The furore over the now rescinded UUK advice that it is permissible for an orthodox religious speaker at a British university to insist on segregated seating has raised an interesting question. Given that any speakers insisting on segregated audiences would be Muslims it is most likely that the temptresses not allowed to sit with the men in case the poor dears went into testosterone overdrive would be women of Asian origin. It is therefore apparent that in the game of Victim’s Top Trumps, Muslim beats both black and female. But how is it decided?
It is theoretically possible that an ultra-orthodox Jewish speaker might demand segregated seating. Unfortunately such is the anti-Semitism prevalent on campus today that it is highly unlikely that a Jewish student group would be so foolish as to invite an ultra-orthodox speaker.
There are so many groups with so many claims to pain that it is difficult to differentiate. There is overwhelming agreement that the cause of all suffering anywhere is ultimately either white European males or Jews, that is a given and is beyond dispute in progressive circles. But how do we divide up the remainder? We have homosexuals of varying tendencies, feminists, chimpanzees, Travelling People, asylum seekers, Roma, the list is a virtually endless stream. Calculating the priority of privilege claims by the perpetually underprivileged is a minefield.
On the surface the most important factor for the warm-hearted progressive in determining victim preference would appear to be perceived suffering. To paraphrase the SAS ‘Who suffers wins’, the greater the degree of victimhood the greater the claim for preferential treatment.
This, however, does not stand up to examination. On any ‘suffering scale’ the historical injustices done to the aboriginal peoples of the Americas and Australia far outweighs those perpetrated against those of the Muslim faith, yet there is no doubt about which group gets the most attention, support, sympathy and encouragement. The interest group gaining most attention from progressive activists, the Muslims, actually have the least claim to historical justice.
The sad truth is that position on the League of Victims is determined on the same principle that functions elsewhere in society; the squeaky wheel gets the grease. This however, is more than children pestering parents for sweets; it goes deeper and is one reason why progressives make common cause with a religious group whose ethos is diametrically opposed to so much which progressives hold dear. Homosexual rights, women’s rights, moral relativism, abortion, legalised drug use, all are utterly opposed by the same Muslims who are embraced by progressives.
Progressives see themselves as good people intent on reforming society and in doing so they need victims as a tool to be used in chipping away at the existing order. Those who give them the most ammunition get the most attention and help from our secular moral arbiters. A few demonstrations, the occasional outburst of violence and our progressive elites will trot out ‘moderate’ Muslims, very often linked to the ‘radical Islamists’, and speak up for them so that the violence is momentarily lessened in return for meeting their demands.
The Twin Towers, London Transport, Madrid railways, these are all reasons why Muslims have gone to the top of the table in the League of Victims. Before Muslims began blowing things up in the West no more attention was paid to them than was paid to Hindus, Sikhs or Buddhists. The other groups have lost out because they are relatively successful, choose to try to integrate, get on with their lives and don’t blow things up.
Christians don’t even get to enter the League. It is possible for Christians to be massacred and ethnically cleansed from the Middle East without an eyebrow being raised by our compassionate progressives.
Relative position on the League of Victims is important as it influences how the group is treated. We need look no further than the law. An attack by a member of a group high up the league table on a member of a group lower down the table is unlikely to be treated by the police and prosecution services as a hate crime. An attack by a member of a group lower down the table on a member of a group higher up the table will invariably be treated as a hate crime.
White men have the lowest League placing possible, lower than whale droppings. It is therefore possible to make jokes about white men you couldn’t make about white women, just force yourself to listen to Jo Brand for a moment. ‘What’s the quickest way to a man’s heart? A sharp knife through the chest.’ It is possible to make jokes about women you couldn’t make about black men. It is possible Muslim comedians to make jokes about Muslims. How many white, cutting edge comedians are prepared to make jokes about Islam?
Whether it is law or laughs one’s position on the League of Victims is crucially important. Thus, increment by increment a society is changed.