Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From what deep cesspool of hatred...?

Sexual assault in Egypt/the Middle East/the Muslim world is no aberration, it's just sooo Islamic, writes recently Rambammed Murdoch columnist Miranda Devine:

"It's shocking, but should we be surprised that a blonde, unveiled Western female reporter covering the protests in Egypt was subject to a 'brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating' by a group of frenzied men? The 20-30 minute attack on US 60 Minutes reporter Lara Logan in Cairo's crowded Tahrir Square last week was a slap in the face for idealists talking up the anti-government protests across the Middle East as the flowering of democracy. At a time when fundamentalist Islam is on the march, why would Western liberal values such as female equality suddenly fill a vacuum left by departing autocrats? The increasing misogyny and subjugation of women in the Muslim world is the single insurmountable obstacle to democratisation... [T]he 39-year-old foreign correspondent represented the decadence of the West to a certain brand of Islamist. She was nothing better than a whore, to be brought down flagrantly in public and given what she deserved... [H]er treatment was no aberration in the Middle East. Rampant sexual harassment, public fondling and groping of women is a fact of life..." (Frenzied assault on West's values, Sunday Telegraph, 20/2/11)

Sexual assault in the Catholic Church, on the other hand, is most definitely an aberration and has nothing whatever to do with the Church or, God forbid, Christianity:

"The pursuit of the Pope reached absurd heights this week with news that atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have asked the Australian barrister Geoffrey Robertson to draw up a case to arrest Benedict XVI for alleged cover-up of paedophilia in the Catholic Church. That these exhibitionist atheists should seize on the tragedy of child sexual abuse by a small minority of Catholic priests to pursue their vendetta against religion is stomach-turning. Dawkins has become shrill with excitement, describing the Pope as 'a leering old villain in a frock'. He said the Pope 'should remain in charge of the whole rotten edifice - the whole profiteering, woman-fearing, guilt-gouging, truth-hating, child-raping institution - while it tumbles, amid a stench of incense and a rain of tourist-kitsch sacred hearts and preposterously crowned virgins, around his ears'. From what deep cesspool of hatred do those words spring?" (Evildoers, not Pope, to blame, Sydney Morning Herald, 16/4/10)

And here are a few more aberrations Miranda might like to consider for future columns in the unlikely event she's more interested in the plight of women than in demonising Muslims:

"Reports of sexual assault by US military personnel against both fellow troops and civilians rose by 8% last year to 2,923, the Pentagon says." (US military sex attack reports up, newsvote.bbc.co.uk, 18/3/09)

"Systematic sexual violence continues to be carried out against Congolese women and girls caught up in mass expulsions from Angola to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a UN survey said on Friday. Community leaders recorded 182 reported rapes in 72 villages along the border in January alone, while a UN assessment mission confirmed 1,357 reported rape cases in one village in a 6-t0-8 month period last year, said the official, Margot Wallstrom." (Systematic rape continues on Congo-Angola border: UN, reuters.com, 11/2/11)

"The damning report on sexual misbehaviour aboard the Royal Australian Navy supply ship HMAS Success has blamed a small group of sailors in the engineering departnent who were protected by some of the ship's officers... Senior defence force officers were dismayed by the strength of the allegations of sexual misconduct, intimidation and miscarriages of justice contained in the report... Three senior sailors were removed from the ship in Singapore in May 2009 after allegations they were involved in a competition to see how many female sailors they could get into bed with." (Warship's 'bullet-proof' engineers blamed for sexual misconduct, Brendan Nicholson, The Australian, 22/2/11)

For those interested, the definitive riposte to Devine's smears must surely be Noha Radwan's How Egyptian women took back the street between two 'Black Wednesdays': A first person account. Here's the opening paragraph: "On February 16, Roger Ebert, an American film critic and commentator, tweeted: 'The attack on Lara Logan brings Middle Eastern attitudes toward women into sad focus'. While the attack... was a tragic and upsetting event, it needs to be understood in its political context. Any attempt to propound this in such familiar orientalist terms would be offensive and unfair, not only to Egyptians protesting for democracy, but to Logan herself. She was not attacked as a woman - although the gendered nature of the assault is indisputable; she was attacked as a professional journalist and a supporter of the Egyptian protest. I, too, was attacked, probably by the same type of thugs who attacked Logan. I understand both attacks in light of Egypt's political conditions and the role of the Egyptian women in an ongoing struggle against oppressive and undemocratic government. The heinous attacks mark much more than 'attitudes towards women'. Perhaps they mark the desperation of a dying regime." (jadaliyya.com, 20/2/11)


Anonymous said...

Of course you are right , Merc, but it is just crying in the wind, pissing into a gale. These people know that they have to demonise anything "Muslim" and to pursue the agenda of islamic terrorism no matter what. Unless and until the truth of 9/11 is exposed this smear will go on and on in the controlled press. With any luck, eventually things might be changing in this regard.

Anonymous said...

And the link to my optimism is: