Satire has been a sanctuary historically monopolized by progressives, originally used as a discreet tool against Western religious fundamentalism. Of course, an authentic Muslim should not dress well, speak lucidly nor drink, of all things, a skinny flat white coffee. The real Muslim is scruffy. A credible Muslim can only be inarticulate, someone who requires an intermediary to ‘explain’ their anger, invariably through the prism of leftist ideological dogma. And if a Muslim does speaks for themselves, they must only do so when full of rage, obviously.
As another blogger accurately noted in response, the problem begins when journalists and others seek out “community representatives,” or “credible Muslim voices” to fit into convenient boxes. This relies on so many assumptions that it is hard to know where to begin. Not all Muslims wish to express themselves in public through a communal religious identity. Identities are multiple, and some may wish to speak instead just as citizens in their professional capacity, through their political party, or their neighborhood body. Those Muslim who do speak through their communal religious identity are not homogenous. This particularly holds true because majoritarian Islam has no organized clergy, and no pope. The question of religious “representation” becomes particularly difficult to achieve as a result. And in its most extreme sense it is undesirable anyway, leading logically to nothing but ISIS-style bloodshed and theocracy. Muslim “credibility” is just as flimsy an idea to pursue doggedly. In fact, this is nothing but a variant of the African-American “not black enough” theme. Who decides whose “Muslim experience” is real, and whose is not? Is the credible Muslim only he who dresses in Arab robes, eats spicy food and drinks cava? And yet we then worry about profiling?
The great irony is that, unlike many of today’s champagne socialists and shisha-jihadists my entire life has been a prototype of their archetypal aggrieved Muslim. Unlike the Guardian’s private school, Oxbridge-educated journalist David Shariatmadari, I am a state school-educated Muslim and racial minority. I have been stabbed at by neo-Nazis, falsely arrested at gunpoint by Essex police, expelled from college, divorced, estranged from my child, and tortured in Egyptian prison, and mandatorily profiled. I’ve had my DNA forcibly taken at Heathrow Airport under Schedule 7 Laws, which deprive terror suspects of the right to silence at UK ports of entry and exit, among much else. I’ve been blacklisted from other countries. I am every grievance regressive leftists traditionally harp on. Yet their first-world bourgeois brains seem to malfunction because I refuse to spew theocratic hate, or fit their little “angry Muslim” box. Yet they talk to me about privilege, and non-fat lattes?