From Elsewhere: Nick Cohen kicks the Left again
I’m a great admirer of the writer Nick Cohen. His book ‘What’s Left?’ is a vital guide to how the Western political Left abandoned ideas of solidarity and instead hitched itself to some of the worst, most oppressive ideologies on the planet.
Writing in the Spectator, Mr Cohen said that the modern Left was:
“complicit in an enormous betrayal of progressive principles. Women, gays, secularists, liberals and socialists from ethnic minorities ought to be able to turn to British liberals and leftists for support against the patriarchal men, who seek to control them. Rather than fraternal greetings, they find indifference and hostility. The mainstream of liberal-left opinion in the universities, media, civil service, and Labour and Liberal Democrat parties has convinced itself that it is culturally imperialist to demand that members of minorities should enjoy the same freedoms as the rest of us.
This is why there has not been one prosecution for female genital mutilation. This is why, when 15-year-old white schoolgirl runs off to France with a teacher, the story leads the news, but when the parents of a Pakistani girl pull their daughter from class and force her to marry an old man —that is, when they organise her abduction and rape— liberal society stays silent. I should not need to add that multiculturalists who deny rights to people on the grounds of their ethnicity are every bit as racist as the white supremacists they profess to oppose.
To understand how deep the rot has set consider the story of Deepika Thathaal, better known as Deeyah, “the Muslim Madonna”. She ought to have been in the news this week, but I doubt you have ever heard of her.
Deeyah was brought up in Norway and launched herself as a beautiful and talented pop star. Old Muslim men thought that “their” women should not sing and dance. They persecuted her and her family, and drove her out of the country. Never mind, thought Deeyah, I’ll come to liberal Britain, where surely I will find a welcome. Exactly the same thing happened. Men threatened to cut or kill her if she did not stop performing, and their intimidation drove her underground yet again
As I said in a profile of Deeyah I wrote last year
I am not being fanciful if I imagine that had her tormentors been Norwegian neo-Nazis or the BNP, Deeyah would have become an anti-racist heroine: a Muslim Stephen Lawrence. Artists would make her struggle against prejudice their struggle. Politicians would invite her to Westminster and the European Parliament. The BBC would see to it that she was never off air. Liberal society would embrace her and define itself by its response to prejudice and violence.
The men who persecuted Deeyah in Norway and Britain were every bit as prejudiced and violent as neo-Nazis, but as it happens, they rallied under the banner of radical Islam rather than the swastika. A tiny difference, you might think. A mere trifle. But that tiny difference made all the difference in the world. No one came to Deeyah’s defence. Not liberal-left or compassionate conservative politicians. Not the BBC or liberal press. Not Amnesty International or the “concerned” artists who take up so many leftish causes. No one cared. To defend an Asian woman from unprovoked attacks by Asian men was to their warped minds a racist or Islamophobic act. Unprotected and unnoticed, Deeyah slunk off to live in an anonymous suburb of Atlanta, and begin the long task of pulling herself together.
Mr Cohen is absolutely right there. Much of what passes for ‘progressive thought’ is mired in the morally relativistic mess that has brought us multiculturalism.
You’ve got to feel for those people who have fled oppressive Islamic nations and backgrounds and who only want to be a contributing member of a free society, but who find that the Leftist Establishment is fawning over the same ideology that you fled from. How bitter must be the feeling of abandonment of those who desire freedom from Islam to see the UK government doing its damnedest to pander to the oppressors and the murderers.