The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, April 08, 2017


A few days ago there was yet another Islamic terror attack in Stockholm, Sweden. An Islamist drove a stolen truck into a department store killing four and injuring dozens. This Islamic terror attack is ironic because Sweden has become a symbol of "tolerance" for those on the Left who have themselves become self-appointed protectors of Muslims. So it's a bit awkward when the very Muslim "immigrants" that progressives celebrate become jihadists that kill their hosts.

Progressives in the United States are the very first to shout down those who are critical of Islam, using their tiresome epithets to stop any meaningful and necessary debate about Islam, about its objectives, and about our response to Muslims who might want to immigrate to our country. After all, any questions that are unpleasant to leftists are by their definition "Islamophobic, racist, bigoted, and misogynist." There's only one problem with their moral preening and their accusations—they evoke a level of ignorance and a lack of critical thinking that is dangerous when it is transformed into public policy.

One of the most eloquent and thoughtful critics of political Islam is Ayaan Hirsi-Ali. Just a few days ago I wrote the following about her:
Progressives have gravitated toward identity politics coupled with multiculturalism and diversity as primary ideological tenets for their worldview. Consider for just a moment an accomplished woman of color, African and Muslim by birth, born poor, an immigrant to the West, an accomplished writer, an elected politician, a fellow at a prestigious think-tank, an icon for many. Gosh, she would be elevated to the heights of the progressive pantheon, except ... she's Ayaan Hirsi-Ali.

Ms. Hirsi-Ali, a person whom I greatly admire, has a fatal flaw that causes her to be damned by progressives—she freely, eloquently, and convincingly condemns "political Islam," suggesting that the only way to defeat Islamist thought and Islamist groups who espouse that thought is for Islam itself to have a full-blown reformation.
Ms. Ali emphasizes the unthinkable (for those on the Left) when she suggests that Islam should be viewed "... “not just as a religion, but also as a political ideology.” In writing about her, Tunku Varadarajan explains her position:
To regard Islam merely as a faith, “as we would Christianity or Buddhism, is to run the risk of ignoring dawa, the activities carried out by Islamists to keep Muslims energized by a campaign to impose Shariah law on all societies—including countries of the West.”

Dawa, Ms. Hirsi Ali explains, is “conducted right under our noses in Europe, and in America. It aims to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and also to push existing Muslims in a more extreme direction.” The ultimate goal is “to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with Shariah.” It is a “never-ending process,” she says, and then checks herself: “It ends when an Islamic utopia is achieved. Shariah everywhere!”

Ms. Hirsi Ali contends that the West has made a colossal mistake by its obsession with “terror” in the years since 9/11. “In focusing only on acts of violence,” she says, “we’ve ignored the Islamist ideology underlying those acts. By not fighting a war of ideas against political Islam—or ‘Islamism’—and against those who spread that ideology in our midst, we’ve committed a blunder.”
We cannot stop a radicalized Muslim from driving a stolen truck into a crowd of shoppers in the West. But we can stop Islamist institutions (CAIR and their allies on the Left come to mind) from using dawa to slowly and effectively undermine Western institutions and freedoms.

Varadarajan continues:
Islam the religion, in Ms. Hirsi Ali’s view, is a Trojan horse that conceals Islamism the political movement. Since dawa is, ostensibly, a religious missionary activity, its proponents “enjoy a much greater protection by the law in free societies than Marxists or fascists did in the past.” Ms. Hirsi Ali is not afraid to call these groups out. Her book names five including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which asserts—and in turn receives in the mainstream media—the status of a moderate Muslim organization. But groups like CAIR, Ms. Hirsi Ali says, “take advantage of the focus on ‘inclusiveness’ by progressive political bodies in democratic societies, and then force these societies to bow to Islamist demands in the name of peaceful coexistence.”

Her strategy to fight dawa evokes several parallels with the Western historical experience of radical Marxism and the Cold War. Islamism has the help of “useful idiots”—Lenin’s phrase—such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has denounced Ms. Hirsi Ali as an “extremist.” She sees that smear as a success for dawa: “They go to people like the SPLC and say, ‘Can we partner with you, because we also want to talk about what you guys talk about, which is civil rights. And Muslims are a minority, just like you.’ So, they play this victim card, and the SPLC swallows it. And it’s not just them, it’s also the ACLU. The Islamists are infiltrating all these institutions that were historic and fought for rights. It’s a liberal blind spot.”

Western liberals, she says, are also complicit in an Islamist cultural segregation. She recalls a multiculturalist catchphrase from her years as a Somali refugee in Amsterdam in the early 1990s: “ ‘Integrate with your own identity,’ they used to tell us—Integratie met eigen identiteit. Of course, that resulted in no integration at all.”
So progressives turn a blind eye to the atrocities visited on gay Muslims, on Muslim women, and on those Muslims who truly do want a moderate future. Progressives see moderation where there is none; they see "victims" -- but victims of what? The answer is unpleasant, so the Left looks the other way. Muslim victims are victims of other Muslims, of a worldwide dawa strategy. They are victims of an aggressive strain of political Islam that wants to eliminate Western freedoms and conquer Western institutions, using the West's embrace of political correctness as a protective sheild.

Modern progressives who rally to protect Islam from scrutiny are like the "useful idiots" who were complicit in the slaughter of millions by Joseph Stalin's brand of communism in Russia or Pol Pot's re-education camps in Cambodia. Their worship at the alter of multiculturalism works perfectly with dawa—encouraging Muslims to avoid assimilation, to demand separation from Western culture, and to promote victimhood when there is none.

Because progressive thought has such sway over the media, the entertainment industry, and academia, we face a very dangerous cross roads. Varadarajan quotes Hirsi Ali:
“We’re dealing here with a lethal ideological movement and all we are using is surveillance and military means? We have to grasp the gravity of dawa. Jihad is an extension of dawa. For some, in fact, it is dawa by other means.”
The Left chooses not to recognize dawa and demonizes anyone who brings up the subject. That means that the public is generally unaware of the threat dawa poses. But the fact that progressives choose not to recognize dawa, doesn't make it go away.