Islamophobia

Britain’s Rejects

My 72 year old immigrant grandmother died in 2002, prompting a rushed visit to Pakistan. She had specified her wishes to be repatriated to her final resting place when the time came. Growing up we’d always objected to their pipe dream plans to show us the motherland, even going so far as likening it to death, given that we were never short of a cautionary tale or two of what could go wrong if they were not truthful of their intentions. There was always talk of so and so’s kid who’d gone off the rails so the folks took them ‘back home’ to straighten them out. This usually meant a forced marriage but there was always the worry you’d never return.

For 20 years I’d ignored their pleas to at least give them a chance and see what they had built with their own hands, for us, so that we had roots and a place we could always call home. My gran, or dhaadhi as we called her, would look at us in disbelief and shake her head, unsure of how else to sell it to us; the stories she’d tell of exotic fruits abundant in the courtyard, trees grown especially for us, her face wrinkled up in a smile as she recalled the exceptional quality of, as she put it, the juiciest mangoes on God’s green earth and other fruits I don’t know the English word for.

Whilst I love listening to her and seeing her clear delight I wasn’t convinced. I considered myself British, English even, and harboured an unhealthy self hate; I wasn’t above sneering at Pakis. Eager to set myself apart I believed the things white people said about Pakistan and Pakistanis and asserted my Britishness whenever it was required of me. I do cringe whenever I think back to that mindset. I think about the sort of white person who’d get off on hearing my disgust for people like me, the kind to collect tokens and play brown people off each other, dividing Muslims and Hindus for example and profiting off the misery that inevitably follows. Divide rule and conquer works to this day.

It didn’t matter when she died though, I suddenly felt I owed her a trip. Almost immediately I was consumed with guilt that I hadn’t honoured this wish of hers whilst she had been alive but I hoped she knew I was with her for her final journey. Barely six hours after she took her last breath we (my twin, dad, aunt and I) were in business class on a PIA flight bound for Islamabad. It was the first time I’d ever flown and my nerves were shot, I’d barely slept or processed what had happened but the hot cloths and silver service made up for the turbulence a little bit. My dad even let twin and I smoke a cigarette! It was that kind of a day, normal programming abandoned, venturing into the unknown out of a sense of duty and family pride. I tried not to think of her, alone, entombed in a wooden box, along with the rest of the cargo.

We landed at Islamabad airport at 6am. I was hit by the heat, as if I’d walked into a wall of hot air and it would suffocate me, upon exiting the plane. The sun hadn’t been up long but it was already 27 degrees. My thoughts went to my gran and the effect these conditions would have on her lifeless body. We waited for her coffin to be released and clung to each other through the chaos and din of the arrivals lounge, we weren’t in Kansas anymore. Random strange men pawed at our luggage offering to carry it, not being entirely forthcoming about the tip they expected for this service. It smelt funny, and the people were scary, staring at us as if we’d fallen from the sky. An uncle herded us out of the terminal and explained we looked different to regular Pakistanis and they were probably trying to figure out if we were worth anything.

It didn’t feel like a homecoming but the worst day of my life and the natives weren’t exactly helping. I didn’t want my worst fears to be confirmed, that we were easy pickings and could be disappeared, never to return. Dad’s cousin thought we were hilarious, batting furiously at the flies that seemed to throng the air, shrieking at the various creepy critters that had dared to greet us. We were a novelty. Fragile. Typical of desis who’d lost their way. A highly amusing form of entertainment for the locals.

The funeral was as expected; the outpouring of grief par the course but I had never imagined my dear gran knew so many people. I was bewildered by the number of women sat around smoking, a practice that was almost entirely gendered amongst the older generations in Britain. I only ever knew one lady smoker, my granddad’s sister in law and she had a free pass on account of her mental status. Here it just seemed to be a way of life, the chilum, similar to a shisha, was a permanent fixture. Granted they weren’t holding penis shaped cigarettes as they do in the west (cigarettes were originally marketed to women on the basis that women envied the penis and smoking would achieve equality or something) but this was really a sight to behold for someone who’d been brought up in a strict household where women most definitely did not smoke. I was also surprised at the relative freedom my girl cousins had with regards to their personal grooming. We’d been forced to keep our hair long, our eyebrows natural and our sleeves below the elbow and yet my cousins had no such restrictions. It’s when I first started to believe our grandparents were trying to preserve something of our culture in the west, that we were a snapshot frozen in time of an era pre colonialism whereas the rest of the world had just moved on.

They referred to us as the English princesses, for being so vulnerable to the elements. In our hurry to bury dhaadhi according to Islamic law within 24 hours, we’d had to forgo the usual preparations; shots for foreign diseases and the like. Within 48 hours we were struck with a mystery bug that was determined to shoot itself out of both ends and stifling temperatures in the mid 50s weren’t helping the situation, especially when the electricity was guaranteed to give out at least twice a day. I had never felt more miserable in my life and decided there was nothing else for it, we had to go home. Everyone else had other ideas though; we hadn’t given it a chance, we needed to eat more and think about getting better, the airline wouldn’t carry us if we were too sick and for a brief time I was petrified they weren’t going to let us leave at all. Maybe this had been the plan all along.

Fortunately the bug seemed to attack in waves and a day later our uncle took us shopping, we hadn’t come with very much stuff, in my case I didn’t even own more than one pair of salwar kameez. All was going well until we actually spoke to the vendors and my uncle clocked they were hiking up the prices. He said if we liked the look of anything to point at it rather than say anything aloud. I was confused, we’d been conversing in Punjabi but apparently even that sounded different to them and English people could afford to pay more.

I felt personally attacked, not gonna lie. I didn’t belong here, as people were keen to point out with every interaction. I didn’t like the heat, I didn’t like the food, or the people even, they were rude and looked at me the way closeted racists did in England. I didn’t feel safe. All I wanted was a cheese and tomato sandwich and my bed, at home in rainy blighty. I asked for fries on one occasion, thinking there isn’t a place in the world you can’t get fries, and bawled my eyes out when they arrived dusted with chilli powder. In the end, I shook off as much of it as I could and sliced up some tomato and onion for the weirdest chip butty ever. I dreamed of Nandos. I vowed to kiss the ground when I got home and never complain about the cold ever again (delirious or delusional, you decide) and made it my mission to pester the folks at all times, ET had to go home. Eventually, 10 days after the ordeal began we boarded a flight home, excited like you wouldn’t believe I made lists in my head of everything I would drink and eat.

I wasn’t sorry to say goodbye to my dysfunctional country of origin, but I did think of what it might be like, 50 years on. There’s no doubting Pakistan is a hellhole for many reasons but it was made this way. It was a consolation prize given to the victims of the British empire, those who once considered themselves Indian, those of my grandparents generation who would’ve been young children at the time of partition. They’ve seen horrors we can only imagine. They are the product of such horrors. To show humanity you must be shown it and Pakistanis are amongst some of the first to be dehumanised. They are the losers of the empire and all the alliances that followed, between extremists bound by mutual desires for power and control and must be mocked and denigrated in order to maintain the global hierarchy. They are Muslims and they were once proud rulers of India, loved by moderates of all faiths. Their fall from grace is the only lasting legacy for young Pakistan, it simply hasn’t had enough time to recuperate.

Our grandparents were refugees of a kind, the land they occupied was destroyed by the British who busted a dam, destroying everything. Britain promised those people refuge from a disaster of their own creation and so they came, naive to the racism that awaited them. They never accepted they were British, my grandparent’s generations, their hearts were too broken, unable to mend. Such is the life of the stateless citizen. I had tricked myself into believing I belonged in the UK but 9/11 changed all of that. The unspoken hate bubbled to the surface and became impossible to ignore. It’s gotten exponentially worse in recent years, there’s no denying it now. They say we don’t integrate but when we do they want to ban us from getting involved, just look at the furore over the Xmas ads, life is impossible for those of us who do not belong anywhere.

There’s no love lost between me and centrist Sadiq Khan but I felt for him today. We don’t belong anywhere, we only have an idea of what it is to belong somewhere and our place of birth is the nearest we can get to realising it, despite what the racists might say.

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Toxic Twitter is for White Supremacists

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Yesterday I posted a tweet regarding the suicide of Carl Sargeant, who took his own life following allegations of sex abuse.

I stand by this tweet, at a time when media vultures are desperate to create a narrative that will help cover up the true extent of sex abuse in our society we must take it upon ourselves to maintain the truth even when it makes us uncomfortable. I wasn’t surprised when the usual suspects – white men – turned up in my mentions to tell me to go see how I liked it in Delhi, a nod to the gang rape a few years back and how I was a bitter woman and an attention seeker.

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I didn’t go looking for this man, just to be clear, he found my tweet and approached me just to say I was an attention seeker. I replied:

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I would suggest this was a fair enough rebuke given that he was doing exactly what he was accusing me of, seeking my attention. He went on to say:

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This random on the internet was just looking for an excuse to bully me and so I muted him after the swiftest of exchanges and thought nothing more of it. In fact I had many tweets attacking me for standing in support of victims of sexual violence:

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I can just imagine Alan wanking furiously to the thought of brown women being violated in foreign countries, it’s a fetish of his. He blocked me before I could report his account for targeted harassment and abusive behaviour aimed at my perceived race/religion etc.

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This is a perfect example of white power, subjected me to hateful language and harassment whilst claiming I’m the racist.

alanconalancourseOnly an entitled white male with zero self control/awareness would think it ok to suggest I give a shit at all about whether he finds me attractive or not. Never mind the infantilisation that comes with it, quite sickening when you think of it in the context of sex abuse. He thinks he’s attacking a girl, not a 35 year old woman and this makes it even more despicable.

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This take.. correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the PIE filled with right wing establishment types, like prince Andrew’s best mate? As if I’ve ever made a distinction between the sorts of men I’d like to see dead and buried. ALL men are capable of sex abuse and ALL men must be held to account.

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White men do not care about victims of sexual violence, they object to non white predators. You can draw a parallel with the ‘coming over here, taking all our jobs’ trope, they’re only upset there are fewer victims for them. This is why you never see white men demand action against all predatory sex attackers.

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That’s SIR Jimmy Savile, 1300 child victims of sex abuse, and everyone knew about what he was doing but no one said a thing, not the BBC, nor the government or the mainstream media. A mentally ill sex pest who used his elite networks to abuse white children at whim but all is forgiven, the real issue is those darkies who’ve been hardwired that way. Timmeh’s account is live still despite directing hate at a group of people/members of a religion. What a fascinating double standard Twitter seems to operate.

Later in the day I went to log in to Twitter only to find myself locked out. The prat who’d said I was an attention seeker reported me for two tweets which I happily deleted upon being prompted by Twitter and yet my account was still restricted, effectively silencing me for a week as I am not able to tweet, RT, like or send media in my DMs. I can read my TL and I can send DMs to mutual follows.

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There are Nazis advocating genocide on Twitter but we must allow the marketplace of ideas for civilised debates even if that means inciting hatred and violence towards minorities but I can’t be hyperbolic and suggest a man eat his own weiner, what if I tracked him down and made him do it..?

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He sent me a tweet calling me an attention seeker and routed a bunch of other white supremacist misogynists my way and when I tried to return the favour (at which point I also muted his account because he wouldn’t stop tweeting at me) he reports me for abuse and I am punished for a week? I don’t think this is just crappy algorithms, in recent weeks I’ve seen many of the prominent woc I follow have their accounts suspended because they were reported by a fragile fuckin snowflake and Twitter has done nothing to rectify this. I don’t think the Twitter nerds are ignorant, I believe they are actively supporting white supremacy behind the scenes – wtf is the Trump account about? – but cannot sieg heil in public because nazism doesn’t pay, at least not this century.

Update: Twitter has verified the account of the Nazi who organised the Charlottesville klan rally where Heather Heyer was murdered by a white supremacist. Twitter is telling us what it is, it’s time we listened and accepted it.

 

The British government and media are lying to you – grooming gangs are white too

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There are gangs of sexually violent men operating the length and breadth of Great Britain. We’re all aware of Asian grooming gangs, the papers never let us forget but how many of us will admit sexual violence and misogyny is a real problem in the UK and isn’t exclusive to brown Muslim men? I would even suggest the reason it is so widespread among non white communities is because they witnessed systematic abuse of minors by the establishment and national treasures and figured no one cared so felt secure enough to abuse with impunity.

We’ve been repeatedly smacked with the ‘fact’ that Asian grooming gangs are a blight on British society and we must discuss the race and religion of perpetrators because it is important, to deny their ethnicity is to do a disservice to survivors who were selected for their race.

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We’ve been discussing this for over a decade. Nobody is brushing it under the carpet, no one is pretending it doesn’t exist. We are all aware of the devastating impact these monsters have had on their young victims, those kids the authorities were forced to support, when they could no longer ignore the scale of the problem. The very same authorities who ignored the many thousands of victims of Britain’s national treasures, 1300 children violated by Jimmy Savile alone. Stuart Hall even got reduced sentencing because he only had 13 victims compared to Savile, as though it somehow negates the impact on those 13 victims. It calls into question the complete shambles that is British justice. Of course it’s a convenient scapegoat for said authorities to complain they were obstructed by ethnic communities and feared accusations of racism, than admit they don’t actually care about white working class children and probably blame them for getting involved with foreigners in the first place. I saw coppers treat white working class women like this. How many of you are aware of the very real sexual violence problem perpetrated by officers of the law? Ryan Coleman Farrow was jailed mere months for allowing countless rape cases to slip under the radar. Women have actually died from police neglect but they don’t want you to know that, it’s so much easier to blame brown Muslim men, killing two birds with one stone; covering up their own prejudices/lack of professionalism and maintaining racist structures with propaganda.

If MPs and journalists and coppers care so much about victims why aren’t they pushing for tougher sentencing of ALL child sex abusers?

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For example (and please note the race of offenders)

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Is it specifically the gang detail of Asian groomers that is so jarring for the authorities and racists alike? Or could it be they just want British victims for British perpetrators? Perhaps that is why sadistic child abusers like these don’t get much of a reaction.

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I don’t think gangs are a problem for MPs and the mainstream media, not when they are white. The ‘most sickening and callous’ of grooming gangs raped babies and toddlers but the media didn’t make as much of a fuss as they did with Rotherham. Why was that, you ask?

The government and media has manipulated the impression we get of sexual violence and predators in the UK.

The agenda; sex gangs are Asian.

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Like we haven’t been doing exactly that on repeat for more than a decade.

Asians/Muslims haven’t done enough to condemn the attackers. All the victims are white.

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(bonus side effect: divide rule and conquer the brown folk)

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I condemn Asian grooming gangs, I hope they all rot in hell. I wish exactly the same for Britain’s national treasures, the establishment, MPs, football coaches, social workers, vicars, teachers etc, majority of whom are white. I oppose those who would seek to make this an issue of race, deliberately erasing the countless victims of white perpetrators. Perhaps Sarah Champion is just securing the bigot vote for Labour, not that this in any way makes her a sympathetic character but it’s more likely she is part of the cover up that has excused the rich and powerful for numerous historic crimes against children. Royals, both dead and alive, MPs past and present, BBC stalwarts and lesser personalities, all invested in the most depraved of grooming gangs, the one that has coercive power and control and the ability to go undetected for over 50 years. This grooming gang was almost uncovered a few times but the powers that be made it disappear. Every time it threatens to resurface again, a spokesperson for the most powerful sexual predators draws our attention back to Asians.

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Asian grooming gangs are a sure fire propaganda tool. It doesn’t matter what else is going on, this dog whistle on steroids fires all the right bigots into a tirade on sexual violence and supposed injustices when none of these pissants give a toss for victim support any other day of the week.

If you genuinely care about all victims of sexual violence you’ll condemn ALL grooming gangs. Anything less is just bigoted.

White feminists, when will you condemn the white men attacking woc in the streets for their clothing and colour of skin?

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I only ask because I can just imagine the furore if white women were being stripped, spat on and physically assaulted for not adhering to the rules as dictated by, say, extremist Muslim men. As it is, savage white males with delusions of supremacy rooted in toxic masculinity see nothing wrong with assaulting us, even though they routinely come out against Asian grooming gangs (to the exclusion of all white child rapists, of which there are significantly/disproportionately more).

I’m under no illusions that feminism works for me and women like me. I wasn’t dressed like a Muslim but I was still called a Paki bitch whilst travelling through London in the early hours of the morning. Feminism didn’t rush to salve my wounds with the sisterhood, but anarchists did with their innate sense of right and wrong. I still feel happy to identify as an anarchist but I’m hesitant to align myself with the likes of Guardian and New Statesmen ‘feminists’ who seem to have hijacked it from the rest of us. Why aren’t prominent feminists like Caroline Criado Perez, with the nouse and gall to get balls rolling, publicly denouncing the violence being levelled at women of colour and those who ‘look Muslim’? We are women first, are we not? I don’t mean the odd tweet, I mean an awareness campaign on par with the banknotes façade. They dominated front pages, and talking points with their heartfelt pleas to the bank of England. What is preventing women like CCP, Helen Lewis, Suzanne Moore, Grace Dent, Sarah Ditum, heck even Hadley Freeman and the like, from addressing this pertinent issue in their magazines and papers? They were all too quick to condemn women who did not get behind unelected Theresa May as antifeminist, her womanhood qualifying her for sisterly support, even though she frequently allows the murder and torture of women institutionalised at Yarlswood.

Why wasn’t white feminism shook to the core over the murder of Nahid Almanea, stabbed for wearing a hijab? Or the forced termination of SamSam Haji-Ali’s twin pregnancy when she was repeatedly kicked in the stomach by a ‘shabby racist’ who was later convicted of racially aggravated assault and sentenced to a paltry three years? More recently Resham Khan and her cousin were set upon by thuggish John Tomlin in an acid attack whilst they sat in traffic at a red light, she had to raise awareness of the attack herself through social media whilst recovering in hospital. If Resham had been white, the local news agencies would have picked it up the same day and there’d be a nationwide man hunt. The perpetrator would have been taken down and executed, as is the norm for white victims of oppressive forces, their attackers do not live to see another day, never mind sit trial for their crimes.

White women don’t care about woc targeted by white men because we are also frequently targeted by them.

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This woman spat on a friend of mine in London recently, right in her face and muttered something like “people like you”. It’s not just disgusting, it is common assault. The audacity of this – older – woman to behave in such a confrontational violent manner towards a virtual stranger is not as rare as it might seem to most people. White women are presented in a light where they are vulnerable and overall, just mean well, as this excerpt from male white supremacists over at Spiked Online suggests.

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They need protecting and whilst white feminists like Caitlin Moran think of themselves as ladettes and better than any man, they still need white knights to come to their rescue against women who are not white, like that time Glinner ignored all the racism being hurled around in favour of Moran’s right to literally not give a shit about black women.

White feminists literally do not give a shit about woc and this is why I no longer give any fucks for objectives as set out by white feminists. You can fuck your language policing, ya pearl clutching twats. No, I really do not give a flying fuck for your feeble opinion on women who vote Corbyn instead of May, not least because it is utter garbage. White feminism doesn’t strive for equality but the right to behave like white men. That is not what I thought I was getting into when I chose feminism.

If white feminists cannot condemn white male violence against woc then it is time we started the discussion/debate on the inherent violence of racist sexist white supremacy. The violence of white men and women, and how they’ve turned it on its head to present themselves as the ultimate victims. The perverse attitudes they have towards foreign bodies they want displayed for all to see (frolicking bodies in the sun, decaying bodies in the war on terror) and if you object to this way of being, the forfeiture of inalienable human rights.

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Maajid Nawaz (a man I’m strangely familiar with even though I couldn’t tell you what he does for a living) has admonished his Muslim ‘sisters’ and pleaded with them in a ‘heartfelt’ campaign to remove their Muslim dress, and as an added bonus, dredged up the old Asian grooming gangs ‘scandal’ a coupla days later, reiterating how we as British Pakistanis should be discussing it not brushing it under the carpet. I don’t think we need reminding ever because the narrative around Asian grooming gangs is ongoing, it is the first thing bigots of all classes belch at us when we defend our right to exist free from harm.

I also find it dangerously problematic this man of Pakistani descent is contributing to a narrative which excuses the violence perpetrated by white men against Muslim women for their dress; Muslim women have been murdered, beaten so viciously they have lost their unborn children, spat at, sworn at, assaulted, all because of what they are wearing. Rather than support his Muslim sisters in their choices and seek to protect them by naming the problem –  violent white men with empire sized entitlement issues – he enables it, victimising them further. He wants white men to attack Muslim women in the street. He’s given them carte blanche when he, self-appointed mehram, is PLEADING with us to be good little Muslim girls and strip for the white people. If we dare to disobey this very public appeal then we’re, honestly, just asking for it, white supremacists are looking for any excuse. Maajid repeatedly underlines that Muslim women are attacked in the street because of Muslim men who flee terror situations in female attire. He doesn’t once mention the racist judgments white people make of anyone who is not lily white, of the sort of violence and arrogant misogyny white men subject Muslim looking women to.

I was wearing a dress cut to my knees with bare legs and my hair out when I was racially abused on a packed bus at 3am in a multicultural part of London. It does not matter how many hoops you jump, my beloved diaspora siblings, a dog born in a stable is still a dog to these mad Englishmen. Take your veil off, uncover your face, you arse even, men will still be men, racist cunts will still be racist cunts. I challenged a white male on Twitter recently, when he said he did not want Europe overrun by Asian grooming gangs yet didn’t think twice before he told me:

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That’s why I find this stab at the ol’ grooming gangs all the more grotesque. This insistence that Asian grooming gangs are somehow the biggest threat to society is deliberate. This regurgitation of information to the exclusion of all other facts is propaganda. What makes the victims of Asian grooming gangs more deserving of recognition and justice than the victims of Britain’s national treasures, parliamentarians, social services, the police, the football association, the church? I know for a fact no one cared about these young victims of sadistic brown men. It went on from 1997 to 2013 and the excuse given by the all-powerful authorities is they didn’t want to offend anybody. How awfully British in its delivery and the fact that it is complete and utter bullshit. When I was a domestic and sexual violence worker for women of all colour, religions etc. I would often inquire with the officers in charge of my cases why there was such a gap in provision for women of colour and they used the exact same excuse, that the perps would insist it was a part of their culture and the authorities didn’t want to offend. From my perspective, it was just lazy racism, when you are not motivated to care about people you do not consider human you’ll make up a thousand excuses for your negligence and no one will think to question it because it is in line with their lazy racism.

Fact: no one, not the cops, or the governing authorities, or even the average white man, gives a flying shit about white working class girls. You think of them as chavs and sluts and mock them for being gym slip mums in love with Albanian refugees. I’ve seen it, heard it, I’ve worked with these young victims. Nobody cared until it appeared the rug had FINALLY been pulled out from the elite paedosadist networks and we’d finally get justice for the many thousands of historic victims.

Every time well-meaning bros like Maajid and Adil Ray contribute to this metanarrative of predatory men of colour seeking out white women to spoil, they are confirming entrenched notions of sexual violence as a basic trait found in most if not all darkie savages to the detriment of all victims of white men.

Whenever I try to point this out I am targeted by white supremacists who just keep repeating the same old shit; “why don’t Muslims condemn it?” They condemned it in 2013 and again in 2014, read all about it here.

“Why are you denying there is a problem in the British Pakistani community?” If you’d ever actually listened to me you’d know I believe all men are capable of sexual violence in a patriarchal society that actively encourages harassment and subjugation of women, both east and west. In my opinion I wish they’d all drop dead but some of y’all find this contentious too.

“You don’t want to discuss it, just pretend it never happened.” Maajid, again with his impassioned pleas, has said we must talk about the grooming scandal and yet twice, I’ve tweeted at him to let him know he has an open invitation to discuss it with me, a British Pakistani, a cultural Muslim as opposed to firm believer, a survivor of male perpetrated violence from both Pakistanis and whites, a domestic and sexual violence worker with feminist leanings and first and foremost, a woman, and he hasn’t responded and most likely won’t. I do not fulfil their stereotypes, I provide a real account of life on rainy fascist island from the perspective of those women everyone seeks to silence. Or maybe he cannot speak to me because he is NOT my mehram and can only communicate via a third party. I find it cheeky af he uses his position as a ‘brother’ to convey certain patriarchal dynamics whilst being most unbrotherly like when he asks them to take their clothes off. Whatever his angle, it wasn’t as innocent as it would seem with his emotive culturally familiar language, it just makes it even more despicable.

When they do this, recycle ‘scandals’ like these, I cannot help but wonder what they are trying to cover up. It is sensationalised and it’s difficult not to get swept up by it, rage is renewed, the facts are distorted some more until it feels like it only just happened yesterday. How many thousands of victims of white grooming gangs are currently suffering unimaginable cruelty because we’re all focused on a particular kind of rapist? When they do come forward they get accused of only doing it for the money or attention, no one ever believes them. This should be an obvious double standard, plain for everyone to see.

Don’t be a racist collaborator, Maajid, it never ends well, & fucking well answer my tweets.

Interview on the Headscarf ‘Ban’

Remember the Holocaust, punch Nazis

Today marks the 17th Holocaust Memorial Commemoration Day. It reminds us of the date the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz was liberated by the soviet union in 1945. We also remember the victims of subsequent genocides; Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur. It comes as a timely reminder of just how close we are yet again to experiencing a similar fate, if certain forces are allowed to continue spreading hateful propaganda.

With so many genocides behind us, you’d think we’d know by now how to prevent one. It seems easy enough to me, failed states look for scapegoats; whether Jews, Muslims, trans, disabled or LGBT, already marginalised groups are easy targets, because they have no way of defending themselves against a system that begrudgingly allows them to exist.

It seems obvious to anyone who is willing to sign their name to the truth; neo Nazism has risen off the back of a white supremacist agenda, promulgated by people/organisations we thought we could trust (like the BBC). The instinct to protect humanity is chipped away at by the state and media, gradually, drip feeding the message that all of society’s ills can be attributed to this group, unlike us, that has failed to do x. In times of economic crisis, failed states and their leaders crank up the propaganda machine to distract us from their deficiency, so we are not baying for their blood and demanding our dues but killing each other, conveniently letting our toffee nosed overlords off the hook.

How can we in good conscience honour the victims of genocides past when we seem to be teetering on the brink of another, nefariously intimated by the same individuals espousing liberal platitudes such as ‘Never Again’?

‘Beware Hate Speech, says Auschwitz Holocaust survivor’ is a featured story on the BBC website. There are also segments on Newsround such as ‘Holocaust Memorial; what can we learn?’ Yet it wasn’t so long ago the internet was aghast at the BBC for their promotion of real live fascists like Farage who was given more airtime in the run up to the general election than all the other leaders combined. You might have caught the swastika tattooed Nazi on the news who went by unchallenged by BBC presenters when he suggested the swastika was not in fact racist. The BBC likes to claim its non partisan stance reflects its programming but in refusing to label Nazis they have failed in this respect. By downplaying the Nazi, they have chosen the Nazi.

helenlewis

The execrable minimisation of genocidal white supremacy by your faves has enabled a 21st century descent into fascism, yet still there are those who claim to uphold liberal values whilst ushering in this kinder, gentler attitude towards Nazis. Nazis just need to be shown some humanity, allegedly, to stop behaving like Nazis. You absolutely must not punch a nazi or you’re as bad as those who slaughtered 11 million people in the name of white pride. If you’re the sort of person who has even a shred of empathy/sympathy for Nazis, you might be a nazi too, or at the very least a white supremacist. When I think of Nazis, I don’t stop at a punch, Nazis are for the wall. Y’see I understand Nazis don’t even think of me as human, just medical waste. I knew as a child Nazis would have come for me, it made learning about the holocaust shockingly real and painful.

I guess this could go some way to explain the dissonance of those who mark memorial days yet platform Nazis in their newspapers and magazines. Fascism won’t ever directly impact on Nazi collaborators, they’re white by and large, middle class too if they’re journalists and academics. A bunch of these folks were fine othering Muslim people or trans people and denying it would lead to fascism but now that it is here, they’re down for punching Nazis. Dissonance or naivete, I can never tell but it might have helped stall things had they believed us.

If we read enough we know historically Nazis respond only to violence, rather it is the only thing that can stop them dead in their tracks. Nazis are cowards, they are opportunists, they thrive only because liberals legitimise their extremism, they claim to be moderates yet turn away refugees and make distinctions between good and bad immigrants, Europeans and non Europeans, Muslims and Jews. Nazis do love to divide rule and conquer so we must respond with solidarity, whether it personally impacts on us or not. When they other even one of us, we must fight back together as a whole. Othering is a white supremacist tool used to justify dehumanisation then genocide, it has no place in a civilised society. It is bullying to speak of other identities whilst excluding them from the discussion, protesting this fact does not make the protester a bully but a revolutionary.

The world is in need of a therapist, to show us all the incongruence of our words against our actions, and the good grace to admit our deepest faults, in the belief we can all be forgiven if we uphold the truth.

In our post truth, fake news world, I despair.