The perils of moderation in critique

We have been conditioned to accept that moderation is a virtue – and in most situations it is. However, it is important to detect situations where political correctness disguises  itself as moderation and preys upon the discourse like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

We have come to accept that religion and religious doctrine have to be treated with utmost deference. Even if we are commenting on actions that clearly have their roots in religious dogma, we are expected to tread carefully lest we give offense to the faith or the faithful. This etiquette is considered “being moderate” and put on a pedestal. At first glance this seems to be reasonable – even admirable  – but I would like to posit that these virtues deplete their utility and actually pose a serious threat.

Consider the case of 13 year old Ayesha Ibrahim Duhulow – the Somali girl that was stoned to death for the capital crime of being raped!

[Details of this case are at : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7708169.stm].  This should be nauseatingly repulsive to everyone but the outrage  is expressed (by BBC) in such neutral tones that it is almost intellectually dishonest. What *exactly* are we outraged by? The fact that a public execution took place? The fact that it was a barbaric act? The fact that it was a girl? The fact that she was a minor? The fact that she was actually a gang-rape victim? The fact that  a 1000 people witnessed it like a soccer game?

Most people I know would say : “All of the above”.

When something offends us so deeply and in so many ways, should we not expect it of ourselves to inquire and expose what lies at the root of it? The BBC talks about a great many aspects of this gruesome episode – but side-steps the fundamental fact that this was a grotesquely authentic  expression of Islamic Jurisprudence.  The fact that Islam and its commandments played a central role in this macabre event is never even mentioned – leave alone examined with any rigor.

It seems the BBC wants to be ‘moderate‘ in its reportage lest it gives offense to the millions of “devout muslims”.  Is this moderation or is it political correctness? Should we be moderate while expressing disgust – nay – contempt toward such a system of (in)justice?   In my opinion, No. In fact – HELL NO!

Now let us talk about the other type of moderates – i.e ‘moderate’  Muslims, whose adherence to scripture is somewhat tempered by modern tenets like “human rights”.  How many of  these ‘moderates’ criticize the swine of Somalia with the same vigour,  tenacity and indignation that they reserved for the newspaper publishers who carried the cartoons of Prophet Mohammed?  How about the fatwa-happy clerics who find even Yoga objectionable and un-islamic;  did any of these mild-mannered men-of-god find it in themselves to condemn this?  Did anyone say that it is sacrilegious or blasphemous to commit such evil under the glorious name of Islam and bring dis-repute to it? No. And you know why? Because Islam *specifically* permits – nay – demands  it.

By not exposing this simple but vulgar reality, the BBC has just aided and abetted this heinous crime.

To be fair, Islam is not unique  in this kind of barbarity. Earlier doctrines are equally pernicious but secular thinking has brought society from the dark-ages into modernity where practices like stoning would be roundly condemned and criminal penalties imposed EVEN IF they carried biblical sanction. The world of Islam, by contrast, is intellectually stunted by its inability to countenance critique (hell – they can’t even handle a cartoon) and hence there is no impetus for improvement. We facilitate this stultification by treating religion in general, and Islam in particular, with undeserved deference. Even in clear-as-daylight cases like little Ayesha, we cannot gather the gumption to say that such doctrinal commandments are *evil*.  How can we possibly confront more nuanced issues like Islamic terror which hides behind excuses like historial injustice and political alienation?

Along with Ayesha, there was a second killing and a second corpse that was buried.  It goes by the name of “Truth”.  After the stoning was over, nobody so much as tossed a petal in the direction of the two carcasses of Ayesha and the Truth.

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3 Responses

  1. Very well put!!!

  2. thanks watercat. Just saw your (Uzza’s) Blog at http://uzzas.blogspot.com/. Good Show!

  3. Please watch the Docu-Movie DIVINE STONE – a romatic love story punched with lots of authentic references.

    It is dedicated to Ayesha Ibrahim Duhulow.

    http://www.hasanmahmud.com/2012/index.php/movie

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