Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Islamist Aggressors Are Really the Victims
by Phyllis Chesler
Things are getting ugly and more surreal far more swiftly than anyone thought possible.
Just today, roving male vigilante squads are menacing women in Chechnya for not wearing headscarves during Ramadan; they are attacking women verbally, punching them, spraying them with paintballs, and taunting them with automatic rifles. So much for those who insist that wearing a headscarf or a face veil are free “choices” and have no consequences for those who do not exercise the same “choice.”
Is this the same Russian province that was once ruled by Catherine the Great, the woman who sought to emulate French and European Enlightenment values? Is this even the same bloody Russia that once sought to elevate women, however drearily, into the Soviet Party, the Russia in which women became tractor drivers, factory forewomen, doctors, lawyers, high-level apparachniks, engineers, magnificent ballet stars and athletes?
I think not.
The only way to keep nationalist primitivism down is to oppose it with an even more chilling centralized force—at least, that’s what Stalin thought. The cost was far too great in human lives and suffering. Yet, here is what’s waiting under the rock, at the other side of history.
This problem is not confined to regions which border Afghanistan, Iran, and India.
Childhood for Muslims is being rapidly “Talibanized,” not in Afghanistan but in London where veteran British Muslim journalist, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, describes children who are now being beaten by British parents for engaging in any activity that their imam has described as “anti-Islamic.” This includes singing, listening to music, dancing, drawing, acting—as well as befriending infidel schoolmates.
In honor of the foremen who led the restoration work on a church in Lyon, France (or who wished to honor his religion), a gargoyle now bears the sign: “Allahu Akbar,” (Allah is Greatest), in French and Arabic. The Church prelates do not see this as a provocation or an insult and are not protesting.
Wonder how something like that would go over in Mecca? Let’s say, if we carved a sign above the Ka’aba which read: “The Jewish God is Great” or “The Christian God is Great”?
Women are veiling all over Western and Northern Europe, the continent is, in part, beginning to look like the Middle East or North Africa. European women, like my friend and colleague, Carol Gould, are, indeed, invited to appear on Iranian and Arabic television channels, often to debate angry mullahs—but only if they don headscarves, not otherwise.
When westerners protest this course of events, they are demonized as “Islamophobes” and “racists.” This means, that any resistance to Islamification is first shamed and slandered. If that doesn’t work, physical intimidation and lawsuits follow. The media, at least in the West, mainly takes the Islamist side (even against all those Muslims who genuinely wish to integrate into the West), and insists that such resistance is intolerant, prejudiced, not in the best western tradition but rather, follows in the footsteps of the Ku Klux Klan or even the Nazi party.
Even George Orwell would be astounded.
But this is what is happening right now in the fight over the mosque near Ground Zero. Those who oppose it are being called “bigots,” “racists,” and madmen, at least in the mainstream media. Those who defend it are seen as enlightened, tolerant “victims” whose religious freedom has been impugned. Just yesterday, Daisy Khan, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s wife, claimed that the attacks have gone far beyond “Islamophobia” and are now in the realm of “discrimination against Jews.”
Next thing I expect to hear is that the “Zionists” are behind the discrimination against the “Jewish” Muslims.
Folks: Welcome to the Middle East.
I want to acknowledge the work of Esther at IslamInEurope as well the helpful communications from Carol Gould in London.