Friday, December 28, 2007

The Apostate: a city blog by an ex-Moslem

City progressives routinely condescend to Muslims, though they apparently don't even know they are doing it. Last year Bruce Brugmann, publisher of the Bay Guardian, had this response to my question about the Guardian's silence during the controversy over the Danish cartoons:

There are lots of issues we are "silent" on, because we are a small SF paper with limited resources and lots to say about lots of things, mainly local. More: people who know us would know our position. Which was and is that we thought the cartoon assignment was a pretty dumb and insensitive one, but we would support the paper's right to publish the cartoons. However, we would not publish them in the Guardian to make the point, because others were publishing them and they were available on the web. No point in adding gratuitous logs to the fire.

Thus, taking a position critical of the Islamic fanatics who were trying to intimidate the Western media is seen as "insensitive" and/or "adding gratuitous logs to the fire" of the controversy. Brugmann actually dodged my question, which was not about the Guardian reprinting the cartoons---though that's what he should have done---but its complete editorial silence on the issue. (My question: "During the kerfuffle about the Danish Muhammad cartoons last year, the Guardian was silent. Why?") The Guardian fancies itself as a defender of a free press, but it didn't publish anything on this blatant attempt---mostly successful in San Francisco---at intimidating the media. Only the SF Chronicle published an editorial condemning the cartoon riots. The Guardian, the Examiner, and the SF Weekly were silent.

But here's a blog by a woman who is ethnically Pakistani, grew up in Saudi Arabia, and now lives in San Francisco. Brugmann should consult her about "sensitivity" when---as is inevitable---the next Islamist attempt to bully our media arises.

* "There are no lengths to which Muslim women will not go to prove that western women are just as oppressed as they are. And there is no limit to the number of western feminists who will swallow this shit hook line and sinker. And beg for more."

Her account of the effects of Islam as it is practiced in Saudi Arabia:

* "Twenty of my twenty-four years were spent in close contact with Muslims, exclusively in Muslim countries. Before I came to the United States, I had never even visited a Western country. My parents, even, had never visited a Western country. Now that I am no longer a Muslim and don’t live in a Muslim country, my connection with Islam does not suddenly disappear, nor do my grievances against what it has done to my life evaporate. I have built a new and better life in the U.S., but I’ve paid a heavy price: I’ve lost my family, I’ve given up all right to public security or the government’s support in my native country, I’m committed to lying about my religious status in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia (where my family lives, whom I have not seen in 4 1/2 years) or foreswear visiting these countries that I called home for most of my life, I’m condemned to never have full acceptance in my own culture, by my own people."

* "I’m bitter that if my own mother is to accept me (and we were unimaginably close), I have to lie to her. I hate ever having to fear that my father might kill me if he ever sees me again. It twists my insides to know that pictures of me are unacceptable to parents who haven’t seen me in years because I don’t dress to suit their beliefs. I’m bitter that I was prevented for most of my life from enjoying the freedoms that are my right and that I always wanted, at every stage of my life. Such deprivation, for so long, doesn’t just *poof* disappear when the immediate cause is removed. Not only have I lost my family, I have lost access to my birthplace and my roots. If I miss how the sun shines on the Red Sea in Jeddah, I can’t just go back and visit."

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