We’ve often mentioned that Denmark and Sweden, although ethnically, linguistically, and culturally very closely related, are completely different when it comes to crucial political questions.
Night and Day. Black and White. Rugby and Soccer.
It seems that Australia and New Zealand are the same way, with Oz filling in for the Danes and the Kiwis for the Swedes. New Zealand often resembles a Down Under Berkeley, the Ann Arbor of the Antipodes.
This morning a reader from New Zealand forwarded me an interesting email. Like many people who try to keep tabs on the Left, he subscribes to email alerts from various of progressive groups. This one was a plea from an organization called RAM for readers to support their new initiative.
It seems that RAM is unhappy with growing Islamophobia in New Zealand, especially as represented by this month’s “Mosques & Miracles” conferences, which are based on a book of the same name by Stuart Robinson. RAM aims to counter this wicked Christian anti-Islamic zealotry with its own initiative.
“RAM” is an acronym for “Residents Action Movement”, but it might as well be called “Red Agitation Managers”, based on the smorgasbord of trendy lefty causes espoused by the group.
According to Wikipedia
RAM advocates a policy of Free and Frequent Public Transport to alleviate climate change, as well as reducing rates on homeowners and shifting local taxation onto big business. It is also calling for an “Auckland parliament” to co-ordinate local democracy in Auckland’s five local cities, as an alternative to what it sees as an undemocratic “Super-City” body.
RAM has also organised against what it sees as racism and Islamophobia in the city.
So Islamophobia is a recent afterthought; a look at its manifesto from 2004 gives no indication of any concern beyond the standard Green and Socialist demands.
You can get an idea of the company RAM keeps by its close association with the UnityBlog, “the official blog of Socialist Worker (Aotearoa / New Zealand)”. Look around the site and Che Guevara and the hammer and sickle are much in evidence. These people are old-school Reds.
In their email appeal, RAM says this (emphasis added):
We do not want this sort of racist bigotry taking hold in New Zealand because the outcome then would be nasty inter-communal conflict. We have a duty to make a united stand for social inclusion, justice for all and full rights for every religious believer (and non-believer).
A “nasty inter-communal conflict” has already begun. It cannot be wished away. And what does RAM propose to do if one religious group believes “inclusion” means “conversion, by violence if necessary”? How do they propose to deal with the possibility of radical intolerance on the part of their Islamic allies?
No answer to these questions can be found in their materials.
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That is why RAM (Residents Action Movement) has taken a firm stand against these first stirrings of organised Islamophobia in New Zealand. With the blessing of an extremely broad spectrum of Muslim groups, along with many other faith and community leaders, RAM is organising Voices of Peace meetings in Auckland as a positive alternative to the fear, suspicion and hatred being spread by organisers of the “Mosques & Miracles” conferences. Our Voices of Peace meetings will be held around the same time as the “Mosques & Miracles” conferences (end of July).
But what is their solution to the fear, suspicion and hatred that are the stock in trade of the Islamist groups? Full inclusion — adopt it as their own?
And now the clincher:
George Galloway has accepted RAM’s invitation to speak at our Voices of Peace meetings. This is the British Respect MP who visited America several years ago to put US president George Bush “on trial” for war crimes in front of the US Congress. George Galloway is one of the world’s most powerful speakers for social justice and against the US war in Iraq and its terrible consequences, like the global spread of Islamophobia. He will attract huge media interest here in New Zealand and probably overseas too.
When Gorgeous George gets involved, you know that what is being advocated is nothing less than full Islamization. New Zealanders may simply close their eyes and think of Mecca.
The email alert included, in order to emphasize the gravity of the Islamophobia situation, a long list of quotes from Mosques and Miracles. Here’s a selection:
“[We face] the threat of having all nations becoming Islamic states and governed by Islamic law (shariah)… The Islamic challenge to the church if not Western society… is in all of our cities and neighbourhoods now! Islam and Christianity are on a pathway of confrontation.”
“For those who accepted the new order [of Islam in Muhammad’s time], probably one of the most notable social changes would be that of the status of women… Men would have more rights than women (Surah 2:228) to the point of being permitted to beat them for suspected disobedience (Surah 4:34).” (p.158-159)
“For Jews and Christians within the new Islamic society [in Muhammad’s time] their position would be reduced to second-class citizens with a curtailment of what, today, is called Human Rights. They would be required to pay taxes in excess of those which were required of Muslim citizens for the privilege of being ‘protected’ by the Islamic society. Their places and practice of worship would also be carefully circumscribed. Those ‘peoples of the Book’ ie Jews and Christians, who would not accept the new order would be banished from their homelands. The outcome for any, once having accepted the faith but choosing to defect, would be death.” (p.157)
“Rather than accountability, liberty or equality, fundamentals that earthed the processes of other modern states, Muslim states and societies are characterised by control often accompanied by violence.” (p.300)
My reaction to the above? “Well, duh.”
Every single scary item the email listed seemed to me to be nothing but the plain commonsensical truth about Islam, as sourced by the Koran and the Hadith. The quotes are well-known to all of us in the VRWC blogosphere, and commonly used to buttress our case for the Counterjihad.
But the Enlightened Left looks at the exact same things and sees samples of irrational hatred, racism, and bigotry.
I don’t think there’s any point in trying to convince our esteemed progressive opponents that we are none of the above. It won’t work. Only full submission would be accepted as evidence of our good faith.
So let’s go whole hog and say, “OK, have it your way: we’re Islamophobic — and proud of it!”
Might as well hang for a sheep as for a goat.