In the far-away days when Muhammad Ali was still Cassius Clay, the great boxer informed his trainer Angelo Dundee that he was thinking of becoming a Muslim. Dundee was dumbfounded: ‘I thought he was talking about a piece of cloth.’ The bluff, plain-man’s ignorance displayed by Angelo Dundee is now a thing of the past. How could it be otherwise when the mass media cries ‘Muslim, Muslim’ at every conceivable opportunity?
While it is certain that no-one could ever again confuse Muslim with muslin, in a way they are still ‘talking about a piece of cloth’. A careerist British politician by name of Jack Straw started a great debate in Britain after demanding that Muslim women remove their veils. Incidentally, in the useful, nay indispensable, Benn Diaries – entry for 23rd July 1973 – Jack is described as ‘a young lawyer on the make’.
After Jack, a large number of New Labour ministers got in on the act, with ‘frightening’, ‘divisive’ and ‘intimidating’ being just some of the adjectives they used to describe an item of clothing used by a few Muslim women. They worked themselves up into a fearful lather over the full veil or <>niqab<>, worn by a fraction of 1% of female Muslims in Britain. Blair suggested that the veil was a ‘symbol of separateness’, but here – irony of ironies – we have the man himself: wearing a kippah. At least the women who wear the veil do so in the spirit of sincerity. As for claims that the full veil is somehow ‘frightening’, take it from me that nothing is more frightening than the sight of Cherie Blair wearing a sari.
Sixty or more years ago, Great Britain was made of stronger stuff, and only feared Heinkel bombers, Tiger Tanks and six foot five paratroopers named Otto Skorzeny. Today, Little Britain claims to be scared of the impact of women in the niqab.
Ah yes, Little Britain. Let us recite the pledge:
We pledge allegiance to the Little Britain of New Labour, one fractured and divided nation under Money, with less liberty and more injustice for all.
We are the nation that goes to war abroad while at home people fear to walk the streets after dark. Our pensioners shall freeze in winter, while semi-literate footballers earn millions.
Regardless of whatever viewpoint anyone might have on the immigration debate, it is a fact that Muslim women are a harmless and indeed very quiescent group. I somehow doubt that there are any Muslim women involved in the drink-fuelled violence and mayhem that disfigures almost all British cities and county towns over weekends. Perhaps they do run drug-smuggling and bank-robbing gangs, but if so I’m sure some journalist from the Murdoch press would have told us by now. While political correctness still reigns, it is a courtesy that is no longer extended to Muslims. Perhaps Dr. Stephen Steinlight could provide a hint as to why this is so :
‘Thus, behind closed doors, Jewish leaders speak a very different language than in public. This is not entirely new with regard to immigration policy, but the disconnection between appearance and reality is much sharper now; it constitutes a veritable chasm. In private, they express grave concern that current immigration policy will prove politically and existentially ruinous to the American-Jewish community, as it has for the Jews of France and will inevitably for the Jews of Britain, indeed, throughout Western Europe. There is particular fear about the impact on Jewish life and security, as well as American support for Israel, of the rapid growth of the Muslim community in the United States, fueled almost entirely by current immigration policy (conversion to Islam plays a role as well, but as a cause of concern it is a distant second – except where shifting terrorist tactics are concerned.) ‘
But the Great Veil Debate also rapidly became linked with what the bought and sold politicians term ‘fanaticism’ and ‘extremism’. Of course, only Muslims are ‘fanatics’ and ‘extremists’ ; the destruction by bombing of 80 or more Afghan civilians as they celebrate a religious holiday is never delineated as ‘extreme’.
But, says the reader exposed too much corporate news, some Afghans do bear the responsibility for Ground Zero in New York City. Well, yes, perhaps they do, provided we make the assumption that those pesky Muslims also suspended the laws of physics.
How about London? Sit back and listen to Ralph Schoenman :
But what is the reason why? Why the perpetration of false-flag attacks designed to unleash conflict and hostility between the Islamic world and the West? You can talk of oil pipelines in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and your argument will have some validity. You can cross the line out of polite, respectable company and speak of the spreading influence of Eretz Yisrael.
But I would suggest that there is also a third, ignored factor involved – the Islamic prohibition of usury. Subconsciously, when British politicians drone on about ‘inclusion’ and ‘integration’ of Muslims, do they not allude to the planned inclusion of the Muslim world within the global financial system? Shall Dar-al-Islam discover the delights of the fractional reserve banking racket and massive personal debt?
There is much chatter about the alleged lack of democracy in the Islamic world, but in truth there is little real freedom in the ‘democracies’ that offer the criticism. Blair and New Labour bow the knee to any two-bit capitalist. Nor do the ‘democracies’ boast a higher calibre of personnel than the ‘dictatorships’. While the President of Syria is a well-qualified doctor, Britain’s Education Minister has no educational qualifications whatever! In the West, the power of money has apparently defeated the power of the state, leading to what the neglected economist J.A. Hobson termed the ‘millionaire’s paradise': a service economy with a rich minority ruling over mass of virtual serfs.
Ironically enough, the troops used in the attempted subjugation of Iraq and Afghanistan tend to come from the mining towns without mines, and the ports without shipyards created by that self-same financial system. They are themselves the victims of the system they fight to extend. Apart from all the awful destruction, about the only tangible result of the assault on Afghanistan has been to restart and increase the flow of cheap heroin to Western Europe, and to Britain in particular.
Intense – but entirely bogus – indignation over an item of dress is even more ludicrous and disgraceful when it serves to distract from the real issues. While the Blairites are very good at wasting money on foreign wars, they are even better at imposing cuts on those least able to bear them, such as pensioners and the disabled. The leader writers rant away about women in veils while ignoring the 20,000 elderly who die every year in Britain from lack of heating. Lack of money, that is – fritted away on armed conflict and Westminster expense accounts.
Remove the veils? Yes, take away the veils of self-illusion which conceal the true state of Anglo-American society from all but a few!
Will You Bow Down Before Their Gods?