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Theft and Veiled Racism
Danny Eva ns
Has anyone else noticed how ‘We
need to have a reasoned debate about…’ is the new ‘I’m not racist
but…’? Ever since Jack
Straw made his ‘reasonable’ comments about the veil worn by some
Muslim women you haven’t been able to move for reasonable people with
something to say about Islam. Some
proactively rational freedom fighters have even attacked women wearing
veils in the street!
If you’re a reasonable liberal,
and let’s face it, we’re all reasonable people, then it’s reasonable
to say that the veil oppresses women.
If only these poor unenlightened souls could see that the way to
liberation is to refuse to be told what to wear by their religion, and
listen to Jack Straw and Martin ‘fucking’ Amis instead!
But what if women’s lib isn’t
your bag? What if downtrodden
women are the only Muslim stereotype you find appealing?
Are you excluded from the jamboree of reason the rest of us are
enjoying? Hell no!
The Tories are expanding the parameters of the debate with a new
line: veils represent a kind of ‘voluntary apartheid.’
Ooh, that sounds good doesn’t it?
Of course, it’s a contradiction in terms but it means you get to
bash Muslims at the same time as shitting on the struggle of a previous
era’s ‘terrorist’; Apartheid South Africa was never so much a white
supremacist – fascist abomination as a kind of Trinny and Susannah
protectorate where only the frumpy were issued with internal passports.
And of course, people who look different to ‘us’ are a threat
to ‘our’ sodding identity aren’t they?
Thank god for old Etonians with solar powered think tanks to save
‘our’ unique cultural heritage!
But what if you’re not a
reasonable person? What if
every time you try to think a little bit of your brain dribbles out of
your ear? Don’t worry, you
won’t be excluded from the debate either – there’s a politically
correct establishment in this country, and there’s no way they’re
going to prevent people from paki-bashing on the grounds of ability!
That’s discrimination! Your
contribution to the reasoned debate is there in big letters on the cover
of the Express and the Mail every day; if you concentrate really hard, or
just look at the pictures, you’ll be able to discern that the veil is
intimately linked to TERRORISM! Because
terrorists find it very easy to hide bombs under a bhurka, while everyone
knows that it’s nigh on impossible to hide one in, say, a bag.
The other week two men were arrested in
So that’s three angles of the
reasoned debate covered: women’s oppression, fear of the ‘other’ and
terrorism. Cor, don’t you
feel better for getting these issues out in the open?
It is of course, a terrible thing to be forced to wear something
you don’t want to for religious reasons.
I should know, I was an altar boy.
Maybe if my right to dress like a little homosexual angel to
celebrate some bizarre superstitious rituals with a paedophile and a
poor-box had been questioned by Norman Tebbit I’d still be doing it
simply to show that I wasn’t going to be bullied into dressing how some
authoritarian Stalinists told me to.
As it was, the many different
influences I was exposed to growing up made it a pretty easy decision to
bin off Catholicism. The same
could not be said of my nan who, to this day, has religious beliefs that
go beyond her conscience and into what might be fashionably called her
‘identity.’ The many
different reasons why people identify themselves as religious are no-one
else’s business, but my nan’s bitter recollection of seeing
‘Catholics need not apply’ notices on shop-fronts undoubtedly forced
an insularity and defensiveness on her beliefs that needn’t be there
otherwise. As religious
sectarianism faded in
Has Jack Straw ever heard of
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