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In the Name of God بسم الله


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About Hagop

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  1. Salams Abu Muslim, Do you not think that unlike Gaddafi, Seyyed Nasrallah (HA) has a substantially greater popular base? One can measure this, for example, by looking at Hezbollah's representation in the current Lebanese parliament: 12 seats out of a total of 128 (and not including their March 8 allies). Surely the people/factions that dislike him and the Hezb, disliked them before the events in Syria? Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
  2. Salams, Thanks for posting this. I forgot that today's the debut broadcast of his RT show.
  3. A Chance for Peace With Iran Will the Israel lobby scuttle it? by Justin Raimondo, April 16, 2012 Print This | Share This With the price of gasoline rising, and President Barack Obama’s reelection prospects sinking, delaying a showdown with Iran and ratcheting down regional tensions has become a political necessity for this administration. The question is: can the Israel lobby scuttle revived negotiations? That the participants came out of the 12-hour Istanbul meeting with reports of progress – and an agreement to meet again, on May 23, in Baghdad – is good news that must be taken in context. It’s been over a year since negotiators met, and the last round ended with both sides engaging in public recriminations, leading to the present impasse. This time around, the Iranians seemed fully engaged, and quite specific about what they are willing to discuss: and while such hot topics as the enrichment issue and increased IAEA access to Iranian nuclear facilities were politely danced around in public, all parties praised the meeting as "constructive." Most important, from the Iranian perspective, is that the talks are to go forward within the context of the Nonproliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a signatory – and Israel, its chief antagonist, is not. Under the terms of the NPT, Iran has the right to create a peaceful – i.e. energy-oriented – nuclear program, which is what they have been insisting has been their goal all along. An agreement within this framework would underscore the Israelis’ unwillingness to sign the NPT, or to even admit the existence of their substantial nuclear arsenal. It was only a matter of hours before the Israelis responded with typical peevishness. Meeting with Sen. Joe Lieberman, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a swing at Obama and the Europeans: "My initial impression is that Iran has been given a freebie. It’s got five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation, any inhibition." As if Iran could create a nuclear weapon in five weeks time, even if it wanted to do so. This is par for the course for Netanyahu and Israel’s political leaders, whose constant harping on the alleged "existential threat" of an imaginary Iranian nuke has been a single note of hysteria sounded throughout the past few years, like an annoyingly defective car alarm the neighbors have learned to ignore. Time and again they have announced Tehran is "on the verge" of acquiring a nuclear arsenal: in two years, a year, in six months – the ticking of this purported time-bomb has been going on so long it has become just so much background noise. The Israelis have cried wolf once too often. The Iranians refrained from lecturing Western diplomats in Istanbul, and their chief negotiator reportedly hinted at significant concessions on the key issues of enrichment and IAEA access. For their part, Western negotiators – particularly the Europeans, who are leading the effort – are apparently for the first time taking the Iranian Supreme Leader’s fatwa against nukes seriously. The P-5-plus-1, represented by EU foreign policy honcho and former CND’er Catherine Ashton, opened the meeting with a declaration affirming Iran’s right under the NPT to develop peaceful nuclear applications. Ashton is hated by the Israelis, and they are likely to open their propaganda campaign against the negotiations by going after her as biased against the perceived interests of the Jewish state. The usual suspects will no doubt attribute darker motives to her stance. The optimism that greeted the conclusion of the Istanbul talks is encouraging, but a realistic assessment must confront the politics behind the diplomacy. With all-too-likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney geared up for a foreign policy offensive, and the Israel firsters in both parties ever on the lookout for deviations from the bipartisan pro-Israel line, the political constraints on a settlement in an election year bode ill for the cause of peace. Not that Romney is proposing anything significantly different than the policy the Obamaites are now pursuing – draconian sanctions, relentless diplomatic and political pressure, and covert efforts at regime change. Yet the President and his advisors are walking a tightrope: the slightest wind in either direction could tip them over into the Scylla of appearing weak or the Charybdis of being provoked into war. Like the Americans, the Iranians are constrained by politics: they refused to meet in bilateral talks with the US representatives for fear of being perceived back home as kowtowing to Washington. Iranian chief negotiator Saeed Jalili, a former deputy foreign minister, appeared at a news conference in front of a poster of the four assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists. The news the US has trained operatives of an anti-Iranian group on American soil – a group our own State Department has long classified as a terrorist organization – is unlikely to inspire trust: that and continued terrorist attacks carried out by Jundullah in Baluchistan and the Kurdish Pejak guerrillas are US bargaining chips rarely mentioned in Western news reports of the diplomatic back-and-forth: both groups have, at one time or another, received some American assistance, and they are surely getting aid from the Israelis. While the Israelis aren’t shy about fighting a low-intensity covert war against the regime in Tehran, an all-out frontal attack is out of the question, in spite of their public posturing. The alleged threat of Israeli military action is a phony issue being ratcheted up by both Washington and Tel Aviv purely for dramatic effect: we are supposed to believe the Israelis are straining at the leash, and it’s only the Americans who can rein them in. In reality, Netanyahu hasn’t got the political support at home for a unilateral Israeli strike, and he knows it. Aside from that, Israeli bombs over Tehran would violate the great unspoken rule of Israeli military and strategic doctrine: always get the Americans to do the fighting and the dying. It worked in Iraq, when Israeli-supplied "intelligence" tricked an all-too-willing-to-be-tricked Bush administration into fighting Israel’s war against Saddam. They hope to pull the same stunt in Iran, and the apparent success of the Istanbul conference is now a major obstacle in their path, albeit far from insurmountable. Operating on two fronts – in the US, and in the region – the Israelis can do plenty to muck things up before the May 23 session convenes. Syria is at the boiling point, with the civil war spilling over the border into Lebanon and Turkey. By providing "non-lethal" aid to armed opposition groups in Turkey and within the country – and facilitating the provision of arms by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other interested parties – Washington is already fighting a proxy war against Iran in Syria. If the Israelis can succeed in turning Washington’s cold war against Syria into a hot one, they can introduce fresh complications into what should be a straightforward and focused negotiating process. While Bashar al-Assad looks like he’s firmly in power for the moment, increased diplomatic and political pressure on a staunch Iranian ally could well play into a scenario in which Tehran withdraws out of anger at the prospect of losing its only ally in the region. Another wild card is the nature and scope of Israel’s covert activities in Iran: assassinations, carried out by the Israeli-supported Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) terrorist outfit, have humiliated the Iranians and provoked an internal security crackdown. Also not to be ruled out is a widening of the scope of the attacks to include high officials as well as scientists. That Israel has tried to pass off its recruiting of Jundullah terrorists operating in Baluchistan as the work of the Americans is the kind of provocation that could not only torpedo the negotiations but actually get us involved in a shooting war with the Iranians – which is precisely the goal of the Israelis. In the end, the battle for a diplomatic solution to this manufactured "crisis" must be won, not in Istanbul or Baghdad, but in Washington. D.C. Yet the Imperial city is the stronghold of the powerful Israel lobby, which has annexed Congress the way the IDF has effectively annexed the West Bank, and which exerts a decisive influence on the leadership of both parties when it comes to foreign policy. No matter how much it hurts our real interests to go to war with Iran over Tehran’s nonexistent "weapons of mass destruction," that is precisely what will happen unless war opponents can manage to exercise some political clout on the home front. While polls show Americans overwhelmingly want to avoid such a war, and support the negotiations, that this translates easily into the realm of policy is a naïve assumption: alas, too many people think "democracy" means majority rule rather than "the squeaky wheel gets the worm." When it comes to securing Israel’s interests over and above those of the US, the Lobby has the resources, the will, and an unbroken record of success. NOTES IN THE MARGIN I note, with a sigh of resignation, the "news" that Rep. Ron Paul has supposedly come out for moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in recognition of the Israeli claim to that city as its capital. I also note that the only sources for this "news" are 1) Business Insider, a site that has never been friendly to Paul and has consistently engaged in baseless speculation about a "deal" with Romney, and 2) Doug Wead, a Republican operative and advisor to Paul whose secret recording of conversations he had with President George W. Bush – and their subsequent release – earned him near-universal distrust. The Paul campaign has issued no official statement of this new policy, and there is nothing on their web site about it as of Sunday afternoon, when this column is being written. Perhaps Mr. Wead will release his secret recording of the alleged conversation Paul had with evangelicals leaders, where he allegedly made this pledge. Source: http://antiwar.com/
  4. Katy Perry and the military-pop-cultural complex Asking whether the US military's PR offensive is subsidising the entertainment industry with taxpayer dollars is not unpatriotic by Naomi Wolf
  5. A fair argument against the article. I half agree with you. I think the writer was going for the same vibe as the Stuff White People Like blog (which I personally dig): satirizing a certain strata of the affluent middle classes, namely liberal and urban-dwelling hipster types (and they generally tend to be White European). However, in that particular blog, the author (Christian Lander) pointedly refers to "the wrong kind of white people" in reference to other classes and subcultures, thus demonstrating that his satirical target is a certain subculture (which happens to be composed mainly of White Europeans ). In this particular article the author, Marc Michael, fails to make clear that class/political element (as you pointed out correctly). He's too crude with his use of the term 'white'. I deliberately avoid using the term racist because I think the definition of racism encompasses political and economic power. That to me is the correct definition of racism. One can't be racist towards a race (White Europeans) that has dominated Africa, Latin America and Asia by way of slavery, colonialism/imperialism and economic neo-imperialism since the 18th century to the present day. Of course this is beginning to change with the economic and political rise of countries such as China, Brazil and India but, still, White Europeans are over-represented in the corridors of global power. White Europeans (like myself) are still, on the whole, the wealthiest and most privileged inhabitants of this unequal world. I think less powerful groups (Africans, African-Americans, Arabs, Indians, Native Americans, South-East Asians, Latinos etc) can be prejudiced towards a group of people who are more powerful than them, but I don’t think they can be racist towards them. Had the author added a more explicit class/political dimension to the article, referred perhaps to upper class (white) liberal-brahmin celebs like George Clooney/Mia Farrow and their Darfur 'advocacy', as well as the dudes behind Kony 2012, I think his piece would have had better satirical bite.
  6. Salams Marbles, Thanks for taking the time to respond. That was very informative. Looking forward to the next installment.
  7. by Marc Michael I usually get along with white people. For starters, I grew up in a white country. Some of my best friends are white. In my long history of befriending them, I have learnt one thing: if you want to retain white friends, you must adhere to a number of sacred rules: the stuff white people like. For those who are not familiar with it, there is a helpful website aptly titled by the same name. Although they‘ve managed to exhaust the concept with their 134 entries spanning issues as diverse as TED talks, Ultimate Frisbee or Asian Fusion Food, the site remains lacking in one glaring way, to wit, it failed to include humanitarian intervention. The following attempts to remedy to this bleak state of affairs. When approaching prospective white friends, tips for solving the third-world crisis du jour can be very efficient icebreakers. However widespread a white conversational hobby, humanitarian intervention is also a thorny issue fraught with intricate codes matching the complexity of croquet or bridge. During the ensuing conversation, avoid openly belittling the value or intentions of humanitarian intervention, or of its less militarized cousin, humanitarian aid. They are, by nature, noble and typically exclude financial or geostrategic incentives. If these surface at a later point in time, they do not delegitimize the whole enterprise. They simply suggest it could have been done better. Stating otherwise will certainly ensure that your white acquaintances will talk of you as a heartless conspiracy theorist behind your back, or worse, and this will depend on how outrageous they find you, in your presence. Unbeknownst to yourself, your choice of regions for humanitarian intervention will reveal a great deal about the depth of your character. For instance, a focus on blasting Palestinians suggests a rather traditional, impulsive, frontier-Orientalist personality whereas opting for Syria says you’re a more sensitive Kosovo intervention-type, who dreads a repeat Srebrenica. In contrast, caring for child soldiers in Africa tells the prospective white friend that you’re not only extremely devoted to the well-being of the wretched of the earth, but also that you tend to be knowledgeable about regions that regularly drop from the radar of cutting-edge mainstream infotainment. In all this confusion, beginners will typically commit the faux pas of supporting all humanitarian interventions. It is of the utmost importance to maintain a semblance of taste in these matters. So while some interventions can be justified, based on geographical terrain—for instance, flatter is more open to intervention, like in Libya—or ethnic uniformity—too much diversity might lead to armed civil strife, like in Iraq—others will strike your friends as completely out of line. For instance, oil-rich countries with regimes that hold white interest close to heart, such as the UAE or Saudi, are a clear no-go, and so are neighborly aspiring white settler colonies, like Israel, that regularly confuse democracy for a weapon of mass destruction. With the “Arab spring” on the menu, the height of sophistication this season is to introduce the notion of ‘types of intervention’. Although it might require serious research on specialized blogs and a subscription to the Economist, explaining in great detail the type you believe most appropriate for the context under scrutiny reveals a subtle personality attuned to the minute nuances of killing non-white people abroad. Should the strikes be preemptive, or should we wait until a certain number of oppressed innocents have died before putting our foot down? Once you’ve decided upon this matter, you must further pick between interventions that aim at drawing defensive curtains around specific zones of strategic white interest, surgical strikes that destroy the enemy fire capacity which a white government sold them the previous week, and physical military intervention which might ensure your current president won’t get another term in office. Alternatively, if you wear your heart on your sleeve, you may incense the unorthodox virtues of economic sanctions, guaranteeing local native children will starve in dignity, fully sheltered from international media attention. Now that you’ve successfully added your new white friends on Facebook, you begin to think you can stop talking about how much it means to you to kill other people in far away places that you know little about—through “saving” them. Wrong. Since lobbying one’s representative lost its edge, it is almost as important to discuss intervention in cyberspace as it is at dinners. Digital media activism has replaced letters and phone calls as a paramount weapon in the arsenal available against global injustice. This mostly involves watching activist videos on YouTube to raise your friends’ and representatives’ awareness but liking links on Facebook usually matters almost equally in the cyber-guerilla warfare against oblivion. For those who feel a bit constrained by the range of options, digital activism now finally allows you to put your money where your mouth is. After the adopt-a-starving-orphan and/or endangered-pet moments, white e-revolutionaries have seen their prospects for global justice expand significantly with the Adopt a Revolution movement. [Edited Out] offspring of H. Clinton’s commitment to a human right to communication and of the “Adopt a Monk” movement, the website allows the concerned world citizen to provide a friend or kin—for Christmas or a birthday, for instance—the joyous gift of ‘adopting’ a Syrian revolutionary activist, i.e. covering all his phone expenses for a period of time. Unfortunately, at the moment, adopting Hamas ‘freedom fighters’ remains an unavailable option, except for Guantanamo Bay employees. Stuff White People Don’t Like So Much No decent rough guide to white etiquette surrounding ‘humanitarian intervention’ would be complete without mentioning the central absolute rule whose violation would seriously jeopardize all white friendships: never ask a white friend why ‘humanitarian intervention’ is a specifically white hobby. This taboo question might lead down one or four abrupt dead-ends, namely, white privilege, white man’s burden, white supremacy, and your friend losing his white temper. This becomes evident if you’re fond of thought experiments. Try asking a white friend whether it would have been wise to recommend a preemptive UN targeted attack on US military production facilities in the spring of 2003, to prevent, for instance, a million Iraqis dying in the name of freedom fries. You may find your friend, choking on the difference between Bush and Saddam or Qaddhafi: Bush might have been a little trigger-friendly but he didn’t stoop so low as to kill his own people—sure sign of a non-white management style. In white corporate democracies, governments are service-providers, which generally exclude euthanasia. A government killing its own peaceful protesters would be a bit like Wal-Mart employees opening RPG-fire at the information desk or down the pastry aisle; absurdly bad PR. In liberal-speak, white privilege entails a government gifted with managerial common sense. About twelve years ago, the Global South realized that whites faced this extra hurdle of white privilege preventing them from a lucid grasp of their own predicament. For this reason, they issued a Declaration signed by 133 countries, approximately two thirds of the globe and 100% of the non-white world, gently explaining that killing your own people and fighting over the leadership of your country is generally understood as sovereign politics, and that interfering with it wasn’t particularly legal. White leaders and policy makers immediately dismissed the reminder. French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, for example, launched his ‘putative referendum’ campaign. Humanitarian intervention was justified if whites could imagine Iraqis saying yes to carpet-bombing their own country in a hypothetical referendum—basing the idea on the necrophiliac’s motto: Qui ne dit mot consent [silence gives consent]. It thus became clear that it wasn’t so much that whites felt a ‘right to humanitarian intervention’—a form of privilege assuredly—as much as they were self-invested with a ‘duty to protect’ the poor and oppressed of the world. This dismissal takes us back to the good old colonial days, when the ‘duty to protect’, the white man’s burden, was very regularly invoked to support military interventions. What we fail to understand though is why. Why is white man’s burden so white? It is common Northern lore that white folks are genetically predisposed to greater empathy. They just care more. The time is not far-off when a white scientist is bound to discover whites have some gene that allow them to empathize more intensely with the suffering of people that regularly show up on the front page of the New York Times. Contra this genetic argument, it is best to treat the phenomenon as historically grounded and culturally-specific. The ‘duty to protect’ incumbent on the white-skinned derives from the same justification as the ‘civilizing mission’ so dear to the colonial project: Whites can govern best. This form of contemporary white supremacy takes a slight twist of the imagination to fully grasp but remains within analytical reach: White governors don’t kill their own; democracies, i.e. white polities, don’t wage wars against each other. The impeccable syllogism according to which whites imagine their supremacy and their burden is that they have a duty to protect life because they do it best. From conservations to protectorates, zebras to Zambians, ecological disasters to oil wells, the humanitarian refrain is the same. 1) There is an equal right to life for all humans 2) White governments maintain life better 3) All government should be white. At the end of the day, humanitarian intervention stipulates that there is a human right to life, and that no one is better placed than whites to take care of such a precious commodity. Whites keep life alive longer. The argument is unstoppable for once we accept that whites are plain better at life management, and that the legal sovereignty of nation-states can be overridden to save lives, there is no moral reason to resist a return to colonial administration of native affairs. After all, statistics demonstrate without a doubt that white governments take care of their citizens’ lives better—hence a responsibility to take care of the rest of the globe. The taboo surrounding the issue—the reason you can’t ask a white friend why humanitarian intervention is a white hobby—results from this oft muddled fact: just wars and humanitarian interventions tap into the deep and pleasurable roots of white supremacist sentiments. Conclusion: What Can You Do? So you want to save the world and make white friends, but you know that YouTube videos and family bake-sales to arm the Ugandan government against the LRA won’t be enough. You are God-fearing and warmongering, yet you suspect your government is more interested in doling out your tax monies to investment bankers than weapon factories. You want to participate in promoting global justice but you’re not perfectly white. And most importantly you’re getting deadly bored of being as passionate about invading a random country in the Orient as you are over watching your favorite football team win yet another decisive game. We have the perfect solution for you: be a real champ, go get yourself a machinegun and a ride to Syria. You might put your life on the line for ideals you’re not yet sure you fully subscribe to. On the bright side, you’ll be the stuff white people like, limbless and free. Source: http://www.jadaliyya...itarian-interve
  8. @kingpomba: A definition of hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform. Where you see semantic games I see methodological consistency (or the lack thereof) on the basis of philosophical principles. I'm not looking for victory, just that societies and individuals act in accordance with what they claim to believe. As a devout Muslim I believe that Divine Law mandates certain prohibitions (e.g. production, sale and consumption of alcohol, interest bearing loans, eating of pork etc). I also believe that it imposes certain actions (prayer, alms-giving, fasting etc). I believe I'm following God's law as revealed in His Book by doing so. I'm acting based on my principles. I believe that Shariah imposes limits in the personal and public spheres. Therefore it's not ideologically self-contradictory for me to support Iran's application of the hijab law. I accept secular law in NZ, Australia, Britain etc in so far as it does not encroach upon my ability to act upon my principles. I would only be hypocritical if I claimed to be a secular liberal and supported the freedom to wear hijab in the West but not the freedom to not wear it in Iran (which doesn't claim legitimacy as a secular liberal state). My argument is not about which system is superior. It's fine if a liberal disagrees with my world view (and sees theirs as the better one). However, if that same liberal argues that one of the reasons for the superiority of their beliefs over mine is the strong protection afforded by liberalism to freedom of religious belief and practice, and then proceeeds to curtail my ability to practice my beliefs, then clearly they are the hypocrite as per their self-professed beliefs. Actually I don't believe in the wearing of niqab. On what basis do I hold this belief? On the basis that it is not mandated by Divine Law. Whether or not you personally agree with me about the validity of Divine Law, it cannot be denied that I'm expressing an opinion based upon my philosophical belief system (i.e. I'm being consistent). On what basis do New Zealand's legislators and public seek to ban wearing of the niqab? "I don't like it" or "It looks strange" or "Muslim countries impose limits on dress, so we'll do the same" or "Muslim scripture does not mandate this garment" are not arguments consistent with liberal philosophy. Btw, these very same arguments can be used to ban the hijab. If a liberal argues that the niqab should be banned because it is oppressive to a woman, even if that woman freely chooses to wear it, then this is also problematic from a classical liberal perspective. You argue that: So an Australian or NZ citizen, who is Muslim, has no right to critique the foreign or domestic policy of the country in which they hold citizenship, unless they also criticize the policies of some other country from which they or their ancestors might not even originate? Does this apply to non-Muslim citizens of Australia? Do you consider yourself a liberal democrat? If so, do you not see how this is contrary to liberal democracy? As I said previously to Arash, my question is the following: who is acting hypocritically within the context of their self-professed philosophy?
  9. kingpomba: Your statement is an example of the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses (or a false dilemma).
  10. Zakir Naik is a Nasibi for sure. Respect to the Muslims of Kishanganj for speaking out against this jahil.
  11. Salams Arash, Yeah I think that on France you're actually spot on. No point in arguing on that one. You're also right that I've not considered Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau etc (we could probably stick the Englishman Tom Paine into that French tradition). Basically, the French state has had a massive problem with organized religion since the Jacobins. I think that for New Zealand to go ahead with this would be hypocrisy though, it being part of the Anglo-Saxon tradition of liberalism. I guess the funny thing is that more British Muslims were upset about the hijab ban than French ones. I have lots of personal experience of the Muslim community in Nice, it doesn't really surprise me that a majority were in favour. French Muslims with their false consciousness eh? :)
  12. Salams again Arash, Well let me just lay my cards out on the table first: I'm an Islamist by ideological conviction, a supporter of Wilayat Al-Faqih. Just to get that out of the way. I agree that I can't call illegality on the French anti-hijab legislation. For sure it was passed by the French National Assembly and had the support of most French people. My argument is about being true to the tenets of one's self-professed philosophy, not twisting the definition of one of those tenets (separation of church and state) in order to appease a racist and Islamophobic strata of the French electorate. French Republicanism, representative liberal democracy in general, CLAIMS to act as a bulwark against baser populist impulses. Of course it isn't so in practice. I take my definition of liberal secularism from philosophers such as James Madison, John Stuart Mill, Karl Popper, Isaiah Berlin and John Rawls, in addition to self-avowed liberal politicians, academics and journalists from around the contemporary world. I mention this only to say that the definition of liberal secularism that I put forward is not my own idiosyncratic interpretation. My argument was fundamentally about hypocrisy from within the context of liberal ideology. I agree with the hijab law as it is applied in Iran and Saudi Arabia (even though I oppose that regime in general). As an Islamist I say: yes I support certain restrictions within the public and personal spheres. I believe I'm following God's law as revealed in His Book by doing so. I'm acting based on my principles. Shariah imposes limits on the personal. It's not ideologically self-contradictory for Iran to apply the hijab law as it does. It is for France and other self-proclaimed liberal democracies. In practice, both Islamic and Western liberal societies set limits and boundaries to public behaviour and discourse either through legislation and/or social convention. What really annoys me is that at the rhetorical level (especially when it comes to lecturing Muslims), liberalism pretends as if it doesn't do this. As if it's about relatively unlimited freedom.
  13. God this thread is making me feel old :(
  14. Salams Arash, Secularism, in a liberal democracy, is to ensure that the state does not establish an official religion and that state institutions do not discriminate against citizens on the basis of religious affiliation. Personal practice of religion (including the wearing of its symbols) is protected in principle. That principle is the absolute freedom of belief (and non-belief). Freedom of political and religious belief are core tenets of liberalism. To argue that a secular state has the right to ban religious observance (which includes personal dress) is philosophically contradictory to these tenets. The Iranian state is not acting contrary to its ideological basis of being an Islamic Republic by enforcing hijab on Muslim and non-Muslim women. Shariah places restrictions on the personal (for sure). There is no ideological hypocrisy at work here. France claims to be a liberal state by virtue of its written constitution, whilst New Zealand claims to be a liberal state by virtue of constitutional convention (notwithstanding that Queen Elizabeth II is the official Head of State and of the Church of England, therefore making the Church of England the official state religion). New Zealand's legislature and judiciary claim to be liberal democratic in practice (i.e. by convention). For any self-professed liberal democracy to ban hijabs, niqabs or halal meat is an act of ideological hypocrisy. For liberal democracies to legislate against the religious freedom of their Muslim minorities on the basis that other Muslim countries do it to their minorities, is incoherent from within the context of their self-professed ideologies. Putting the shoe on the other foot is not a valid principle for legislation in a liberal democratic state. In reality, Western democracies are restricting the rights of their Muslim minorities in order to cater to the racist instincts and demands of significant sectors of their electorates. This, again, is another hypocritical departure from the liberal principle of protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority. The question is, ultimately, who is acting hypocritically from WITHIN the context of their self-professed philosophies/ideologies?
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