Who now believes that rights are all very well for Englishmen but not for the lesser breeds? Who now says that the emancipation of women is essential for white-skinned women in the West but not brown-skinned women in the East? Who, in short, is the inheritor of the old imperialist double standard?
Go to any university and you will hear stark warnings about “imposing Western values” on different cultures. You will be told loudly that it is “inappropriate” to argue against Afghan women wearing the burka, even when Afghan men have forced them to wear it. Try to say that all gays should enjoy the right to sexual equality, and Muslim regimes that impose the death penalty on homosexuals must be fought, and you will be accused, as my friend Peter Tatchell was accused, of being an “Islamophobe”, “racist” and “collaborator with the extreme Right”. Maintain that freedom of speech is a universal human right that no cleric can restrict, and you will hear that you are allowing the incitement of racism and may well be a racist yourself. Say that we must show solidarity with feminists and trade unionists fighting theocrats, and you will be told, as I have been told, that they are “native informers” of the West.