|Adil Doukali, A Muslim chosen to represent Spain|
in the 2007 International Bear Rendezvous.
Liberal opposition to Islam emphasizes the fact that Islam has, from its beginnings to today, always and everywhere been the enemy of individual freedom. The debased and degrading status of women in Muslim societies is Exhibit A in this critique. The criminalization of homosexuality and the brutalization of LGBT people is also a central issue, and so is the lack of freedom of speech in Muslim societies, as well as the absence of separation between church and state. Once upon a time such things as individual liberty, women's equality, sexual freedom, gay rights, freedom of speech, and separation of church and state were all core liberal values.
|"I Can't Think Straight", the movie.|
It is very easy, at least in theory and at least on paper, to clearly distinguish these two very different positions as I have above. But today it seems as if all criticism of Islam is automatically assumed to originate from the "far right", while the leftists have adopted a perverse lockstep apologetics in which Islam is mindlessly defended against all criticism, thus validating right-wing claims to ownership of opposition to Islam. How did this happen?
Several specific phenomena have fed into the Left's embrace of Islam and even of Islamism. First there was the invasion of Iraq, which succeeded in casting reactionary thugs in the role of "freedom fighters." Then there was the mother of all internet memes: "Obama is a Muslim", which succeeded in training progressives to associate negative representations of Islam with right-wing bullshit. To this has now been added the hysterical misrepresentations of the Israeli response to the so-called "peace flotilla", during which progressives proved that they had totally lost all contact with reality to such an extent that openly anti-Semitic, martyrdom seeking Jihadists were transformed into victimized "peace activists." And then to top it all of was the ludicrous progressive defense of the Ground Zero Mosque, led by that arch-progressive, Michael Bloomberg.
Probably more important than any of the above, though, has been the near total collapse of the secular left in the Arab and Muslim worlds. This collapse (greatly accelerated by the end of the Cold War) created a political opening that has allowed reactionary Islamists to go from strength to strength in terms of popular support among the Arab and Muslim masses. This has essentially silenced what should be the most important voice against Islam: those who know first hand what it means to live in "submission" (the literal meaning of "Islam").
|Kiana Firouz, Iranian lesbian activist|
But I honestly do think that it is possible to make headway against this stream of mindless "sharia compliance" among supposed liberals. There are even positive signs, if one looks hard enough for them. For example, a recent poll found that the most popular political party in the Netherlands among gays is Geert Wilders PVV, according to the Dutch gay newspapaper Krant (as reported in the English language version of the DutchNews.nl website).
I suppose, though, that the real issue is for liberal-minded individuals to think for ourselves, regardless of the party-line being promoted by the Glenn Greenwalds, Andrew Sullivans, etc. Gee, what a concept. Independent thinking from the very people who claim to support the freedom of individuals to think for ourselves and to freely express own own individual opinions!
|Gay victims of Islamist death squads in Sadr City, Iraq|
- Geert Wilders and Islam: Beyond Left & Right
- Danish Socialists Denounce Islamist "Rubbish About No Freedom"
- "And if they don't meet these demands then you can send them back"
- "A religious axis of evil"
- "The Islamic Exception"
- The right to oppose Islam
- Melanie Philips on Lars Hedegaard
- A plague on both their houses: Notes toward a renewal of liberal anti-clericalism
- Getting Beyond Gingrich
- Islam, Free Speech, Tolerance, and Politics
- Spanish "bear" Adil Doukali at progressiveislam.org
- "Just another British, Indian, Muslim, Arab, Christian lesbian romantic comedy"
- The trials of an Iranian lesbian activist
- Iraq: Gay murders surge