Nigh on three years ago I published a short pasquinade on this blog; the subject of my mockery back then, a cretinous individual masquerading as a journalist with a penchant for penning philippics against the Muslim community. A community to which she supposedly belongs. You can read the post here: https://maskedavenger1.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/a-tale-of-three-women/ . I signed off the piece with an undertaking not to write about this clown again and so would it have been but for the recent news that she has been employed by The Sunday Times.
The Sunday Times occupies a prestigious place in the hierarchy of broadsheet publications with a circulation equalling that of its two main rivals, The Sunday Telegraph and The Observer combined. Its enviable record for investigative reporting and the superlative literary quality of its articles a testament to its policy of hiring only the most talented and accomplished journalists. Always unabashedly right-wing in its outlook, sadly in recent years the paper, along with its sister publication The Times, has acquired a reputation for promoting an overtly anti-Muslim agenda in tandem with a distinctly neo-conservative slant on foreign affairs. Notwithstanding this unfortunate editorial line it remains one of the premier newspapers in the English language medium. Which brings us back to Ms Ramzan.
Why would The Sunday Times hire an obscure reporter whose CV – as far as I can discern – consists of little more than a stint at the Oldham Chronicle investigating local parking problems and penning a handful of articles on commensurately enthralling subjects? Given this, one might be forgiven for surmising her personal blog (https://iramramzan.wordpress.com) forming the justification for her employment. Perhaps it was this veritable smorgasbord of incisive interviews, insightful opinion pieces and bold investigative articles on topical subjects (all served in profluent, lapidary prose) that caught the attention of the The Sunday Times’ editorial team? Except it comprises none of those. It is instead (mostly) a menagerie of tendentious, rambling broadsides targeted at the mainstream Muslim community – its normative beliefs and practises – and anyone with the temerity to speak in its defence. The pieces exhibit neither literary finesse nor intellectual heft, with the sophistication of language employed not surpassing what would be expected of an average GCSE student. I once showed an example of her writing to a friend, a journalist and author of considerable repute, for a second opinion. They agreed that the language and style was basic and unsophisticated and not something they would normally expect to find gracing the pages of a renowned broadsheet publication.
Although Ms Ramzan’s employment by The Sunday Times is a recent development, she has previously written two short pieces for them: “Jewish Victims, Muslim Shame” and “Dreams of romance and redemption lure young women to jihad” (both available on her blog site). While the titles would have been editorial choices judging by their content they were apt enough. Both pieces discursive diatribes, berating the Muslim community – ‘her’ community – essentially for its refusal to abjure Islamic values and embrace liberal mores. The trope that all (or at least most) of the world’s ills somehow have their genesis in Islamic scriptural pronouncements is one that has gained considerable purchase amongst the Western political class and it is one Ms Ramzan is only too happy to riff on. And therein lies the answer to the puzzle – for Ms Ramzan’s employment was not by virtue of her journalistic or literary talents (practically non-existent) but as an expediency, both to provide brown ‘Muslim’ cover for The Sunday Times’ incessant Islamophobia and to palliate the extent of their anti-Muslim animus.
Ms Ramzan joins the ranks of Maajid Nawaz, Adam Deen (aka Hakkan Cerrah), Sara Khan and others whose only utility in the discourse on Islam and European identity is to serve as paragons of what the British state would like their Muslim citizens to be – secular, irreligious and most importantly, shorn of loyalty to the global Muslim community (‘Ummah’). Who better, for the task of undermining the foundations of the Islamic identity, than a brown person with an Arabic name; someone who can preface their invectives with “As a Muslim…”. When policy proposals that would curtail/outlaw normative Islamic practises need formulating who better to “consult” than an oleaginous claque of “reformist Muslims” eager to bestow their imprimatur upon any directive aimed at Islamic orthodoxy. The willing aquiescence of such individuals in the weaponizing of their heritage against the community they were raised in is the reason they face its intense opprobrium.
Every minority community has it’s Nawazs, Deens, Khans, Rays and Ramzans – people who for various reasons have rejected the beliefs, values and political aspirations of their heritage for those of the majority. Where such individuals merely seek to entertain a lifestyle (e.g. drunken carousing at a strip bar during Ramadan) at odds with the expectations of the Muslim mainstream nobody much cares, by prostituting themselves, however, to a programme of coercive assimilation they inevitably draw its ire. This understandable anger and backlash is then used to contrive a deceitful narrative of victimhood. The reality, of course, is that with the machinery of the state and mainstream press backing them, they are anything but.
Although ostensibly the focus of this blog post in truth it’s not really Ms Ramzan that I take issue with – she is but the hapless dangling marionette. No, my real ire is reserved for the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Michael Gove, Eric Pickles, Amber Rudd, Peter Clarke, Tony Blair, William Shawcross and the entire parasitic neo-conservative galère infesting the corridors of power in Whitehall. Those in hock to corporate interests or the Zionist lobby (with the two having considerable overlap) view the preservation of Muslim communal identity in Europe as part of a much wider pushback against Western (and by implication Israeli) hegemony in the Middle East (and Muslim world in general). This is what lies at the heart of their angst, with supposed concerns about terrorism, “Muslim female empowerment”, “social cohesion” and the like, merely the concealing foliage.
May the peace and blessings of Allah (swt) be upon sayyidina Muhammad. Ameen.