Cameron has alienated the very people he must ally with: Muslim women

You’d think, from the way politicians tend to frame the issue, that there were legions of misguided voters passionately intent on protecting the right of controlling men to isolate their wives from all influence but theirs.

David Cameron, in 2016, sounds no different to David Blunkett in 2002, when he insists that immigrant women must be empowered to learn English, or else. Except that they don’t say “migrant women”. They say “Muslim women” when speaking of the “alarming picture of forced gender segregation, discrimination and social isolation”. Misogyny, it seems, is only a problem when it’s Islamic misogyny.

Just to be clear, it is not controversial to declare that Islamic misogyny is a particular and large problem. Islam is a highly patriarchal belief system. Muslim feminists argue that their religion does not have to be practised in a way that oppresses women. But the fact is that Islam is used again and again, by nations, cultures and individuals, to justify the negation of the rights and freedoms of women. This is not unsayable, and authorities from Cologne to Rochdale who believe that such assertions should not be encouraged or confronted are part of the problem. [1210 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 569 votes] “Who are the people in the best position to provide solutions to this problem? Other Muslim women” I think that it’s time to let go of the idea that Islam can only be reformed from the inside, especially given that there’s no sign of it happening. We in the west – including moderate Muslims – should stop tip-toeing around it for fear of causing ‘offence’. We should just move past that. There’s no human right not to be offended. There never was.

The vision of multiculturalism as a set of discrete, non-overlapping blocs, each with their own value system, has been a manifest failure. But that model isn’t the only one available – we could try co-existing around a core set of values that we all share. One such would be the freedom to openly criticise each other’s ideas. Everyone should be free to believe what they want, and everyone else should be free to openly question that, with no fear of violence.

A couple of hundred years ago, criticising the Pope in Europe could fast-track you to a grisly end, like Theo Van Gogh, or the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. One of the key reasons Catholicism lost that power is the spread of information, the loosening of taboos, the gradual erosion of the edifice of solemnity and mystery that it shrouded itself in. Islam retains that edifice to this day. In Europe and elsewhere, fundamentalist Muslims have successfully implemented a blasphemy law, enforceable by summary execution.

How could we have allowed that to happen? It’s absurd to sit around waiting for Islam to reform itself from within, when it’s plain to see that it’s moving in the opposite direction. Those Muslims who want to publicly speak out against its oppressive might can only do so if they’re ready for immediate martyrdom at the hands of their grim-faced coreligionists. The conditions created by these lunatics are such that Islam can’t possibly reform. The process can’t even begin.

[2ND 391] 1) Ditch the facemasks

2) Learn English

3) Ensure integration by allowing your daughters to intermarry if they wish.

[3RD 374] The misogynists are those that want to suppress women by isolating them, physically and linguistically, from British society so that they do not get ideas above their station.

[4TH 361] Must ally with?

Am I the only person who’s a little tired of being told what ‘we’ must do in order to better accommodate Muslims per se?

[5TH 349] How luck we are to have Deborah Orr to tell us what Muslim women think.

[6TH 347] Muslim communities exercise postal voting to an extent completely out of kilter with the rest of the population.

Since Muslims are no more prone to disability or infirmity than any other section of the population, there must be a reason for this unusual number of postal voters.

Please take your head out of the sand; democracy is being subverted.

[7TH 231] What Cameron said was quite clear. Orr seems intent on muddying the issue. If you’re upset about how a politician says something rather than what he is saying then you’ll probably hate the next few years. People are getting sick of cotton wool politics when it comes to a particular misogynistic and ill-integrated demographic, and will welcome strength and determination from politicians on such matters. [Guardian Cif] Read more

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