PC – Intellectual Bullying
It really is nothing. I am just reporting on how a twitter banter turned ugly when the PC brigade barged in, charging full speed ahead at the sight of what was perceived as “disrespectful” joke -to Islam, no less. I guess social conservatives are not endowed with a generous sense of humour. Perhaps it humour itself is Haram, I don’t know: I am waiting for a Fatwa from Cheikh Zemzami on that matter, I am sure he will produce some scholarly work on the topic. Anyway; yesterday’s discussion showed open-mindedness and sense of humour are not a zealot’s strongest suit.
Let me first put things in context: PJD manifesto pledged to ban all media content designed at “objectifying” women’s body (the PJD therefore implies executive and legislative officials have the power to rule on that matter). Now, this bizarre pledge is either a bid on behalf of PJD to rekindle with their hardcore conservative base (as if PJD boss Abdelilah Benkirane was not bellicose enough) or a crafty move to court the die-hard feminists of Morocco. Make your pick; the pledge goes:
148. La femme dans les médias:
* Interdiction de la chosification du corps féminin à des fins commerciaux, réduisant la femme à sa seule dimension sexuelle
So I tweeted on that, underlying the gender bias aspect of their proposal, with a rather snide remark that PJD would not oppose Chippendales (or “Dancing Bears”) on display, on media outlets; A couple of tweeps chipped in with quite an elaborate Pedobear analogy; to the benefit of the uninformed, Pedobear is an Internet meme with strong Pedophilia connotations. And as far as I understand it, dark humour has not been outlawed yet, and I should hope things will remain the same. If Religious zealots cannot stand the heat of humour, they’d better stay out of.
All was well then, until socially conservative elements joined in the conversation, and all PC hell broke loose: “you might not be a Muslim, but be respectful”. I guess the “Pedobear is Sunna” jibe triggered the half-irate comment, then another one -this time from an acquaintance of mine. I suppose the suggested dubious link between Pedobear and PJD was understood as yet another Islamophobe attack linking up Islam and Pedophilia. It just shows how sensitive the subject it, to the point that one person apoligized and retracted the controversial tweet. Yet another victory for the PC-Politically Correct, and dare I say, Intellectual Bullying.
This brief anecdote shows how eager crypt-fundamentalists are making others toe the line when it comes to jokes and Islam; I am sorry, but when the likes of Cheikh Maghraoui and Abdelbari Zemzami are let loose and not held accountable for their fire-and-brimstone statements, when PJD can afford to include misogynist statement in an electoral manifesto and get away with it, their behaviour is a far more serious insult to Islam than a harmless, and quite an elaborate joke. The infamous Cheikh Maghraoui, the author of a Fatwa allowing under-age marriage, triggered a media storm, after which he discreetly left Morocco for… Saudi Arabia, the Wahhabi paradise of Women’s rights.
He returned home to Marrakesh a couple of months ago, where a rapturous large crowd was waiting to greet him at the Airport. The man has never been officially called for testimony; He buttressed his Fatwa by stating that the Prophet Muhammad married 9-years old Aisha; in the Scholar’s mind, Paedophilia was Sunna -and no one from the Religious Council dared challenge his statement; Nobody then thought Maghraoui was insulting Islam; no public legal action was undertaken against the Cheikh.
Pour cela, Cheikh Maghraoui évoque l’interprétation directe du texte du hadith où il est rapporté que le prophète a épousé Aïcha alors que celle-ci n’avait que 9 ans. D’ailleurs, en réponse à ses détracteurs, il a publié une mise au point où il reprend ces arguments et d’autres (les avis des quatre rites) et s’attarde en particulier sur la position du rite malékite, qui, selon lui, autorise le mariage précoce.
As for Zemazami, a high ranking official at the Habous Ministry and Member of Parliament, no official retribution was enacted when he released his bizarre Fatwa condoning Necrophilia; again, no official voice stood to call for Zemzami to retract his statement.
I guess Pedobear looks like a prude when compared to these freaks. PJD, Zemzami and Maghraoui have little in common indeed, but they do share the common feature of shielding themselves with Religion. It becomes difficult, hazardous indeed, to attack them for what they are: degenerate conservatives with an unhealthy obsession for sexual matters over earthly and more important issues. It shows how simplistic their vision of society is. If they are indeed keen on enforcing respect for Islam, I suggest they direct their anger first to the likes of Maghraoui and Zemzami; these are the ones giving Islam a bad name.
I suggest to my friend (and former Prep-school classmate) Sanae to rather have a look to the ways and means to improve standards of living, to how Habous assets are misused and squandered to the benefit of the happy few, or perhaps, more simply, to why the Law still allows for under-age girls marriage – if she disagrees with it, that is. I do hope also she will not let her strongly-held beliefs -a respectable quality- not to take over her intellect and turn her into a zealot. Moderation, after all is a praised quality in Muslim way of life, is it not?