Hemant Mehta Tries to Refute Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Let me repost a recent comment from Dhay:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is another who has condemned “The Biden administration’s cool, calculated and yet incompetent abandonment of the Afghan people…”, in her UnHerd article entitled, “Biden’s most heartless betrayal” and subtitled, “America cares more about pronouns than the fate of Afghan women”.

Ali drew attention to the plight of nineteen million Afghani women who will now be oppressed by Sharia law.

The Biden administration’s cool, calculated and yet incompetent abandonment of the Afghan people stems from two core problems.

https://unherd.com/2021/08/bidens-most-heartless-betrayal/

The first is – I’m paraphrasing – the failure to consider the effect on wider foreign policy and on the US’s standing and influence in the world. But in this long and ascerbic article she’s also criticising Woke liberals, Woke liberals in general:

The second problem informing Biden’s approach concerns the moral decay of Western civilisation. When a fish decays, the head rots first. The same can be said for the West. We’ve become so focused on microaggressions in America that we have lost sight of the macroaggressions happening to women around the world.

In my latest book, Prey, I argue that the modern-day feminist movement in the West does not take seriously the concerns of women in working-class communities, many of whom have immigrant backgrounds, and who face a steady rise of sexual harassment and assault on the streets of their own neighbourhoods.

In today’s perverse American culture, however, more attention is devoted to the use of preferred gender pronouns than to the plight of women whose most basic rights — to education, personal autonomy, the right to be present in a public space — are either removed or under serious threat.

Yep, Ali is saying that Woke liberals are treating macroaggressions against women – that’s real harm against women around the world including women in the West and women in America – as less important than microaggressions – causes of annoyance – against people who want you to use their preferred pronouns.

That’s my introduction over, now to the point.

In his 19 August 2021 post entitled ,“In Piece About Afghan Woman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali Whines About Trans Pronouns”, Hemant Mehta whines about Trans pronouns; and whines about “those [so many] conservative-leaning, can’t-stop-saying-“woke”-as-a-pejorative New Atheist types”, as represented for the moment by Ali.

Mehta and Ali are chalk-and-cheese. To Mehta, convinced that no True Atheist can be a conservative, Ali must seem ritually unclean; her being a card-carrying New Atheist must seem an abomination.

By her logic, no one should ever work to fix domestic problems because there are always existential threats for certain groups elsewhere in the world. Asking people to use someone’s pronouns — a sign of basic respect — is apparently pitted against fighting for women… [becomes incoherent, probably means ‘oppressed by Islamists’ – Dhay.] …

For all the valid points she could make about what the U.S. ought to do to help the people in Afghanistan, she can’t even get through an article without condemning those trying to improve conditions in the U.S… … This isn’t a zero-sum game. You can be furious about the execution of the American pullout — and the way we’re leaving too many innocent people behind — while also acknowledging we have a long way to go ourselves, albeit for different reasons. This knee-jerk desire to belittle other’s problems just because you don’t personally experience them or care about them helps nobody.

https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2021/08/19/in-piece-about-afghan-woman-ayaan-hirsi-ali-whines-about-trans-pronouns/

Perhaps Mehta didn’t read Ali’s article well enough to understand what she wrote, and that she did indeed write it; or perhaps he experienced the same kind of red mist that stops Jerry Coyne from reading and understanding people and ideas he doesn’t like; or perhaps he simply wanted to paint a false picture for propaganda purposes – it’s hard to tell with Mehta, it could be any or perhaps all of these. Far from “condemning those trying to improve conditions in the U.S.”, Ali is plainly a strong advocate for improving conditions for all women in the US – that’s half the population! – especially “women in working-class communities, many of whom have immigrant backgrounds, and who face a steady rise of sexual harassment and assault on the streets of their own neighbourhoods”; and far from belittling these women’s problems “just because you don’t personally experience them”, Ali is herself an immigrant woman with personal experience of women’s problems.

Ali’s complaint against Woke liberals – Woke liberals like Mehta – is that “[They’ve] become so focused on microaggressions in America that [they] have lost sight of the macroaggressions happening to women around the world.” Mehta’s ranting bullshit.

Mehta moves on to complaining about a previous article of Ali’s, “What Islamists and ‘Wokeists’ Have in Common”; he really doesn’t like it, which goes some way to explain his knee-jerk antagonism and willingness to misread her. He quotes:

The two ideologies have distinctive rituals: Islamists shout “Allahu Akbar” and “Death to America”; the Woke chant “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe.” Islamists pray to Mecca; the Woke take the knee. Both like burning the American flag. Both believe that those who refuse conversion may be harassed, or worse. Both take offense at every opportunity and seek not just apologies but concessions. Islamism inveighs against “blasphemy”; Wokeism wants to outlaw “hate speech.” Islamists use the word “Islamophobia” to silence critics; the Woke do the same with “racism.”

To which Mehta replies with his bottom line:

Same thing, apparently. If you have any ideology whatsoever, you’re always part of the problem to these people. That’s the only way you can compare a “Death to America” chant to people fighting for racial justice. It’s all a sign of someone who’s completely lost sight of what’s actually worth fighting for.

Ali’s claim, paraphrased, is that Americans – especially Woke people such as Mehta undoubtedly is – are wrongly prioritising microaggressions instead of macroaggressions, they’ve got their priorities wrong; Mehta’s claims in reply prove her right.

Now what was it Jesus nearly said: “Woe to you, hypocrites! For you focus on Trans pronouns, and have neglected the weightier matters …”

This entry was posted in New Atheism, social justice atheism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hemant Mehta Tries to Refute Ayaan Hirsi Ali

  1. Woke ideology works for the benefit of bored and/or mentally ill middle to upper class narcissists, and nobody else.

  2. Dhay says:

    On the subject of personal pronouns — tangentially, admittedly, but too funny not to mention:

    Issue 1548 of Private Eye magazine contained a cartoon showing a rear view of a naked person, and a child in the crowd yelling, “The emperor’s got no penis.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.