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Islamophobia at Dublin’s ‘March For Choice’

Islamophobia at Dublin's 'March For Choice'

POSTER READS: ‘Last time I checked I was not living in a sharia state. Religion has no place in legislation! Pro choice”

I saw a picture of this poster in an album of Dublin’s prochoice march.

I don’t understand what the Sharia law has to do with Ireland, the main religion which is catholicism? Why couldn’t it say something about how Catholicism still dominates irish customs?

What does the Sharia law have to do with a catholic country? What’s it to do with Ireland not giving its people access to abortion and aftercare support?

Nothing at fucking all.

Just an excuse to criticize anything to do with islam and/or countries that practice islam. Just another excuse to remind people that there’s something apparently worse out there; sure shouldn’t Westerners be happy we aren’t like ‘those’ countries at least?

Fair enough if Ireland was an islam country whose laws are influenced by its religion which results in restriction to abortion, the poster would then make perfect sense. BUT the sharia law has nothing to do with Ireland so what on earth is the point of this poster exactly?

This sad belief that ‘The West’ is better and more civilized than those barbaric countries with their barbaric religions have got to stop. Dare I say that irritating phrase? ‘I can’t believe this still happens in 2012!’

Awful things happen in the west too; the West isn’t some magical land where all the good lovely stuff exists and all the terrible yucky, racist, sexist, restrictive-laws-influenced-by-religion-which-affects-women only exists in places outside the West.

Where did this idea come from that you should expect great things in a western country that doesn’t have sharia law and if a western country behaves like ‘those’ cultures with the crude religions, it’s something really REALLY bad? Get over this western imperialism, the west is no better in terms of treating it’s people with respect as anywhere else in the world.

I might as well make a sign that reads “Mitt Romney is a racist, legalize abortion now!” for all the sense it makes since some American dude in the US has nothing to do with Irish law and politics.

No one is saying there’s nothing problematic about Romney or the Sharia law but to derail a march to talk about something completely different is tacky and pathetic. I can write about some of the crude, uncivilized, tasteless, primitive things about Ireland- being a state that doesn’t have sharia law doesn’t exempt this country from the unfair ways it treats it’s citizens. Get it together.

25 responses »

  1. Bebhinn Farrell

    Hi. Just want to say that one marcher and their sign absolutely does not represent the entire march, the views of Irish pro-choice women, or the organisers of the march. That said, excellent blog and I agree with your point.

  2. I’m going to go out on a limb here, and guess that the number of words on that poster is considerably greater than the number of things the person holding it actually knows about sharia law.

  3. Pingback: Islamophobia at the March for Choice!

  4. Cato, either provide constructive criticism or don’t bother posting


  5. When was sharia enacted in Ireland? Last time I checked it was a catholic country. I fear for the future if this is representative of our population

    • Actually it is a democratic country whereby people of all faiths and none are free to worship and rights, like that of the unborn, are protected under the constitution. The above story is a joke. The person rightly sees Sharia as the backward primitive medieval law system that it is and wants to engage in moral equivalence. Well done on missing the point.

  6. What exactly is wrong with “Islamophobia”?

    If it means disliking many of the teachings of Islam (in particular as they relate to women) then yes I am Islamophobic.

    (Of course phobia means fear, not dislike but that is how the term is used.)

    BTW I am also “phobic” towards the Catholic church and some other organised religions.

    Is that OK?

  7. A bit harsh imo.

    Better not to ascribe sentiments to others..

    Do you have a special phrase for dislike/fear of the Catholic church?

    ‘Cos I do dislike it (not its members) as I do political Islam…

  8. Sharia is codified approach to discriminating against women, based on their gender. I suggest that the author lives and works in a county with sharia for a while. The treatment of women in general in Sharia states is significantly worse than any Western state. That is not imperialism that is a fact. Isn’t it gas that progressive forces in Islamic countries protest against much of the Sharia code, die and suffer for that, while here in west people turn their back on them. Hypocrisy is an awful characteristic.

  9. You “derailed” your own point by writing a bizarre defense of sharia law in the middle of your article. The person who made the sign is clearly using Sharia law as something representative of modern theocracy. There are no states in the West operating their legal system SOLELY from laws in the bible in the way that Sharia states are (mis)using the Qu’ran.

    • Please name me some ”Sharia states”. I would be very interested to know what you even mean by that.

    • Sorry for not replying back, only seeing all these comments now.

      I don’t understand what you mean by sharia states, what do you mean?

      It’s true that no western country has a legal system based just on just their religion, my concern is that as usual, the west is very ethnocentric in their attitudes to non-western regions and unless things are done exactly the way the West wants, it demonizes a whole bunch of muslim people who are for or against the Sharia law.

      Criticizing how western media dominates attitudes about non-western places does not equal: ‘everything a non-western country does is actually really great!’

      Nobody denies the bullshit a lot of people experience under the Sharia law, my worry is how western media reports news about non-white dominated religions in a way that furthers their own sense of superiority, which is cultural imperialism.

      • Sharia states == states where sharia law is the law of the country..

        (But you knew that I think.)

        You say that “(the West) demonizes a whole bunch of muslim people who are for or against the Sharia law”.

        To disgree with the *idea/policy* of incorporating the rules of a particular religion as the law of a country is in no way to “demonize” people (Muslim or not).

        You equate criticism of non-Western political structures with “cultural imperialism”.

        To use your term, that’s “bullshit”.

        • I asked for clarification because there are some states where laws are governed by both christian and islamic religions (like my own country where only the North is sharia-ruled while the rest are christian based and its why there’s huge religion-based conflict going on there at the moment)

          hence me asking for clarification.

          I don’t fully equate critizim of non-western political structures as cultural imperialism, I am concerned with how western media govern news about non-west countries in a way that puts the west on a pedestal. Critizism of non-western political structures are fine. The former (which is what happens) is not; I don’t see why that’s bullshit? I think you’re under the impression that I don’t believe in critizing countries’ political structures at all.

  10. Pingback: Linkspam me up, Scotty: feminism edition. « Consider the Tea Cosy

  11. All religions are rubbish. Christianity is misogynistic and homophobic but so is Islam. Women & gays in Islamic states do not live in some kind of idyll, life is grim there. Very grim if you are a gay activist or a feminist.

    Islam is the enemy of all women and gays even more so than Christianity.

    By not criticising Sharia “law” you are stabbing women and gays in the back in those countries. Islam is worse than Christianity as it has never had a Reformation; nor has it been exposed to an Enlightenment. I am not aware of any Christian country where women or gays are stoned to death for sexual “crimes”.

    I write the above as an anti-imperialist and anti-war activist. I oppose any Imperialist aggression towards Iran but I also want to see the mullahs overthrown from within and from below.

    No to imperialist war! No to sanctions!
    No to the theocratic regime!

  12. Pingback: Linkspam me up, Scotty: feminism edition.

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