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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

No Questions

At a recent Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Ayann Hersi Ali, one of the world's most eloquent critics of Islamist ideology, along with Asra Nomani, another harsh critic of Islam's treatment of women, were invited to testify. Both are women of color, both are Muslims, and both have suffered from the on-going oppression and in the case of Ali, death threats that are part and parcel of any critique of Islam. There were four Democrat women senators on the committee California's Camilla Harris, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill. They are all champions of women's rights, ready to jump in whenever they see evidence of misogny in what they frequently characterize as a male dominated society. They are also senator's quick to grandstand in front of the camera, never failing to ask pointed questions, to pontificate, to speechify.

During the hearing, these four Democrat senators didn't ask a single question. Not one. They did this because as Senator McCaskell stated: "“Anyone who twists or distorts religion to a place of evil is an exception to the rule ... We should not focus on religion."

Ayann Hersi Ali and Asra Nomani have more moral authority, not to mention more intelligence tham all four of these senators combined. They write:
... when we speak about Islamist oppression, we bring personal experience to the table in addition to our scholarly expertise. Yet the feminist mantra so popular when it comes to victims of sexual assault — believe women first — isn’t extended to us. Neither is the notion that the personal is political. Our political conclusions are dismissed as personal; our personal experiences dismissed as political.

That’s because in the rubric of identity politics, our status as women of color is canceled out by our ideas, which are labeled “conservative” — as if opposition to violent jihad, sex slavery, genital mutilation or child marriage were a matter of left or right. This not only silences us, it also puts beyond the pale of liberalism a basic concern for human rights and the individual rights of women abused in the name of Islam.

There is a real discomfort among progressives on the left with calling out Islamic extremism. Partly they fear offending members of a “minority” religion and being labeled racist, bigoted or Islamophobic. There is also the idea, which has tremendous strength on the left, that non-Western women don’t need “saving” — and that the suggestion that they do is patronizing at best. After all, the thinking goes, if women in America still earn less than men for equivalent work, who are we to criticize other cultures?

This is extreme moral relativism disguised as cultural sensitivity. And it leads good people to make excuses for the inexcusable. The silence of the Democratic senators is a reflection of contemporary cultural pressures. Call it identity politics, moral relativism or political correctness — it is shortsighted, dangerous and, ultimately, a betrayal of liberal values.
It is also breathtakingly hypocritical.

Progressives insist of defending the indefensible when it comes to Islam, draping their defense in the tortured notion that because Islam is (in part) a religion, it cannot be criticized. Of course, that didn't stop progressives from calling on all catholics (a religion, by the way) and the Vatican to put a halt to to the sexual assaults that pervaded the church decades ago.

For many Democrats and most progressives, leaping to the defense of Islam has become a reflex. It is a cliche to note that after every heinous Islamic terror attack, progressive leaders in the West warn us against "Islamophobia" It's almost as if they don't trust their own fellow countrymen to do the right thing and make a distinction between Islamic extremists and the broader Muslim community. It is nothing more than virtue signaling and a indication of a subtle contempt for their fellow citizens. It's one of many, many reasons why the Democrats are out of touch with their own country.