It’s Getting Really Hard to Care Anymore
Twelve people died and the fucking left thinks it the fault of the people that draw cartoons.
Honestly, I don’t have anything to say anymore. If we can’t be united in freedom expression, I don’t belong on the left anymore. This is causing me a major crisis in my politics.
Victim blaming, really? I’ve not come across that one so far, thank gawd. Plenty of ‘Blame all Muslims everywhere,’ mind. Why people can’t just blame the people who commit the crime is beyond me.
Replying to myself, so I can tick the subscribe box.
I’m not really responding to the situation in France well at all emotionally. I’m never sure why one thing gets to you and another doesn’t. Maybe because I’ve been in the place where it happened. Maybe because I was reading about it in French papers so it feels closer and more immediate. Maybe because I like to draw and read comics. My last steady boyfriend was from France and liked reading Charlie Hebdo a lot, so I’m pretty familiar with it.
Anyway, you and I disagree on the subject of hate speech laws, and therefore we disagree on the importance of freedom of speech, but I’m not up for an argument at the moment.
Oddly, someone wrote something about Islam and I said, among other things because you know I write long comments, that I thought it wasn’t Islam so much as Islamism. And basically I got accused of blaming all Muslims because “Islamism” is, according to that person, meaningless. It just crossed in a really bad way with my general feeling that, as a moderate liberal, it’s more or less impossible to get involved with anything. It’s a real frustration for me. It’s ironic, because the more powerful people are pretty moderate, but grassroots organizations tend to be filled with firebrands, and I’m not that.
I get told to go to Red State. I get told to go frequent the Drudge Report. It feels so fucking hostile.
Funny, I haven’t come across one person saying, “Blame all Muslims.” Where have you seen that?
Everywhere and nowhere, kinda. It’s not that they actually come out and say that; just the usual anti-immigration, deport ’em all kinda prattle. Not actually blaming all Muslims, but perfectly willing to punish any random Muslim for crimes not of their doing; which is effectively the same thing, after all.
Are you talking about British sites? That’s what it sounds like. I haven’t seen anyone say a thing about immigration. I haven’t read comments in French, only on American sites. Although I have no problem reading main articles, the abbreviations and slang in comments throw me in French.
I’ve seen it blamed on U.S. foreign policy. I’ve people say it’s nothing compared to what the U.S. does, which is, to my mind, irrelevant. Saying that people shouldn’t kill cartoonists doesn’t inherently imply that you support an aggressive U.S. foreign policy. Anyway, it happened in France. People bring up Israel, not that I know what that has to do with anything. People have brought up imperialism, apparently ignorant that, like Christianity, Islam also spread through imperialism. If you want to be truly anti-imperialistic, you have to be against both Islam and Christianity.
Anything to deny that a political movement inspired by Islam exists, that it’s radical and that they are willing to kill to achieve their goals.
If the left can’t stand up for liberal, Western, Enlightenment values, I can assure them that the right will be glad fill the void, although the won’t do it in the way I would like to see it done.
Not so much sites as individual commenters, though the Freethinker seems to have attracted an ugly crowd of them, the last year or so. As Barriejohn put it a while back, ‘Mention the word “Muslim” and rationality flies out of the window.’
Not sure where individual commenters might be from, but I’d guess Europe in general, Scandinavia, Britain, Germany, Holland and Belgium in particular. There’s an alarming rise of late, in far-right nationalist and neo-nazi movements in much of Europe.
And on the other hand, yeah, there are some who go much too far the other way, in order to deny that the terrorism is in any way connected to the religion. I suspect it’s an over-reaction to the obvious, and real, bigotry from the right.
I think the reaction on the left comes mainly from oversimplification and ignorance. First, you start with the notion that almost all social and historical phenomenon can be described as struggles between opposing groups, Women vs. Patriarchy, People of African Descent vs. Racism, and non-Western People vs. Imperialism. Then everything gets pigeoned-holed into whatever your favorite paradigm is. All specificity, all historical detail gets wiped away. When you’ve internalized that the West or the United State or whatever is the source of all bad things in the world, well, when a bad thing happens you have to ascribe it to your source of all bad. So, cartoonists get killed in France… it must be somehow traceable to U.S. foreign policy, or Israel (aka – World Jewry), or whatever your bete noir is, capitalism, religion.
As far as the Freethinker goes, I saw that complaint mentioned both on the thread below your piece and on some other threads when I poked around. Last I checked, less than one percent of our population in the U.S. are Muslim, so Islamophobia is very much a niche concern here. You actually have to go to fairly right wing sites to find it. If you meet anyone worried about Sharia law here, they’re almost inevitably paranoid. On the other hand, the “One Law for All” group in the UK is expressing a more widespread concern.
Strangely, the people who seem to think that they’re being so very broadminded about foreign cultures suffer from some ignorance. Look at the changes in Turkey in recent years, and in Malaysia. The rise of fundamentalism is a new trend.