‘Human rights’ activist Owen Jones’ silence on Afghanistan is reprehensible

By William Hallowell | Editor 

It is often left-wing voices that are the loudest on international humanitarian issues – so why are they silent on Afghanistan?


Mouthpieces for the modern left-wing movement in Britain – like Owen Jones or Zarah Sultana – often cannot help sticking their noses into international affairs, usually in the name of the “social justice” cause; the Black Lives Matter and Free Palestine movements are two prominent examples.


When it comes to affairs of race or Islam, Britain’s left-wing movement presents itself as the bastion for such social justice and pursuit of equality. Its figures frequently have no qualms with bashing Israel, and Jewish people in general – for we know of the prevalence of endemic anti-Semitism within its movement. Yet, despite this self-portrait as the movement for equality and “progressivism”, the loudest voices on Zionism and religion and race-relation issues more widely, are silent on Afghanistan – but why?


Instead of focusing on the rapidly developing situation in Afghanistan – whereby the Taliban are inevitably soon to claim governance of the country – left-wing commentators like Jones choose to focus on the media-instigated moral panic of incel subculture, following the Plymouth shooting on Thursday.


Jones is probably one of the most influential and vocal of figures who are unreservedly critical of the state of Israel and concern for human rights. Yet, as the Taliban enter Afghanistan’s capital, no concerns over the human rights of women – and the use of Sharia Law that the Taliban will implement – have been raised.


Why are so many left-wing voices of Britain so afraid to criticise Islam-related issues when it is necessary? Why is there so much criticism for the said lack of human rights for Palestinians where the state of Israel is concerned, yet absolutely nothing on the impending lack of human rights for women in Afghanistan as the Taliban are set to claim governance of the civil war-bound state? It is both absolutely appalling and hypocritical.


It is absurd that media figures and politicians should choose to focus far more on the Plymouth shooting, using it as an excuse to perpetuate a greatly hyperbolic and irrational moral panic. Many have said the perpetrator of the shooting, Jake Davison, is a “terrorist”, an “extremist” and a “misogynist”. Are Taliban fighters not all of those things? Given the inevitability of imminent terror attacks by jihadists in America and Britain, where are the cries of “terrorism” and “misogyny” pointed in the direction of the Taliban?


As former Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer put it on BBC News on Sunday morning: Afghanistan is heading for a “humanitarian crisis of epic proportions”. However, instead of focusing on this forthcoming human rights disaster, particularly for Afghan women, Jones chooses to focus his attention on the “terrorism” of the incel subculture. And, it would be completely preposterous to argue that incels are a far greater threat to Britons than the Taliban presently.


But it is not just the rights of women that should be a cause for concern. Carnage is inevitable in Kabul and the wider country over the next few weeks and months, given its warlords pledging to fight Taliban forces to the death. It is foreseeable that journalists, politicians and anyone who the Taliban see as an ideological, political or violent threat will be gunned down, beheaded on camera or strung up from lampposts. Yet, there has been little commentary from the likes of Jones over this. 


Of course, Owen Jones is just one voice of Britain’s left – but he is a loud and influential one, and his neglect of the situation for women’s human rights – or indeed, lack of – and “social justice” in Afghanistan epitomises where our country’s left-wing movement – and its priorities – are going wrong. It is hard to believe that Jones would describe himself as a human rights and gender equality campaigner given his cowardly absence on the topic of Afghanistan.


Image credit: Web Summit 

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