Marginalisation of Muslims and organisations like CAGE

Katy Sian’s brilliant response to Max Farrar’s attempts to vilify human rights organisation CAGE:


“Alas Max Farrar, the difficulty of your approach is that you consistently fail to accept that collective identities are not predetermined and that the process of mobilization is constitutive of a people. The idea that class based formations are the only legitimate sources of identification and empowerment is continually belied by the experience of ethnic minorities who find solace in what are typically termed religious identities.
There is a clear lack of appreciation, and to some extent a denial, for the possibility of so-called religious identities becoming political. The mobilisation of Muslims in your reading will always be presented as a form of ‘fundamentalism’ and by definition a reactionary rather than a progressive politics, in which the usual disclaimers apply, e.g. ‘women are seen to be ‘subordinated’ and ‘oppressed;’ issues around homophobia; restrictions on free speech; victimhood and playing the ‘race’ card; and of course fairness or equality are ‘dismissed’ within these communities.

The only answer that your analysis can offer is one based upon an essentialism which determines the characteristics of any politics from the classification from its agents. Therefore, politics (and the political) remain a secondary phenomena throughout ethnicised communities where primordial loyalties and solidarities are immune to the process of political articulation and intervention. Unfortunately in your limited attack of CAGE you can only offer generic notions of ‘fundamentalism’ at best, which display the Eurocentrism inherent in many sections of the left. As you claim to be a long term fan of Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, I wonder what you would think he would make of your position in aligning yourself with such a neocon led campaign against a human rights advocacy organization?”

Katy Sian wrote the above response on social media in support of Tom Mills, David Miller and Narzanin Massoumi who have written about the brilliant work of CAGE, as well as about the attempts to derail this work in the name of War on Terror. 


Why on earth would leftists go out of their way to support Cage? by TOM MILLS, NARZANIN MASSOUMI, DAVID MILLER, and MAX FARRAR (13 August 2015)

Apologists for terror or defenders of human rights? The Cage controversy in context by TOM MILLS, NARZANIN MASSOUMI, and DAVID MILLER (31 July 2015)

Categories: Diaspora, Diversity & Difference, Rethinking The World, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , ,

4 replies »

  1. Could you explain why you say CAGE is a human rights organisation? Even they don’t say they are.

  2. I’d question Katy’s assertions that ethnic minorities mobilise around religious identities; it’s true that many or even most do, but others don’t. It’s important to consider the safety of those that don’t.

    There’s a massive big row going on about this very issue in Bangladesh – maybe you’ve read about it? Are all those murdered secular bloggers ‘eurocentric’?

    In terms of religious mobilisations, it’s possible to distinguish between progressive and reactionary mobilisations. I can’t speak for Max Farrar but I expect he’s capable of it too. Some religious groups that seem progressive to me: CDD in Latin America, Jews for Justice in Palestine/Jewish voices for Peace in UK/US, Sisters in Islam in Malaysia, Inclusive Mosque initiative here, etc.

    CAGE does important legal work, yes, but is it progressive? Does Katy think al Qaeda is progressive? Because CAGE promotes the mileu of al Qaeda. You can see this in their invitation to Abu Qatada at an Iftar last Ramadan.

    Begg has for years argued for dialogue with Abu Qatada and the al Qaeda milieu e.g. al Nusra front who recently slaughtered a village of Druze.

    This is consistent with Begg’s support for the Taliban at the time when they were engaging in ethnic cleansing of minorities in Afghanistan.

    Does Katy even read the papers?

    What a crazy world we’re in when people who don’t think al Qaeda supporters are progressive get labeled ‘eurocentric’.

    ps – no one, including CAGE, thinks they are a human rights advocacy organisation. LOL.

  3. Why do you have a comments section if no one can leave a comment? Mine wasn’t inappropriate, it was a reasonable response to a smear of someone I respect. You can’t just go around calling people racist all the time and expect no comeback.

  4. oh I see first comment is still in moderation, sorry, couldn’t see that at first.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *