An idiot, but useful?
As I was walking through Walthamstow last week I heard a familiar voice over a bull horn. It was the sound of the Socialist Worker Party ranting about the evil of Israel, the immorality of the war in Iraq and a plea not to attack Iran. Why should all this bother a British socialist party?
On the surface, and the reason they would no doubt give, would be their feeling of brotherhood with their fellow man. Indeed, I’m sure we all feel bad as an Israeli jet smashes another Beirut tower block to smithereens or another group of Iraqis are found executed in a ditch. They would also, no doubt, rope in a few arguments about oil, imperialism and global capitalism, the lefts equivalents of Jews, gypsies and Freemasons for explaining the evils of the world.
But it is hard not to believe that there is a more sinister calculation at work here. Walthamstow, like many parts of east London, has a large and growing Muslim community. Furthermore, it is not clear how many of them belong to the peaceful creed of Islam that we are told about after every September 11th, Bali, Beslan, Madrid, 7/7, Mumbai… East 17 is home to Anjem Choudary, a man who earned the reputation as a “fanatic” for claiming that he wouldn’t pass prior knowledge of another tube bombing onto the Police because “I don’t think Muslims can co-operate with police” Just a year ago Abdul Muhid was arrested for giving a speech on Walthamstow Market in which he called for British soldiers in Iraq to be killed and homosexuals to be thrown from cliff tops. At the end of last year the banned Islamist group Al Muhajiroun had a meeting in Walthamstow cancelled at the last minute when Police deemed it to be a security threat. The meeting had been publicised by leaflets proclaiming “Islamic State for Britain. There can be no negotiations.” In July 2006, CNN reported on a meeting in Walthamstow where young Muslims watched videos supporting terrorist acts with one claiming that “The people who are to blame for the 7th of July, are number one, the British government. No doubt about that. The British public are responsible and are to blame for what happened on the 7th of July because they voted for that government”. It is into this environment that the idiotic lefties bring posters branding George W. Bush “Worlds #1 Terrorist”.
It is an odd marriage in many ways. For example, one of the core beliefs of the left always used to be a fairly radical brand of feminism and women’s rights. One might wonder then how they feel about the status of Islamic women as second class citizens. In 2000 Human Rights Watch reported on human rights in the middle east and north Africa and found that “in all these countries as in others in the region, women continued to suffer from severe forms of institutional and societal discrimination in nearly every aspect of their lives, particularly in the form of unequal personal status laws and the lack of legal redress in cases of domestic violence. Despite some positive initiatives, tens of millions of women throughout the region continued to be denied full equality, a fact that was reflected in high rates of illiteracy and maternal mortality and low rates of political participation and was justified in terms of religion, culture, and tradition”. Azam Kamguianhas has written that “Few would argue that the status of women in the Middle East can be understood without reference to Islam. Although the legal-religious systems of no two Middle Eastern countries are identical, women are second-class citizens in all of them. But neither can the position of women in the region be understood without an appreciation of the economic and political contexts in which they live, and of the influence of Political Islam”. This is no longer the preserve of backward countries in the Middle East, the main east London Mosque has separate doors for men and women. Once again, for every claim that Islam is actually enlightened on issues of gender politics, there is a hadith such as this; An-Nisa 4: 34 “As to those women On whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill -conduct, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share beds, (and Last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): For God is Most High, Great (above you all)” or a Koranic verse such as this; “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because men spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those among you who fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.” Sura 4:34
What of the struggle for gay rights, once so cherished by the left? Dr. Muhammad M. Abu Laylah, professor of Islamic Studies and Comparative Religions at Al-Azhar University, is on record as saying that “this act is an ugly sin which Allah forbids in all religions, even in the most primitive ones. It is against the ordinances of Allah and against the law of nature. I wonder how in this age of advanced knowledge, science, technology, we allow such things to take place in our human society, how someone allows or gives a legal sanction to such a widespread act that poses a threat to the whole human race and destroys our fabric of society like cancer”. Back in August 2005, Sheik Khalid Yasin went on Australian television to declare that “If you prefer the name of somebody on your clothes other than the name of the Muslims, if you prefer the clothing of the Kaffers (sic) other than the clothing of the Muslims, most of the names that’s on most of those clothing is faggots, homosexuals and lesbians. God is very straightforward about this – not we Muslims, not subjective, the Sharia is very clear about it, the punishment for homosexuality, bestiality or anything like that is death. We don’t make any excuses about that, it’s not our law – it’s the Koran”.
So how does the left wing react to this? In an effort to appease their new found fundamentalist friends, the Socialist Review castigated the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association for calling Islam a “barmy doctrine”. But when the Koran clearly states that “If two men among you commit indecency, punish them both.” (Koran 4:16), is the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association really being that out of line?
Then we come to animal rights. Many on the political left who had the tremendous bravery to stand up to the stuffy old fox hunters find that their courage deserts them when faced with Islamic practices of animal slaughter. In actual fact the Koran contains many instructions to Muslims to treat animals well and has the usual blood curdling penalties for those who don’t. But few people who live in east London will have failed to notice the fast food places which have the word ‘Halal’ in the window. Halal butchery involves “slitting the throats of fully conscious animals so they bleed to death, which can take up to three minutes”. The moderate Muslim Council of Britain says that “It’s a sudden and quick haemorrhage. A quick loss of blood pressure and the brain is instantaneously starved of blood and there is no time to start feeling any pain” but a spokesperson for the Farm Animal Welfare Council said that “This is a major incision into the animal and to say that it doesn’t suffer is quite ridiculous”. When one thinks of the fuss the left wing kicked up about the 13,000 foxes killed by hunters each year, it seems odd that they have remained silent over the 600,000 farm animals killed in this unnecessarily cruel way.
It would be interesting to hear the left wing anti Israelis share their views on women’s lib, gay rights and animal welfare with wider Walthamstow, but such is their craven, cynical cowardice that they keep quiet for fear of alienating their new found Islamist friends. They are hoping to harness the electoral power of Islam, as Big Brother star George Galloway has done in his Bethnal Green and Bow constituency. This isn’t without historical precedent. Back in 1933, German Chancellor Franz Von Papen thought he could shore up his dwindling popularity by bringing the National Socialists on side and getting some of Hitler’s support for himself. The disastrous results should be known even to those ignorant fools on the left.
But perhaps there is more to this unlikely marriage of left wing politics and Islamo-fascism than a cynical political calculation. Of course, on the issues above, feminism, gay rights and animal rights, there would appear to be a wide divergence but the two groups do share one very important thing; an opposition to the modern world. An open world of trade and integration, of falling borders and the free movement of people and ideas is anathema to the left. When we look back to the countries of the old communist block, they cast off Communism as quickly as they could when they saw the wealth and opportunity that can be had with Capitalism. For the mullahs too there is the awareness that the freedom to live your life as you see fit which we enjoy in liberal democracies will soon leave their mosques empty. In the face of this, the modern world, the left wing and Islamic puritans are bound together in a rancid alliance of aggression and denial.