Mandela fought and died so that one day imperialist Black presidents can take selfies with imperialist White prime ministers in harmony.
In Germany, migrants from ‘Muslim countries’ applying for nationality are required to pass a discriminatory ‘Muslim Test’ which asks questions such as: What would you do if your son was gay? In the Netherlands, applicants are asked to react to a video showing two men kissing. Drawing on the work of Chandra Talpade Mohanty (1991) and of Jasbir Puar (2007) the article shows how it is not incidental that the attention drawn to non-Western and Muslim gender and sexual regimes comes at the same time as the ‘War on Terror’, the increase in restrictive migration policies and the general upsurge in Islamophobia. The authors point out how, ‘gay rights’ and gender equality, even though they were achieved very recently and not at all exhaustively, have become symbols of the civilisation and modernity of Western countries.
There are further parallels between the abolitionist and the Islamophobic discourse: Instead of working with Muslim or non-white non-Western queer organisations (or even simply listening to what they are saying), the tendency for majority white, western gay rights and queer groups is to talk for them, to “save them”- ignoring and re-enforcing the multiple oppressions at stake.
Imperialistic states Israel and the U.S. mainly, but not limited to, use the issue of gay rights to depict themselves as progressive and forward thinking compared to Muslim-majority countries which are depicted as primitive backwards, and inferior in order to justify the “war on terror”, invading and appropriating narratives of non-western, often non-white, queer Muslims. This ideology has recently come to be known pinkwashing, which in its simplest terms is ”the attempt by a state or people to highlight its treatment of gays to show how progressive it is, in turn covering up human rights violations from which it wishes to detract attention.” People love to talk about the censorship and control media in the Middle East but completely overlook this type of censorship, where the issue of non-heteronormative sexuality is used to further Otherize and depict Muslim-majority countries as backwards and not up to par with the progressive and superior imperialistic places like U.S., Israel and Britain apparently….
The Peacocks | Older than punk
A group of South African activists hung pro-Palestine banners at the stadium where Nelson Mandela’s memorial was held.
The posters were put up by BDS South Africa, the leading organization in the country advocating for boycotts, divestment and sanctions targeting Israel. Five of the posters were hung before the memorial service.
The banners, which showcased a photo of Mandela and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat together, displayed a famous Mandela quote. ”We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians,” Mandela, the African National Congress leader, said in 1997.
Mandela’s memorial was attended by numerous leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Knesset members like Likud member and settlement resident Yuli Edelstein. Haaretz‘s Gideon Levy and Alex Levac reported that the slogan “Free Palestine” could be heard during the memorial.