Feminist Fellow Travellers

George Orwell is an uncomfortable writer for progressives. The problem is that as a thinking left winger he was just too clear sighted to follow party lines. Orwell trenchantly criticised the right, for which he was lauded; he also trenchantly criticised the left, for which he was excoriated.

Animal Farm was rejected by many left wing publishers because it was so devastatingly anti-Stalinist. The publication of 1984, like Homage to Catalonia, was greeted with vitriolic reviews from left wing publications, and for the same reason. The reaction was “ We should overlook any slight deficiencies or teething pains in implementing the communist utopia. After all, Stalin and his fellow strivers for peace criticise the same Western democracies we criticise.”

Which was a fair reaction, much of Orwell’s work was about left wing dictatorships supported by liberal fellow travellers. More importantly it was also about any dictatorship, any movement or power which crushed the spirit of people and made them into obedient puppets of the state. Animal Farm has been banned in such bastions of freedom as Nkrumah’s Ghana, Kenya and the United Arab emirates.

One of Orwell’s most famous lines is found in 1984: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” If he were around today there are enough vicious dictatorships to keep Orwell’s pen busy, and no doubt progressives would still only be concerned when his writing could be seen to apply to their favoured causes.

Fascism is alive and well today, and being apologised for by left wing extremists. From George Galloway praising Saddam’s “indefatigability,” to Cambridge don Priyamvada Gopal writing in the Guardian claiming Afghan women would actually be worse off in a liberal democracy, they line up to fawn over Islamic fascism.

The boot still stamps on the human face, today the boot is still a policeman’s but the face is most likely that of a woman living in the Arab world.

The linked video is disturbing. It depicts a laughing Sudanese policeman brutally whipping a terrified woman. He is then joined by a second policeman who apparently wants to be filmed also. What crime has the woman committed to deserve such a vicious public punishment? It is reported that she has contravened the Islamic Legal Code of Sudan. She has worn trousers. Yet Western feminists continue to refuse to condemn the treatment of their sisters under Islamic domination.

Tariq Ramadan, poster boy for ‘modern’ Islam, is opposed to an outright ban on stoning women for adultery. Instead the Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University reckons there should be a moratorium whilst Islam jurists discuss the matter. This stance, reiterated during a public meeting at the Cooper Union in New York earlier this year, was supported by one of America’s leading feminist intellectuals Joan Wallach Scott.

New Yorker staffer George Packer, himself a progressive, reports her response to Ramadan thus: “Her answer came in two parts: first, she said, the whole question is just a distraction from the plight of unemployed Muslims in Europe. Second, who are we to criticize? Let them work things out according to their religion.”

For a moment try to imagine the furore in the progressive media if a black professor had said in a public forum that to condemn or even discuss Ku Klux Klan activities was a distraction from the plight of unemployed white bigots in the northern states and that we shouldn’t criticise the KKK but rather allow them to work things out according to their own beliefs.

Wherever Islam has power we find the subjugation of women. In Afghanistan Bibi Aisha a beautiful 18 year old girl was tried by a Taliban court and horribly disfigured. Her crime? Abandoning an abusive husband she was forced to marry when she was fourteen.

The plethora of ‘honour’ killings where young women are murdered because they have fallen in love with the wrong man, whilst not enjoined by the Koran, are indicative of the type of attitude towards women bred by those who teach and practice Islam in much of the world today.

George Orwell saw clearly that dictatorship was the great threat to his generation. Fascistic Islam is the greatest threat facing our generation. Unfortunately today, as in the past, we find supposedly enlightened progressives siding with, defending and apologising for the violent bullies.


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