Daniel Greenfield penned a perceptive and welcome critique,
“What the Left
Does not Understand About Islam” (February 15th), of the
cluelessness of the Left vis-à-vis Islam. The Left, he writes, is naïve about its
rival ideology, and ideologically will always remain naïve. The Left, he
writes, has never been able to think outside of the cardboard box it has built
never adapted to the transition from nationalistic wars to ideological wars. It
took the left a while to grasp that the Nazis were a fundamentally different
foe than [sic] the Kaiser and that
pretending that World War 2 was another war for the benefit of colonialists and
arms dealers was the behavior of deluded lunatics. And yet much of the left
insisted on approaching the war in just that fashion, and had Hitler not
attacked Stalin, it might have remained stuck there.
acknowledge was that it was Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Soviet
Russia that behaved like unrepentant imperialists and colonialists, invading
and conquering other nations for all the loot they could lay hands on. It was
the consistent kneejerk evasion of that fact which demoted the Left from a
noisy avante- garde to a commune of deluded lunatics. Greenfield goes on to remark:
even worse. The left never came to terms with Communism. From the Moscow Trials
to the fall of the Berlin Wall, the moderate left slowly disavowed the USSR but
refused to see it as anything more than a clumsy dictatorship. The only way
that the left could reject the USSR was by overlooking its ideology and
treating it as another backward Russian tyranny being needlessly provoked and
pushed around by Western Europe and the United States.
another conundrum it could not handle.
red virus floating around the world, embedding its ideas into organizations and
using those organizations to take over nations.
more untethered than Communism, loosely originating from powerful oil nations,
but able to spring up anywhere in the world. Its proponents have even less use
for the nation state than the Communists. What they want is a Caliphate ruled
under Islamic law, a single unit of human organization extending across
nations, regions and eventually the world.
ideology, has preferred to stick with the devils it knows, imperialists and the
running dogs of capitalists. Greenfield notes:
incapable of engaging with Islamism as an ideology, instead it reduces the
conflict to a struggle between colonial and anti-colonial forces, showing once
again that the left’s worldview is usually at least fifty years out of date.
to the Clash of Civilizations has been to include Islamists in the global
rainbow coalition of minorities, gays and gender theorists, indigent third
world farmers, transsexuals, artists and poets, sex workers and terrorists;
without considering what the Islamists were or how they would fit into this
its competitor for power.
how its itinerant ally, the Left, would be treated. Not very well. Consider the Left’s global rainbow
coalition of “minorities, gays and gender theorists, indigent third world
farmers, transsexuals, artists and poets, and sex workers.” Islam,
committed to doctrinal purity and eager to cleanse the world in literal
conformance with that doctrine, would act to extinguish every member of that rainbow
coalition, including those not mentioned by Greenfield: feminists, gun-owners, free-speech advocates,
cartoonists who offend Islam, atheists, agnostics, apostates, followers of
other religions, libertarians, anti-government advocates, Constitutionalists,
First Amendment champions, and so on. Rightly or not, they’d all be lumped
together in Islam’s holding pen until they can be prosecuted, tried and walked
to the chopping block or gallows. Leaving the Left what?
not a single victim of capitalism or colonialism. The Left will wonder what happened
to its dialectical materialism, or claim that these are not the progressive
forces it had predicted would pacify the world and leave it warless and in
peaceful harmony. They might complain, if they dared to, that a gatecrasher
hijacked their future. The more perceptive Leftists might then grasp just what Islam
meant when it claimed it was just a “religion of peace.” They would understand
that it won’t be a world in which they’d be expected to pray five times a day
to godless icons of Marx, Lenin, Engels, Mao, and Stalin, but instead to Allah and
would understand that Islam isn’t interested in peacefully coexisting with
other faiths and ideologies, “interfaith dialogue” to the contrary
notwithstanding. They would grasp that Islam is as totalitarian as anything conceived
by George Orwell and would play no favorites, not even with loyal Party
they would see would be piles of victims of Islam, not of capitalism or of
colonialism. The Left acts now as the janissaries
of Islam, as ideologues and Sturmabteilung
of another totalitarian system, for the moment tolerated and drafted into Islam’s
cause to swell the numbers of Islam’s brigades and to handle the rough stuff in
protests and demonstrations and clashes with the targets of the day. And when Islam’s
battles are won, the Left will act surprised when the executioners knock on their
door and escort its members to killing fields that resemble Pol Pot’s and to camps
modeled on Auschwitz. They would be slaughtered by the bushel in the name of Allah,
because they worshipped false gods or no gods and proposed a godless global government.
humbler and more cowardly of them will submit to Islam. All others would be terminated.
Some of their women and pretty boys would
be whisked away to stock the numerous new harems that would be established, and
which would not be limited to the palaces of Saudi Arabia and Dubai and Qatar
and Cairo. They would pop up in New York City and Peoria and Buenos Aires and
London and Vienna and San Francisco. Name your city or town.
would be the character of the world under a global caliphate. The Left would
find itself in the inconvenient and embarrassing position of the garage
mechanic, George Wilson, in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. In it, Wilson is told that it was Jay Gatsby who
struck his wife in a hit-and-run outside his garage, not his airhead paramour,
Daisy Buchanan. So Gatsby catches the mechanic’s bullets. Wilson then shoots
himself. Daisy gets off scot-free. While the literati may treat Daisy as a
useless “ornament” of capitalism, in fact, Daisy is Islam.
was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s conception of unregulated capitalism, married somehow
to gangsters and crime, while Wilson’s grungy garage was symbolic of the
underside of capitalism. Poor, exploited, put-upon George. But it was clueless
Daisy Buchanan who killed the woman. Leftist literati may understand Fitzgerald’s
novel, but their ideological muchachos
honest Leftists will follow George Wilson’s example. Less honest ones will
concludes his masterly column thus:
in an intellectual bubble of its own making. It transforms that bubble into an
elaborate place, furnishing the space until it resembles a miniature world, but
a bubble is not a world, it can only ever be a bubble. Trapped inside the
bubble, the left cannot realize that the world is going backward, not forward,
that the 21st century is really the 7th century and that the future is the
understand this quite well. The left cannot.
Greenfield gives the Left too much credit for being clueless. I think his is a
misplaced generosity. I am convinced that the Left’s ignorance of the true
nature of Islam is a front refined and tailored over recent decades, ever since
Islam and jihad began making
headlines, disguising something much more insidious. Down deep, in the remotest,
darkest corner of the soul of every Leftist, collectivist, statist, and
community organizer, is a seething glop of malice for freedom which he wishes
to exterminate, come what may, never mind how, and don’t ask him about it if
you don’t want to see him froth at the mouth and threaten you with physical
violence. If the extermination is performed by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton,
Valerie Jarrett, or Cass Sunstein, or any other exponent of totalitarianism, it
won’t matter to him, just as long as the murder is committed.
if it’s performed by Islam, so be it. He will be content, even if it means he
will need to buy himself a prayer rug or pay jizya from his paltry income and show up at Islamic rallies as a
loyal infidel. All else – the protests, the books, the lectures, the posters –
is guff and practiced posturing to him. He works to create the image of a
champion of the underdogs, whoever and wherever they might be, when, in truth, he
would just rather shoot the mangy mutts.
what is the root of that seething glop of malice? An unquenchable, malevolent
envy of every individual who has ever achieved independence and happiness without
the Leftist’s assistance or advice or guidance, an envy of the incalculable wealth
produced by what little capitalism has been permitted to exist in any given
nation’s mixed economy or welfare state. This envy is coupled with an intimate
but repressed knowledge and certitude that the kind of ideal communist or
socialist state envisioned by him can produce nothing but poverty, misery, a
state of stagnation sustained by force and deception and lies, and the
suffocation of the able and the brightest.
individuals better than he. All tyrants and would-be tyrants nurture an
inferiority complex. The only way they can compensate for it is the use of
force and as much power over people as they can muster.
would also produce that kind of existence, and the Left must know it, if only
secretly and not spoken about among themselves, and certainly not to the
gullible hoi polloi, in another kind
of “gentleman’s agreement.” The Left’s ideology and Islam’s ideology
are compatible in practice, differing only in details and object.
all, what should it matter to the Left to whose ideology the hoi polloi swear an extorted obsequious obedience?
Barack Obama’s, or Mohammad Morsi’s?
Leftist won’t care which, just as long as they concede defeat and subservience to
the State or to the Caliphate.