By Ben Pensant
I didn’t think it was possible to feel prouder of my fellow leftists than I did after Dame Meryl Streep roasted Donald Trump at the Golden Globes for mocking a disabled journalist whose name she couldn’t remember. But after the horror of President Evil’s inauguration – as frightening as watching thousands of people burn to death on TV according to Canadian columnist Doug Saunders – it would appear that the liberal elite have contrived to go one better with their sterling defence of everyone’s favourite Islamist Linda Sarsour.
For the uninitiated, Sarsour – co-organiser of last Saturday’s triumphant Women’s March – has spent all week fending off accusations that she’s a pro-Sharia apologist for Saudi Arabia, accusations based on nothing more than lies, insinuations and the fact that she’s a pro-Sharia apologist for Saudi Arabia. In addition, her links to Hamas have been used to smear her as sympathetic to terrorism and anti-Semitism, claims which aren’t even worth refuting. Because if the last few years have taught us regressives anything it’s that it’s an utter waste of time trying to convince right-wing trolls that defending a group who shoot protesters, fire rockets at civilians and have a charter calling for the destruction of Jews worldwide is anything more than polite diplomacy.
Thankfully, a raft of liberal actors and writers leapt to her defence over these libellous, vindictive and demonstrably true claims, doing what the left do best and flat-out ignoring evidence to paint Sarsour as a feminist icon on par with Germaine Greer. Of course, if you thought Greer’s views on transgender folk were objectionable it’s probably best not to ask conservative Muslim Sarsour what she thinks of blokes who wear dresses and cut their penises off, even if some of her devout friends would be happy to perform the surgery. Women transitioning to men, on the other hand, could benefit greatly from an Islamist perspective, as five minutes of listening to the enlightened Sharia view on LGBT rights would be enough to make them shit their tits off.
In the meantime, Tinseltown’s finest lent Sarsour a helping hand by ignoring the various comments she’s made defending Sharia Law and excusing one of the most oppressive Islamic theocracies on the planet: ‘Sharia Law is reasonable and once u read into the details it makes a lot of sense. People just know the basics’ she Tweeted in 2011 and only the most bigoted EDL-supporting nugget would disagree.
Because once you get the basics out of the way – stripping women of legal rights, forcing them to wear veils, stoning them to death – there’s so much more to discover about Sharia. Take the quirky custom of forbidding receipt and payment of interest, which magically cancels out all the stuff that promotes wife-beating, child exploitation and everything else liberals pretend doesn’t exist:
‘You’ll know when you’re living under Sharia Law if suddenly all your loans and credit cards become interest-free. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?’ Sarsour wrote in 2015, and I’m sure it’s a great comfort to women in Islamic theocracies to know that after they’ve been robbed, sexually assaulted and executed for adultery their families won’t be landed with a hefty Barclaycard bill.
Sarsour’s cheerleaders claim she was being sarcastic when she wrote these pro-Sharia Tweets, and it’s possible as Islamists are renowned for their wacky sense of humour. Indeed, anyone who remembers the Islamic Human Rights Commission naming the Charlie Hebdo staff ‘Islamophobes Of The Year’ months after they were murdered will know all about the offbeat antics of the Khomeinist organisation Jeremy Corbyn says ‘represents all that’s best in Islam’.
Similarly, the excuses made for Sarsour’s Tweets supporting the KSA were that she has also condemned it numerous times. Which indeed she has as it’s virtually law that regressives have to attack Saudi Arabia at least once a day, not for anything silly like their habit of whipping journalists or killing women but because they’re allies of the West. But Sarsour is willing to go that extra mile and defend the Saudi head-choppers if it means letting her religion off the hook.
As she wrote in 2014, ‘Ten weeks of PAID maternity leave in Saudi Arabia. Yes PAID. And ur worrying about women driving. Puts us to shame’. Indeed, and 10 weeks is plenty of time for a new mother to recover from the public lashing she received for talking to the taxi driver who took her to hospital when she was in labour. And though caring for a screaming baby while covered in painful bruises may be challenging, at least she didn’t make the rookie mistake of removing her veil as that could mean getting pelted with objects somewhat sturdier than a teddy bear or a bowl of porridge.
But perhaps her most fitting tribute to Islamic regimes in general was her 2015 rebuke to racists who believe women get a raw deal in the Muslim world: ‘There are Muslim countries who have women presidents for God’s sake. In Saudi Arabia – ur boogeyman Islamic State – women r in parliament’. Indeed they are, putting the KSA streets ahead of those degenerate Western states who think they’re special just because they have female parliamentarians and allow women to drive, wear what they like and go for a walk alone without being attacked, arrested or sentenced to death.
Luckily, a whole host of establishment progressives who either don’t know of Sarsour’s views or simply don’t care took to social media to show that they’re not only totally cool with assaulting Neo-Nazis, they’re also intensely relaxed about Muslims being flogged, mutilated and murdered for such heinous crimes as blasphemy, homosexuality or allowing themselves to be gang-raped.
Because no-one could possibly say ‘I disagree with Linda’s beliefs but the march wasn’t about her: it was about Trump’ . That would be selling out. No, we have to defend Sarsour to the hilt, by either ignoring her illiberal beliefs – like Elle magazine’s fantastic whitewash – or pretending Sharia Law is actually pretty cool and progressive – a’la CNN gobshite Sally Kohn.
The Southern Poverty Law Centre were one of the first to comment, proving that branding Maajid Nawaz and Ayaan Hirsi Ali as ‘anti-Muslim extremists’ wasn’t just a silly one-off: ‘Islamophobes have been attacking #WomensMarch organiser @lsarsour. We stand with her against this type of hate and bigotry #IMarchWithLinda’ they Tweeted, confirming once and for all that an organisation which boasts of combatting ‘hate, intolerance and discrimination’ has given up the ghost entirely to join the glorious alliance between regressive left and religious right.
Elsewhere, Hollywood proved that Meryl Streep isn’t the only deluded millionaire capable of propagating nonsense in the service of ideology. Step forward brave radical Susan Sarandon, taking a break from congratulating herself for campaigning against the only person who could have beaten Trump to laud Sarsour as ‘a strong voice advocating for women’s rights & understanding what Muslim women face’. Whether those women’s rights include the right not to live under the ‘reasonable’ Sharia doctrine that encourages men to ‘banish (women) to their couches and beat them’ isn’t clear. Though I imagine a veteran like Sarandon has no truck with whining about such trivialities, as actresses from her generation have plenty of experience of couches and physical abuse and it didn’t do them any harm.
Ridiculous environmentalist Mark Ruffalo offered similarly soothing words to Hamas-linked Sarsour: ‘You are the best of what America is. Multicultural, compassionate, committed, sincere & human. Don’t let anyone get you down’ he gushed, echoing his campaign against LGBT-bullying by lauding someone with ties to the compassionate fundamentalists who imprison homosexuals and recently executed a general for having sex with another man.
Luminaries from the liberal establishment weighed in too, such as principled conspiracy loon Naomi Klein: ‘Not this time, trolls. I stand with the incredible & inspiring @lsarsour. In defiance. Indivisable #IMarchWithLinda’. And Sarsour is nothing if not inspirational, inspiring Islamists everywhere to hoodwink privileged writers and thick-as-a-brick celebrities into believing religious extremists are liberal progressives.
But the most passionate defence came from the aforementioned Sally Kohn who coolly advised trolls ‘Before you attack an entire religion, try understanding it’ before penning an exhaustive article that defended Sharia Law on the grounds that it’s not just about punishing women in Muslim countries – it’s about stripping them of their legal rights in liberal democracies too:
‘Sharia can also mean what it does in England, where Sharia councils in some places hold sway over things such as marriage and divorce. Yet these councils are ultimately – and rightly – subject to the secular laws of the state’. Cleverly avoiding clarification of what is meant by ‘holding sway’, she sidestepped the issue of forced marriages before applauding the recent government review of Sharia courts, misrepresenting the investigation into these dangerous councils as part of a bold new future of peaceful co-operation between the state and religious fanatics. Or ‘A potential model for how Sharia can work within the context of secular government and pluralism’.
See? If only Western governments showed more understanding and allowed extremists the legal freedom to do whatever they like the world would be a much nicer place for rich activists whose lives are not impacted any way whatsoever by Sharia Law. Because Kohn isn’t much concerned about the British Muslim women who would rather Sharia didn’t work in any context, nor that it tends to be detrimental to their freedom, health and life expectancy.
She then explained how it’s merely a minority of extremists who interpret Sharia in its most oppressive form, news to the millions of Muslims lucky enough to live – or rather ‘die’ – under this obscure version so uncommon it’s only practiced in over a dozen countries. The true Sharia – presumably all about treating women like princesses instead of punchbags – is about peace and tolerance. Though curiously Kohn was far less eager to excuse it in 2010 when she condemned those who label all followers of Islam as misogynists by pointing out ‘Feminists know Sharia is not supported by all Muslims’. Clearly the new progressive form of Sharia espoused by Sarsour has come to fruition since then, hence Kohn going from screaming ‘not all!’ to ‘not bad!’ in the space of six years.
Still, despite the army of trolls attacking Kohn for the utter lunacy of her article, she demonstrated strength they could only dream of. Indeed, it was extraordinarily brave of a Jewish lesbian feminist to defend Sharia, bearing in mind if she spent a day living under it she’d be set on fire or thrown off a roof before you can say ‘Islamist jackpot’.
But we need voices like Kohn if we are to survive four years of Trump. And thankfully by the time you read this more coke-addled socialites with an aversion to history books will have stuck their heads above the parapet to defend Sarsour. Here’s hoping they go one step further and prove how right she is by travelling to Saudi Arabia the next time they feel like writing a book, staging a protest or making a film which features swearing, nudity and man-on-man tongue action. I’m sure the KSA boogeymen and their reasonable Sharia will be delighted to add them to the long list of Muslims who gave their lives and limbs for Mecca.
Peace be upon them.