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The Silence Of The Liberals

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:57 am
by Fernando
I nearly missed this on the BBC radio but read about it from the NSS here:
What comes after The Silence of the Liberals?

Nick Cohen has skewered the hypocrisy of leftists who apologise for Islamic intolerance, says Chris Sloggett. To defeat it we must assert the value of free speech as the most precious right which citizens share.

"I'm as interested in what isn't said as what is. In the arguments that don't happen, the scandals that don't break."

In The Silence of the Liberals, Nick Cohen speaks to progressive Muslims such as Amina Lone and Maajid Nawaz. He catches up with the human rights campaigners Peter Tatchell and Maryam Namazie. He visits the secretive offices of Tell Mama to speak to Fiyaz Mughal.

His thesis is that the liberal left leaves progressive Muslims, ex-Muslims and others to face fundamentalists unsupported. Demonstrating the reality of this is remarkably straightforward. All he needs to do is put a few phone calls in and note the refusal of those he is accusing to respond to the charge against them. When he approaches the Labour leadership, left-wing MPs and columnists, they almost all refuse to talk or fail to get back to him.

The programme in question was broadcast on March 7th, lasting 28mins, and should be available on iPlayer until April 4th - although some radio programmes are kept much longer.
Cohen himself is from the left, but writes for the Spectator too. The BBC, retaining a respectable Left-wing veneeer, says
Observer columnist and writer Nick Cohen thinks mainstream liberal culture and left-wing politicians are failing to help progressive Muslims who want to fight inequalities endorsed by culture and religion in their communities. He calls this the "racism of the anti-racist".

Forty years ago, Edward Said coined the term "Orientalism" to condemn the West's patronising representations of the "exotic" East, whose inhabitants were too irrational to handle the freedoms Americans and Europeans enjoyed.

In this programme, Nick Cohen examines evidence that this old colonial condescension is re-emerging in 2018, He interviews frustrated Muslims tackling discrimination - Muslims who feel betrayed by the Liberal left who, they say, should be their natural allies in their campaigning for women's rights and tackling discrimination such as homophobia in Muslim communities.

In this authored documentary, Nick draws from the experiences of a range of organisations and progressive Muslim individuals - Tell Mama which supports victims of anti-Muslim hate crime, Maryam Namazie from One Law for All campaigning for women's rights against Islamic Sharia law and Jewish Beth din courts, and Amina Lone who says her outspoken views including a campaign against young girls wearing the hijab in school led to her losing her seat as a Manchester city councillor. The local Labour party failed to re-select her, blaming her attendance record.

Tell Mama founder Fiyaz Mugal's said that those who'raised their head above the parapet to speak out were intimidated and threatened, not only by the white far right but also by Islamist extremists, while Maajid Nawaz founder of counter-extremism organisation Quilliam was on a Jihadist's hit list.
I haven't yet listened.