Pining for Servitude

A recent poll by Marketwatch showed that 36% of millenials have a favorable view of Communism. Given that this is an ideology that killed upwards of 100 million people during the 20th century we have to wonder whether there is not a very unhealthy streak of masochism present in our societies. How else can this be explained?

Still, the level of ignorance required to sing the praises of an ideology that enslaves and demeans on an industrial scale is utterly breathtaking. Perhaps Gary Kasporov, former world chess champion who was born under Communism said it best: “It’s nice they have opinions about communism now, because once you’re living in it you don’t get to have an opinion about it anymore.”

We see this willingness to suspend belief in reality equally clearly in attitudes towards Islam in the West. Although not many Westerners are ready to embrace Islam lock, stock and barrel we do find many people who are ready to praise it to the skies as exemplifying peace, love and tolerance. I’m not quite sure how “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them…” (Qur’an 9:29) gels with this, but facts are rarely allowed to get in the way of ideologically correct opinions. This means that people are sometimes, or rather often, able to maintain positions in the face of all evidence to the contrary.

In his novel 1984 George Orwell hit the nail on the head with a description of the mental contortions that those who embrace totalitarian ideologies have to make by listing ‘The Party’s’ key slogan as:

War is peace

Freedom is slavery

Ignorance is strength

Still people cannot be made to deny reality forever. This basic fact was behind the eventual fall of Communism in Europe. One of the most moving experiences of my entire life was seeing a video by the Czech anti-Communist resistance singer Karel Kryl that was playing on a loop in the Praque Museum of Communism. At the heart of it was the word ‘Dekuji’ (‘Thank You’ in Czech). In a deeply moving way he gives thanks for things like tears, weakness and the fact that his people were brought totally low by their subjugation – as this was what eventually motivated them to rise up and throw off their chains. (You can see the video, with English subtitles, here)

Desperation eventually led to freedom. But only after many years of suffering for millions. May it not be that the descendants of today’s cheerleaders for totalitarianism will one day have to write similar songs.


My book ‘The House Built on Sand’ is an exploration, in the form of a novel, of one way in which the totalitarian ideology of Islam can be confronted by digging deep into its history. Get your copy today at: www.thehousebuiltonsand.com


Hijab – Are Campaigners Facing the Wrong Way?

Amid everything else that is going on in Iran at present, the country also lost its only female Olympic medallist. Kimia Alizadeh competed for her homeland in Taekwondo at the 2016 Rio Olympics where she won a bronze medal. In a statement she cited the fact that she was forced to wear a hijab as one of the reasons behind her decision to defect.

If you are familiar with the recent history of the hijab in the west that last sentence is bound to strike you as a little strange (at least if you follow the party line). From Linda Sarsour channelling her inner-Obama on Women’s March posters to Nike bringing out a ‘sports hijab’, the dominant narrative seems to be that the hijab is somehow a symbol of female liberation. Given that the most common Islamic explanation behind the need for the hijab is that it protects women through reining in male sexual desire, the defence of this garment, by those who would normally loudly denounce any focus on the effect of female clothing on men as ‘slut shaming’, is bewildering to say the least. Then again, logical consistency has never been a hallmark of wokeness.

Perhaps the strangest expression of the hijabi cheerleading that exploded in most western countries over the past decade or so is #WorldHijabDay. On the 1st of February women around the world are encouraged to don the hijab for a day. One of the stated aims of this day, which is enthusiastically promoted on college campuses, is to promote the right of women to wear the hijab. Given that this right is enshrined in all western countries already (admittedly some ban the full-face veil), and that many reports where hijabs were pulled from Muslim women have been shown to be hoaxes, one struggles to see why this issue needs to be highlighted.

I strongly suspect that the bigger issue surrounding the hijab around the world is the fact that women, and often very young girls, are forced to wear it. This has been highlighted to me on several flights out of the Middle East where ladies around me got rid of their headscarfs almost as soon as the flight was airborne. Alizadeh’s protest is but the tip of the iceberg. In fact, over recent months Iran’s prisons were filled with women who defied the regime by taking off what they regarded as a hateful symbol of their subjugation.

This brings us to some vital questions: Will those behind #WorldHijabDay issue a statement in support of Alizadeh’s right NOT to wear the hijab? Will Linda Sarsour denounce the mullahs in Iran for their oppression of women who simply want to feel the wind in their hair? In Iran an image of a young lady holding her hijab on a stick, to symbolise her utter rejection of it, went viral. Will western feminists track her down to make sure that she tells her story on every single talk show out there?

Somehow, I’m not holding my breath.


‘Nothing to do with Islam? – Investigating the West’s Most Dangerous Blind Spot’ Get your copy today!