sexta-feira, 15 de setembro de 2006

Maryam Namazie: «Rights Trump Culture and Religion»

«Cultural relativism and its more seemingly palatable multiculturalism have lowered standards and redefined values to such depths that not only are all cultures and beliefs deemed equally valid, they seem to have taken on personas of their own blurring the distinction between individuals and beliefs (whether theirs or imputed).
As a result, concepts such as rights, equality, respect and tolerance, which were initially raised vis-à-vis the individual, are now more and more applicable to culture and religion and often take precedence over real live human beings.
Needless to say, cultural relativists have it all wrong.
The distinction between humans and their beliefs is of crucial significance here. It is the human being who is sacred, worthy of the highest respect and rights and so on and so forth not his or her beliefs.
It is the human being who is meant to be equal not his or her beliefs.
Of course, people have the right to their beliefs no matter how absurd they may seem but that is a different matter. Having the right to a belief, culture, or religion does not mean that the belief or culture or religion must be respected or that those who disagree, oppose or choose to mock said beliefs must refrain from doing so because it is unacceptable to believers.
But are we really expected to respect, for example, a belief that women are sub-human, that 'disobedient' children need to be exorcised, or that gays are perverts because someone or some religious groups believe it to be so? How about the belief that girls who date non-Muslim men should be murdered in the name of honour? Or that little girls should be veiled and not mix with boys or swim? And does anyone in their right mind really think that such beliefs are equal or equally valid to humanist, secularist, left and progressive ideals fought for by generations?
I am supposedly automatically Muslim because I was born in Iran as if that is the only option available; the Muslim Council of Britain, the Islamic Human Rights Commission and the rest of them supposedly automatically represent me – though I wouldn't touch any them with a ten foot barge pole.
Cultural relativism also implies that Islam and political Islam represent all those who are considered Muslims – whether they were born or living in the Middle East, Asia or North Africa or once came from there umpteen generations ago. It would be similar to assume that the Catholic Church (that is during the inquisition) and the right wing British National Party represent all British.
In addition, for society, cultural relativism promotes a policy of minoritism where people deemed to be different because of their culture are ghettoized in regressive fragmented "minority" communities where they continue to face apartheid and Islamic laws and customs. Their rights are not the highest standards available in the given society as one would expect but the most regressive and reactionary ones. They live in Bantustans with somewhat separate legal, social, cultural, and religious systems. They are compartmentalised to the lowest reactionary denominator and are relegated to second and third class status. They are forever minorities and never ever equal citizens. They are denied access to universal standards and norms. They are denied equal rights and the secularism fought for and established by progressive movements over centuries.
The idea of difference has always been the fundamental principle of a racist agenda not the other way around.
We must not allow any more concessions to cultural relativism; we must no longer allow the respect for and toleration of inhuman beliefs and practices. We must hold the human being sacred. We must start first and foremost with the human being. We must stop sub-dividing people into a million categories beginning with religion and nationality and ethnicity and minority and not even ending in Human.
Of course, cultural relativists have said and will say that universal rights are a western concept. This is just more deception on their part. When it comes to using the mass media to broadcast their decapitations, or using the web to organise terrorist attacks, and the internet to issue fatwas and death threats, the Islamists do not say it is western and incompatible with an Islamist society. It is only when it comes to universal rights, standards and values, and secularism, that they suddenly become western. Even if such rights and values are western, it is absurd to say that others' are not worthy of them.
(Maryam Namazie no Butterflies and Wheels.)

3 comentários :

Jordão disse...

Esta corrente de esquerda é tão necessária e tão silenciada...

Pedro Magalhães disse...

"Esta corrente de esquerda é tão necessária e tão silenciada..."

Sim, é-o porque é triplamente incómoda!

Primeiro, para a direita conservadora/cristã que, a reboque da escalada do integrismo e do fundamentalismo no "mundo islâmico", tenta alimentar um idêntico ressurgimento da fé no ocidente.

Segundo, para a direita neoliberal que secretamente sonha com a fragmentação da sociedade em grupos étnico-culturais em disputa entre si, minando assim os vínculos de classe.

Terceiro, para alguma extrema-esquerda que lunaticamente vê no islamismo político uma espécie de religião dos oprimidos em luta contra o "Império".

Ricardo Alves disse...

Excelente análise, Pedro Magalhães.

Jordão: concordo!