It’s the lexicon that would throw you off. Like this: “Western cries of ‘women’s rights’ appear a harmless demand. But when coupled with the incompatibility of much of these rights with the Islamic religion, their destructive effects on human society, their historical origins and the dangerous agendas for Muslim societies curtained behind them, a more sinister perspective emerges.” It’s the diction that would lead you astray. “The feminist ideology has been utilized for decades as a western justification for the invasion, subjugation and bullying of Muslims. Today, the West seeks to ideologically subvert Muslim cultures through ideologies such as feminism.”
It’s clever, in the same way the effort mounted by proxies of the Chinese Communist Party to subvert and weaponize the recent and urgently necessary “Stop Asian Hate” mobilizations in western countries — a mischief rarely noticed outside the community of Uyghur human rights activists and pro-democracy diaspora Hongkongers — is also quite clever.
In the Taliban case, its weird critical-theory-type polemic exploits a widespread illiteracy in Euro-American discourse about Muslim societies, and particularly about Afghan society. It’s an illiteracy that invites the proliferation of a species of racism that could be called “progressive.” Like “woke,” “progressive” is a jumbled abstraction, since it can describe profoundly regressive and authoritarian tendencies as well as the politics of emancipation. But like “woke,” we’re probably stuck with it.
Afghan women aren’t taking their cues from any “colonialist saviour” in wanting to maintain what few gains they’ve made in law, education, social status and employment since the brutally misogynistic Taliban satrapy of Pakistan’s intelligence establishment was overthrown in 2001. And that desire for basic human freedom runs across Afghan society.
In its 15 years of intensive public-opinion polling in Afghanistan, the Asia Foundation has consistently found that Afghans overwhelmingly support the rights of women to work outside the home, vote, run for political office and so on. Now that the United States is determined to pull its troops out of the country by September, a crushing anxiety has set in among Afghans. Nobody wants peace more than Afghans do, but still, a series of Asia Foundation polls conducted since last September show that between 82 and 85 per cent of respondents say it’s “very important” that women’s rights be protected in any so-called peace deal with the Taliban.
Whatever the Voice of Jihad claims about what Afghans want, “troops out” has never been a top concern among ordinary Afghans, at least not since the days of the bloody Soviet occupation in the 1980s. In the Asia Foundation’s last 15 years of barometer readings, popular Afghan support for anti-government forces like the Taliban has rarely broken the double-digit barrier.
The thing about “woke” politics is that anyone can play the game.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet — known the world over for preening in front of a mirror while asking, who is the wokeist of all? — is at the moment impaled on a “MeToo” crisis of its own making by apparently ignoring grave allegations of sexual misconduct at the highest levels of the military command, and by spending the past six years mostly ignoring the recommendations in a 2015 judge’s report that laid out a process for dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct in the military, and now by appointing another judge to conduct another review of what has gone so badly wrong in coping with grave allegations of sexual misconduct in the military.
But this week, the winning iteration comes from the Central Intelligence Agency’s delightful recruitment advertisement that features a self-described “intersectional” cisgender Latina millennial and woman of colour with a generalized anxiety disorder and an aversion to “misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be.”
American “progressives” were upset that their diction and grammar had been so cunningly appropriated by the monstrous and many-tentacled coup plotter and Latin American death-squad mobilizer of myth and legend. American conservatives collapsed in fits of despond about the woke usurpation of a storied American institution, now expunged of all its manliness and vigour.
This content was originally published here.