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Friday, February 02, 2007

How to get a hearing

'Then there are elements that don't fit easily into the cliches of either left or right. For example, the Policy Exchange report highlights the way in which young British Muslims react against the hedonistic, promiscuous, binge-drinking, value-lite culture they see among their contemporaries. "I decided to wear hijab because I didn't like the way that women are portrayed as sex objects" (Female, Muslim, 21, Oxford). "The bad thing, and I don't know how we can solve this, is that they [the British] don't really know what their values are. So when they are attacked they kind of seem to be making it up...' (Female, Muslim, 22, Leeds). These are voices worth listening to.'

- says Timothy Garton Ash (who by the paper's standards is a model of moderation and rationality) in the Grauniad.

Funny, isn't it, how conservative Christian 'voices' speaking out against exactly the same things never seem to be 'worth listening to'. The lesson is simple: if you want a liberal hearing for a conservative cultural critique, carry a rucksack that ticks audibly. Liberalism as moral inversion doesn't get much more shameless than this. How long before we start reading in the Grauniad that Muslim objections to homosexuality are 'worth listening to'?

I'm by no means a fan of that 'hedonistic, promiscuous, binge-drinking, value-lite culture', in fact it appals me, but I don't want it patrolled by religious police nicking anyone whose skirt length infringes the decency laws. And sooner any number of Saturday night orgies than one more 7/7. There is simply no common cause to be made with someone whose scale of evils is the inverse of ones own.

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