Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Scraping the bottom of the Pitt

Bob Pitt is in a terrible bind. He can’t decide if Islam is a race or a religion. Actually, it’s no bind at all - Bob doesn’t really mind because his preposterous Islamophobia-Watch website decides to interpret it whichever way suits them at the time.

They define “Islamophobia” as “Anti-Muslim Racism”. Fair enough. There are many on the far-right, notably the racist BNP who will use religion as a proxy for race. We know when the BNP fuehrer-wannabes go on about Jews and Muslims that they’re not accentuating theological differences. But to paint all opposition to religion as a form of racism is catching the dolphins in the metaphorical tuna nets.

The trouble is, if Islamophobia is racism, how do you account for people who were born into Middle Eastern Muslim families but who have turned their back on their faith?

For example: Mr Pitt denounces Homa Arjomand for “masquerading as a Muslim” and leading a sect (The Workers Communist Party of Iran) who are characterised by “fanatical Islamophobia.”

I’m sorry, what? Let’s unpack this. Ms Arjomand is Iranian and was born into a Muslim family. It is true, she has renounced her faith, and like most Communists, is entirely secular. So she is not “a Muslim” in the sense that she practices the faith. Except Pitt says Islam is a race. So which way does he want to play it? If one can’t be a secular Muslim (like one can be a secular Jew) then it is a religion. So Islamophobia can’t be racism, Bob Pitt. But, if on the other hand, one can be a Muslim without being religious, then Ms Arjomand cannot be “masquerading” either – and it still doesn’t make sense to say it is racism because presumably Ms Arjomand is the same race as her Muslim family!

Why is Bob Pitt so interested in Ms Arjoman’s religion? Well, she was one of the leaders of a campaign to halt the legal recognition of sharia courts in the Canadian province of Ontario that would have allowed religious courts to adjudicate in family matters – such as divorce, inheritance, child custody and the like. Women’s groups feared it would be both a toehold for political Islam and a danger to women’s rights.

Ms Arjomand, and her organisation of “women from Muslim families” have tasted life on the receiving end of fundamentalist Islamic misogyny. In a Canadian TV interview Ms Arjomand tells horrifying stories of persecution and execution under the mullah-regime in Iran. In fact, hundreds of thousands of political dissidents have been executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Is it any wonder Homa Arjomand and other Iranian activists are a little “phobic”. They have first-hand reason to be.

And if I may be indignant on their behalf for a second: how dare Bob Pitt, a white male living in London judge an Iranian political exile and question her bona fides and her right to criticise her own religion and culture?

Is this not what socialists in the West do, Bob? Aren’t our Middle Eastern comrades allowed to do that, or are only white western men allowed this privilege?

This is not the first time Pitt has smeared Iranian communists with racism charges.

Happily, through international mobilisation and campaigning, the Ontarians have decided not to go ahead. Sharia law has been stopped, Bob Pitt is vexed, puffed up and spitting Islamophobia charges from his ivory towers in London at the Iranian women below.


At 2:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You claim - "Pitt says Islam is a race".

Only he doesn't does he?

Outrage! do seem to be getting into a habit of just making stuff up.

At 4:42 pm, Blogger Brett Lock said...

Excuse me! Pitt's website says very clearly in a little green banner on the top of almost every single page "ISLAMOPHOBIA: Anti Muslim Racism"

So he posted the Runymede Trust's definition as well, does that change the fact that is says on the top of almost every single page "ISLAMOPHOBIA: Anti Muslim Racism" (exect the one where he posts someone elses definition - hahahahaha).

So, wrong on two counts. Wrong in your silly defence of Pitt-boss Bob and incidentally wrong that this blog has anything to do with OutRage!. This is *my* project.

At 11:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are under the misapprehension that Bob Pitt actually believes the rubbish he writes on IW. In reality, this site is pure and simple hackwork in the service of his organ grinder, Ken Livingstone.

It’s not the first time. On his website "What Next" Pitt posts Livingstone’s lame excuse for scabbing on RMT workers:


Surprisingly, Pitt doesn’t provide the other side of the story:


What a principled "socialist" this useless apparatchic is!


Post a Comment

<< Home