I describe myself as a liberal, but when I do I invariably mean it in the truest sense of the word, not in the sense of liberal political parties, who these days seem to have little and less in common with Liberalism. So when I say I’m a liberal, I really mean the following; I believe we’re all born equal, gender or sexual orientation doesn’t matter a damn, people should be free to follow whichever religion they choose, and people should be free to say whatever the hell they please (that’s freedom of speech to you) even if it results in criticism.
However, since none of the political parties these days who call themselves ‘liberal’ come even close to representing my own beliefs, I usually end up voting Conservative, and will admit that as something of a traditionalist, I suppose my political affiliation does sit centre-right. ‘Conservative’, however, is a dirty word in the modern day, and I was foolish to describe myself as such when writing about the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, whose funeral was today. I should have known that my American readers would jump on the ‘C’ word at once, and especially as I was dealing with the issue of Islam, it was never going to end well, really. It didn’t matter what I wrote; it wasn’t read (and the responses I got proved the truth of that) and they let their image of me as a conservative rootin’ tootin’ Republican (despite the fact that I’m British) fill their head as they typed out their responses.
For example, in my old article about Drummer Rigby’s death, I was obviously quite critical of Islamism and the seeming incompatibility of the Muslim community in Britain, something that other religious or ethnic minorities in our country don’t seem to share. However, I was equally critical of the right-wingers who attack innocent Muslim people, burn mosques and mix their religious intolerance and racism with violence. I branded them ‘English white trash’, called their actions ‘thuggery’ and more of the same…go and read it, and see for yourself. You’ll even note I made reference to my Muslim friends, but of course that was conveniently forgotten/ignored.
Are you listening, Lefty Yanks? Criticism for both sides. Equality. That’s what democracy should be, don’t you agree? ‘Land of the Free’ indeed…
I referred to the people who choose to ignore the problems in the Islamic community as “liberals” because in my mind, they aren’t liberal, despite what they might call themselves. A true liberal would examine the views of both sides before passing judgment, instead of venerating the Islamic community as somehow being superior to our own society (that’s not bias, that’s truth. If you lived under Blair’s Britain, you’d know that).
The point is, what I wrote wasn’t read. The slightest criticism of Islam resulted in me being branded a right-wing lunatic (what’s even funnier is that I said the exact same thing in my blog post; “criticism of Islam usually results in one being branded a right-wing lunatic”. Amazing how after writing that, my critics then seemed to consider me exactly that). There have been (and still are) imams who preach the destruction of the British state and the conversion of the British people to their religion and have rallies to this effect, admittedly infrequently but the fact that they’ve been allowed to take place speaks volumes. As much as I despise them, the far-right EDL and BNP have held rallies of their own calling for harsher punishment for Islamic terrorists are the reduction of their cultural influence, and many of these rallies have resulted in arrests made (read that again, lefty Yanks/whoever the hell you are. That’s right, it says ‘as much as I despise them’. Throw me in with their lot, will you?). Under our ‘democratic’ state, our culture and history is allowed to be criticised by those of foreign nationality and religion but anything directed towards anyone of the same means you’re an intolerant racist.
Look at feminists, for example. In the truest sense of the word, I’m a feminist; I believe women can do jobs just as well as men (and, in many cases, a damn sight better) and so should be paid the same wages, and I believe cutting them out of society or dismissing the opinions of women just because of their sex is immoral and, above all, undemocratic. So why is it then that feminists, despite their vocality, never seem able to criticise the treatment of Muslim women? The style of dress, the treatment in society, their perceived inferiority…somehow, we’re told that revealing only the eyes is ’empowering’. What utter bollocks.
I’m a liberal, and I want to live in a world where everyone can believe what they want, but not at the expense of other people. If Muslim women want to walk around with buckets on their heads, fine, but I’d like to hear it from them, not their menfolk nor a British socialist politician. That’s why I was so upset over Drummer Rigby’s death. Oh, I’m sure that the lunatics who killed him in the name of their imaginary friend really thought he was a legitimate target because he was a soldier, but to dismiss it as ‘fair enough’ and to equate the civilised streets of a Western capital city with the battlefields of Afghanistan is ignorant and unspeakably foolish.
(While we’re on the subject, here’s a little something about Afghanistan you may not know/deliberately ignored. The regular Afghan people did not enjoy the Taliban government, and many appreciate the aid given to them by ISAF forces. My friends who’ve come back tell me how people have cried with joy because their daughters can now go to school, and did you know the Taliban tried to destroy a hydro-electric dam in Helmand to deny the area of electricity? “Murdering Muslims”; no, defending them. Apart from the lunatic American soldiers who view Islam as the enemy, but there, that’s a problem for the Yanks, and the management of the war since ’01 is another story entirely.)
In the eyes of many I’m not a liberal because I criticise people (and not just Muslims, whatever the underlying theme of this post), and a modern liberal does no such thing. No, the modern liberal abandons the culture of his country and dismisses history as irrelevant because as a resident in the modern age, he intrinsically knows better. Look at the European Union, for example, and its ridiculous Human Rights laws, which for some reason have been allowed to dominate our islands. It’s a bit rich when the Europeans (amongst whom we British don’t count ourselves at times like this) who gave the world the Crusades, Napoleonic aggression, the Inquisition and the Holocaust are lecturing us on human rights (Christ, what did they fight those two wars for?).
I lament for Britain and its population, especially as I know I’ll likely never live here again. I’ve been here the last few weeks and know that my time in Britain (on a permanent basis, anyway) is long since over, and that my future lies elsewhere. But I’ll take the liberal values and gentlemanly conduct that my country once held dear with me always, and damn the Georgians who disagree with me.