Sunday, July 10, 2005

The left and the mullahs

'This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion.'

Those are the words of Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, after hearing the news of the terrorism by Islamic nihilists in the capital. And his speech, from Singapore airport only hours after helping to secure the 2012 Olympics for London, hit the right spot with all us from that place.

People that put bombs at the feet of ordinary commuters and blow them to bits are not attacking any authority. They don’t challenge anything at all really, except, perhaps, what it means to be a human being.

Note Livingstone’s reference to ‘working class Londoners’. That’s not language that the squishy-squashy, softy lefties of New Labour would ever use. In fact, it’s been a long time since any mainstream Labour politician has used the word class. Old Labour types, like Neil Kinnock, for instance, would have referred to ‘working people’, but never the working class.

The only voice of criticism has come from the predictable direction of Melanie Philips in the Daily Mail. She said it was 'nauseating to witness London's mayor ... deliver his ringing condemnation of terrorism yesterday', since he has been sharing platforms with mad mullahs for years. (quote from the Observer, 10 July)

And she does have a point. Making alliances with weirdo, conservative religious figures – who don’t believe in personal freedoms at all - is strange, and makes the beetroot, for one. feel very uncomfortable indeed.

The Left was a product of the Enlightenment, and it should not be making alliances with backward, anti-Enlightenment figures who think that women should live behind the veil, homosexuals should have their hands cut off, Spain should be bombed back to the 1400’s, and the ultimate authority for anything at all is not reason and humanity, but mullahs and their superstitions, over fifteen hundred years old.

And this is where MP George Galloway repulses, as much as his opposition to the war in Iraq inspires. George is a socialist, but has gone out of his way to make friends with people who despise universal human rights. (see Nick Cohen on the Respect coalition)

He has also linked the murder of over 70 people on Thursday with the war in Iraq. "If you go on bombing other people they will go on bombing us," he warned.

For sure, the people of Baghdad could be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss was about in London. They have lived through their own 7/7 virtually everyday since we invaded them. But few, very few, of them would support terrorism. They, after all, are being bombed by the same types of people who splattered blood all over London.

The SWP, and much of the liberal-left – terrified not only of the mullahs, but also of the white working class, who they see as almost naturally predisposed to racist tendencies – have given up on social progress and equality.

This has driven some of the most eloquent spokespeople from the Left, such as Christopher Hitchens, into the hands of the neo-cons. (See We cannot surrender in the Daily Mirror)

Hitchens, who hates the unreason of Islam and all other religions with a passion, seems to think that a new form of fascism has emerged: the fascism of the mullahs. But doesn’t this confuse apolitical anti-modernity and primitive nihilism for the (abhorrent) political philosophy of the fascist?

And doesn’t Hitchens forget that people in Iraq have the right to self-determination – a previous bedrock of leftwing belief – and the right not to be invaded by an imperialistic West, even though, like New Labour, they might believe that they are ‘liberating’ a people (by bombing them).

The Left has either fallen into a conservative, relativist and timid support of any minority, no matter how reactionary, or has drifted rightwards and supports Bush and Blair’s bloody ‘crusade’

The Left, (and Right), should support the march of reason, equality and freedom. We have to throw out the wishy-washy tolerance of the intolerant. The only way to keep young Muslims in the West out of the hands of the mullahs is by giving them a clear set of beliefs, and not the ‘anything goes as long as you don’t believe it too strongly’, relativism of the lefty, quivering middle classes.

Read on:
Livingstone Rejects Human Rights Coalition by Peter Tatchell
The philosopher as dangerous liar by Patrick West, in the New Stateman shows where much of this lefty bullshit comes from
London Community Coalition web site for more on Livingstone and his sometimes strange choice of mates