Sunday, March 25, 2012

Time for one more Sunday homily on the evils of liberalism ...

(Above: the Queensland Labor party in search of a vote?)

Watch out, stand clear.

Phew, my mother always warned me about the danger of a herd of stampeding Queenslanders. They trample everything in sight.

Well trampling over, it's time for the Sunday homily, and as always, the pond is in search of balance. Last weekend we contemplated Jewish fundamentalism - what a sight - and this week come on down Uthman Badar with Women undervalued: is Liberalism or Islam guilty?

Poor old liberals, all they usually want to do is lead the quiet life, live and let live, you stay out of my garden, I'll stay out of yours and let's be fair dibs and polite, and so on and so forth. Right proper Prufrocks, anxiety attacks, trousers rolled, ever so nice.

Next thing you know liberalism is akin to Satanism, and the bête noire of the likes of Brendan O'Neill, Miranda the Devine, Andrew the Bolter, and the entire commentariat staff of The Australian ...

Oh and Uthman Badar, because you see, scratch an Islamic conservative, and they're really not that far apart from Christian and Catholic and Murdoch conservatives, and Sydney Anglicans, seeing as how Sydangles take a dim view of empowering women ...

So let's cut to the Uthman chase:

One may well ask: is it Islam that devalues women or liberalism? Is it the call for modest dress in public that devalues women or the multi-billion dollar pornography industries that operate legally in modern liberal-democracies? Is it the de-emphasis on external looks in favour of internal worth that devalues the woman or the use of her body to sell chocolate bars, cars and soft drinks?

Indeed. One may well ask. We all appreciate the importance of modest dress.

"But the problem, but the problem all began with who?" he asked..

In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? (here)

"The uncovered meat is the problem."

The sheik then said: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."

Now if you take the notion of immodest dress to its logical conclusion, next thing you know you can feel justified and righteous blowing away an unarmed young man dressed in a hoodie, and get support from a Fox news commentator in the process. (oh just fuck off Geraldo Rivera, you cretin).

But back to the streak of puritanism running rife through Uthman's text. Been there, done that. The fear and loathing of the female body ...

What does he make of the male body used to sell Solo drinks, the pond wonders.

Not to worry, let's keep going with the liberal bashing, because Uthman lathers himself up with a fine flecked foaming in his penultimate par:

One hopes the irony is not lost on anyone. Here we have liberals calling for state intervention to suffocate the wishes of a dying person as to how they want to divide their private wealth. And this is being done on the basis of their own faulty interpretations of the traditions of a people who do not ascribe to their ideology. It comes as no surprise, it must be said, that liberals are chopping away at their own irrational ideology.

Yep, tolerance is an irrational ideology, unlike a belief in an imaginary friend, which is presumably a rational theology, even if your imaginary friend isn't mine, and everyone has their own version with different names. And so we come to the ultimate par:

We also have here an example of the intolerance of those who charge Islam with intolerance. Yet under the Caliphate people of religions other than Islam are allowed to conduct their private affairs, including inheritance, by their own beliefs and laws. It seems modern Western liberal-democracies cannot stand up to the same lofty standards, and would rather impose liberal ideals on those who disagree with them even in private matters.

Ah the Caliphate. Uthman provides a link within his text to the Caliphate, but we much prefer the wiki on the Caliphate here to the delusional dreaming of world rule returning that's announced in the pdf he links to, with its weird final par:

The Prophet (saw) said:
The Prophethood will be among you as Allah wills, then He will eliminate it if He so wills. Then a Caliphate on the model of prophet hood will prevail so long as Allah wills, then He will eliminate it if He so wills. Then there will be a biting monarchy as long as Allah wills, then He will eliminate it if He so wills. Then there will be an oppressive monarchy as long as Allah wills, then He will eliminate it if He so wills. Then a Caliphate on the way of prophet hood will prevail. ‘And and he kept silent’.

Yep, it's just another re-tread of revelations and the apocalypse, of the kind commonly found amongst Jewish and fundamentalist Christian true believers (for genuine eccentricity see the Chabad-Lubavitchers, and if you want to know what they do in Melbourne for education, see Yeshivah College, and pay no heed to charges of sexual assault).

Well by now you will have twigged that Uthman is much exercised about a response to the story about an action in the Supreme Court, as reported by that arch-liberal Caroline Overington in that arch-liberal rag The Australian involving the notion that men should get twice the inheritance over women...

Ms Overington felt the need - for that requisite pinch of sensationalism it seems - to present an explanation of what the law was as being the reason for that law, so it could be made out as if Islam attaches, per se, a lower worth to women relative to men, and that this is the reason why a daughter's share of inheritance is less than a son's.

Sure, sure, ad hoc per se, and pari passu pro rata, and that's why women need to be covered up, because you know, that uncovered meat can really inflame the senses.

Then comes the legalistic fudging and gobbledegook beloved by the religiously inclined:

As for the reason why male children inherit double the share of female children, this has nothing to do with the worth ascribed to either gender. Indeed, only those who see the world through the lens of wealth and materialism would infer the worth of people from the material gains they receive. Rather, the law has a context and is part of a larger coherent framework.

Indeed. Though someone must have been looking at the world through the lens of wealth and materialism for the case to have ended up in the Supreme court in Canberra, and for idle chatter of men inheriting double the wealth of women to rear its ugly head.

But then Uthman does the perfect double flip with pike. First establish that it's the men who are long suffering and have many duties, while the women have no responsibilities at all:

The female has no continual financial responsibilities as a child, sister, wife or mother; these responsibilities are always on the men of the family. The husband is obligated to cover the expenses of his wife's basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, as well as to cover the expenses of their children's upbringing. The wife is absolved of these duties, though she may assist if she chooses to. She has a set right, by law, in his wealth, but he does not have a right in her wealth.

Oh the burdens of the patriarchy, the suffering. Right, now for that comedy pike:

If we were to apply the atomistic view of liberalism, we may now argue that men are discriminated against!

With exclamation mark!!

Of course, this would miss the point entirely, which is that the problem is not with Islam, but with the premises of liberalism which divorce the individual from the community and, in an abstract appeal to an intrinsic equality, neglect the circumstances of the real world, taking as a focal point the imagined, apolitical and ahistorical, free individual.

Yes, Brendan O'Neill, you can join in here. It's all the fault of the liberal elite, and their imaginary world. They miss the point entirely. The real world, Brendan, is Islamic, and Islamic women have proper roles, according to the so and thus of patriarchy:

Islam takes seriously the basic family unit that has existed throughout time, as its starting point. In doing so, it honours the woman and her distinguished role as mother and wife. It frees her from the worry of earning a living, allowing her to focus on the most important task of raising children, the future generations. The male too has a primary role as breadwinner and caretaker.

Why that's straight out of the Pellist playbook, or at least back in the day when you could sell this sort of nineteen fifties marlarkey. Phew, better soften that message, lest working women get upset.

These roles are not water-tight compartments. The female can pursue a career if she wants, and the male can be homemaker if he wants, but the primary roles are defined, and the relationship is one of cooperation for the benefit of the family, and in turn, the society.

Yes, you can do it, but you shouldn't, because the primary roles are defined, so let's turn to how it's all gone wrong thanks to the elite liberal conspiracy:

In contrast, secular liberalism has pushed the modern woman to see herself in competition with the male and has done away with any clearly defined roles, leading to family breakdown and social chaos. And still the result has been a rhetoric of equality juxtaposed with a reality of rampant domestic violence, established glass-ceilings, a culture of discrimination in institutions such as the army, and the commoditisation of the woman.

And so on and so forth. Remember people you're much better off bowing and scraping to an imaginary friend, and his representatives on earth.

Oh all right, Uthman's text is unexceptional stuff, if you happen to be reading at the moment anything to do with the Republican war on women and their right to control their bodies, or the Sydney Anglicans asserting why men are the head of the family, and women can't get a gig in the hierarchy. But why musty they all sound the same, and strike the same dreary male note?

And then comes the proselytising shout-out by Uthman:

No wonder then that more and more women are turning to Islam, and away from the deceptive glitter of modernity's 'liberation' of the woman. In the UK, research has shown that over 100,000 people have converted to Islam in the last decade; three-quarters of these are women, and the average convert is the 27-year-old, white, educated, female.

In the Muslim World, we see women playing a key role in the uprisings against Western-backed dictators, and they are calling for Islam, not liberalism. Fifteen hundred Muslim women from around the world joined a conference convened in the Tunisian capital earlier this month calling for Islamic governance in the Muslim World as the way forward for the securing of women's rights, which have long been suppressed under secular or pseudo-Islamic regimes imposed on the Muslim World.

Yes, women are just yearning to cover their bodies, to ensure hapless men aren't inflamed, and there isn't a single liberal Islamic woman in sight (understandable given the way some theocracies like to kill off dissenting women).

Happily there are in fact Islamic feminists and Islamic liberals and Islamic secularists, who understand that separation of state and religion is the way forward, and happily Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, blessed be his name, on March the third 1924 officially abolished the Caliphate, and thus far it has shown no signs of returning. Keep that stake handy ...

So there you go, another rant about liberalism, and the amazing insight that there's not more than a bee's whisker between Brendan O'Neill and Uthman Badar when it comes to the liberal secular conspiracy that's ruining the world.

Phew, it almost makes you feel like cracking a XXXX and a pork roll with a Queenslander, and if you think that's a reference to pornography, it's actually a reference to the way beer mongers use men's bodies to sell their product.

Thank the absent long-suffering lord for secular liberalism - with the number of enemies it makes it must have something going for it - and take it away 4 X'ers, flash us your bodies:

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