Identity Politics And The Art Of Deception

Maryam Namazie hits out at identity politics and multiculturalism.

One of the things that is most troubling about identity politics and multiculturalism as a social policy is how deception becomes a necessity in defending the “tribe” or “community”, irrespective of the truth.

Of course you don’t need to be an Islamist or on the far-Right to do this – something Sam Harris fans fail to understand. As long as one buys into the idea of essentially different communities and groups, promoting the Islamist narrative (under the guise of defending the Muslim “community”) or the far-Right one (under the guise of defending the Christian and Western “community”) is very easy to do.

This translates into policies such as Muslim profiling or the barring of certain nationalities because individuals are seen to be extensions of or defined by the group or tribe they apparently belong to.
It’s something “progressives” do all the time too when they come across any criticism of Islam or Sharia law. They hunker down behind what is fundamentally an Islamist project in order to defend “Muslims”, despite the human costs, including for many Muslims. Let me give you a few recent examples from British universities.

At my talk in January at LSE on Sharia law’s incompatibility with human rights, a Mauritanian woman said that the inequities of Sharia law I was describing were not true with regards Mauritania. This is despite the fact that Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir is on death row for apostasy.

Afterwards, whilst speaking to a colleague, she said she knew about the apostasy case but thought no one else would. In fact, she had come to Britain in order to “get away” from “the community”.

This happened again at Westminster last week where I spoke on “Secularism and Diversity” with Tariq Modood. A woman strongly defended Sharia courts during the Q&A. After the event, she came up to me and privately said that she agreed with much of what I had said about the courts and that she herself had refused to go to one for her divorce.

Of course, the truth is irrelevant when defending identity politics. Even if means legitimising or trivialising violence.

This view permeates universities and Student Unions.

I have earlier explained details of restrictions I faced at LSE and Westminster, but two articles in student media outlets necessitate that I clarify some points of misinformation, even if only to reiterate the pervasiveness of the Islamist narrative.

One piece is entitled “‘Islamophobe’ to speak at Westminster” that was published before I spoke. The title says it all. The author didn’t bother to contact me, or the University’s Secular Adviser who had organised the event, for comment; nor was she interested in doing a follow up piece on the event (here are my opening remarks). Since apostates like myself are seen through Islamist eyes, what I actually have to say is irrelevant. That’s the crux of identity politics, though the “aspiring journalist” thought it was an: “Extremely neutral article to describe the situation in University“. Neutral indeed.
Similarly, the author of an article on my talk at the LSE didn’t bother to ask me for a comment. If he had, I could have cleared up a few inaccuracies in his piece:

* Firstly, I started my talk at LSE on the restrictions I faced not to “complain” but in the hopes of making some students think about how the Islamist narrative and identity politics prevent us from seeing the truth. The President of the Human Rights Society, Zohaib Ahmed, who had invited me there has generously said that I have: “the habit of playing the victim” but that is far from what I do. Those trying to restrict my talks are the ones playing victim. To them, the “other” (which is often a mirror image of themselves) is so fragile that they must be protected from an apostate’s point of view, whilst the welcome mat is dusted for Islamists like Hamdoon who promote death by stoning and the shunning of ex-Muslims.

More importantly, criticising inequality in treatment is not “complaining”; at the very least, a “Human Rights Society” should be able to grasp this.

* In the piece, Zohaib Ahmed further explains that “the chair was not imposed on Namazie’s talk because of the security classification – rather, there was a chair because the event was initially planned to be a debate with another speaker who subsequently pulled out. The chair was kept for logistical reasons…”

This is again simply not true. In an email sent on 26 January (see screenshot here), the very same Zohaib Ahmed explained: “As for Dr. Hamdoon’s talk, similar restrictions were not placed, though the room provided was of similar capacity. There were no security concerns besides the general risks associated with organising any event. The talk was not chaired; this is because we only request academics to chair talks if it is required by the LSE Room Bookings. In your case, for concerns about controversial content, the Room Bookings team requested us to have a chair”.

* The piece also asks:

And what about Namazie’s complaint of LSE security subjecting her to an unfair ordeal at the NAB entrance? That is not true either, he says. According to him, Namazie had come with five others who she claimed to be her security detail but whose presence was not made known to the event organisers beforehand, and therefore not registered by the LSE security staff.

Again this is not what happened. I never said the five were my “security detail”; I don’t have a “security detail”. I merely said that I would not enter on my own. I don’t think this is unreasonable given the obvious inclination in favour of Hamdoon shown by both the LSE and the Human Rights Society.

* Finally on the issue of my being labelled “controversial” by the Human Rights Society though no such label was given for Hamdoon. In the piece it says:

She even criticised the society for describing her as ‘controversial’ in the description on the Facebook event page, a label which doesn’t seem unreasonable considering how previous events involving her at other universities have panned out, including a talk at Goldsmiths which was constantly disrupted by several audience members.

Of course the author, the Human Rights Society, LSE and anyone else can call me an “Islamophobe”, “controversial” or anything else for that matter – I have heard it all and worse. The point I am making though is that when I am labelled “controversial” and not Hamdoon, it’s because of the normalisation of an Islamist narrative which imposes de facto blasphemy and apostasy rules and sees apostates and blasphemers through the eyes of the Islamists.

Furthermore, the Human Rights Society doesn’t see the irony of my being penalised for the disruptions, threats and intimidations carried out by Islamic Societies. It’s victim blaming at its finest. As Algerian sociologist Marieme Helie Lucas says:

I cannot even start telling you how one experiences a sense of madness when responsibilities are turned upside down in such a way; one feels like the raped girl, the battered woman, the child being caned who have been told by judges, police, families and media alike, over such a long period of time in history, that they were the ones truly responsible for sexual attacks, domestic violence and physical punishment in ‘education’; and that it was their own behaviour (how libertarian indeed! just being able to exist in the public space, to express an opinion, in short just enjoying one’s fundamental human rights!) which ‘induced’ these ‘responses’ – which were thus seen as legitimate. Yes, we do have an already quite long experience of perversity, which magically turns the victim into the abuser and blames her for the crimes that are committed against her.

And so it continues.


  1. Women's treatment in Islamic countries seems pretty rough. The intolerance is the frightening thing about the Muslim societies. That is the perception anyway. Different nationalities/cultures congregate together in communities wherever they go. That's why there are China Towns in most cities and Irish and black areas in cities across America for example and also in the UK. They always take their value systems with them. The level of integration is relative to the economic necessities I expect.

    Two Somali refugees I was teaching English in Sligo along with Spanish Chinese Iraqi and E. European students said a number of times they would kill me as quite a matter of fact, no 'offence' seemed intended it was just 'how it is'. They were Sharia Law advocates and when asked if someone was executed by mistake how can that be redressed. 'God will know the truth' was the answer. And there you have it. I had a different experience in Sarawak Borneo where after booking into a hotel a Muslin lady behind the check in counter came across and asked if I would like a beer. I said yes and was promptly served one in a tea mug minus the can. Very polite without any personal interaction.

    Lack of tolerance breeds the same in response. Demanding cultural and religious rights in Christian nations whilst forcing Christians to dress 'appropriately' in Muslim countries is just the tip of the ice-berg. Lack of tolerance and aggression on both sides gave us the 'troubles' in the 6 counties. Western foreign policy and cynical exploitation to facilitate crimes of plunder has worsened everything. I wont be going to any Muslim nations for a holiday any time soon, if ever. Which is sad because Iran, Egypt, N. Africa and some countries neighbouring Israel were quite high on my bucket list. (Though NEVER Israel) But never mind women's rights, I personally don't want to be subjected to the Muslim value system and laws. And if they don't like our values and laws, DON'T COME HERE. Why are the refugees not seeking refuge in Muslim countries?

  2. The issue is never the issue. The issue is always revolution. When owner-producer dyanmics didnt create the neccessary tension when translated to America (as Alinskey saw himself),it became oppressor-oppressed, and race became the main vehicle for agitation. Its why when discussing Islam they need to conflate it with race (because anti religion is a good thing), and why racism dynamics are theoretically impossible between or from minorities , it must always be a majority problem. If only a book was published on this, given a snazzy title like rules for radicals or such like, the truth seeking populace hungry for knowledge could rush and learn from it.

  3. Larry

    I would agree that wherever Muslims are in a majority they are not known for their tolerance or defense for equality.

    I would challenge your assertion that a lack of Nationalist tolerance to Unionist supremacy and discrimination was at the root of the Troubles. I suppose holding the oppressed as being equally to blame is one way to reduce centuries of British oppression.

    I get the impression that you were very tolerant of the 2 Islamist's who threatened you simply because the threats were not accompanied with any intention to cause offense. We have seen how matter of fact Islamist's will kill in accordance with their religious teachings and practices -- causing offense is irrelevant to them. I trust these 2 extremist were given safe passage by you by not reporting them to the GardaĆ­ lest they do kill someone if that is on their minds in accordance with their religious beliefs.

    You fail to grasp that this sort of tolerance of Islamist's, and their threats, by 'leftists' is essentially one of the issues the article above is all about.

  4. Christy Walsh

    I didn't say anything about nationalist intolerance was at the root of the troubles. However given that the Free State agreed to bin the Boundary Commission in exchange for the bye ball on annuities to the Crown and the nationalist minority boycott of the 6 county state nationalists were hardly helping themselves given where SF and are today in regard to Stormont. As for the two Somalis, it has often crossed my mind that their attitude should have been at least put on record at the local Garda station. With the way things have unfolded in Europe in recent times I would be inclined to do so should it happen again. They were all living in a hostel type gaff at the time and I am sure the Sligo Garda kept a good eye on them in any case.

    As for Muslims being intolerant when in the majority it is funny that McGuinness described the DUP as the Taliban at one stage. Something in that.

  5. Larry
    Unfortunately you appear to blame nationalists in equal measure with unionist supremacy: "Lack of tolerance and aggression on both sides gave us the 'troubles' in the 6 counties."

    As for the Somalis we can often realize after the event that we failed to act at the time to something that was potentially more sinister or not mere banter. In terms of Islam there is a sort of normalizing strain of moderate extremism, or, reluctance to call moderate Muslims extremists, extremists, because they are not as extreme as ISIS.

  6. Christy Walsh

    I would say a reluctance initially by nationalists to accept partition consolidated the 6 county unionist diktat. Intolerance on both sides after 69 gave us 30 years of troubles. As for the Muslims, things have gotten extremely ugly since my time in Sligo over a decade ago. My attitude to them is as there's is to me in their countries, when in Rome... or get the fuck out.

  7. Really? Initial Nationalist reluctance consolidated unionist supremacy(diktat) and then post 69 that reluctance escalated into 30 years of intolerance of unionist supremacy (diktat)?

  8. Christy Walsh

    Not once have you quoted me correctly. Carry on there regardless lol

  9. Larry

    Where have i gotten it wrong? You have said Nationalists were equally to blame for the Troubles. You explain how Nationalists were at first reluctant and then intolerant to the 6 counties and unionists. Not my fault you kept digging.

  10. Christy Walsh

    Their tactics did them no favours. The partition was the great undemocratic crime. Unionist rule was a further abomination. Nationalists did little to help themselves by boycotting the institutions, in hindsight of course, especially given where SF have arrived at today. Nobody digging nor being confrontational. Just stating the obvious I would have thought.

  11. Larry

    Not being confrontational but speaking matter of factly -you said Nationalist intolerance was an equal contributor to the Troubles -tactics is something different entirely. One could say that Unionists ought to have dealt with nationalists in the 1920s as they are compelled to do so today.

    Nationalists attempted, by peaceful means,to highlight the discrimination, oppression and injustice of the 6 counties and were violently beaten off their own streets. If one honestly reflects on the turmoil and confusion of the times which were being aggravated by events like Internment, and massacres at McGurks, Ballymurphy and Blood Sunday I still do not get your assertion that Nationalists were equally to blame for the Troubles and their own oppression? -regardless of any bad 'tactics' you say they made in response to the hatred or aggression directed toward them.