Muslim teenager filmed dancing in Birmingham gets vilified and threatened; feminists refuse to condemn the threats, but Maajid Nawaz does

March 13, 2017 • 9:00 am

As we know, much of the Left (the “nonliberal” or “authoritarian” or “regressive” Left) has made concessions to illiberalism. When a religion whose members are mostly “people of color,” like, Islam, then it’s considered judicious to ignore the oppressive beliefs of that religion: homophobia, misogyny, censorship, demonization and calls for the murder of cartoonists, nonbelivers and apostates, corporal punishment, and so on. In other words, when pigmentation conflicts with oppression, this part of the Left favors pigmentation. The color of one’s skin takes precedence over the content of one’s character.

Here is a case in point.  A 17-year-old Muslim girl was filmed with a cellphone “twerking” (dancing in a provocative manner while wiggling the butt) in the streets of Birmingham. The film was put on YouTube; have a look (it may disappear soon):

Guess what happened?

Yep, you’re right. She was vilified. As reports:

Footage of her dancing was later uploaded online, and attracted a barrage of hateful comments.

One wrote: “That’s so disrespectful is you are wearing hijab you are representing Islam respect dignity so how to act like a fool that is a big disrespect.”

Another said: “Truly disgusting.

“Some people don’t understand the meaning of the veil.”

One even said she “needs to be killed”.

The “hijab” comment shows what we all know: it’s not just an “empowering” article of clothing, but a symbol of oppression—something that, when you wear it, mandates that you must behave in a certain way.

The comments also included these:  “F*****g s**t someone give me her address I will kill her”. Another man seconded: “Stupid b****h needs to be killed”. It’s not clear how many of these comments came from Britain versus Muslim-majority countries, but given that many were in English, they certainly reflect the sentiments of some British Muslims.

Of course to avoid vilification or even murder, the twerking girl had to express contrition in public. From

She later gave an emotional interview to Muslim YouTube star Ali Dawah.

The teenager, who has not been named, told him during a phone interview: “To all the girls that wear hijab and wear abayah, I’m sorry for disrespecting it.

“I’ve learnt from my mistake.

“It’s gone viral and I’m just hurt, I just want everybody to leave it alone and keep everything away, I don’t want it to be how it was and I am not going to do anything like that again.

“I am sorry for disrespecting it and thank you to all of you that helped, it’s up to Allah to judge, at the end of the day I will be judged for it, not you guys.”

She also says that she has “problems”, “didn’t think straight,” and was suffering from depression that began when she was 13.  No wonder she was depressed, growing up in a culture like that!

Dawah’s Video of Shame and Contrition is below; the girl’s groveling and apologies begin at 5:29, accompanied by her crying, and it’s ineffably sad. To his credit, Dawah rejects the vilification heaped on the girl, and says the video should be taken down, but he also heavily criticizes her behavior, calling it “really bad,” “inappropriate,” “sinful”, and even “the work of the devil.” He offers to put the girl in touch with “some good sisters in Birmingham” to help her. (Read: to make sure she henceforth stays in line.)

Dawah’s job here is to reinforce the standards of sharia law, and he and his co-broadcaster blame music as being partly responsible for the girl’s “grave sin”. As he says, “This is why music is harm. . . it’s the work of [inaudible, but probably the Muslim Satan].” But they express hope that the girl will shape up, get married and “wear niqab.” Niqab! (That’s a face covering, in case you’ve forgotten).

The two guys, for all their pretend compassion, are really trying to keep women in line and recommend appropriate rehabilitation. They are—and I say this without irony—instruments of the Muslim patriarchy. They’re young, but when they grow up they’ll enforce the same oppression that this woman experienced—and in Britain!

Maajid Nawaz on LBC radio (“Leading Britain’s Conversation”) didn’t pull any punches. He’s a Muslim, but abhors these threats and calls out feminists for not joining him (click on the screenshot to go to his 3½-minute video.)

Part of the transcript, which you can see here:

“What happened next [after the video was posted] is chilling. It will freeze the blood within your very body. Amid threats in YouTube comment threads, such as ‘effing, swear word, someone give me her address I will kill her’ and ‘stupid, swear word, needs to be killed’, the young girl was dragged onto a page by a pair of religious fundamentalists, who at first posted a picture in disgust at her dancing, and in a recorded audio, was forced into an online repentance.

“A public, tearful, apology, repentance and retraction, merely for dancing. Welcome to the United Kingdom in 2017. We may have just witnessed our first online religious fundamentalist inquisition.

“Initiated, conducted, and concluded, all online. And the worst part of this? Is it happened a couple of days before International Women’s Day, and you’d be forgiven for not having heard of it.

“Not a single global, nor national, feminist movement adopted this as a cause. Not a single mainstream, left wing nor liberal, media outlet reported on this.

“And I am wondering whether feminists are too busy picking first world fights while neglecting the minorities within minority communities. Like women within Muslim communities, who face a triple threat, who are discriminated from three different directions.

“One for being people of colour. Two, for being women within patriarchal communities that tell them they can’t work, or they can’t leave the home, or they have to submit to arranged marriages, or FGM, or any other form of oppression.

“And three, because they are Muslim, they’re also suspected by the outside world. The triple threat that women within Muslim communities face is heavy as a burden.

“And I think feminists are too busy picking first world fights while under their noses, within their own country, things like this are happening.”

Nawaz is of course correct; you won’t find mention of this incident in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Jezebel, or Everyday Feminism. No, those sites are devoted to glorifying the hijab, the very symbol of this kind of oppression (see here and here, for instance). You’ll find this news only on the conservative websites and British tabloids, like the Sun, the Daily Fail, Breitbart and Heat Street. Such is the unholy agreement between true liberals and bigoted conservatives. But even conservatives can be right about things, even if for the wrong reasons.

Some people say, “There’s no such thing as the Regressive Left. It’s a fiction—a strawman.” It isn’t.  The Regressive Left are those who refuse to condemn the oppression of women when it’s done by Muslims. That’s regressive by any definition, for it takes us back to the bad old days when women were considered second-class citizens and their opportunities were limited. You would think that feminists, especially in Britain, would decry this kind of oppression: amidst their own struggles and protestations of victimhood, that they could spare a word or two for their Muslim sisters. If a woman can wear what she wants, shouldn’t she be able to dance if she wants? And if she does, she shouldn’t get death threats, shouldn’t be vilified, shouldn’t be forced to apologize in tears and promise to repent. Isn’t that behavior that feminists should call out? But we know why they don’t.

One person who did is Maryam Namazie, spokesperson for Iran Solidarity, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.

106 thoughts on “Muslim teenager filmed dancing in Birmingham gets vilified and threatened; feminists refuse to condemn the threats, but Maajid Nawaz does

  1. The entire incident sounds about right, if we were in the 15th century. And if taken place in several other countries of the world, we would also be watching a stoning. Fully justified of course.

    1. And held in the dark ages by a medieval holy text preaching violence, hate and misogyny which would be rightfully vilified if it’s precepts were to appear in a modern self-help book. Hypocrisy writ in flaming capitals.

  2. A tragic affair. The brutal reaction is due to the way some are raised to hold sacred certain conservative views of women instead of respecting women in themselves. It’s all about control. It’s as if they were stuck in a time warp fixed before sympathetic understanding had emerged.

  3. 1) I really need to start listening to Nawaz’s radio show/podcast. It has been on my radar for a while, there just isn’t enough time in the day!

    2) “”Nawaz is of course correct; you won’t find mention of this incident in the New York Times, Huffington Post, Jezebel, or Everyday Feminism.””

    I have come to the conclusion that western feminism is largely about female supremacy. Western feminists (and this includes third wave intersectionals and radfems) really only care about improving their lot, to the detriment of evil cishetwhitemalepatriarchalscum. They ignore the real oppression that women face under Islam because it *does* trivialize their complaint that litruhly *everything* is misogynist, and it all has to be pointed out!

    I would however qualify this statement by saying that it is this grievance/victimhood culture that is the ultimate source of this irrational need to endlessly whine about minor first world problems (that are not really problems at all) whilst ignoring *real* oppression. I include not only feminists in this, but MRAs, Christians, Muslims, LGBT, heck, even the Chinese who will claim that not being able to oppress Tibetans is somehow evidence that the Chinese people are victims of persecution.

    As long as social status is tied to how many oppression points one can *claim* to have, this rephrehensible behaviour will continue.

    I used to think it was only anti-LGBT Christians who claimed that they were victims of persecution because, ohmygod, gay people might be afforded equal rights. That, somehow, if you are prevented from oppressing others, that this is unjust persecution of you and your tribe. Of course, fanatics don’t see it this way – they want to force the world to live according to their ideals, at which point we will all live in some sort of utopia, and preventing them from achieving this goal is unjust oppression.

    *Not all MRAS
    *Not all Feminists
    *Not all Muslims
    *Not all LGBT
    *Not all Christians

    ^I want to make this clear. I am speaking only of the professional victims, of the authoritarians within each group. Unfortunately, the actual activists, who really want to help people and to change hearts and minds, are drowned out by authoritarian asshats.

    1. “authoritarian asshats”
      Can we make this an official group name as it works for many Conservatives, SJWs, Regressive Leftists and a host of others. Personally I think grouping the regressive left with conservatives will give them pause to think about their positions. More of a hope actually.

    2. Exactly, today’s feminism is about giving women as little responsibility as possible and pinning everything, including bad jobs and even poor choices by women themselves, on men. Did you regret having sex with that guy last night? It wasn’t your fault, he raped you. I mean, you said yes, repeated how much you were enjoying it all night, and stayed the night, and thanked him the next day and had breakfast together and repeatedly affirmed how much fun you were having and all, but now it’s two days later and you regret it. He raped you. (and if this is the story you tell on a college campus, there’s a 90% chance this man will be expelled for raping you).

      It’s the infantilizing of women. They can’t do any heavy lifting, they can’t be held responsible for their own decisions, and everything is a conspiracy to oppress them (see the rash of articles about, for example, how office air conditioning is actually a patriarchal conspiracy to oppress women from last year).

      Feminism was supposed to be about empowerment. Originally, it was. The power to make choices, to be responsible for your own life. It has become the opposite. And that’s because they really don’t have enough problems to talk about anymore, so they make up new ones.

      Well, they do have enough problems to talk about, but those problems are in other places they would really rather not criticize and, ultimately, really don’t affect them anyway. And that’s what this story shows: it’s a Muslim woman. The issues of Muslim women, which are significant and truly awful, won’t ever really affect the comfy first-world third-wavers, so why care? Plus, they’re brown, so they can’t be criticized anyway. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

      1. And before anybody calls me an MRA, I’ve organized buses to abortion-rights protests in states where they were trying to pass laws to restrict such choices of women, worked at a rape crisis center, and speak out about real feminist issues like what goes on in Islam and the deepest recesses of other oppressive religions (for example, there are still some cloistered Christian areas of the US — say, Mormon rural communities — that are oppressive to women).

      2. It’s the infantilizing of women.

        I spent some time arguing with an MRA* the other day, and it is amazing how certain aspects of the MRM are about infantilizing men.

        He sounded no different from an SJW. Claiming oppression to gain special status for himself.

        The subject was whether or not men should have the right to force women to bear their children. If your sex partner gets pregnant by accident, and she wants an abortion, you should be able to take her to court and sue her into having your kid.

        There were lots of comments from the rabble about how women are sluts who need to take responsibility for…having sex with men (lol). I told them that *responsibility* means *only* having sex with pro life women if you so *desperately* want a child. What reply did I get? No, we can’t have sex with PL women because they are moralists, and we are *entitled* to casual sex. Without casual sex we will have to commit suicide! (an actual comment, to express the severity of being denied casual sex).

        Anyway, the entire thing was framed as male victimhood and it was really pathetic. I explained to them that though I agreed with many grievances held by the MRM (that circumcision should be outlawed, that men should have the right to financial abortion, that family courts are often unfair to men) I was told that I was a ‘NAWALT’ and that “NAWALT” are all lying b*tches because we are…born female, and all women are evil! Evil by their very nature and men are innocent and virtuous and can do no wrong! I had to smack myself in the face, I could not believe how much he sounded like a feminist*!

        Grievance culture is toxic.

        NAWALT = Not All Women Are Like That


        1. Exactly. It’s just more horseshoe theory in action. It’s the culture of victimhood that is poisoning these people and their minds.

        2. I find that argument about women ‘taking responsibility’ for having sex with men just unbelievable. Last time I heard it was decades ago from some guy who was arguing against abortion as ‘women evading their responsibility’ – and who, the night before, had been regaling us with stories of all the barmaids he had known. I had to walk off because I didn’t trust myself to say anything (my boss was also present).

          Personally, I want casual sex (or would if I was single – being married I restrain myself). I want it with women who also want casual sex. I wouldn’t dream of badmouthing them – in fact when I was single I was eternally grateful to them.

          I just find it unbelievable that any guy should be so arrogant as to demand that his casual partner have a child against her will (or that he should value one of his sperm so highly. Millions more where that came from…)

          (I do agree with the ‘financial abortion’ thing if the pregnancy was entirely accidental and unexpected. Other than that, IMO, the decision is 100% the woman’s and the man has no say whatever).

          It probably follows that I should never have sex with pro-life women. Suits me…


          1. I find that argument about women ‘taking responsibility’ for having sex with men just unbelievable.

            If you think about it though, it is in a man’s interest to force unwilling women to bear his children, especially if she is likely to reject mating with him with the intent to produce children.

            If he can pass his genes along with the woman of his choice, that works in his favour. That is one of the vile things about religion – it removes female choice, and puts it all in the power of the man, or most likely, tribal/family group.

            I would also assume, based on what I have read, that rape not only removes female choice, but gives men a chance to pass along their genes without having to expend resources in raising the child.

            So it makes sense that, at least on some level, men would *not* want women to exercise choice when it comes to reproduction. Now, in modern society, with deadbeat dad laws and whatnot, it is in a man’s best interest not to ‘spread his seed far and wide’ but in a world where he can literally ‘f*ck and run’ what is there to lose if the women he knocks up are forced into bearing his children?

            1. Oh yes, that occurred to me. In a truly primitive society that might be the case, as it is with many animals – the alpha male thing.

              But that system was done away with very early in civilisation, for some reason. I think because as groups increased in size to tribes and kingdoms it just wasn’t practical for the alpha male to personally take care of all the women in the tribe and besides, having all the other males fighting over the few spare women was not conducive to running a kingdom.
              Or something like that. So one man one wife became the norm – in most cases.

              What I find unbelievable is that anyone can espouse that belief – that women should be punished for sex by being forced to have children – in modern society.


              1. In many places traditionally the band or whatever raised children semi to completely communally, and principles like “if one eats, all eat” applied, at least as a regulative ideal. In such situations, there’s less push for “mine or else” when it comes to children. (This, I think, is related to what J. Diamond calls the “secular version of original sin”: agriculture.)

              2. Hmm, interestingly enough, in Pukapuka (in the Cook Islands) they still have a very communal society. The whole village will go fishing together and everyone gets an equal share of the catch, for example.

                Kids are often adopted by grandparents or cousins, incidentally (they wouldn’t dream of giving a kid up to someone they didn’t know).

                And, apropos of this post – though they are pretty religious – their religion (Protestant or Catholic) has … adapted… to suit their traditional lifestyle. Any time there’s some music going on, any females from the age of six to sixty can’t resist getting up and dancing.


      3. We’ve had this argument here before so I’ll limit myself to this one comment: Women here in the first world certainly don’t have it anywhere near as bad as women in, say, some Middle Eastern countries. But they still face unequal treatment. Several current studies have found that there is still a salary gap and there is still a glass ceiling, even taking into account the different proclivities of men and women. My comments in the other thread were riddled with citations, some even from right-leaning sources, but they were ignored or rationalized away.

        Many of the problems they face can’t be solved with “empowerment”. Unequal treatment doesn’t go away because women toughen themselves up. Men have to stop treating them unequally. And yes, there are enough men out there perpetuating their privilege. We might not come across many of them because our social circles tend to the educated and the liberal, but that doesn’t mean the good ol’ boys aren’t out there.

        1. I’m not having this argument with you again. You’re right, we did it once, and we don’t agree on what the actual facts are. So there is really no point to the discussion. Let’s just agree to disagree on whether there’s an actual wage gap versus a gap in earnings due to choices and things like that.

          And if men need to stop perpetuating their privilege, women should be asked to do the same. It’s not like there are no privileges they hold that men do not (like, say, not making up 93% of workplace injuries and 98% of workplace deaths, being sentenced to half the prison time men are for the same crimes when convicted, being convicted half the time men are when brought to trial for the same crimes, etc.).

              1. Yes, it is, and it’s not particularly difficult to understand.

                Some people claim women earn the same amount as men right across the board because per hour or per amount of work jobs pay the same amount regardless of who’s putting in the time/work. Looking only at wages like this ignores salaried jobs, like middle managers at larger businesses, and there is documented inequity in this context.

      4. I agree with you on many things, but here I am taken aback. Are you serious that women can, and (I infer) should, do heavy lifting?

        As for the alleged infantilizing of women – today’s West not only recognizes women as breadwinners on equal terms with men, but is, as far as I know, the first civilization in history that does not recognize the value of motherhood and the right of a mother to be supported by her children’s father.

        As for the air-conditioning, do you think that forcing people to shiver in summertime is OK if they are female?

        1. Regarding heavy lifting — I was relating it to the idea that, when one adds up all the money every man has made and every woman has made in a year, sees the gap, and then says it must be sexism, a lot of it comes down to who does the jobs that pay more because they’re horrible, dangerous, and thus require further financial incentive and hazard pay (and stronger unions).

          Regarding infantilizing — I wasn’t talking about the whole west, I was talking about how third-wave feminism infantilizes women by making men responsible for the choices women make in many cases, rather than the women themselves.

          As for the air conditioning, the problem is that women have far greater choice in what they can show up to office work in when it comes to attire. If you want to show up in a sundress in the summer, remember that the men still have to wear heavy suits even if it’s 95 degrees outside, so the air conditioning will be tuned to that. You can put on a sweater, but they cannot removed their clothes. They’re not being forced to shiver, they’re being forced to put on a sweater because men can’t wear shorts or t-shirts like the women can in most offices. I can tell you all this from experience, having worked at a law firm. And we never had any woman complain about the air conditioning because they all understood this. This was all just based on a rash of articles from sites like Jezebel and Huffington Post saying that air conditioning in offices was a patriarchal conspiracy to make women uncomfortable at work.

          I think you just misinterpreted some things in my comment.

          1. Why do men have to wear suits? This is a convention I find not only as stupid as hijabs*, but if it requires power-guzzling air conditioning to make it tolerable, it’s a crime against the environment.

            (*Though arguably not quite as objectionable. But still completely pointless.)

            I don’t think office air con is a conspiracy against women, by the way, but since it so often leads to arguments about how hot or cold it should be set, installing it in climates where it’s unnecessary is as stupid and wasteful a fad as suits, SUV’s or bottled water.


            1. I guess they’re forced to wear them in most office environments because it’s considered to be the only garment that “looks professional.” The corporate world can have very rigid rules.

              1. Yes. Rules, I might add, that I despise as much as I despise any religion inflicting pointless costumes on its victims.

                Who decides what looks ‘professional’ anyway? It’s purely a matter of fashion and convention.


      1. Which is why I qualified my statement with:

        *notall feminists

        I have spent a fair amount of time over the past year on radfem forums, and though I commend *some* of them for speaking up in defense of free speech, I was dismayed to see that there some radfems who believe in male genocide (the world would be better if all men were exterminated because females are superior) and, unfortunately, those men who have come to offer support, were told to shut up, because even if a man agrees, he is still a sh*tlord, who needs to STFU and stop ‘mansplaining’.

        I was even banned from a radfem website because I had committed the crime of stating that there might, just might, be some truth to there being a difference between male and female brains. Apparently I was guilty of ‘spreading pseudoscience’ and ‘disinformation’.

        I still follow a couple of radfem blogs and though I am quite fond of them, I could do without the authoritarianism and hate for males that other radfems cultivate.

        1. I grew in to, then bulldozed them out, then nurtured them up till they were stolen and, for the entire rest of every one of their minor lives, hidden from me away — “legally” — by my biggest mistake ever: the Source of the Sperm for the Halves of their Genomes — their first selves only babies who are Male.


          I am a radical feminist. One reason: I do not find this deal of mine to have been an “irrational need to endlessly whine about minor first world problems.”

          O, and this First World Problem? of the USA’s Family Law Courts? This First World Problem took over a decade — a seemingly “endless whine,” all of my $ and made me lose out on any tenure opportunitiss for & with which I was struggling with my just fully earned BSN, DVM and PhD.

          O, any and all of these losses? In this, my First World? For the entire rest of My Life.


          1. Indeed, I have defended second wave feminists in the past and will continue to do so wherein ignorant people, often MRAs, assert that *all* of feminism has always been about female supremacy when this just isn’t the case. Many many feminists have simply wanted equal rights, which is something I, and many other people, support.

            My mom grew up in the 1960s, and she was told that, being a girl, she could *only* go into nursing or teaching, as women were inferior to men and intellectually and emotionally incapable of entering any other profession (I spent the weekend arguing with a far right winger who stated that women should be literal slaves since they were incapable of anything else)

            Second wave feminists have *many* legitimate grievances and I can understand where the hate and distrust of men comes from. However, this doesn’t mean that right now, I support those radfems who accuse men of oppressing them for simply being born male. This is what I am talking about when I refer to ‘first world problems’. Where radfems on the blogs I used to visit would abuse a man for the crime of *agreeing* with them while male! And this idea that everything and anything that goes against their world view is some evil patriarchal plot is just pure nonsense.

            It’s possible to support certain aspects of feminism whilst being critical of others. I approach all of the other social justice movements the same – there are legitimate grievances based in real pain and suffering, and then there are the authoritarians within each movement who seek supremacy by any means possible.

            Interestingly, my experiences with MRAs have mirrored my experiences with authoritarian feminists. Yeah. MRAs call me a feminazi if I don’t 130% agree with them, and authoritarian feminists call me an MRA if I don’t agree that all men are born bad.

            So, you really should *not* be taking my statement personal, Blue


            1. I never, ever “should” anyone.
              Never. Ever.

              A personal rule of mine: I do not ever “you really should” a thing to anyone else.

              Haaaappy, Happy Holi, All !

            2. I think any social movement, started with the best intentions and worthy ideals, as soon as it acquires momentum and starts to succeed, comes under the influence of authoritarian band-wagon-jumpers and self-appointed leaders who grab the wheel and steer it in their own direction and ultimately, having reached the end of the road it started on, run it into the ditch.


              1. It just occurred to me that the people who desperately need feminism to be entirely and always about the evils of female supremacy are doing so because this characterization of feminism suits their ideological goals. They need a black and white world where they can point to a clear enemy and claim total and complete victimization in order to achieve their goals.

                And around and around it goes.

                This is why I try to say #notall!

                (it just gets tiring having to constantly qualify every statement that way)(but such is the world we live in!)

    3. Whilst I don’t condone the oppression of Tibet by the Chinese it’s nothing compared to the oppression the people of Tibet suffered under the religious heel of the Dali Lama and his predecessors. Islam and Christianity are 9/10ths evil but the flavour of Buddhism meted out by the Dali Lama, based on the concept that karma means you get what you deserve so the poor and sick have earned their reward as have those who sit at the top of the pile, is pushing 11.

      Shame it has to be the lesser of 2 evils they suffer under but at least the Chinese evil includes health care, education and a tolerable living for even the least of Tibet’s long suffering population.

      But hey, apparently it’s okay to promote violence, harm and oppression if it’s part of a recognised religion. And you get tax relief too!

      1. “karma means you get what you deserve so the poor and sick have earned their reward…”

        Sounds like the American Health Care Plan.

      2. based on the concept that karma means you get what you deserve so the poor and sick have earned their reward as have those who sit at the top of the pile, is pushing 11.

        Religion (and ideologies in general) always find a way…to turn all of us into sinners!

        Also a great way to stealthily enforce a caste system – just cloak it under the guise of moral righteousness!

        1. Every religion finds a way to justify its caste system. It’s yet another reason to call social justice a religion: they have and perpetuate their own caste system through their hierarchy of oppression, based on which you have certain rights and freedoms in their communities (or don’t).

      3. I disagree. Most people have strong identity feelings and prefer stronger oppression by “their own” to milder by “foreigners”. After the breakdown of colonial empires, many if not most Third World regimes were worse than the preceding colonial ones, but nevertheless had more popular support.

        No society has always been good. Left on their own, Tibetans could improve theirs.

      4. True it was a theocracy but in a region bereft of democracy. Buddhism is feudal and needs democratisation which I understand modern Tibetans in exile absolutely expect. I agree the Llama system is theocratic and outdated and romanticised and needs radical change. Chinese communism is just as dictatorial (and for that matter sexist) But in the past Most Tibetans just got on with their pastoral lives in a harsh region – free of the hardline feudalism and incessant wars of most agrarian societies. In addition the Buddhist system and values prevented them from forming tribal confederates engaged in devastating raids and slaughters of civilisations (China, Iran, Russia, Middle East, East Europe) done by the mongols elsewhere.

        Zhang points out that the Chinese Han in Tibet have economically outstripped Tibetans who feel impoverished and marginalised and Tibet remains poorer even than the Western Han provinces. Han Chinese migrants pour in and their mineral and water resources are utilised for the country as a whole. Meanwhile their culture is heavily suppressed (Ethnicity in China, Xiaowei Zang)

        At the same time there is the political oppression.

        The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China’s Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem

  4. I think Muslim misogyny might also get a pass because it invokes religious privilege, and some liberal feminists seem to become deferential as soon as faith enters the picture complaining of a lack of respect. Faith=identity.It also deserves protection from modern values and worldly judgements.

    If the complaints against the young woman had been over her violation of “community standards” or even “culture” alone, I tend to doubt race would have been a significant factor.

      1. I think it might if there was anything about the white community’s form of Christianity which classified it as harkening back to the pre-modern era, i.e. the Amish. From what I can tell, when old-fashioned Christian misogyny doesn’t get a pass, there’s a strong tendency to claim that it’s not a real, true, spiritual form of Christianity anyway. The religion is only being used as a cover for the desire to control others. Which sounds familiar.

        Those feminists who seem to follow a double standard might be motivated not so much by race, but anger over false theology. They’re more familiar with Christianity, or Judaism, and think themselves more capable of judging. I don’t know. It’s probably both.

      1. It’s interesting to figure out why polygamous Mormon sects don’t get a pass — but the Amish seem to. And yet the latter refuse to allow their daughters to become as educated as their sons (though it’s a low bar for each) and women are very much kept to the traditional role of being meek, sweet, subservient, and in the kitchen. If they choose a career, they’re shunned. I have indeed seen good criticism of this from feminists, but there’s not a lot of Amish-bashing. Friends of mine who self-identify as liberal, feminist, and Spiritual love the Amish and really don’t consider the lifestyle misogynistic because the pacifist religion and its rejection of modern artifacts seems to wash the patriarchy clean.

        Perhaps it’s the horror stories of young girls being forced to marry older men. I haven’t noticed that getting a pass in Hinduism or Islam, either. Unless I’ve missed something, fighting against forced marriages of young girls is a feminist issue across the board.

        1. Could have something to do with Rumspringa. Relaxing your social control over teenagers and not punishing them for exploring/experiencing the outside world seems to me to be exactly the sort of behavior we should consider when trying to distinguish between a ‘merely weird separatist religion’ and an ‘evil mind-controlling cult.’

          1. No, not unless Rumspringa is misunderstood. It varies from community to community, but it generally refers to a period of adolescence when control is briefly relaxed only to tighten control later, when the teenager is forced to choose forever between “the world ” and their family and community. If their taste of freedom and new ideas inspires them to want to be or have anything not Amish-approved, then they are lovingly shunned forever, treated as dead and damned. Or at least, this is the ideal. Perhaps not all parents are good enough to manage it.

            The entire setup seems cruel to me.

            Rumspringa is often played out with a mental script In which the outside world is cast as wicked. Thus, Amish teens are like fundamentalist kids who lose their faith and start acting out their idea of how an atheist needs to behave. They’ve been indoctrinated to overdo the rebellion, making it more likely they’ll sheepishly return to the fold.

  5. Reading the comments under the video of the interview is a very interesting way of getting an idea of a certain mentality that I find abhorrent. It’s not just the jihadist who are terrifying. I tremble in despair at the sight of so many “moderate” and “pacific”, “well-meaning” muslins who show how poisonous some of their views are.
    See this comment, by a certainly “moderate” hiyabi woman: “It’s not the meaning of the head cover to show that we are not like the other women and that we have more beautiful brains than curves ?”

    Don’t you see? They are not “like the other women”. The implication is clear, my dear western unbeliever girls and women: you are just a bunch of sluts. The sad thing is how pervasive this way of thinking is even among non extremists.

  6. This blows the gaffe on the “it’s not a symbol of oppression” story. If she has to “respect” it it’s not just like wearing a blue shirt is it?

  7. I think that the root cause of the failure of the “illiberal left” to criticize anything about Islam or Islamic culture is their belief that such an action would be an endorsement of Western imperialism. Western imperialism of the 19th and early 20th centuries beyond doubt resulted in the economic exploitation of less technologically advanced areas and should rightfully be condemned. These people have now extended the idea of Western imperialism to include that everything about the West is bad, including its culture. With this dubious premise, it follows that the cultural practices of non-Western origin are beyond criticism by those who culture is so corrupt. Those on the illiberal left would not themselves practice Islamic traditions, but they feel that no one has a right to criticize them. They advocate a form of cultural relativism that has run amok where there are no universal standards of right or wrong, good or bad. Thus, members of one culture have no right to criticize the practices of another, which, contradictorily, results in the creation of a universal standard!

    1. “Western imperialism of the 19th and early 20th centuries beyond doubt resulted in the economic exploitation of less technologically advanced areas and should rightfully be condemned.”

      Well, yes, to some extent, but in the spirit of “What have the Romans ever done for us?” I’d argue that Western (and particularly British)imperialism had many positive aspects too. It seems obvious to me that those countries that have maintained much of the legacy of British rule (parliamentary democracy, an independent judiciary, a free press, a regulated capitalist economy, etc., etc.) have done pretty well post-independence, whereas those that have ditched that legacy in pursuit of some form of tribal/religious/political utopia have sunk into poverty and despotism. I’d much rather live in India than in Pakistan, for example, or in Botswana rather than Zimbabwe.

        1. Ah yes, the Guardian. You can always count on them for an objective and impartial assessment of the West’s impact on the rest of the world.

          India wouldn’t be the success story it is today without the legacy of British rule. It was a patchwork of warring despotisms before we arrived there, and might still be one today if we hadn’t unified the country and endowed it with the institutions of a modern democratic state.

          “I suppose we really shouldn’t be so harsh on the slaveholders of the Western hemisphere. Didn’t they bring civilization to the African heathens?”

          I’m not quite sure what this means. The slaveholders of the western hemisphere took people from Africa but didn’t “bring” anything to it. But if you’re referring to the period of British colonial rule, which in most parts of Africa long post-dated the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, then yes, we did bring many aspects of civilisation to that part of the world (summarised in my original post). The degree of success or failure post-independence for former British colonies largely reflects how much of that legacy they’ve preserved.

          However, this is venturing some way off topic so I suspect this may be a discussion for another day.

          1. What I am saying is that the purpose of Western imperialism was to rule distant lands for the purpose of economic exploitation, often in the form of resources that the conquered territories could provide. The purpose was not humanitarian. The degree to which the legacy of imperialism left the conquered lands with benefits can be debated, but whatever you believe is irrelevant to the fact that the lands were taken over by brute force. The argument that conquered lands or enslaved people may have accrued some benefit is always the excuse of those who gained much more by stealing labor or resources from the vanquished. I don’t buy the argument of those who need to assuage their guilty consciences.

            1. I think that the importance of colonialism is vastly exaggerated; I do not see countries that have never been colonized, such as Nepal, to fare better than their allegedly exploited and robbed neighbors. I think that some former colonies have overblown whatever real grievances they had, and have created a myth to excuse their perpetual failure to create a livable society, a failure ultimately rooted in their own bad culture.

              This said, I do not find colonialism nice. Of course, some individuals were, but as a whole the enterprise was fueled not only by desire to exploit but by something worse, namely, desire to postpone the demographic transition and in the meanwhile to dump the extra population growth on people unable to resist.

    2. What about the “western imperialism” of the Roman Empire from approx 150 BC to 350 AD and the Greeks before?
      There is nothing new in history, just one set of humans more advanced than others and taking advantage of this and it is still happening.

  8. “And I am wondering whether feminists are too busy picking first world fights while neglecting the minorities within minority communities.”

    Interesting question. I wonder if it might not be asked of SJWs generally? Is it a coincidence that we see their activity only in those countries that are the most free? Perhaps they should worry less about micro-aggressions, and go out into the world to combat macro-aggressions?

    1. But that would involve talking about people besides themselves. As Jerry pointed out, when your social currency is how many oppression points you yourself can build up, there’s no reason to concern yourself with the very real oppression of others.

      Plus, what you suggest would require leaving the comfortable, air conditioned, Starbucks and Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods world, and going to do serious work in dangerous, actually oppressive places. They don’t really want to fight for other people’s rights, they just want to scream about their outrage at anything else from the comfort of their living rooms or dorms.

  9. Culture is a wonderful thing to be respected when it’s about the arts and history and the like.

    Where it becomes a problem is when it impinges on personal liberty.

    Or, your freedom to practice your culture ends at the tip of my nose.

    …and when it’s used, as it is so shamelessly here, to take ownership of a young woman’s own body….



    1. It’s not just ownership of her body, it’s ownership of her life. Her choices, her thoughts, her likes (dancing) and dislikes. It’s total control.

      1. Many people — including I dare say many commenters here — would outlaw prostitution, many drugs, selling kidneys, BDSM. I myself object to unrestricted use of anti-biotics, and some forms of public dress.

    2. Her freedom does not entail freedom from other people’s opinion. She should be free of death threats, obviously, but the ability of puritans and regressives to socially pressure people is one of those side-effects of freedom of speech we have to live with.

      That’s why the thing I find most disappointing about this story is it sounds like none of her friends and family stood up for her. Haters gonna hate. Nothing you can do about that. But its up to the rest of us to fire back ‘ignore them, hang out with us. You are not hated here.’

  10. The Regressive Left is sadly all too real.

    I recently had an exchange with some former colleagues over that video by Abdel-Magied that completely whitewashes the realities of sharia and mainstream Islam, and claims sharia is all about justice and equality (just Google “wtf is sharia anyway” to see the video). These are two very smart guys I was talking with, very concerned about anti-Muslim hysteria in the West. I tried to point out the falsehoods in Abdel-Magied’s video – e.g. religion is not distinct from culture, the vast majority of Muslims disagree with her interpretation of sharia, and can you really claim that anyone wears the *burqa* by choice?! I backed these counterpoints up with data (Pew Research, My Stealthy Freedom, Hirsi Ali and Nawaz), but the only responses that were offered were:

    1. This is all personal (sharia, Islam, etc.). Abdel-Magied is giving her personal interpretation, and it is impossible for any of us to infer what anyone else’s personal interpretation is from data.

    2. I’m not convinced any of these things (i.e. sharia, oppression of women in Muslim-majority countries/communities) are major problems.

    Two things to point out here. First, there is a decidedly post-modernist tint to these responses, especially the first one. Second, there is an explicit unwillingness to acknowledge the data. Ideology trumps everything. These are two defining features of the Regressive Left.

    1. Sad but true. And the all too large part of Islam which is trying to bring back the caliphate ruthlessly exploits this willful blindness to immoral bigotry to further their mission to enforce their vile religion on all of us.

      I’d like to see how the radical feminists and regressive left flag wavers would enjoy living under such a regime.

    1. It has been too long since I’ve seen Footloose. Maybe Islam needs a Ren McCormack type character.

  11. There are always going to be religious or cultural puritans to try and shame you for what you do. Sure, it would be a nice world if they didn’t exist, but that’s pretty much never going to happen. You do something as innocent and dance in public, someone is always going to think it’s inappropriate. And with the internet, even a 1 in 10,000 type of negative opinion gets amplified back to you.

    No, what I’m disappointed and saddened by here is the fact that this young woman evidently didn’t have sufficient support from her family and friends to stand up to those negative voices. Because the way to address them isn’t to hope they go away, it’s to have your own good community standing by you, so you can not only ignore them or laugh at them, but go back out in public and dance again. With company.

    1. I think the religious and cultural puritanism you characterize as of secondary importance is the cause of this young woman not having sufficient support from her family and friends.

      Degrees are significant. The degree to which Islamic believers behave similar to what is related in the OP is much higher in most places at present than, for example, Christian believers do. And particularly in “Western” countries.

      I think it is extremely likely that the reason this young woman didn’t have support from her family and friends is because many of them either agree with the people harassing her for dancing or fear the social, or even physical, consequences they could incur if they were to openly support her, and that this is a result of how common the nastier aspects of Islam and Muslim culture are accepted among Muslims.

      1. Oh I agree, there’s a good chance her family were critics of her behavior rather than supporting her against them. I guess what I’m saying is that for anyone who thinks what she did was fine (me included), giving her support >> tsking her critics.

        1. Damn it, eric. Now I feel like a coward. How do we stop this sort of thing? The only thing I can think of is speaking out publicly, and I hate the idea of doing that. 🙁

    2. In Britain, as in other European countries with a significant number of Muslim immigrants, said immigrants tend to live in closed-off communities. There’s nobody to support her likely because the community she comes from — the community where she makes her friends, where she has her family — believes that she needs to be shamed for what she did. I can’t be sure that’s the case for this particular person, but it usually is when it comes to Muslim migrants in European nations.

  12. When Dawkins was on ‘Real Time’ with Bill Mayer, he was asked: “But what about their culture?” with regard to Islam. His reply?
    “To hell with their culture!”

    A few months ago, at the gym, there was a Muslim couple on treadmills beside me.(Working out in an hijab – oy!) When they finished, the man immediately left and went on to the next work-out machine. At my gym, one has to ‘wipe down’ the machine when you finish, with a cloth and sprayer bottle of a tea tree solution. The woman wiped down her machine, then her husband’s (while he was already happily working out on another device). What a pitiful sight, to my eyes, the ‘little woman’ cleaning up after her husband. Did he, at least, wait there till she finished and thank her? Of course not. Just walked away, like she didn’t even exist, secure in his privilege. It was revolting.

    On the lake, where I live, some Muslim families bought a cottage. They come for the day, then leave after their evening ‘prayers’. On the hottest, scorching, summer day, the men and kids will be in shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops. The women? Dressed in black from head to toe, totally covered. While the males and children are cooling off in the water and having fun.

    So, ya, to hell with their culture.

    I love to swim nude, and I take great pleasure in the fact that they probably see me sometimes, dropping my towel at the end of the dock, and diving in with no bathing suit. I usually come out of the water quickly when I finish swimming, and wrap the towel around me. I’m not an exhibitionist, after all! But when they are around, I kind of slowly climb the ladder, and SLOWLY wrap my towel, taking my sweet time. Take that allah!

    1. A few years ago I was at a local supermarket. The man a few feet of me snapped his fingers twice. Shortly thereafter a woman in a hijab came running.

  13. This poor kid. She’s only 17, already suffering from depression, she has a happy moment where she dances in the street, and her life is destroyed. It is so sad. And because of family ties etc she may never escape to have the kind of life she chooses.

    Those male fundamentalists aren’t saying music is harm, they’re saying it’s haram i.e. forbidden. Good Muslims shouldn’t listen to music at all because it’s a temptation, which they compare to a man being tempted by a naked woman acting seductively.

    The way many modern feminists ignore things like this is an issue, but we need to focus on the actual problem here, and that is that there is a girl suffering who needs help. And at this stage the only “help” she’s likely to get is from those who want to control and oppress her.

  14. And this effect seems all people, especially all women because when those who criticize this young girl call her a whore and bitch this is what they think of all women who are not veiled and “humble”. When they say music is the work of Satan, they say all of us who enjoy it are evil. And when they see all of us this way, we become the enemy, something to be stopped, harmed and even killed.

  15. “This is why music is harm …”

    I think what Muslim Wayne says to Muslim Garth in the video is that music is “haram” — which seems an odd claim given that a muezzin issues the five daily calls to prayer in the form of song (not that the adhan has a beat you can twerk to).

    1. LOL!
      We need to make a music video of someone twerking to the “calls to prayer”. That would really get the faithfuls’ knickers in a twist!

  16. I’ve consulted with those two holy women Cyndi Lauper and Sheryl Crow, and they advise that, even as to Muslims, girls wanna have fun.

    Not sure if Hitch was 100% on the money about religion ruining everything, but it can sure fuck up a good time.

    1. I’m not sure about other religions, but I’m pretty sure the Desert Dogmas’ main purpose is to prevent the sheep from having a good time. Good times are reserved for the shepherds.

  17. “That’s so disrespectful is you are wearing hijab you are representing Islam respect dignity so how to act like a fool that is a big disrespect.”

    The answer is obvious. Take the fucking thing off and chuck it in the bin.


    1. Yes! But I have a suspicion that the virtuous, pious Muslims, seeing one of their own dancing barehead in a T-shirt and jeans, will be up in arms again. Actually, she may not even need to dance.

      1. Oh I know.

        I’m aware that doing that would mark the poor girl in the eyes of her community as the worst sort of juvenile delinquent.

        The only real answer is for the progressives – and they do exist – they existed in Iran before the ayatollahs’ putsch for example, and still do though they have to be careful – to gradually take over. But it’s a long slow process.


    2. But thats not going to happen – we are going to have to tolerate it spreading because we are multicultural which is a bigger value than women or ultimately even a functioning economy. Multicultural should mean that other cultures have to accept that there is still a dominant culture they are expected to conform to on issues of law and rights.
      Most culture is still sexist and Regressives ALWAYS value non western culture over womens interests. ALWAYS.

      I hate Trump and what he is doing re migrants and muslims but if we take the regressive left model they advocate literally unlimited obligation to take refugees. This would very quickly lead to permanent destabilisation of society

      Let everyone live in ghettos and have their own sub economies and shadow laws – we will just pretend it isn’t happening because actions to stop it would actually get very violent pushback and we can’t be racist or (from conservatives) anti religion, sooo.
      Meanwhile create two societies – resurgence of a white traditionalists as a defence and resurgence of Christianity – versus self ghettoisation of Islamic fundamentalists wholeheartedly supported by regressives.

  18. Good old fashioned patriarchy still hangs out in parts of the West – but its not mainstream, approved, or in most places even legal – hence the anger of the types who advocate it, though it did exist even in the fairly recent past

    The regressive leftists and probably most third wave feminists are defending an older mode of male behaviour practised in most non western societies and parts of Africa due to customs pertaining to (past) demographic restraints but Especially in Islamic societies. Islam is the olympic gold in patriarchy and proud of it – no other religion quite compares = at least for overall consistency as well as depth – in its obsession with dominating women.

    I argued at a recent post here that the religion was a way for men in a particularly harsh environment to minimise conflict over mate access, maximise fertility (survival of maximum offspring) – hence its particularly misogynist. Humans have the capacity to solve these problems in way that gives women their rights as equals – and the west has eventually solved this problem in modern conditions that it largely created over time – some other societies – particularly Muslim ones – prefer to stay with A-Grade patriarchy and be stuck with the dictatorships, turbo corruption and internecine and sectarian violence. After all Islam developed to exist within an empire of conquered others that doesnt exist anymore – moreover it doesnt fit within the modern scientific world and keeps people poor.

    WE mustn’t ever submit to the equation of Islamophobia with racism! Islam MUST be shown its place and be expressed in a liberal reformed state within the (hopefully continuing to be liberal)west and it NEEDS to be criticised !!! To advocate otherwise at least outside the christian fundamentalist riven USA is just plain naive

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