We have ways of making you think

The Daily Telegraph's Ideal World. As long as white working class wages are low

Astonishingly Margaret Atwood, that great saint of feminism, is facing a social media backlash after calling for due process i.e. normal justice for a former university professor accused of sexual misconduct. In the wake of this she recently asked where a society can go if its legal system is bypassed. What will take its place, who will the new power brokers be?

‘In times of extremes, extremists win,’ she said. ‘Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn’t puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated.’

The two most extreme ideologies of the present day are radical Islam and feminism, now at its loudest in the #MeToo movement. Both are based on moralism rather than morality and see women as defenceless victims needing to be covered up and constantly chaperoned.

Islam and other victim groups now jostle to fill the gap left as our legal system and politicians are increasingly despised and seen as irrelevant. Islam which represses women and outlaws homosexuality, seems to somehow be cohering into the misshapen lump which is rapidly forming a new culture on the left, and demanding increasing space.

An Oxford student told me that as a ‘fresher’ he’d had to go through ‘race and diversity training’ imposed by the Student’s Union. At a Union open day this week I met the Vice President of ‘Welfare & Equal Opportunities,’ who just happens to be Muslim.

Tightly swathed in her niqab, Law student Farheen Ahmed, told me the training scheme was now also part of staff training, and Oxford, ‘Wants to do more and more of that kind of thing.’

She thought I wouldn’t be allowed to attend any of the sessions as new students, ‘sometimes blurt out very bad things,’ and ‘need to ‘be in a safe space until they are brought to ‘understand things in a different way.’

This need to ‘understand’ British culture in a very different way seems to now be widely accepted. When I later attended a schools debating contest, the teenagers, debating in British Parliamentary style sans the booing, were wrestling with the motion: ‘This House believes that countries have a sovereign right to close their borders.’

The most persuasive speakers were two Muslim girls. They wanted open borders as a moral imperative and supported the benefits of migration by citing, ‘advances made by Muslim medicine,’ and the glories of ‘Islamic civilisation.’ No one on the other side asked when those advances had come to such an unequivocal end. A long time before the discovery of Radium or Penicillin.

I wondered what kind of history these teenagers were imbibing at their very respectable English schools. I looked on line at recent GCSE courses and found, ‘Medieval superstition and Muslim knowledge.’

Medieval in this context means the West, apparently hopelessly stuck with daft ideas, whilst in the east they had discovered Science.

‘Although many Medieval doctors continued to believe in the theory of the four humours, they also said disease was caused by demons, sin, bad smells, astrology, stagnant water, Jews etc.

They believed that life was controlled by God and his saints. The Pope’s doctor blamed the Black Death on a conjunction of Saturn and Mars.

Things were different only in the Muslim Middle East where, from 786-809, the books of Hippocrates were translated into Arabic. At first, Muslim doctors conserved the ideas of the Greeks and Romans. Later, they began to challenge errors and develop new ideas. However, because the Christian Church was at war with Islam, Muslim ideas spread only slowly to western Europe. The exception was a book by Ibn Sina, the ‘Canon of Medicine.’

In the ancient debating chamber, I was seeing and hearing a whole new culture where the ablest speakers wore Niqabs and our major historical advances were Islamic.

An adult debate followed. Claire Fox, best known for R4’s The Moral Maze, and economics journalist Madeline Grant backed the motion: ‘This house believes #MeToo is a backward step for women.’

It was opposed by Henry Vann from the Society of Musicians and Liz Frazer, not the one from the Carry-On films, this was all about not carrying on, an Oxford professor of politics, author of, ‘Feminism and Realism.’

Fox had the best lines, referring to, ‘Pestminster,’ and ‘hashtag justice.’ The proposition was tossed about, on one side men being cautioned for wolf whistling and winking. Hollywood cameramen told not to look at actresses for more than 25 seconds, HR ‘mentors’ patrolling office parties looking out for illicit touching. On the other side #MeToo was seen as ‘empowering,’ women against exploitation.

Then it all got a bit woolly; no one could say what effect the new ‘call out culture’ might have on men accused of inappropriate behaviour. It insists on blurring the distinction between a hand on the knee and actual rape. As in Islam any approaches to women by men (not their husbands, husbands being synonymous with consent,) are increasingly regarded as evil. #MeToo justice intrinsically relies on the testimony of one person against another with none of the hard evidence once required by a modern, western court.

Madeline Grant then tried an interesting swipe at the other side by asking that question which the Left just cannot answer: why the feminist sisterhood ignores the rape and sexual abuse of young white girls by Muslim men.

‘The silence has been deafening,’ she declared.

‘There’s been an ignoring of some women’s voices in our inner cities.’ Liz Frazer replied vaguely, deepening it further.

Not many people call Oxford or Telford ‘inner cities’ and who exactly was she talking about?

I asked her but she couldn’t or wouldn’t say.

She finally answered by saying, ‘People will always say that if we focus on one issue, we are ignoring the rest. Sexual grooming was bad (Still no mention of the men doing it) it’s really an issue of exploitation among groups; if we were looking at charity workers in Haiti it would be something entirely different.’

Well it might not be, because in Rotherham, Oxford, Telford and Haiti some of the abuse has been based on racism. Anti-racism is the new religion of the left, yet if it involves Islam, even within the ‘safe space’ of the Oxford Union that cannot be mentioned. To criticise Islam is to blaspheme and put yourself outside #MeToo and other left wing moralistic groups.

Claire Fox pointed out that #MeToo was being used to close down debate and represents a future of victimhood rather than equality. As it gains in influence women will become increasingly afraid, and in that climate, safety will trump liberty. A 2016 poll showed that seventy per cent of British women have tried to guard against ‘harassment,’ by avoiding parks or public transport, missing school or work or taking a chaperone. There’s talk about ‘women-only carriages’ on trains. ‘Modesty wear’ is entering high fashion. Last winter more than forty designers took part in the first ‘London modest fashion week.’

The impulse is now to separate men and women as if they are automatically dangerous to each other. Several times during the debate these puritanical moves were compared to Victorian times. It wasn’t said but quite obviously they resemble Islam.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 recently, Amberin Zaman, Turkey correspondent at the Economist, spoke about how her life changed with the increased Islamisation of her once secular country. Women who’d always worn western dress and moved about freely are now covering their heads and going about with chaperones.

‘It happened in the blink of an eye,’ she said.

Prof Elizabeth Frazer’s side won the debate, by 61 to 47.[pullquote]

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16 Comments on We have ways of making you think

  1. Ancient civilisations could have inventive technology but that doesn’t mean that they had a scientific outlook. The latter really began with Francis Bacon, hardly one of the faithful.

  2. I finally watched a doc on the 14 century long Islamic slave trade – my word it was awful – the scale and inhumanity far exceeded the US slave trade. But do we ever hear about how it underpinned the so called “golden age”?

  3. Ms Farheen Ahmed’s points could’ve been rebutted by simply pointing out the oxymoron that is Islamic Civilisation. There is as much an Islamic civilization as there is Christian civilization, that is there isn’t. The individuals who made contributions in the fields of scientific enquiry in the Near East were variously Persians, Berbers and Kurds. They happened to live under regimes which were Islamic by confession, the political state of affairs brought on by brutal jihad, and many of them, esp the Persians converted simply to keep their heads on their shoulders.

    The achievements in the field of science by people of the Near East when the political apparatus was Islamic is about as Muslim as the technological achievements of the West in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries were Christian. There is no connection.

    To prove its scientific credentials, of which none exist, Islam the religion, the theology and its advocates latch on to, piggyback on the achievements of some brave souls who pursued objective scientific inquiry often in the face of stiff opposition from religious authorities themselves. It is a bit like the Catholic Church taking credit for Galileo’s research. It is banal and a case of theft of intellectual property and yes, it’s cultural appropriation.

    Talking about superstitions, what could really be more superstitious than unquestioned belief in a temperamental, narcissistic, judgmental Absolute, protected by blasphemy laws? Not to mention, the various accoutrements of Islamic culture as death by stoning, jihad, eternal paradise, the devil, the djinns, of course, end of the world. That, is Islamic science for you. And it is this train of ideas which seeks to latch on to the works of objective scientific enquiry.

    The great works of Persian mathematicians and thinkers under Islamic rule happened despite Islam, not because of it, not any more than the great works of Copernicus and Galileo happened because of the Catholic Church.

    To sweep all that good work of the Persians under the banner of Islam speaks volumes of the desperation of this religio-political ideology to stay relevant in the current day in the face of mounting disillusionment among its core followers. Muslim ideology is about as relevant today as Communist ideology, loud but amusingly out of date.

    • Not to mention the irony that when things go wrong in the narrative, as in with the case of Muslim grooming gangs and terror attacks, it has nothing to do with Islam, while a hapless chap who happens to do some thinking, his work is hijacked by the Mullahs.

    • Many notable scientific and medical discoveries have been made by Catholic priests: this is not true of Islamic clerics. And the Catholic Church has never sought credit for the work of Galileo or anyone else.

      • It was an analogy. These Islamists bestowing credit to Islam for the work of Persian mathematics would be the same as if the Catholic Church took credit for Galileo’s work.

        • I apologize for the repeat messages. As impressive and valuable as the scientific works of Catholic priests undoubtedly and deservedly are, their work, as per historical record, took place in an environment not very conducive to scientific enquiry. That they were Christian is a fortunate happenstance; to suggest that religion had a definitive influence on their scientific work and influenced their outcome would be disingenuous. It is what the Farheen Ahmeds of the world are trying to do. I would never discount the pioneering scientific work of intellectuals, whichever the creed.

  4. I have no doubt that today’s feminists are tomorrow’s Muslimat. The modern feminist thinking/emotion is full of internal contradictions. The only synthesis is Islam. They will be swept away by the handsome Jihadis. Once a Muslima, they never have to justify their conversion. it is inevitable.

  5. Before they close the theatres and theatre, lets have some witty geniuses re-establish the commedia dell’arte with figures parodying modern types. There is rich material everywhere.

    • I cannot claim to be a genius, but maybe I may be permitted a hopefully witty remark.
      In the picture, the two people are evidently somewhere in the UK. How appropriate, because it is a little difficult, at first glance, to decide whether they are coming or going, a now national dilemma. The clue has to lie in the little feet and the ventilation holes. Actually, it’s sad that people are made to dress like that; and even in the heat of high summer?

  6. There is an undeniable symmetry to these sorts of developments which seem, for me at least, to defy one’s natural reaction to reject ‘conspiracy theory’ as a workable explanation of change. And yet, somehow, the uneasy impression one has is that certain public and private institutions are going through an internal adjustment to the meet the forthcoming demographic and religious realities.

  7. Jane quotes Madeline Grant: “Sexual grooming was bad…”
    Why the past tense, and why call the rape of children “sexual grooming” instead of RAPE?

  8. Jane writes:
    “#MeToo justice intrinsically relies on the testimony of one person against another with none of the hard evidence once required by a modern, western court.”

    Indeed, that does seem to be the sad #MeToo state of affairs.

    Even Sharia courts require 4 witnesses (all men?) to convict a man of rape. As for lesser forms of sexual assault – fuhgeddaboudit. According to Islam, only rape is wrong, and a husband is incapable of raping his wife, or wives, QED.

    So, let’s replace #MeToo justice with Sharia justice.

    Signed, Jonathan Swift.

  9. That niqab-shrouded princess, Farheen Ahmed, should come out as a transexual and change her name to I-bin Fartin.

    Diversity is as diversity does.