Friday, 4 December 2015

Goldsmiths University's LGBT+ SU Group Oppose... Erm... A Human Rights Campaigner #exmuslimbecause

Maryam Namazie is a well-known campaigner for human rights, who is best known for opposing Islamist attacks on Muslims and ex-Muslims alike. She can be quite forthright and, as a member of a Communist party, is hardly uncontroversial. However she doesn't threaten people and is always extremely clear that her problem is with radical Islamists not Muslims and she is clear that Muslims are usually the first and main victims of Islamism.

So when she came to speak to the atheist and humanist student group at Goldsmiths University it was to be expected that the group representing Muslim students would take some offence at her presence. They are hardly without blemish in regard of "controversial" speakers. They, after all, hosted Andreas Tzortzis earlier this year who has compared homosexuality with cannibalism.

Her talk did go ahead, despite the feminist society coming out in support of their Muslim colleagues, and she faced some rather childish protests. Take a look about 12 minutes in to this video (though I do recommend watching it all!)

Despite this fairly clear silliness, today the LGBT group at the university came out in support of... the people who tried their darnedest to silence Maryam Namazie and her message against radical Islam. See their Facebook message here. They appear to have finally stopped deleting comments and I think the fact that some comments are approaching 200 likes and their original statement remains on just 12 likes show how popular their decision has been.

I really cannot begin to describe how disappointing, if unsurprising, I find this. Namazie is standing in opposition to groups who are persecuting and murdering Muslims, ex-Muslims, other religious people, women and LGBT people. As the Islamic State throw gay men to their deaths from tall buildings, Maryam Namazie is trying to educate people on the dangers of their ideology.

And the LGBT group of a university didn't choose to support her, nor to remain silent over this but instead chose to support a group of disruptive young men who used intimidation to try and get their way.

Thankfully Namazie wasn't phased, I get the impression she is used to this, and finished her speech. Sadly without the support of those she fights to protect and, in fact, she finds those most at risk from Islamist violence actively opposing her message.

Truly disappointing stuff.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Going Full Right Wing Nut-Job

I've always been an individualist. No matter what political question I've considered, my response has always been heavily influenced by my belief that individual rights and freedoms are very important. I'm no purist, I'm willing to concede they aren't the be all and end all, hence why I've always preferred the term liberaltarian rather than libertarian.

My beliefs that people do need a "safety net" and that being nice is a virtue caused me to side with the centre-left generally despite my support for free enterprise. I value social freedom over economic freedom (even if it has been hard to separate the two!). The centre-left, I thought, were the people most willing to help fight social conservatives, prudes and authoritarians.

Oh how naive I was. I know my posts over the last few years have shown my increasing disaffection with "progressive" thought, but the last few months have really been a watershed period for me. I can no longer pretend I share common ground with more than a handful of people on the centre-left. How can I when we have people from the left opposing sex workers rights, fighting to ban porn, creating division where there need not be any and generally undermining personal choice.

I left the Lib Dems a couple of months ago. I now find myself politically homeless. I can't even see myself voting Lib Dem again. I would describe myself proudly as a cultural libertarian. I have concerns about my fellow travellers (I'm not a big fan of coarse language or cruel insults) but I accept their "flaws" because... I'm not an authoritarian! I don't want to live in some dehumanised clinical world where every thought is policed. I don't want to live in a world where the sanctimonious thrive and bland corporate statements fill social media. You can't experience joy without sadness, you can't see the beauty in humanity without seeing the flaws. Or as Eric Idle says

"Life's a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true."

I'm tired of listening to debates where the majority value feelings over facts. So I'm coming out... I'm an ex-progressive and I don't give a damn who knows!