Tuesday 19 January 2016

There's always most shoving where there's least room - Tulip Siddiq edition


Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP made a storming ad hominem yesterday in parliament in which she accused the target of her hatred, Donald Trump, of everything short of eating babies. It was a tour-de-force of political hatchet jobs, loose on facts and big on sweeping statements.

Now don't get me wrong, I've not much time for Donald Trump. Indeed when the choice for Americans seems to between a demagogic nutter and Hillary Clinton, the USA really needs to examine what's wrong with its politics.

However, Tulip Siddiq needs to address something much closer to home - her Aunt is the prime minister of Bangladesh and leads a regime accused of a host of human rights violations from fomenting religious division through using the courts to suppress political opposition to arresting atheist bloggers. Here, from Human Rights Watch:

Political violence has continued since 2014 national elections that were boycotted by the opposition. Hundreds have been killed and injured, with both government forces and opposition militants responsible. The country’s security forces have carried out enforced disappearances, killings, and arbitrary arrests, particularly targeting opposition leaders and supporters, with impunity. The ruling Awami League has put increasing pressure on the country’s already beleaguered civil society. Following the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013 that killed more than 1,000 garment workers, labor laws were amended to make it easier for workers to unionize, but this has not stopped intimidation and threats. Unfair war crimes trials arising out of Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence continue, followed by executions of those convicted.

Perhaps the thing most relevant to Siddiq's attack on Trump is the official support in Bangladesh for clamp downs on 'atheists':

It was not until two hours later that Mohiuddin, a self-declared "atheist," was arrested. He was the fourth of the so-called "atheist" bloggers taken into police custody since April 1 in the country for writing articles that Islamist fundamentalists found defamatory. The arrest came as Mohiuddin was recovering from wounds he suffered in an attack allegedly carried out by Islamist fundamentalists in January.

So when Siddiq attacks Trump for religious bigotry, she is also attacking her Aunt who leads a regime that is actively promoting a religious monoculture. Indeed (and this may be because he hasn't thought of it yet) Trump hasn't called for the imprisonment of US Muslims - Sheikh Hasina, Siddiq's aunt, is complicit in the incarceration of people simply for being atheists who criticise Islam.

So the message that should go to Tulip Siddiq isn't any sort of cheery well done for her ad hominem on Donald Trump but rather to ask why she's said nothing about the gross human rights abuses in the country where her aunt in prime minister? As my mum always said - there's always most shoving where there's least room!


1 comment:

singapore sling said...

So Trump and Hill are the only options, eh? Does this mean you haven't felt the Bern?

I'll be supporting #sanders2016 thanks.