Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Strange Alliance

Hillary Clinton with Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu,
head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation
In my print and online publications I have sometimes had occasion to comment on the strange alliance between fundamentalist Islam and Western left-wing politics. (For example, see here.) This strange alliance has been particularly strong in 21st century Europe.

On the surface, left-wing politics and fundamentalist Islam share nothing in common. Well, almost nothing. They do share in common a hatred of traditional Christianity. Peter Hitchens put his finger on the psychology of the Left’s alliance with Islam in his book The Rage Against God, when he noted that,
“The Left’s hostility to Christianity is actually specific, because Christianity is the religion of their own homes and homeland, the form in which they have encountered – and generally disliked and resented – the power of God in their own lives. Islam, for most of their time on Earth, has been an exotic and distant creed, never taught to them as a living faith, and never likely to be their own, or to require their obedience. Therefore they can sympathise with it because it is the enemy of their Christian monoculture and as an anti-colonial and therefore ‘progressive’ force. Some Marxists formed alliances with British Muslims despite their highly conservative attitudes towards women and homosexuals. Others prefer to live in a state of unresolved doublethink.”
I said earlier that hatred of traditional Christianity is the only thing that Islam and the political Left share in common. However, there is one more thing. Both are incredibly intolerant of dissent, as seen by the recent coalition of the OIC with the Obama administration to push through a UN resolution that many fear will criminalize criticism of religion.

That fundamentalist Islam is virulently opposed to free speech is common knowledge. However, myself and others have argued that a dogmatic intolerance of opposing viewpoints is actually one of the hallmarks of progressive liberal politics, as the following resources make clear:


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