We need to stop conflating ‘Muslims’ with Islamists
- Posted by Maryam Namazie
- On August 29, 2016
- 2 Comments
- Islamism, Muslims
Here is my piece for this month’s The Freethinker:
It’s insidious how the Islamist narrative has become mainstream everywhere – in the media, in social policies, in discussions around minority communities and human rights, in ‘progressive’ politics … it’s also very much part and parcel of how some freethinkers view ‘Muslims’ – homogenised masses whose default is always the Islamist no matter how many refuse and resist – often at great risk to their lives.
Identity politics ignores this dissent and plurality (even vilifies it – to the extent that ex-Muslims, for example, are considered “native informants”).
But Islamic rules and Islamism are so antithetical to 21st century living that you don’t need to draw a cartoon of Mohammad, Islam’s prophet, or be an atheist and blaspheme to be at loggerheads with the theocrats.
Take Valentine’s Day. In 2014 in Saudi Arabia, 5 Saudi men arrested sentenced to 32 years in prison and 4,500 lashes for holding a Valentine’s Day party with “unrelated women, drinking and dancing.” In Islamic schools here in Europe, Valentine’s Day is frowned upon as un-Islamic.