Friday, February 24, 2012
Why the Left Cannot Face Radical Islam
One of the major criticisms of the left, here at Israel Thrives, is that progressives simply cannot bring themselves to face radical Islam. They do not want to hear about. They do not want to read its history. And they accuse those of us who are concerned about its rapid spread throughout the Middle East, via the ill-named “Arab Spring,” of racism and “Islamophobia.”
There are at least four reasons, and probably more, why progressives refuse to honestly discuss the rise of political Islam (or "radical Islam," or perhaps "the radical Jihad," depending on one’s mood). In no particular order, there is the perception that the previous Bush administration used the War on Terrorism as a pretext to move finances in various directions and to bolster their political positions. Thus “terrorism” for many on the left is a ghost. A lie. It is something akin to a political fantasy conjured up by Carl Rove and Dick Cheney. Despite 9/11, and the various acts of Jihadi murder and mayhem since then, they simply do not believe that it is real.
I am not sure that Tamar Fogel could convince them otherwise.
Another reason why leftists cannot face radical Islam is because they are, to be blunt, blinkered by an ideology, post-colonial theory, that most of them have kinda, sorta absorbed through osmosis. That is, the vast majority of self-described progressives have not studied either Marxism or its ideological little brother, post-colonial theory. Nonetheless, they generally believe that the white, European west, including the United States and Israel, have committed atrocious crimes against native peoples of color throughout the world and, therefore, as people of good conscience we must stand with oppressed Arabs or Muslims against our own countries and cultures. They have convinced themselves that the only moral position is to oppose the western countries in their various conflicts overseas. And they honestly believe that doing so is in everyone’s best interest.
Still another reason why progressives refuse to address the rise of political Islam is because of “group think” tendencies. Because they do not discuss it and none of their ideological friends discuss it, there must be nothing to discuss. And so everyone remains silent. It's the Hush-Hush Factor.
Finally, there is the power of shear bullying and the ganging up on transgressors. This is the kind of thing that you see on Daily Kos constantly. A major function of large political blogs like Daily Kos is in the patrolling of the boundaries of discourse and seeking to shame and ridicule those who transgress such boundaries. The tactics are ridicule, shaming, demonizing, and demeaning the individual who steps out of line.
This intellectual repression on the progressive left stultifies.
If we cannot discuss political Islam, the rise of which over the last year represents the foremost geo-political development since the fall of the Soviet Union, then we can never prepare ourselves to deal with it. If we cannot discuss it then we cannot know its history or inclinations or level of developing power or even decide whether or not it represents a threat.
And this is precisely what the Obama administration is encouraging. Because, at the direction of the president of the United States, government officials are discouraged from noticing or mentioning the Islamic nature of this movement, they cannot even begin to honestly discuss it, which is why it is obvious that they have no idea whatsoever what to do about it.
Political Correctness has run amok and the result is that we cannot honestly discuss the rise of radical Islam in progressive-left circles, or even within the Obama administration, itself. Country after country has fallen to the Jihad in the Middle East and the best that progressives can muster concerning the rise of this highly oppressive movement is to congratulate them on “the blessings of Democracy.”
It is pure foolishness.