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“Who am I really defending here?” – Ex-Israeli soldiers speak out

Former Israeli soldiers have spoken out about their experiences with the Israeli Defence Force (IDF)

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IDF Soldiers Near Israel Syria Border

Despite the Israeli occupation of Palestine being seventy-four years old, having started in 1948 with the first Nakba, meaning catastrophe and referring to the mass displacement of at least 750,000 Palestinians, many Israelis are learning about the actual occupation just now. A former Israeli Soldier from the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), Joel Carmel, talks about his experience whilst working for the IDF, a job which every Israeli is obliged to do after the age of eighteen. Men have to serve the IDF for at least thirty-two months and women at least twenty-four months. The only people exempt of this obligation are Israeli Arabs or people unable to due to mental or medical reasons.

Carmel, who was born and raised in London and then moved to Israel to serve the Israeli army, talks about his experience whilst working in COGAT, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. Obligations of COGAT include paperwork such as coordinating access to and from the Gaza Strip as well as facilitating international activities and facilitating requests of the Gazan people with regard to Israel in terms of civilian or humanitarian matters.

Some people believe that COGAT is directly involved in the oppression of Palestinians.

Carmel, who first served in the Israeli-Palestinian military coordination office and then in the West Bank, is now part of the organization “Breaking the Silence” alongside many other previous IDF soldiers. Breaking the Silence is an organisation which consists of previous IDF soldiers aiming to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. The organisation has collected and published testimonies by previous IDF soldiers, giving them the opportunity to share their experience and show the general public the reality of Palestinians. It aims to end the occupation.

Looking back Carmel has told that in training “We were told that everything we were doing for the Palestinians was generous, a favour. We didn’t question the bigger picture, like why there are no decent hospitals in the territories, so people have to travel.” He also added: “The army raids your house at 2am and then at 8am you still have to get in line for hours for a permit for the most basic administrative stuff. I think that’s something a lot of Israelis don’t realise.”

Other previous shared similar tragic experiences as IDF soldiers.

A previous soldier, who was employed in the Nablus area said: “I did things I could never bear emotionally today. Entering someone’s house and turning their closet inside out? No way.”

“At a certain point we understood it was a pattern: you would leave a house and the house is gone – after two or three houses you figure out that there’s a pattern. The D9 comes and flattens it,” a previous Sergeant employed in the West Bank in the Deir Al-Balah area admitted. The D9 is a Dozer used by the IDF as a front-line vehicle for anti-terrorism operations.

Another soldier from Hebron admitted about questioning their job: “I think it was the beginning of the crack. I came here to defend my country and then you say to yourself, but this is my country? Is this what my country looks like? Is this how people behave in my country? Who am I really defending here?”

“The level of power and control we have was astonishing,” a twenty-five-year-old man employed near the Beit El settlement admitted.

“I found out we were responsible for approving weapons permits for the Palestinian security forces, which is one of those details you don’t really think about until the stack of paperwork is front of you. It’s little realisations like that, every day, that makes the scale of the occupation really dawn on you.”

“We also had access to so much information. Sometimes I was bored, so I’d type in random Palestinian ID numbers and see what came up. I could see everything about their lives: families, travel details, sometimes employers.”

Many testimonies include themes of death, destruction and demolitions of houses, restrictions of movement, abuse and more.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

Crime

“Log kya kahenge?”: Is colonialism to blame for the rise in honour killings and honour culture in the South Asian community?

Family reputation has huge implications for many South Asian families and is regarded as a very precious asset.

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Honor Killing

“Log kya kahenge?” or “What will people say?” in Urdu and Hindi is a common enough phrase heard by many South Asians.  No doubt Sania Khan, a Pakistani American may also have had to hear this too many times before she was murdered by her ex-husband whilst going through a divorce. Khan, 29 left her bad marriage as she felt unsafe with her husband due to his long-standing mental health issues. She shared her experience on TikTok recalling how “going through a divorce as a South Asian woman feels like you failed at life sometimes”. However, on 18th July 2022 her ex-husband shot her in the head then shot himself.  Sadly, Sania Khan was pronounced dead at the scene.

But why has there been a rise in honour killings in the South Asian community and why is this toxic honour “culture” so important?  Family reputation has huge implications for many South Asian families and is regarded as a very precious asset.  Analyst News spoke to psychoanalyst Shukriya Mahat about how honour is all about abiding by family rules. “Honour is the highest level of integrity you have.  When you are born into a family you have to abide by a certain set of rules and principles that come with that family, so you end up carrying a name of a family, you are not yourself.” That is exactly how the families of honour victims Sania Khan, Qandeel Baloch and Shafilea Ahmed viewed their daughters. For some South Asian families they are more than willing to kill one of their own when they do not abide by these “rules” to preserve their family’s honour.

“For women in the South Asian community, they gain respectability if they get married as their name becomes attached to a male,” says Neha Gill, executive director of Apna Ghar, a Chicago-based human rights organisation working to end gender-based violence. It offers services to predominantly South Asian women facing intimate partner abuse. Gill told Analyst News that divorced women still carry the stigma of unrespectability within the community – they begin to symbolise sexual impurity, leading to their shaming and shunning.  The definition of what a “respectable woman” is, continues to be used today, because the community is obsessed with creating a woman who is the “marriageable type”.

Gill goes on to say, “Women like Sania Khan are not trusted to make their own decision of leaving a marriage or not” because, she believes, they are not trusted to uphold their family’s honour. “Many women are expected to ‘compromise’ in their marriage, and this can mean many women are expected to tolerate abusive behaviours solely to preserve honour.  That is why we find when abuse victims leave their marriage, that is when the most homicides occur as the abuser loses power and control over their honour,” she explains.

According to the Sri Lankan author and activist Kumari Jayawaradena, the idea of “respectability” is a throwback to colonial times when missionaries who settled in India and Sri Lanka claimed they were bringing “salvation and the light of true faith”.  By trying to convert the native populations, the Christians created female missionaries in schools with the aim of providing  “good Christian wives and mothers” for male converts to uphold the principles set out in the Bible. A family’s honour was tied to whether their daughter was ‘sexually pure’. Thus rules for what a ‘respectable’ woman was, were rooted in fundamentalist Biblical ideas of abstinence before marriage and sexual purity.  But Gill opines that colonialism probably made an already deeply patriarchal society even worse and compounded women’s low status.  Indeed when missionaries were first placed in schools in India and Sri Lanka during British rule it was difficult to persuade parents to send their daughters to school as ‘reading and writing were not considered to be traits of a female’.

Gill explains how the culture is steeped in patriarchy. From the beginning of someone’s life “we praise a woman if she gives birth to a boy but then wishes them to receive a boy ‘next time’ if they give birth to a baby girl.”  Unfortunately this attitude still exists today.   A recent study found that there would be 6.8 million fewer female births recorded across India by 2030 because of sex selective abortions, where a baby is more likely to be aborted if it’s female. This cultural preference exists and is perpetuated through the generations, as a boy means he’s more likely to earn and become a breadwinner and girls are just seen as a “burden from day one” because someone needs to provide for them.  And if you’re unlucky enough to have a girl, then the onus is to ensure she’s of a “marriageable type” so she can be married off as soon as she’s of age.

But why are these blatant discriminatory practices perpetuated today?  Psychoanalyst Mahat believes that the patriarchal system continues to be upheld by the older generation which “instils these rules because for many of their generation, honour is much more important than life.” The problem then becomes that the community is stuck in a constant cycle of successive generations being taught that these backward-looking, paternalistic standards are the cultural norm.

Is there any way to stop this vicious cycle, change attitudes and restore women’s status? Shukriya Mahat feels one way to cut through is education.  She suggests that by simply teaching younger generations that there is no shame in getting a divorce if marriage does not work out and setting better examples for them to follow would be a huge breakthrough. “However, re-educating South Asian adults can be the hardest challenge when they have been taught all their life to abide by these rules,” she says. But it will be women who have suffered at the hands of their partners, who will likely have the courage and agency needed to change the cultural mindset into one which truly values the fairer sex.


All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Human Rights

‘Stateless and homeless’ – 5 years of Rohingya mass exodus

Nearly one million Rohingya continue to live under squalid conditions in refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazaar and Bhasan Char in Bangladesh, uncertain about their future.

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Five years have passed since Myanmar’s military operation against Rohingya Muslims, driving 740,000 refugees into neighbouring Bangladesh. Nearly one million Rohingya continue to live under squalid conditions in refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazaar and Bhasan Char in Bangladesh, uncertain about their future.

August of this year marked the fifth year of the ferocious military operation carried out against the Rohingya Muslim minority in  2017. The state-backed ethnic cleansing in Rakhine saw thousands raped, burnt and killed.

The 600,000 Rohingya who remain in Myanmar are further subjected to systemic oppression and abuse. 130,000 of them are living in internal displacement camps, where they are confined, denied freedom of movement, access to good healthcare and education. Following the military-seized control in the February 2021 coup, conditions of Rohingya in detained camps have become extremely vulnerable. As per reports, 28,000 Rohingyans were left in unfit camps posing ‘life threatening risks’.

According to a United Nations report, the military operations in 2017 were carried out with ‘genocidal intent’. The Myanmar military’s attacks, which lasted weeks, executed targeted killing, sexual violence and the burning of Rohingya houses. Later, in March 2022, the U.S. State Department formally declared the situation as genocide.

Over the years, Myanmar government has strategically stripped  the Rohingyan Muslim minority of their citizenship status. Though challenged by historians, Myanmar’s leadership generally maintains the Rohingya community to be descendants from India and Bangladesh. Under the 1982 Citizenship law, Rohingya were denied citizenship, making them one of the world’s largest stateless population. The ethnic-based Citizenship law leaves Rohingya with no legal protection or fundamental rights.

Muhammad Hussein, a 65 year old who fled Myanmar during the attacks says, “My heart longs for our repatriation to Myanmar. Today, we have no country of our own despite being human. We are requesting the world to help us live as humans. My wish is to have rights, and peace.”

As five years pass by, the Rohingya remain in a stateless purgatory awaiting justice and their rights. The international community needs to make a concerted effort to charge the grave crimes committed by the military against the minority. The Human Rights Watch recommends that “the UN Security Council should end its inaction borne of anticipated vetoes by China and Russia and urgently pass a resolution that institutes a global arms embargo on Myanmar, refers the military’s grave crimes to the International Criminal Court, and imposes targeted sanctions on the junta and military-owned conglomerates.”

Furthermore, governments need to impose restrictions on the funding of Myanmar’s military, primarily the gas revenues totalling around US$1 billion in annual profits. Global communities need to support the case filed by Gambia against Myanmar in the International Court of Justice in 2019 to hold the military accountable for its crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocidal acts.

Described as “the most persecuted minority in the world” by United Nations; Rohingyas live

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Human Rights

Author of “Jinnah: A Life” Yasser Latif Hamdani laments Pakistan’s persecution of minorities

Pakistan’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah would “give up on the idea” of Pakistan if he saw the condition of minorities today, says lawyer Yasser Latif Hamdani, as we look at the state of minorities in the country 75 years after it was founded.

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Muhammad Ali Jinnah

When Pakistan was founded in August 1947, its founding fathers had a vision of a free country, with full religious freedoms and equality. In his first speech to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, which was formed to write its constitution, the founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah famously declared:

“You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of the State.”

75 years on, Pakistan is a hotbed of hate, religious intolerance and state persecution against minorities. 

To understand what went wrong with Jinnah’s vision, Analyst News spoke to human rights lawyer and author of “Jinnah a Life”, Yasser Latif Hamdani about the state’s treatment of minorities.

Blasphemy laws

Pakistan’s minorities are subjected to extreme blasphemy laws, often resulting in fines and sometimes even capital punishment. These blasphemy laws can be filed against any “recognisable” religions. 

The laws originated from colonial British India which were originally created to prevent “intentional damage or defilement of a place or object of worship” and protect the peace of a society. 

But later, hard-line clerics who were against the formation of Pakistan, used the law to separate Ahmadi Muslims from other Muslim sects and officially declare Ahmadis as non-Muslim. Other minorities also fell victim to these laws, which are now being used as a tool for discrimination.

“These laws are absolutely the worst laws that are imaginable in the world right now, completely contrary to all the fundamental rights, not just in the Pakistani constitution but also in all the treaties that Pakistan has signed, including the UN charter,” Hamdani said. 

“They have absolutely no place in the modern 21st century.” 

Yet the laws are used to this day, creating a climate of terror and anguish for those in its fold. 

One infamous case is that of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, who was accused of blasphemy in 2010 and sentenced to death. She was released in 2018 following an international outcry. 

But persecution also takes the form of vigilantism.

Last year, a Sri Lankan migrant worker, Priyantha Kumara was lynched to death, in Sialkot over blasphemy accusations by a violent mob. 

Khatme Nabuwat discrimination

Muslims must also sign a ‘Khatme Nabuwat’ form that declares Ahmadis as non-Muslim when getting their ID cards or passports. In March of this year, the Khatme Nabuwat declaration was made compulsory in Nikah forms, the legal marriage document. In Pakistan, to be considered a Muslim, you must declare Ahmadis to be non-Muslim.

Hamdani says this requirement is another form of oppression: “The members wanted to raise the Khatme Nabuwat issue for politics. It is something that they have used time and time again, anytime there is a civilian government in danger, they turn around and make a meal out of the Ahmadi issue.”

“This is not a question of being evidence based, it is not really evidence based,” he added.

Pakistan has been an Islamic Republic since 1957. However, it does not represent true Islamic values and what the country’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah fought so hard for. This point is mentioned by Hamdani in his paper titled “Why Pakistan must be a secular state”.

He argues in the paper that: “Pakistan must be a secular state because by pretending to be an Islamic state and then purporting to legislate in the name of Islam, Pakistan has done more disservice to Islam than any other entity in history.”

According to him, religion is not the root cause for the growing violence against Ahmadis but this is just a “lazy excuse”. He says, “Islam has had a tradition of pluralistic discourse and pluralistic societies within its history. The root cause is simply the intolerance that has been bred because of the global context in the 1980s.”

What can the world do?

In 2020, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet expressed how the blasphemy laws in Pakistan should be amended when she stated: “Religious minorities in Pakistan continue to face violence, repeated attacks on their places of worship, and discrimination in law and practice.” But beyond such calls, neither the UN nor the world has done much to better protect the rights of minorities in Pakistan.

Pakistan is a very important trading member with Generalized System of Preferences (GSP+) rating, which gives developing countries a special incentive to pursue sustainable development and good governance. The countries selected must implement 27 international conventions on human rights, labour rights, environment, and good governance. 

Pakistan is also a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), so it can be held accountable by the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) under the human rights council of the UN. Pakistan’s largest trading partners are the UK, the US, and the EU. To help minorities in Pakistan, “these trading countries can make trade contingent upon the upholding of human rights,” says Hamdani.

“Of course, it is not their job or responsibility but the West, as a trading partner, can exercise their influence, if they want to.”

 “The country is entirely contradictory due to its blasphemy and anti-Ahmadi laws. So, the fact that the West is overlooking this, is just hypocrisy.”

But he points out that despite the impunity with which these laws are used, no one has ever faced death at the hands of the law courts as a result of a blasphemy allegation.

“One of the reasons why the West turns a blind eye is because, inevitably in blasphemy cases, the Supreme Court or the high courts acquit the person accused of blasphemy, so there never has been an execution under [these] laws,” Hamdani adds. 

Instead accused minorities are trapped in a vicious cycle: “Pakistan plays a very interesting game. They bring it to that point and then back off. This is playing to the masses,” he says. 

Article 20 of the Constitution of 1973 gives every citizen, “the right to profess, practise and propagate his religion”. However, when the second constitution in 1974 became part of the original constitution, it declared Ahmadis as non-Muslim. After the Ordinance XX blasphemy law was passed, it prohibited Ahmadis from calling their place of worship a mosque or using any Islamic gestures or symbols. These laws were seen as constitutional by the supreme court. 

These laws would not be upheld by the founding father of Pakistan. 

“Jinnah’s vision as expressed on several occasions was that of an inclusive state where every citizen would be an equal citizen, where religion would be a personal matter, a personal faith of an individual,” said Hamdani.

“His entire struggle had been for the minorities, as he said, since Pakistan was created by minorities it could not turn around and be unmindful of its own minorities.”

“I would go as far as to say that if he could travel to the 21st century and see what has become of Pakistan, he would go back and give up on the whole idea.”

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Human Rights

Israel-Palestine: “Racist” law dropped by Israel

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A new law, described as “racist measures” by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, which required foreigners to declare any romantic relationship with a Palestinian, has been removed after pressure from the United States and European diplomats.

The PM has asked the US and European Union to continue to apply diplomatic pressure for further changes to be made.

If the law had been passed, foreign passport holders occupied in the West Bank were going to be required to report their romantic relationships with a Palestinian to the Israeli defence ministry.

The Israeli defence ministry released these rules and restrictions for any foreigners wanting to enter Palestinian areas of the West Bank. This measure was, no doubt, going to serve as an extension towards Israel’s control of daily life and movement in and out of the occupied territory.

The West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip are considered occupied territories as Israel captured these regions in the 1967 Six-Day War of the Mideast.

A requirement was included in the initial draft of the ordinance that if a foreigner began a serious romantic relationship with a local Palestinian, then the Israeli military must be informed within thirty days of the “start of the relationship,” which meant either an engagement, wedding, or moving in together.

Once married, they were obliged to leave after twenty-seven months for a cooling-off period of a least half a year.

COGAT – Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories – the Israeli body in charge of Palestinian civilian affairs, stepped back from numerous of these controversial restrictions.

This wide-ranged policy imposed these rules on foreigners who married Palestinians or visited the West Bank to work, teach, study, or volunteer. It is important to note that these rules did not apply to people visiting Israel or the more than 130 Jewish settlements scattered across the West Bank.

The previous rules also imposed limits on the number of foreign students and teachers that were allowed to work or study in the West Bank.

This new law was going to affect thousands of foreign spouses, businesspeople, academics, volunteers, and Palestinians living in the diaspora.

Jessica Montell, the director of HaMoked, an Israeli human rights organisation that had planned to prevent the rules from taking effect, had stated towards the initial draft that “this is blatant discrimination.”

A new level of panic had ensued as people were seeing a codifying of something that should not have been there in the first place.

HaMoked submitted a petition to the Israeli High Court to cancel the regulations.

Currently, COGAT and security affairs have modified some of these restrictions, which includes the removal of having to declare a romantic relationship with a Palestinian, and the quota of students and international lecturers that can visit Palestinian institutions.

All these regulations are set to be implemented on October 20th.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Human Rights

Pakistan’s minorities tried to help with flood relief but were denied

As Pakistan was hit with massive floods, hate and discrimination stopped its minorities from helping relief efforts.

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75 years from Independent state to CPC: the plight of the minorities in Pakistan

Pakistan was hit by the worst natural calamity with gushing water claiming one-third of the country. While relief organisations arranged for aid and shelters for the millions of those affected by what is being called “monsoon on steroids “, prejudices toward minorities did not rest.

The charity Humanity First became a target as social media users warned others to refrain from supporting its relief efforts because it is run by members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

The recent floods hit the country while it was celebrating 75 years of its independence from the British Raj. But to this day, amidst natural disasters, politics, or social or academic inclusion, Pakistan has failed to provide basic human rights to its minorities.

This was not the first time minorities were denied flood aid or stopped from providing help to their fellow citizens. During the catastrophic floods of 2010 in Pakistan, which claimed the lives of around two thousand people, calls to be rescued from flood-affected areas by members of the community in the districts of Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, and Rajanpur were ignored. They were not only evicted from the government’s shelters, but they were also forced to move out of the houses they rented themselves for their own shelter.

Pakistan has a long history of marginalising minorities. The country slowly drifted away from its original plan of creating a state where everyone would be free to practice their faith.

Instead of becoming a free state, it has again been declared a “Country of Particular Concern” by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF)  “for engaging in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, as defined by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA)”. The action by USCRIF came as a result of numerous events where the state failed to provide security to minorities or those who were subjected to the intolerant mob violence based on the allegation of blasphemy.

One of the most striking events was the lynching of a Sri Lankan factory manager by a mob of more than 800 people 6 of whom were sentenced to death earlier in 2022. Other incidents from 2021 include a series of attacks on Hindu temples and the targeted killing of a member of the Sikh community in Peshawar.

Despite being called out for its injustice and failure as a state to provide security to its minorities, even in 2022, the living conditions for the minorities in Pakistan did not change.

Just a day after celebrating national minorities day on the 11th of August 2022, Pakistan saw the white of its flag stained red with the blood of a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community who was murdered in the Ahmadiyya majority city of Rabwah by a religious lunatic.

Similarly, a Hindu sanitary worker became the target of an angry mob in Hyderabad in the same month. Luckily, the law enforcement agencies dispersed the mob and prevented it from becoming another tragedy. Moreover, a number of cases have been registered of the forced conversion of minor girls belonging to Christian and Hindu communities. 

While these acts appear to be carried out in an individual capacity, their motivation comes from deep-rooted Pakistani exceptionalism and Sunni extremism. The ideas of Pakistani exceptionalism come from the nationalistic views of Pakistan being an invincible state which can neither be defeated nor conquered. While this exceptionalism makes up an essential theme for patriotic songs, political speeches, and symbolism of the country, it is the influence of Sunni extremism that has made it difficult for the country to achieve international standards of security for its minorities. The use of religion as a rhetorical tool to gain the support of the majority groups has been one of the favorite devices of persuasion. 

The blasphemy law that was adopted from the colonial laws was modified to be used as a revenge tool, particularly against the minorities of the country. In 2021 alone, 84 people were charged with blasphemy accusations. 

Since the British divide and rule act on the sub-continent of India, the two countries have fed on the polarization. This polarization was not only created on the basis of caste and capitalization but mainly of religion. These ideas resulted in an increase in religious intolerance among the citizens of Pakistan. The issues and matters concerning religion and the ideas of the protection of its sanctity have become the tools of oppression in the hands of common people. The mobilisation of crowds by religious and political leaders for their individual gains has given birth to a psychologically chaotic crowd.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Human Rights

The Problem with Andrew Tate

Andrew Tate is slowly becoming a household name for all the wrong reasons. Here’s why he’s not a good role model.

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Amongst young people especially, Andrew Tate is slowly becoming a household name for all the wrong reasons. With disturbing opinions on such topics as women, rape, masculinity and the attainment of success, Tate has been banned from Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube with other social media platforms following suit. Perhaps more disturbing is his appeal to young men thriving off the validity he gives to their feelings of isolation due to what they perceive to be a corrupted women’s society.

Who is he?

A former kickboxer, Tate first rose to prominence in 2016 following an appearance on reality TV show, Big Brother. This short-lived venture resulted in his removal from screen after a video emerged of him beating a woman with a belt. Despite his claims that the female involved was consensually participating, the behaviour seen correlates with the messages that have made him go viral. 

Views on Women

According to Tate, female victims of rape “bear some responsibility” for putting themselves in vulnerable positions, and suggests that if a woman makes an accusation of cheating,  it would be fair to “bang out the machete, boom her in the face and grip her by the neck”. Additionally, in expressing that men hold a degree of authority in male-female relationships, Tate equates the responsibility of marriage to that of owning a pet, saying, “you can’t be responsible for a dog if it doesn’t obey you”. He justifies this with the claim that women are “actually happy serving men” over “working some career”.

Even if it’s fame that’s driving him, it’s hard to understand how he and evidently, so many other men, genuinely believe such derogatory views are acceptable. But this issue speaks to a larger one concerning healthy online spaces for men.

An idol to young men

In advocating toxic masculinity and lavish living with his self-proclaimed pyramid scheme and get-rich-quick, online programme ‘Hustler’s University’, Tate has won the hearts of young men by validating their feelings of incompetence when interacting with women. Many of his followers are part of the ‘incel’ movement, which believes women and feminism are the root cause of all their problems.

A disturbing, yet unsurprising amount of support comes from British-Muslim men, many of whom have taken to TikTok to share Tate’s views and express how he upholds Islamic requirements for women. One look at the masses of YouTube videos of Muslim men discussing the corrupted behaviours of westernised Muslim women and how they are no longer dedicated to family, marital and modest life can explain this link.

Tate has also expressed his respect for Islam, admiring the false notion that women are seen as the ‘property’ of a man with the purpose of serving him. Many members of the Islamic community have taken to social media to highlight the real teachings about women in Islam and also to point out the hypocrisy of Muslim men idolising a figure who indulges in behaviours considered vices in Islam – excess money, premarital sex and fame.

He is also known for his links to controversial figures belonging to the far-right, such as Tommy Robinson and Alex Jones, which enables further exposure to a whole new audience already susceptible to extremist views.

This begs the question then, as to how deeply Tate has ingrained what is frankly, criminal thought into the minds of his followers, and what will it take to undo this damage in a world where internet content is virtually permanent?

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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