamic countries and communities
b) the West's failure to condemn this treatment of women due to putting a misguided belief in "cultural relavatism" over the idea that universal human rights would imply all women have the right to be treated equally by men.
She rose to notoriety when she made a film with Theo Van Gogh which criticised treatment of women in Islamic societies.
Theo Van Gogh got murdered by an Islamic Fundamentalist for making this film and, after the left were far more appalled that someone would criticise Islam than they were that someone would literally slice someone open with a knife in a street in broad daylight, she was condemned by pretty much the entire left and fled to America where she has associated far more with right-wing than left-wing peope but mostly because, from her treatment, it would appear that the left don't give a fuck about human rights and don't give a fuck about what happens to women or homosexuals in non-Western cultures. So it's hard to blame her.
Obviously the left always care about Western human rights abuses. It's just when America/the West isn't the perpetrator they find it easy to turn a blind eye.
But I think to ascribe what happened to her as down to 'left-wing politics' isn't really accurate or fair.
Basically you're talking about a certain sort of person who really has little in common with a 'right' or 'left', just as making parallels with Tories and the BNP in any way that is not satirical is really fairly fucking stupid.
In a general sense are you implying that we should be trying to change these cultures? Moreover I'd say that there's a big difference between Islam and the culture it sits in and the two shouldn't be confused, though xenophobes tend to love to do this and what I've seen of her statements plays directly into their ideas.
It's a problem to do that because Islam is a fiercely partisan religion so if you start saying "Islam is all about human rights abuses" then you get into an area where you leave people wide open to be brainwashed by terrorist nut cases.
I would hope that people DO condemn human rights abuses and I'd suggest that Amnesty International is surely an example of a 'leftist' organisation that does just that.
But as to 'cultural relativism' it's surely an unsurprising result of years of colonialism that was taking an opposite view and it probably will take quite a while before any sort of happy medium is found, if indeed one could be found.
I honestly don't have an answer to your point, though. I abhor that cutlures engage in large amounts of sexism and racism which have outlawed and attempt to stem. Equally I don't like the idea of using armed forces or economic sanctions to try to force whole countries to think like we do. Part of the problem is that we are economically very powerful and so we are emancipated enough to be able to force this sort of change. I'm not sure it's possible to just make a country that isn't so powerful move into our league of human rights belief.
This post is now so long that I am not sure if I've made any sense. I probably haven't.
"But as to 'cultural relativism' it's surely an unsurprising result of years of colonialism that was taking an opposite view and it probably will take quite a while before any sort of happy medium is found, if indeed one could be found."
...an unsurprising result perhaps, but does that justify it? Two wrongs don't make a right. Ignoring the plight of women in post-colonian countries is absolutely the worst way to atone for our colonial past.
I just think dismissing all of left-wing politics on the principle that some people are cunts is a bit of a closeminded view.
Moreover, I don't think the 'happy medium' in this case is really us saying "You guys are very very bad with your womens' rights...Okay, time for lunch." It's a fucked up area, really.
but based on my experiences it feels is that this kind of stuff and this tendency to measure other societies by a different moral standard* to our own is massively widespread amongst the left (and particularly the actively political left) and to be honest I seem to encounter this kind of skewered world view far more often than I don't when I talk to left-wing politically minded people. And it certainly seems to be the case at political meetings.
It might be that the people who do it are just louder than the people who don't, it might be that political meetings basically turn into "I'm more left-wing than you are" pissing contests or it might just me being unlucky in who I meet but I do despiar a little.
I think it's fair to be frustrated with some of the more blind adherents to nouveau left dogma...there's concern, at least domestically,with accomodation of pretty anti-enlightenment views that come with political Islam,
It's pretty odd to see supposed liberals concerning themselves with dogmatic entrenched religious rights whilst conservatives questioning these and
ermmm...Basically that in better words
Strangely it's always 'the left' that seems to try to homogenise its self or its done-so from the outside.
What Paul meant is he's disillusioned with fuckwits who decide that left-wing politics is the same thing as being a complete moron.
But it seems bizarre that somehow this is the same as leftwing politics in general. To imply that left-wing politics is all about (basically) George Galloway being a complete nightmare is really doing no favours to anyone.
I've read one book by Chomsky and I'd have to say the guy is blinkered in the same way Paul's talking about: having a massive pop at US Hegemony while not seeking to be honest about a lot of the left-wing regimes he mentions. It hurts his argument and makes me not like him. I don't consider that means left-wing politics is in a bad state. It's a lot bigger than that. Or I would hope it is.
Islam and Islamism innit
THIIIIINK ABOUUUT IT!!!!
MADE YA THINK!!!! HUH??!
sorry I'll stop, I'm tired, but yes I think we're on similar sheets
but at the same time Chomsky is widely revered as one of the foremost political writers of mdern times, which I think does say something about left-wing politics.
I agree with you that I'm being unfair in homogenising the left (and I've got a lot of time and respect for the Euston Manifesto for example and think that's evidence that all isn't bad).
I guess what frustrates me is that I think these days the left seems to be the default political choice for a lot of people and so nowadays you get the same ill-informed loudmouths as you do on the right and basically in the same way that the ill-infommed outspoken views of the Daily Mail reader or the Have Your Say contributor have become what many people think of as "typical" right-wing views, their left-wing equivalents are equally vocal in their own ill-informed prejudices. And of course these people aren't the whole sum of left-wing politics but they sure do act like they are.
but I don't think it's that recent a thing - I think there were always some fist magnets within the left innnnnnnit
It's probably just that as I get older I notice them more...
"trut to an extent pure"
to be honest
But it is one of these issues (along with Shirin Ebadi being asked not to talk about Iranian human rights abuses when addressing an anti-war rally and along with an Iraqi trade unionist whose name I forget being booed off stage at a Stop the War Coallition conference for daring to point out that trade union members were no longer being beaten up or imprisoned now Saddam Hussein is no longer in power) which have led me to question the direction certain left-wing political movements are taking and whether it's lost sight of a commitment to demoracry universal human rights.
I agree there's no straight-forward answers and I don't necessarily suggest we should be physically trying to change cultures. But I do think we have a responsibility to respect and advocate universal equality for all regardless of gender, sexuality, race etc. and be prepared to speak out against any society where it occurs and stand by and protect those who speak out against inequalities within their own societies at great risk to themselves.
Part of the problem is people are generally very nationalistic. Not in a BNP/Fascist way, in a sort of "I love my country" way.
What this means is that the first thing you'll get if you go around condemning another country's human rights record is a labelling of hipocrisy because our record isn't perfect. Does it need to be? No, it need only be significantly better...and I hope it is, though there are clearly outrageous breaches like Guantanmo.
However, it's difficult to make headway when things can be so quickly twisted to someone else's political agenda. Hence you have Al Qaeda making gold off the back off the fact that we as a colonial nation fucked things up so badly.
for that liberal disillusionent book for a while?
I'm due to get that book back off a friend soon and then I'll get it to you when I see you next...
But she based most of her writing on 'personal experiences' that she has now admitted were not true: i.e she was not forced into a marriage, her father was actually a militantly left wing activist who was against female circumcision, yet she portrayed him as a backward conservative woman oppressor.
Lots of people condemn female circumcision and argue for human rights in the non western world. She has been exposed as a liar, an opportunist and right wing apologist. The Left have every right to criticise her. She was expelled from the Labour party for advocating the forced deportation of Dutch born citizens because of their dress, yet she has herself entered the country fraudulently. The Left have enough champions for human liberty that who also happen to have integrity. We can do without self serving opportunists mimicking the human rights speak.
Also, "enlightenment fundamentalism" is one of the most retarded phrases I've heard in a while.
Completely agree with you on Enlightenment Fundamentalism. I'm sure I've heard the phrase "Free Speech Fundamentalists" used too...
Although my personal favourite bit of stupidity (I forget who it was who said it) was a theorist who claimed that "common sense is a sexist construct".